Pakistan Army unlikely to allow strategic shift in ties with India: Experts

The controlling influence of Pakistan Army and intelligence services on Islamabad's core state policies is unlikely to allow any strategic shift in its ties with India.

Published: 23rd March 2017 03:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2017 03:05 PM   |  A+A-

India and Pakistan flag (File |AFP)

By PTI

WASHINGTON: The "controlling influence" of Pakistan Army and intelligence services on Islamabad's "core state policies" is unlikely to allow any strategic shift in its ties with India, a top expert on South Asia has suggested.

"US policymakers, for their part, have come to terms with the reality of Pakistan's deep state. As a practical matter, they find it nearly impossible to get anything important done on security issues without working through the Pakistani military and intelligence services," Daniel Markey, from the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in an op-ed piece in The Cipher Brief.

This, he said, has been especially frustrating for Americans who would have opted to use their influence to tip the scales in favour of a more transparent, accountable system grounded in the constitutional rule of law in Pakistan.

"US policymakers also cite the controlling influence of Pakistan's military, often complemented by a permanent establishment, as a reason to doubt prospects for any sort of 'strategic shift' by Pakistan on ties with militant proxies, relations with India, and expanding the nuclear programme," he said.

Markey said academic and policy analysts generally agree that Pakistan's army and directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), exert a controlling influence over most of Pakistan's core state policies. "This entrenched, unelected, and opaque 'deep state' is complemented by a near-permanent 'establishment' comprised of a relatively small cadre of politicians, senior bureaucrats, and well-connected business families who have led, managed, and owned most of the country since its independence in 1947," he wrote.

Markey said questions plague any discussion of Pakistan's foreign and defence policies. "Why is it that even when Pakistan's top military and civilian leaders profess to be fighting terrorism in all its forms, their own intelligence institutions continue to support and provide a safe haven for anti-Indian and anti-Afghan terrorists, like Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani network?"

"Why have Pakistani diplomats repeatedly failed to ink trade deals with their Indian counterparts, even when civilian leaders in Islamabad claim to favour them? Why wasn't Pakistan's elected president (Asif Ali Zardari) free to reassess Pakistan's nuclear doctrine despite his 2008 claim to be doing precisely that?" Markey asked.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp