Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


pendence or control of the Kashmir valley, something that is

not acceptable to India, which currently exercises control. At

the same time, India’s preferred solution is to legitimise the

LoC as the de jure international border, which is not acceptable

to Pakistan as it sees the LoC as part of the problem and not a

part of the solution. However, in a significant development in

2005–6, the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, and Indian

prime minister Manmohan Singh put forward important

proposals and counterproposals short of these maximalist national

positions. In essence, they focused on making the LoC a

soft border or making it irrelevant, while ensuring cross-border

economic and people-to-people links among the Kashmiri inhabitants.

12 Special representatives of both countries have been

working hard to further develop these ideas.

But the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 stalled these

talks. Despite the renewed tension, India seeks to reengage

with Pakistan. Singh, at a meeting with current Pakistani president

Asif Ali Zardari, poised on the sidelines of the Shanghai

Co-operation Organisation’s summit in Russia in June 2009,

made it clear that he was willing to talk to Pakistan on terrorism

if it cracked down on groups targeting India. In the joint

statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt on 16 July 2009, Singh

and Pakistani prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani agreed

that “action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite

Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed.” 13 Although

this appeared to imply that India was no longer prepared

to halt official-level talks in the wake of another terror

attack emanating from Pakistani territory, it was given another

interpretation, namely, that Pakistan’s actions to counterterrorism

should take place regardless of whether the bilateral

peace process was suspended or not. The “composite dialogue”

remains stalled.

Terrorism and Tensions

Even as the prospect of a major Indo-Pakistani state-versusstate

war has receded, the prospect of a repeat of the December

2001 and November 2008 terrorist attacks is high. Following

the terror attack on the Indian parliament on 13 December

2001, blamed on two Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups—


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