Though I argue that India should not discontinue talks, I also argue that continuing talks without responding to terrorist attacks and other outrages by the Pakistan army is equally foolish -- and unsustainable. Since this essay was published a few days back, other analysts, who are far more knowledgeable about Pakistan, have pointed out that much of the supposed 'action' that Pakistan is taking against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists is the usual drama they have engaged in many times before, without any real effort at curbing these terrorist organizations, in essence a farce to placate foreign leaders. This is eminently understandable because the Pakistan army feels no pressure to take any real action, and as I point out in the essay, it is a high-benefit, low-cost and low-risk strategy. If, as seems likely, the talks were to continue, we should expect more attacks, unless India can develop options to change the Pakistan army's calculus. My essay, published by the Observer Research Foundation, is reproduced below.
Suspending talks is surrendering to Pak Army strategy
In the aftermath of the terror attack in Pathankot, the pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suspend dialogue with Pakistan is mounting. Even if he resists the pressure this time, the India-Pakistan dialogue will constantly be at risk because the Pakistan Army and its Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) can sponsor more terror attacks until it becomes politically impossible for the Modi government to continue the dialogue. As long as India’s only response to terror attacks is to suspend talks, the Pakistan Army will hold the upper hand. Suspension of talks does not impose any cost on the Pakistan army; indeed, it is what they seek. India needs to develop alternate counter-measures so that it has options other than suspension of talks. Indian decision-makers need to understand the Pakistan army’s support for terrorism as a rational and usually effective strategy if India is to develop such counter-measures that increase the costs and reduce the benefits to the Pakistan army in using terror as a strategy.