Farooq Hameed Khan The stalled process of composite dialogue between Pakistan and India, painstakingly evolved over four years to address all outstanding issues between the two hostile neighbours including the core issue of Kashmir, remains suspended since 26/11. Despite the slow progress, the structured talks had emerged as a formal framework for thrashing out all irritants between the two nuclear weapons equipped rivals and spelt hope for peace in the region. Unfortunately, after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, which took a heavy toll of human lives, India blamed Pakistan for the assault and suspended the composite dialogue process. Despite Pakistans cooperation in apprehending some of the alleged perpetrators of the heinous attack and Indian authorities admitting the complicity of its own citizens in the dastardly deed, India continues to use the Mumbai attacks as an excuse for not commencing the composite dialogue. In response to western pressure to resume the dialogue, India grudgingly invited Pakistan for foreign secretary level talks on February 25, 2010. Unfortunately, Indian obduracy stalled the talks since India stuck to its one-point agenda of eliminating terrorism and punishing Mumbai attack perpetrators. Pakistan wanted a resumption of the composite dialogue, talks on the core issue of Kashmir, Indias Water Terrorism and a host of other issues, but unfortunately its pleas fell on deaf ears. Indian stubbornness is not new and dictates its psyche. Jaswant Singh, former Indian Minister for External Affairs, in his book Jinnah: India-Pakistan-Independence published last year (creating chaos, uproar and his expulsion from the BJP), quotes the renowned 11th century scholar al-Bairuni regarding the Hindu psyche. Abu Raihan Mohammad Ibn Ahmad al-Bairuni (973 - 1048 AD) was a versatile scholar and scientist who had equal facility in physics, metaphysics, mathematics, geography and history. Al-Bairuni had the opportunity to travel all over India during a period of 20 years. He learnt Hindu philosophy, mathematics, geography and Sanskrit. The recorded observations of his travels through India in his well-known book Kitab al-Hind provide a graphic account of the historical and social conditions of the subcontinent. Jaswant quotes al-Bairuni: The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no science like theirs, no religion like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited and stolid. So judging from history regarding the Hindu mentality, observed over a thousand years ago, we find no change has taken place. Jaswant Singhs quote from the ancient, but neutral, scholar makes it more pertinent. In the same vein, General Deepak Kapoors jingoistic and bellicose statements regarding taking on China and Pakistan simultaneously through Indias new 'Cold Start Strategy may be studied for a relevant response which undeniably supports my conclusion regarding Indias illusions of grandeur. Let us take the case of another former Indian Army Chief, General Ved Prakash Malik, who was in command during the 1999 Kargil Operations, and is currently the president of the Observer Research Foundation Institute for Security Studies at New Delhi. In his latest discourse titled Indias Strategic Culture and Security Challenges Mr Malik analyses Indias security imperatives, but is highly critical of the prevailing strategic traditions, which he claims weakened India over the centuries, allowing invaders to occupy the mighty Indian Empire. He refers to the zenith of Hindu rule during the Mauryan (305 BC) and Gupta dynasties. Of course, when the informed general mentions the might of the Mauryans, he is actually alluding to its founder, Chandragupta Mauryas (c. 321 - c. 297 BC) mentor Chanakya a k a Kautilya (the crook), who had tutored his disciple Chandragupta, from a destitute migrant Mauryan family, who was sold into slavery and eventually purchased by a Brahman politician, into acquiring the skills in military tactics and arts. Chandragupta gathered mercenary soldiers, secured public support, overthrew the Nanda Dynasty, and established his own dynasty in modern-day Bihar. On the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), he won control of the Punjab (c. 322), expanded his empire east to the borders of Persia, south to Indias tip, and north to the Himalayas and the Kabul River valley. Chanakyas Arthashastra (Treatise on Wealth) provides detailed guidance on statecraft by integrating the discussions on state policy, civil administration, financial resources and their management, and the art of war in a highly systematic manner. Chanakya presaged the concept of the use of the weapons of diplomacy and force with a strong preference for intrigue and machination the prime implements (In quest of Chanakyas dictums). Thus the statecraft taught by Chanakya is extremely cynical and unscrupulous in all its forms. The Indians have, in a typical Chanakyan manner, canonised their Kautilya. The Diplomatic Enclave of their capital city is named Chanakyapuri. The basic ingredients of their foreign policy are unabashedly borrowed from Chanakyas Arthashastra. Of the numerous crafty lessons taught by Chanakya, one of more prominent ones to achieve ones end is the principle of: - ? Sam, the primary principle, implies the use of rationalisation ? Kam, if the first technique does not work then the second implement is bribery; if this does not produce the desired result, then the tertiary principle is ? Dand, the vehement use of violence ? Bheet, if all three fail then the last machination is sowing seeds of dissension and discord. This last stratagem has been explained in great detail by Chanakya, who attributes prevarication, falsification, fraud, deception, hypocrisy and propaganda to be time-tested devices to ensure total success. If we flip through the pages of history, we find Indian use of the Chanakyan principles in letter and spirit whether it is the annexation and illegal occupation of Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Siachen, the dismemberment of our eastern wing or fomenting trouble for Pakistan by creating unrest in Balochistan, Swat and FATA. Surely, the Pakistani Foreign Service will have to unravel the mysteries of Arthashastra, understand the Hindu psyche and Indian mentality to be able to overcome Indian obduracy and prevent it from scuttling future peace talks. Pakistan is fully capable of meeting Indian challenges militarily, but for the sake of peace in the region it would prefer to resolve its differences on the dialogue table. The writer is a political and defence analyst.