Every diplomatic overture by India comes with a disclaimer – “Offer invalid until Pakistan calls itself a terrorist state and admits to funding ‘terrorism’ in Kashmir”. What it means is that India sees Pakistan as an enemy, and there can be no progress. That India wants the World Bank to send neutral arbitrators to sort out its violations of the Indus Waters Treaty, or that on Wednesday, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar claimed that he wanted the countries to “continue engagement” and “dialogue”, are just pleasant noises India is making to not seem like a cruel tyrant to the US and friends. Both were accompanied by the “disclaimer”, which shuts down any hope for talks.

What Pakistan’s foreign policy experts must tune into instead is firstly what the clearly hard, anti-Pakistan elements in India are saying. The most recent of these expositions was the statement by General Bipin Rawat, the new Indian Army Chief, who threatened Pakistan, as per norm, hinting at “another” surgical strike. The new chief has stated that India is capable of handling a two front contingency in the backdrop of the collusive threat from Pakistan and China. The assertion is laughable, that India could take on China, and secondly, it is extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

The second piece of the Indian puzzle is the production of anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim hate by local leaders, and the vision they have for the future of Pakistan and India. It is this same vision that Indian policymakers will go on to impose on Pakistan, rather than any version projected through official statements of Indian diplomats. Under the Bharati Janaja Party (BJP), 180 million Muslims of India are easily labelled as the enemy of the state, unless they vote for the BJP. While the Hindu majority has bought into the BJP’s nationalistic rhetoric, the minorities have been intimidated into it. Under risk of being labelled traitors, it makes sense that anticipation of Modi’s win the 2014, people didn’t want to risk being in the cold, and voted in the BJP, and will continue to. The strategy manifests itself in all elements of Indian politics spewing hate for Pakistan, untouched, and unprovoked by Pakistan itself.

When a neighbouring country already has its finger on the trigger and is not afraid to make dangerous threats, our foreign policy has to shift gears and become tougher. This will not be done by threats to India, threats are counterproductive to peace, but a strategy to expose India internationally, vocally. Every violation of the Line of Control has to be projected as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.