India’s PACK challenge requires a political response

By Hindustan times

Call it PACK — a strategic spread of interlinked geographies, comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Kashmir. With territorial disputes, political instability, religious radicalism, popular aspirations and great power dynamics as key issues, PACK is forcing a long game on India. Playing it well requires both resources as well as a concerted political approach at the top level. The latter is key. How is New Delhi faring?

Pakistan is speaking a new language of geoeconomics and a trade-fronted regional policy. This merits cautious interest from New Delhi, indications of which are evident. The aggressive rhetoric that preceded and followed the August 5, 2019, decisions died down as the ceasefire announcement neared.

Oddly, the military-logistical joint statement, released on February 25, also referred to the two director general of military operations (DGMOs) agreeing to “address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence”. This was a political element, and it is not clear why it was inserted there.

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