Delhi Round of Indo-Pak Talks - V Terrorism and Drug Trafficking

21 Nov, 1998    ·   159

D. Suba Chandran analyses why India and Pakistan failed to reach any agreement on terrorism and drug-trafficking issues

The most contentious of the six issues on which the recently concluded Indo-Pak talks focussed was terrorism. Of the two inter-linked issues – Terrorism and Drug Trafficking, had India and Pakistan differed more on the question of terrorism.




India 's proposals on terrorism: India accused Pakistan of relentlessly pursuing State sponsored terrorism to destabilise India , using terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India .


In the talks India handed over a list of training camps in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). India also gave a list of top ranking terrorists, drug lords and fugitives such as Dawood Ibrahim, Abdul Razak Memon, Mohammad Dosa etc, who are being sheltered by Pakistan . India also presented a four point proposal.


·                     Abandon state sponsorship of terrorism against India . Dismantle the terrorist camps for indoctrinating, recruiting, training, arming, financing and infiltrating militants.


·                     Close down the 30 or more training camps for training terrorists in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir


·                     Deny the use of Pakistani territory and other facilities to militant organisations and fundamentalists propagating religious violence, training militants and raising funds for jihad


·                     Hand over the 32 terrorists and underworld operators of Indian origin currently living in Pakistan


India also handed over a document containing evidence of Pakistan 's involvement in sponsoring terrorism in India .


Pakistan refuted all these charges and told India they had only extended moral, political and diplomatic support to the "freedom fighters" in Kashmir.Pakistan accused India of abetting terrorism in Pakistan especially in the province of Sindh .


Pakistan 's proposals:


While rejecting India 's accusations and proposals, Pakistan proposed  third party observation of terrorism in the region, especially in Kashmir . Pakistan suggested the involvement of either the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) or any other neutral force  to verify India 's allegations. Pakistan also challenged India to choose either arbitration or mediation.India rejected Pakistan 's proposal for a third party to observe the sponsorship of terrorism by Pakistan ..


What are the motives underlying these proposals and their rejection? They were  obvious and expected. What is significant is Pakistan 's proposal challenging India to prove its charge via a neutral party. Pakistan knew that India would reject any such proposal. By making India reject a proposal that would be seen by the outside world as rational, Pakistan may, score a debating point over India . Then, why did India reject this proposal? India 's rejection stems from fears that once it agrees to any third Party mediation or even observation, this would increase external pressures upon it to solve the Kashmir issue by a similar modality. Hence, India would reject any proposal involving a third party, even if such an action would favour India against Pakistan .


In the event, India and Pakistan failed to reach any agreement on the  terrorism issue.


Drug Trafficking:


Whereas Pakistan is being used for both cultivating and trafficking illegal opium India is only being used as a transit route. The problems posed by drug trafficking covers a wide range of areas that affect the security of the state. Drug trafficking not only results in drug abuse, but also increases the proliferation of arms, crime, money laundering and terrorism  in society. Both India and Pakistan are affected by this menace. In 1997 the amount of heroin that was seized along the India Pakistan border alone was 640 kg, which reveals the seriousness of the problem.


India and Pakistan during the talks agreed the following on drug trafficking:


·                     Setting up a mechanism for regular meetings and exchange of operational information between the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Pakistan and Central Bureau of Investigation in India to combat crimes such as drug trafficking;


·                     Strengthening bilateral cooperation between the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) of India and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) of Pakistan to combat drug trafficking


Finally, despite basic differences, both countries agreed to continue their discussions during the next round of talks. This seem to be the only positive outcome of the recently concluded talks between India and Pakistan on these issues.