Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's assertion that Pakistan has "learnt its lessons" and wants to live in peace has not gone well with the parallel power systems in his country.
His desire to "resolve bilateral problems" through "table talks" had no takers in Pakistan as just hours after Sharif's renewed talks offer to India, his own office retracted his statement.
"Pakistan will not hold negotiations with its neighbour until it reverses the August 5, 2019 illegal action on Kashmir. Without India's revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible," read a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office in Islamabad.
It's not for the first time that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed his desire for peace. Soon after he took over the reins of the country last year, he had dropped enough hints to make a new beginning with India but he was warned by the people around him to stay within the boundaries drawn by the deep state in Pakistan.
Both he and his brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, have consistently said that Pakistan has to make peace with India, and that normalising ties would benefit Pakistan's economy.
At present, Pakistan is facing a severe economic crisis, public discontent against the ruling regime due to the flour crisis and fuel shortage. The rising instances of terror attacks by the proscribed outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which ended a ceasefire with the country's security forces late last year, have also made things difficult for the rulers.
But the extremists in Pakistan are in no mood to relent and want to keep the enmity with India alive.
Pakistani journalists Javed Chaudhry and Hamid Mir had recently revealed that it had been agreed in the India-Pakistan back channel conversations held during Imran Khan's regime to "freeze the Kashmir issue" for 20 years. But Khan's Foreign Minister and a few others had told him that if he did so, his political career would end and he would be left with nothing to bank upon.
The elements within the Pakistan establishment during Imran Khan's regime also scuttled a planned move to restart some trade between India and Pakistan.
Reaction of the deep state in Pakistan to PM Sharif's talks offer to India has once again proven beyond doubt that the hardliners in the neighbouring country are refusing to accept that they have lost the proxy war which they started in Jammu and Kashmir three decades ago.
They are unable to see the writing on the wall that people of Jammu and Kashmir have endorsed New Delhi's August 5, 2019, decision to abrogate J&K's so-called special status and they have moved on the path of peace, prosperity and development. People of J&K want Pakistan to leave them alone so that they can live in peace.
PM no power centre
The realisation has dawned upon Prime Minister Sharif that India and Pakistan are neighbours and need to understand the importance of co-existing peacefully, but the problem in his country is that he is not the only power centre.
There are many power centres in Pakistan and the elected representatives are nothing more than titular heads. It has become clear to the world that Pakistan is ruled by the Army and the terrorist leaders.
Politicians are nothing but puppets and have no choice other than to follow the diktats of the Army and terror bosses, who are least bothered about the pathetic plight of their people. They don't care about the economy or the rising inflation. Their only job is to keep the conflict alive and look for new ideas and means to bleed India.
Rajouri terror attack
Recent terror attack at Dhangri village in Jammu's Rajouri district near the Line of Control (LoC) was a glaring instance of how Pakistan is sending terrorists into India to kill the innocents. Two heavily armed terrorists barged into the houses of unarmed civilians, resorted to indiscriminate firing and before sneaking back into Pakistan fixed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in one of the houses. Five civilians were killed in the initial firing and two children died in the IED blast which occurred on the next day, while eight people sustained injuries.
Is this the peace which Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is talking about? Whenever any Pakistan leader gets a chance he claims that "flagrant human rights violations" are taking place in J&K but it seems that someone needs to tell them that it's the terrorists sponsored by their country who indulge in human rights violations.
After August 5, 2019 when New Delhi announced its decision to abrogate J&K's so-called special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories terrorists have carried out numerous attacks on the members of minority communities in J&K. The cold blooded murders of the civilians in the name of religion have once again proven beyond doubt that terror has no religion.
India has never been an aggressor
History stands testimony to the fact that India has never been an aggressor but its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as its weakness. By carrying out surgical strikes after on terror camps across the Line of Control in 2016 after Uri attack and Balakot airstrikes after Pulwama attack in 2019, New Delhi sent a clear message to Islamabad and the terrorist bosses that anyone who dares to look towards Indian territory will have to pay a heavy price.
Sharif's candid admission
Prime Minister Sharif, during an interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, candidly admitted that Pakistan fighting three wars with India only brought misery, poverty and unemployment for its people. "It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources," he said.
Sharif needs to give this message to the people around him who are still breeding terrorists in their backyards. He should tell them that Pakistan is becoming poorer with each passing day, people are suffering and the situation is going out of hands.
Pakistan needs to understand that by ending terrorism it would be doing a favour to its own people and not to New Delhi as India has become the fifth largest economy in the world and figures among one of the most developed nations. India is growing whereas Pakistan is plunging into more trouble with each passing day.
Pakistan leadership needs to exhibit a strong political will and understand that Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India and it cannot be snatched by any power on the earth. It's difficult for people heading different power centers in Pakistan to share a common table even among themselves so sharing it with India looks an impossible task.
Pakistan has to build a common consensus over burying the hatchet with India and making a new beginning if it has to survive. Otherwise, the days of the neighbouring country are numbered.
( 1157 Words)