Pakistan isn’t trustworthy enough for India to attempt the process of bridging the trust deficit.
When it comes to India-Pakistan relations, the buzz-word that has appropriated the narrative of both the governments to explain the need for peace talks is “trust-deficit”. Does it actually connote something?
Trust is a bilateral relationship—one trusts, and the other is the trusted. While the two are related, they’re not the same thing. The second part, about who should be trusted — which is relevant in the India-Pakistan context — is about trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is “keeping one’s word and being worthy of another’s confidence. It connotes being sound in principles, full of integrity, reliable, capable, credible and dependable.”
This means that an attempt at bridging the trust deficit can only be made if one finds the other party trustworthy. The real question that Delhi should then ask is: is Pakistan trustworthy — reliable, capable, credible and dependable — enough to even talk about trust?
The answer is crystal-clear if one goes by the weight of evidence put forth by the London School of Economics report [pdf] and The Times investigative newsreport on the relationship of Pakistani state agencies, including the civilian leadership, with the Afghan Taliban. If this is the situation when the interests of Pakistan’s biggest lender and strategic partner, the United States are involved, which includes the lives of US-NATO soldiers being lost in Afghanistan due to Pakistani machinations, imagine the situation when it comes to Pakistan’s arch-enemy, India.
Enough said. It is time India junked this ugly buzzword called “trust deficit” along with the process being defined by it.