Proceeding on the presumption that the violation of the ceasefire of the Line of Control was started from the other side, one wonders why exactly the Indians have done it. (The Kashmir elections could be a partial answer.)

It would be vastly farfetched to think that the provocation came from Pakistan, as alleged by India. The PML-N government is led by a prime minister who readily responded to the call from Modi to be present at his inaugural ceremony and while in Delhi took care not to utter the K word and later sent mangos and a Saari to establish his credentials as a well-wisher of India and its new leadership. It is not quite known as to what transpired between the two prime ministers when they briefly met. It is, however, known that during Nawaz Sharif’s visit, both the Indian foreign minister and the foreign secretary made it a point to tell Pakistan that it had to shed its terrorist baggage before Indians could seriously enter into engagement with Islamabad.

It didn’t take long for New Delhi to show its hand when, so to say, it abruptly cancelled scheduled talks between the two foreign secretaries. The excuse advanced was that the Pakistan High Commissioner had met the Hurriat Kashmiri leaders despite advice from the South Bloc not to do so.

This rebuff was swallowed as indicated by an unnecessary statement by the prime minister’s advisor for security and foreign affairs that the timing of the meeting was “perhaps not right” and that “if Indian advice had been received earlier, it could have been considered.”

Finding, however, his rating going down within the country, Nawaz Sharif came out at the United Nations General Assembly with a strong statement on Kashmir citing the UN resolutions and urging the need for an early settlement of the decades old dispute.

It can be said that Nawaz Sharif misjudged Prime Minister Modi. Modi is not Vajpai although both belong to the BJP. He has chips on his shoulders; widely reputed to be responsible for the massacre of more than a thousand Muslims and the destruction of their property in Gujrat when he was Chief Minister. Internationally too, he carried a tarnished image; so much so that the US had refused to issue a visa to him. His RSS background of which he has remained a member for years, speaks for itself—his remarkable achievements as a self-made outstanding political leader notwithstanding.

Pakistan has to realize that in Mr. Modi, India now has a prime minister with a difference. One who combines in his evolved person, the Hindutva ingredients with honed modern management skills. His acknowledged success as a chief minister and his hold over his party’s rank and file has after the 2014 elections, uplifted him as a redoubtable chief executive of the second most populated country of the world. Rightly, did the Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj remark, during Nawaz Sharif’s visit to New Delhi, that “Islamabad now needs to adjust to the fact that India has a new government and a new foreign policy.”

This new Indian foreign policy has already yielded highly impressive and far-reaching results. Modi’s foreign visits have brought huge dividends to India. Potential foreign investments amount to $35 billion from Japan, $20 billion from China and $40 billion from US companies. Here, a word about Modi’s phenomenal visit to the US. President Obama went out of his way to enhance and dramatize the relationship with India when he hosted a special dinner for 20 guests, adding a new dimension to the visit by personally taking Modi to the King’s Memorial. A ten-year defence cooperation framework was renewed. There were also agreements for the development of “smart cities”, on renewal energy and cooperation in science and technology. Of particular (worrisome) significance for Pakistan was the initiation of “joint and concrete efforts including the dismantling of safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks, to disrupt all financial and technical support for networks such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let), Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company and the Haqqanis”. Also Pakistan was jointly reminded to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 attack in Mumbai, to justice.

Only a strong Pakistan under a stable and sagacious political stewardship can adequately, cope with an ascendant and unfriendly India. A lot needs to be done, for us to come out of the “shadow of terrorism” which India has pinned down on us. Last year, at New York the mild-mannered Manmohan Singh called Pakistan the “epicenter of terrorism”. He repeatedly refused to come to Pakistan because of its alleged involvement in terroristic activities. What might we expect from Modi, a dyed-in-the-wool Hindu nationalist, now that he is buoyed up with the boost given to him by Japan, China and America?

We keep begging for talks with India. Mark the recent most utterance of Modi regarding the firing at the LoC and the international border: “My Jawans are doing all the talking with their fingers on the trigger. The enemy has got to know that things have changed now and that their old habits cannot continue.”

Pakistan must use all the clout, skills and links it can muster through the UN, US, UK, China and other channels to ensure the stoppage of the trouble brewing at the LoC and the international border.

While continuing to keep Kashmir and other issues alive in various ways including through the use of diplomatic channels, think-tanks and the media, we may wait for an opportune time to pick up the threads to pursue these matters.

Essentially, Pakistan has to put its own house in order. A divided country and a destabilized government cannot confidently deal with a difficult neighbour. At least for now, all parties should sink their differences and close their ranks to send a credible message to India and the world at large. And of course, the armed forces must abide by the stand taken by the political leaders.

    The writer is an ex-federal secretary and ambassador, and a freelance political and international relations analyst.