A new scandal in the relations between India and Pakistan popped up rather predictably. The relations between these two countries are still chilly. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the Indians seized another Pakistani spy.
On April 16, the special services of India detained Pakistani diplomat Ali Abbas. According to the information from the intelligence, the Pakistani national was seized at the moment when he was obtaining secret information from an Indian military man. It was not specified what kind of information it was exactly.
The reaction from Islamabad was immediate. The Pakistani government claimed that the Indians treated their national very brutally, in spite of the fact that Indians released the diplomat, having announced him persona non grata. Islamabad claimed that the diplomat was beaten and then tortured with electric shock.
Of course, the Pakistani government announced that they were going to expel several Indian diplomats. If such things continue, then there will be no authorities left in the diplomatic missions of both countries.
In the meantime, there is no progress in the settlement of the conflict between India and Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan are ready to do their best in order to normalize the relations between them, but these are only words and no actions, as nobody wants to compromise. The inter-ethnic clashes in the Indian state of Gujarat are still a very big obstacle: there have been reportedly up to two thousand people killed as a result of the attacks and battles there (the majority of victims are Muslim people, which cannot but raise anger in Islamic Pakistan). The activity of the gunmen in Kashmir, who penetrate in the Indian part of the state from the territory of Pakistan, is also a large problem for making any progression.
There is the impression that it is not good either for Islamabad or for Delhi to establish the bilateral dialogue. However, it is good for President Musharraf to aim the discontent of Islamic militants in Pakistan at India. The reason why is very simple: Pervez Musharraf needs to stay in power. Any concessions for India are out of the question on the threshold of the referendum, which is to take place on April 30, and Musharraf plans to get the presidential privileges for the period of five years.
The contradiction with Pakistan is like a pretext for India to increase its military power and to prove that Pakistan supports terrorism. Therefore, any peace settlement is out of the question while both of the feuding countries continue to derive certain political profit from this conflict.
Most likely, the Pakistani diplomat fell the victim of circumstances, although it is not ruled out that he was a spy indeed. A miracle is needed for India and Pakistan to reconcile, but as we all know, there is no place for miracles in politics.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov