For Pakistan the many terror outfits it creates here and there are assets under management (AUM) managed by a fairly large family office – in this case, the army.

Indian mandarins should stop navel-gazing terror gets Pakistan the moolahBy U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Voices Monday, August 24, 2015 - 13:22

Now that the National Security Adviser (NSA) level talks are off, we can expect Pakistan to take its road show to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting in September 2015 in New York. Addressing the media ahead of her departure to Egypt and Germany, External Affairs Minister (EAM) made it clear as crystal that the now cancelled talks between the two countries was about terrorism and nothing else.

For Pakistan the many terror outfits it creates here and there are assets under management (AUM) managed by a fairly large family office – in this case, the army. Islamabad can long and short the terror markets, trade commodities and bonds and even cash depending on how many camps it has created. Every now and then something blows on its face but that makes it look like a genuine soldier against terrorism. For Pakistan, investing in terrorism has worked.

The UNSC drumbeat will get noisier in the coming weeks. Initial strings have already been strummed. Seeking a crutch from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and another from the UN, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the world body Maleeha Lodhi has said that together the organisations have to “…overcome these challenges including Palestine and other Middle East conflicts as well as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.” She was speaking during an open debate on regional cooperation and security issues. Her remarks followed that of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon who expressed “serious concern” about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control (LOC).

We can expect this to get shriller in the weeks to come. It will be much ado about nothing. The UN is held by resolution 46 (1948) that asks Pakistan to vacate Kashmir before anything can happen there. Since Pakistan has no plans to do so and continues to sponsor and nurture terrorists, let us not get excited about dossiers and other documents at this point. The UN will not be able to solve this problem because three of the five permanent UNSC members – US, Russia and China – are overtly assisting Pakistan with military and other aid. The other two, France and the United Kingdom, have not said where they stand but three against two carries the UNSC day.

The UNSC is an annual jamboree that lasts for some six weeks in New York. It is important for navel-gazing Indians to know that the world is not thinking about the LOC. Terrible as this may sound, it is a reality that expert commentators refuse to acknowledge.

The UNSC this year is expected to be all about Washington publicly embracing Havana and Iran. Establishing normal ties with Cuba and closing the nuclear deal with Iran are big-ticket items for the Obama administration now almost in its final year. These two events will alone steal the how.

The Pope is taking to the UN pulpit to speak about a host of issues notable among which is expected to be a spirited call to all countries to deliver at the Paris environment talks in December 2015. He has issued an encyclical on this earlier this year and both Ban Ki-moon (these are UN talks) and US President Barack Obama have welcomed it.

Pretending to fight terrorism is a well-honed source of revenue for Islamabad. There is nothing preventing Washington from pulling the plug on military and other aid. There is nothing preventing Beijing and Moscow to stop needling India by siding with Pakistan including providing aid and building ports on the one hand while shaking hands with India on the other. In her book Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, scholar Christine Fair succinctly sums up the situations when she says “If Pakistan’s army is genuinely serious about the nature of its domestic militants, it would discontinue this canard of blaming India for these attacks (the three wars and 1947), thus fostering the perception that Pakistan’s conventional nemesis is the cause of Pakistan’s internal security.”

There will be a maximum of 100 people at the UN’s General Assembly when India and Pakistan spar. In that sanctum sanctorum, the Indo-Pak issue is a nuisance. The only way this can be solved if both sides play by the rules. In the meantime, remember that when Pakistan backs a terror attack, India should try and decode which check it is encashing and where.