Pakistan’s economic stability is directly linked to law and order situation with the threat of terrorism looming large, investors are wary of the country. Pakistan’s territory has been used by militants against neighboring countries. Pakistan also backing the proxy war in Afghanistan in pursuant of strategic depth. Experience shows that no peace agreement with the Taliban has worked, so it will have to deal with terrorism firmly at one point or another. Pakistan does not expect the Taliban to deliver what it really wants - lots of money to strengthen the economy – so it will adjust realistically to the Americans. The Americans have actually abandoned Pakistan and it will make efforts to reconnect with them. Its relation with the U.S. will determine the course of history. Despite the anti-American rhetoric in the country, it will try to promote dialogue between the Americans and the Taliban to facilitate the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is fact that Americans are not going to stop using drones and Pakistan cannot make them stop at will. What Pakistan can do is to have a mere engaging discussion about drones, so they share responsibility and intelligence, something that existed at the start of the Musharraf regime. Pakistan would want to work well with the Americans because its main trust will be on economic revival for which it will need American help.
Pakistan is getting over-involved in Afghanistan which will be dangerous for it. The real challenge for Pakistan would be that it doesn’t get stuck with the failings of the Afghanistan process so that the instability in Afghanistan doesn’t affect Pakistan. The main trust should be to have good and peaceful relation with India. Everyone in Pakistan has a clear view of what the future holds and why the future of South Asia should look like. Trade and free travel in order to expand the opportunities the region affords us. The way forward is not to get stuck on the things that one does not agree on. Under pinning all these issues is the Civil-military relationship to challenge the authority of the mighty military establishment, Pakistan first needs to deliver on the economic front. The military has directly kept out of politics while keeping its hold on the security policy. Pakistan would like to assert his authority and convey clearly there would be no more Kargils, no more Mumbai’s and ceasefire violations on the borders. Pakistan should also clear its official position on terrorism, which provided the basis for understanding between these two countries. The Pakistan military establishment very well understands the standoff with India is untenable.
Pakistan understands that terrorism a major threat if it is not going to take any concrete steps or action to curb it, will come to bite them. Till date, they have taken a backseat on this issue and if Pakistan has to improve ties with India, it has to deal with terrorism. For dealing with terrorism, it might put into place some mainstreaming agenda or an incremental process that involves socio-economic mainstreaming, payoffs etc. Pakistan should go for small, incremental steps with India rather than grand gestures that run the risk of spectacular failure. The Lahore peace initiative disintegrated when the Pakistani army occupied the Kargil heights. The Pakistan has provided shelter to LeT supremo Hafiz Mohd. Saeed who was the chief plotter of the Nov. 26, 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai roams free in Pakistan. As do Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Meman, plotters of March 1993 Mumbai Serial blasts. The trial of the 26/11 Mumbai attack main accused in Pakistan drags on. The Pakistan army’s calibrated support to terrorist groups like LeT, Jaish, Lashkar-e-Jahangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba etc has led to the trust deficit. Reaching out to India kill mean getting the Pakistan army on board only then can Pakistan deliver on the economic promise of its manifesto. Pakistan needs the army on board to end terror and deliver better trade ties with India.