Indian diplomat’s arrest
Dawn Editorial, April 30, 2010
A second secretary in the press and information section of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad is detained in Delhi amid allegations of possible espionage on Pakistan’s behalf.
The arrest comes on the eve of the Saarc summit in Bhutan, on the sidelines of which the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers are to meet (the meeting is likely to happen today). Coincidence? Very unlikely. The timing of the Indian government’s announcement sends a clear signal: India is not ready to move towards improving ties with Pakistan any time soon. While the spying case has not completely overshadowed the Bhutan summit, it has competed for headline space and buried any talk of positive developments.
Pak-India relations have been held hostage by Indian intransigence since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. India wants Pakistan to shut down the Kashmir- and India-centric militant groups before it is willing to talk to Pakistan again. But by reducing Pak-India relations to a single-point agenda, the Indian side is ensuring that South Asia remains one of the world’s danger spots. True, Pakistan has historically more often than not been the spoiler itself. But when it comes to the present, the Pakistani state has taken a reasonable line: Pak-India relations cannot be held hostage to acts of terrorism and there remain some fundamental issues, headlined by Kashmir and water sharing, that need to be resolved. Even on the terrorism issue, not talking serves no real purpose. India tried and failed to isolate Pakistan diplomatically in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, with diminishing returns on that policy setting in very quickly.
The highly publicised arrest of Madhuri Gupta suggests that India is in no mood to change its policy towards Pakistan. In the world of diplomacy, it is unthinkable that a spying case could be revealed by a government if it is interested in improving ties with another country. So going forward, Pakistan should continue to do what it has been doing lately and emphasise that it would like to restart the dialogue with India but without preconditions. It isn’t ideal, but it’s the best that can be done in the circumstances.
Behind India's Bust of a Pakistan Spy - TIME
Did Madhuri Gupta, diplomat-spy, convert to Islam? - NDTV
Spy Madhuri deeply hated IFS officers - MSN
Madhuri Gupta: exploited for her insecurities? - Economic Times
Alleged spy Madhuri Gupta knew it coming - Mid Day