Dhruva Jaishankar in The Indian Express:
Finally, there are those elements that Washington continues to give credence to, or at least leave unquestioned: Pakistan’s insecurities are legitimately propelled by fears of encirclement, India’s growing resource base, its nuclear weapons programme, and its reported “Cold Start” doctrine, thus adequately justify Pakistan’s inordinate military spending, greater investments in its nuclear and missile programmes, and support for terror groups targeting India and Afghanistan. That lasting peace between India and Pakistan and the settlement of the Kashmir dispute to Pakistan’s satisfaction will almost entirely eliminate its insecurities. That the army remains the only secular institution in Pakistan that “works” and is therefore deserving of support. And that Pakistan’s top military and intelligence officials bear little or no responsibility for the actions of their subordinates and affiliates, a claim even less credible given revelations from the ongoing trial of Tahawwur Rana and the testimony of David Coleman Headley. The erroneous conclusion drawn by the Obama administration from such questionable assumptions is that demonstrations of Indian magnanimity will allow Pakistan’s misguided, but not necessarily malevolent, security forces to reallocate resources towards improving the country’s security and economy.
Responding to Pakistan’s narrative requires an important cognitive leap, one that most in Washington are still reluctant to take: Pakistan’s purported obsessions and insecurities are self-inflicted, created and consistently advanced to serve important private interests, almost always to the detriment of the country and its people. This applies equally to all the challenges commonly associated with Pakistan, be it the military’s political preponderance, the proliferation of nuclear technology and materials, the cultivation and use of terrorist proxies against both adversaries and nominal allies, the growing radicalisation of the body politic, and periodic India-Pakistan crises. There is also little clarity regarding Pakistani pleas for a long-term strategic relationship, which it professes to desire as a symbol of legitimacy, but also works to undermine through its transactional demands and poorly concealed enthusiasm for a hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan.