Pakistani military not spoiling for fight with India: Daily

Islamabad: Pakistani military leadership is not spoiling for a fight with India, said a leading daily which, however, noted its 'wrongheaded resistance' to peace.

An editorial in the Dawn on Wednesday said that "in Pakistan, while it is relatively clear that the military leadership is not spoiling for a fight with India, particularly as it struggles to contend with massive and sprawling domestic security concerns, there is a sense that it is unwilling to consider the full dividends of a comprehensive peace".

"Instead, the military's approach seems largely rooted in the past - a perhaps rightful insistence on the resolution of decades-old disputes with a wrongheaded resistance to proposing new ideas and avenues to achieve peace," said the daily.

The daily said that an increasingly chaotic, seemingly strife-ridden world does not - should not - mean giving up on peace.

"...even in the midst of disorder, opportunities for peace and the peaceful resolution of conflict should never be given up on. Are Pakistan and India listening? Perhaps in peripheral terms they are."

The daily said that the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to sidestep old disputes with China and Bangladesh, among others, in a bid to focus on common benefits via trade and development.

"Yet, there is no escaping the elephant in the room: neither India nor Pakistan are particularly concerned about genuinely moving towards the normalisation of ties, let alone a full-fledged peace," it said.

The editorial went on to say that until the political leadership of the two countries decide that peace is not just a priority but a necessity too, "the most that will happen is the ad hoc management of tensions".

"In truth, however, the political leaderships need help from other constituencies - in particular, the respective security establishments of Pakistan and India."

It rued that the Indian government and its security establishment "appears to think that Pakistan can either be isolated or bullied into submission. Where is the vision in that?"

"Pakistan and India deserve more than what their respective leaderships are providing at the moment," the daily added.

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