In a worst-outcome situation, neither Imran Khan nor the Pakistan Army will be able to restrain the people of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan from responding. That will raise the risks of an Indian assault on Pakistan with all its possibly existential consequences for both countries. The very first and least of these consequences would be the closing of the Kartarpur Corridor. To avoid worst possible outcomes, the UN Security Council will need to get off its butt. While most of the major powers may be inclined to concentrate their pressure on Pakistan, this is not likely to succeed because of the even greater domestic pressure in Pakistan to stop a perceived genocide in IHK. In such a situation, only the veto-wielding powers in the UN Security Country would be in a position to persuade India to relent in order to avert a war, including the real risk of nuclear exchanges. An alternative scenario is for Pakistan to abandon the Kashmiris in IHK to their fate while maintaining a furious and largely futile diplomatic campaign against Indian atrocities. There are many in Pakistan who quietly or openly advocate such an approach to ensure the survival of the country. Many suspect the government is itself wedded to this approach despite its public denials. This approach hopefully assumes the Kartarpur initiative might have the potential to set in train a series of developments that could eventually convince India to review its Kashmir policy, restore the status quo before Aug 5, and resume dialogue with a Pakistan that manages to get off the FATF grey list. But why would Modi respond to such an approach? He certainly resents criticisms of his policies but is under no pressure to revise them. Moreover, his Hindutva base would instantly reject him if he revised the Aug 5 decision. He sees Pakistan not India up the creek. He sees Pakistan not India doing U-turns. He sees himself as having finally settled Kashmir. He sees himself as the embodiment of a triumphant ideology that has given India great power status while putting an end to Pakistan’s dreams of Kashmir.
November 2019 Buy CSS Books Online as Cash on Delivery | Call/SMS 03336042057Page 17 Modi may even see himself as joining an Asian trio of superpowers (China, Russia and India) that leaves Pakistan out in the cold. He might see this as providing India even greater leverage with the US. He believes Indira Gandhi had an historic opportunity to finally settle Kashmir during the Shimla negotiations in 1972 but was outsmarted by Bhutto. He intends to do no such thing with Imran Khan. In this scenario, Kartarpur will have been a one-off happening. What is to be done? Pakistan needs to keep its nerve. It has to clean up its act on all fronts. It has to structurally transform itself politically, economically and socially in order to achieve stability and increasing prosperity and, just as importantly, project a positive image to the world which will allow its point of view to register.