Pak-US strategic partnership
INKSIGHT BY BY MEHMOOD-UR-RASHID
India must understand that power equations are bound to change, may be before long; but Pakistan and Kashmir’s Resistance leadership too should act in ways mindful of the past mistakes.
What if a consensus builds up that politico-civilian initiatives take preference over violence and military; this is what crosses mind after the news of Pak-US strategic talks gain pitch. But before coming to this a murmur was listened on the frills.
Invoking the ‘martyrdom’ of Shayam Prashad Mukarji and whipping up jingoistic feelings in India, L K Advani looked doing another Babari Masjid over article 370, this week. His remarks make a trite example of unleashing radicals when states want to bargain harder. Though it gives a temporary leg up during diplomatic exercises but this chip of radicalism and emphasis on extreme positions create permanent division in the public opinion. Of late it seems to have lost edge in diplomacy also as powers of the world have a presence in each others’ backyard. They know well the vernacular versions of politics. Not only this, it unleashes elements that later act the way they like, not the way they had been thought of; and invariably turn against the state and the established ways of life and thinking. This is what happened in Pakistan, which has now been so amply written about that even a mention further turns it all off. The point is that if it happened in Pakistan, how can it be different to India. Slowly and gradually Indian politics too will get militarized and in the process military is likely to get more politicize, preparing a deadly brew.
BJP’s stand over Kashmir is fraught with the same consequences as was the stand of some radical Islamic groups in Pakistan over India. The slogan-politics crying full throat about pitching the Muslim flag on Delhi’s Red Fort brought Pakistan to a point of crisis that are singular in its history. Instead of waving the flags in Delhi Pakistan had to look for its defense in Islamabad.
Though what happened to Pakistan can not be compared to India, but the trail of insects that consumed Pakistan can be found sneaking in from different direction in the Indian polity too. The largest legion comprises Hindu radical politics represented by BJP. When a peace process, whatever it be, has been initiated by the government of India, under influence from US, BJP cranes its neck to spook all. Government of India might use it two ways. One, to dampen Unionist parties in Kashmir pressing Autonomy or Self Rule. Second, to convince US on how difficult it is to make some political concessions on Kashmir. In the process, as is done by all states, they will buy time till the world engages with some other problem.
But is that going to help. The cyclical pattern between Indo-Pak-US interactions over Kashmir has always given birth to the monster of violence. The growth of armed groups and the military build up in the region is all because of this dastardly politics, where in India and Pakistan wait to act till situation turns favorable to them. Since no set of affairs is bound to stay for ever, a dialect of disaster has set in. one day India cuts Pakistan, the other day Pakistan stabs back.
After 9/11, India thought that it was an end game for Pakistan. The arrogant talk and the brazen involvement on western borders of Pakistan reeked of a conceited state, hell bent to wipe the other out, completely. Here in Kashmir, it sunk its teeth deeper, thinking that there now was none left to raise a voice. Thanks to Pak Army, and the people of this country that US finally realized that strategic relation with Pakistan had to be drawn a fresh; and on more permanent basis. Thanks to Afghanistan that proved insurmountable to US. And here in Kashmir, thanks to the people and the old man, Geelani, who stood in the way of capitulation. All these factors, and many more, finally set the ground for a changed equation in Sub Continent.
Once there was time when Advani offered Indian space and ground to US for launching offensive against Pakistan. Now is the time when US thinks of cutting the involvement of India in Afghanistan to size. Once there was a time when Bush declared that if Pakistan is not with US it is with Terror. Now is the time when Pak Foreign Secretary, ISI Chief, and the all important Army Chief are discussing the strategic partnership with US.
When India signed the civilian nuclear deal with US, her media was terribly condescending towards Pakistan. But now the same deal is on the list of talks. Most unlikely that Pakistan gets the NSG clearance and the Senate approval, but at least it has come up.
Now whatever be the outcome of this strategic dialogue, one thing is clear that change is bound to occur. This is the time for India to prove that it’s a matured state. Instead of unleashing radical propaganda among the Indian masses, it is better if India deals with the political leadership of Kashmir, both Unionist and Resistance, in a respectful manner. Also it needs to look forward towards addressing Pakistan’s genuine concerns over water and Kashmir. Thinking in terms of turning Pakistan barren and hammering home the point that Kashmiris are eternally in the military grip of India is one day set to unleash disaster in India. This, one knows for sure, even if doesn’t know how, and when.
There are lessons for all to be learnt. India: don’t push it over. Pakistan: strengthen democracy to stabilize state and change the policy of arming non-state actors. Kashmir: Build its own political case by becoming open to the world of ideas and the idea of a changed world.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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