ZGM’s Straight Drive

confusion: as a political weapon

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DR. JAVID IQBAL

ZGM’s column on Monday, the 10th of December entitled “Confusion” as statecraft was as straight a drive as one could expect to straighten out a subject which is weird. Straight drive is a stroke difficult to play, but whenever and wherever executed, it is unmatched in the deftness of its placement. ZGM’s placement was as deft as a straight drive meant to iron out the prevailing political confusion. It is not known whether M-5 is his coinage or it has sprung from nowhere, however it is fast gaining currency. Political coinages do emerge to denote a trend, and in no way meant to be derogatory.
The most propagated visit to Pakistan, the one much talked about, discussed and analyzed in various Kashmir related accounts remains Sheikh Abdullah’s visit to Pakistan in 1964. The high profile visit was about selling the idea of confederation of India, Pakistan and Kashmir. Joint defence of subcontinent was a pet western theme of those days, as western powers were eager to check communist power spreading wings in South Asia and get closer to warm waters of the gulf…the energy sea lanes vital to western interests. Bhutto-Swaran Singh talks with ‘K’ issue predominating the six rounds was a part of the same Anglo-American narrative. Second World War exploits of Indian army were a fresh memory. President Ayub—an officer in that army did not rule out anything outright, though his skepticism remains outlined in his account ‘Friends, not Masters’. Pundit Nehru’s death immediately following Ayub-Abdullah meeting aborted whatever was planned. Whatever the worth of it, there was an agenda of sorts.
In 2006 Musharaf’s 4 point formula was doing rounds, though ZGM gets almost breathless in stressing that Pran Chopra’s narrative was fed to Musharaf. It entailed demilitarization, ease of travel and trade, maximum autonomy to Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir and working out an intra-Kashmir council. Good or bad, acceptable or not, there was at least an agenda that needed to be talked over. It is in this context that it is being widely asked what the agenda of the present visit to Pakistan is in its essence. The very fact that India seems to be easing the visit by issuing the needed travel documents, in fact hastening the process makes it out that there is much more to it than meets the eye. Is it an Indian diplomatic exercise in offing with Pakistan looped in or a Pakistani narrative with a helping hand from India, nothing is known, hence speculation multiplies?  If there is an unknown occult agenda, with important elements of resistance out of it, the chances of its success would remain as questionable as Musharaf’s exercise of 2007.   
Kashmir on backburner for four and a half years of Zardari regime, with trade overshadowing ‘K’ issue in Indo-Pak interaction, and sudden spurt in the past few months of ‘K’ centric narratives points to a design. U.N General Assembly speech of Zardari touching ‘K’ issue bears out the change of gear.  With elections drawing near PPP may not like to be seen giving up on what has remained for past 65 years prime geopolitical narrative of Pakistan, remaining a party to ‘K’ issue.
Of late, it is being much propagated that post partition generation is hardly interested in Kashmir; however Indian obsession with Kashmir that is played across subcontinental borders is enough to keep it relevant. India has not learnt to play it cool, which might have done much to erase bitterness. Bal Thackeray is in Par-Lok; however his ilks on this side of the border who oppose as innocent an endevour as Indo-Pak cricket match stay alive. There are extreme elements on other side of border. These elements on either side of border will remain relevant unless India and Pakistan stop fishing for Kashmiri leaders, who play their game, rather than try and heal the battered soul of Kashmir that remains tortured without a healing touch. Instead, confusion is being used as political weapon. I may not use ZGM’s caption of ‘confusion’ in statecraft…in other words craft involved in running a state.  We do live in a state…however a state that has been high-jacked; the saddening truth is centuries old.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
(Feedback at iqbal.javid46@gmail.com

Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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