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No aman ki asha

07 Feb

I am totally going to go against the grain here but if I just cant bear to see one more article with something to the effect of two countries-one voice..the TOI initiative of Aman Ki Asha, an Indo-Pak peace project with the Jang (I will reserve my jokes on that oxymoron right now).

I am all for moving forward in a new decade-war is not an option.I am all for the people are nice and love us but for  the evil military-ISI-mullah theory too, but you know what “fool me once, shame on you;fool me twice, shame on me”.I am sure there are enough people in our neighbouring country who do not support the the strain in relations, I am sure there are people who would appreciate the progress peace will bring to the sub continent. But all the years of living under fear of not knowing when the a trip to the market/cinema/restaurant/airport will be my last trip has made me a little cynical to the reasonable-aam-admi counter theory.

I do not believe any country can continue decades and decades of proxy war, continue pumping billions into its military as the nation starves without a silent acknowledgment of the people. This is the country which has been playing victim in the war on terror while doing nothing about the uprooting the weed growing in the backyard.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 22 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has spared no effort to publicly laud the vital role of Pakistan for the success of its Afghanistan strategy, but what is happening behind the scene tells a different story. Pakistan, going by recent reports, is making no secret of its resentment of U.S. policy, which in essence wants its military to do more to crack down on the Taliban and other militants using its territory as sanctuaries to launch attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

That was in evidence last week when the Pakistani military refused to go along with a U.S. demand it go after Taliban commander Siraj Haqqani, who uses his North Waziristan hideout in Pakistan to plan attacks by his warriors across the border.

To think that exchanging a few sweets at Wagah border, having a Pakistani singer give voice to lyrics penned by a Bollywood song writer is going to make them re-route wire transfers to building schools for girls is a bit too much. In fact its makes no difference to us if the government next door is democratic or not. Each one is as vitrolic as the previous. How can a country where people apparently desire peace elect such Governments time after time after time?

There can be only one reason. India hatred is well rooted and popular. Then why does our country play again and again into their hands. Every time  we have initiated a peace process, a war/terrorist attack has followed, be it Vajpayee’s Lahore yatra and Kargil or the Samjhauta Express and 26/11.

Vir Sanghavi wrote this thougt provoking article on Pakistan’s mad man theory

Because the Pakistanis maintain a careful ambiguity about where power actually resides within their society, they are able to speak in many voices at the same time.

Time after time, Indian leaders fall for this. Even as astute a tactician as Indira Gandhi bought ZA Bhutto’s claim that he would not include the acceptance of the Line of Control in Kashmir as the international border  in the Simla Agreement because “public opinion in Pakistan is so strong that I will be lynched when I go back”. Now Pakistan denies Bhutto ever agreed to this.

Can you imagine Indian leaders behaving like this? Can you conceive of Vajpayee saying “I know promised peace but my generals attacked you anyway”? (As Sharif did after Kargil). Can you conceive of Manmohan saying “I want to talk peace but the Hindu fundamentalists will kill me if I appear too reasonable”?

Because we are a stable nation with a single centre of democratic authority, we talk with one voice. And each time, that works against us.

Pakistan has perfected the Mad Man theory so completely that even the Americans have now been taken in. Islamabad says: “if you don’t give us billions of dollars and lots of arms and extract some concessions from India, then our country will self-destruct and you will have instability and Islamic extremism in the region”. And the US gives in.

Within the Indian intelligentsia, Pakistan uses a variation of the same argument: if you don’t do as we say, then our country will self-destruct.

So gullible Indian intellectuals say things like “It is our job to save Pakistan”. Or even “ a strong and stable Pakistan is in India’s best interests.” (Is it? Why? So it can send more terrorists here and keep shifting the blame? Would India really be worse off if Sindh seceded? If Baluchistan revolted?)

If history has taught us anything, it is this: talking peace with Pakistan gets us nowhere. Every peace talk is followed by war or terror.

About the only time in recent memory when we have had degree of peace was between 1972 and 1989. And how did we achieve nearly two decades of peace?

By winning the Bangladesh war.

I put this after reading Roops latest. Shahrukh can continue to praise a neighbour he perceives to be great to maintain a market for his next release. That his point of view. Though maybe if it were his precious son instead of this man’s or this woman’s in Taj on 26/11 patriarchal birth place would have mattered little.(links from Roop again)

But as country, what gets my goat is our amnesia and to see our mainstream media go from sabre rattling to pandering bhai-bhai isms. Can you imagine the US inviting a Taliban trained 11 for a friendly NBA game to improve their relations or an Israel-Palestine rock concert for improving ties. Before we ask others to acknowldge the truth of their lot let us first tell ourselves that we do not need another attack on the Parliament or the market you visit to remind us how well our neighbours wish for us.

Although the IPL refuted the charge of a premeditated conspiracy there was no denying the undercurrent of patriotic fervour. It was strong decision but subtle and hurt the enemy where it hurt most. And for once India revealed a depth to its character, an ability to stand up for itself, a new found confidence that clearly said: ‘Don’t toy with us’. But alas the satisfaction was short lived.

Soon notes of dissent surfaced with our honorable home minister and a Bollywood icon mouthing a namby-pamby view that was in line with India’s perpetual guilt complex.

Its time we do away with the guilt complex, and do away with peace concerts and tokenisms. If  by stopping all trade relations, if by flexing our financial muscle in the cricket world will send the message across so be it. I am no war hawk but am not going around wishing health and prosperity to people who would as quickly see my lot reduced to rubble. And I can always give the Hinduon ki zahaniyat hi aisi hai as the reason for my emotions.

And Goddammit choosing between Shiv Saina and SRK movie aint much choice!

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10 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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10 responses to “No aman ki asha

  1. Banjo

    February 8, 2010 at 1:10 am

    interesting. Let me read it some more time

     
  2. Neo

    February 9, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Sad few people have got the message. I work with many Pakistani people. I’m yet to meet someone who hates us. They are just like us, people with personal ambitions, loving family and friends – enemity with India is the last thing they want. They are the victims of fanaticism of few people as we are. Do they really have a choice in elections? How much we wish to elect some young vibrant leaders in India but we never get to select the candidates. In 3rd world politics it’s the ignorant illiterate majoriy who gets to elect leaders for the country.

    Diverting attentions to another country for all our problems are so easy for politicians. If we can build Chandrayen shouldn’t we be able to build atleast some good pistols for our forces?

     
  3. WSW

    February 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I am glad that you are interacting with people and are able to appreciate our similarities. I do too. However I am talking about the very same “ignorant illeterate majority who elects the governments in 3rd world countries” because you know in countries like ours they constiture 90% of the population.

    However I am sure you are aware of our self righteous beating every time a so called Hindu fanatic raises his ugly head while mainstream media or Pakistani elite has never acknowledged or voiced against such people in their society.

    Just as its easy for politicians to blame other countries, its very easy for you and me to blame the politicians. Its our active washing hands off all political activities that leads to power being with wrong people.

     
  4. Atlee

    February 10, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I felt the same about the initiative. From TOIs perspective, it is nothing but a CSR activity aimed at getting some socio-political mileage. Clearly, there is no point in peace with Pakistan as we do not know who represents the real Pakistan today.

    As far as the resentment against 26/11 goes, it will remain till the day Kasab is sentenced by the court.

     
  5. Atlee

    February 10, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Enjoyed reading the political side of yo…

     
  6. Arpz

    February 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    hmm, looks like we think alike on this one! totally with you on this!

     
  7. Roop Rai

    February 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!

     
  8. Roop Rai

    February 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

     
  9. PN

    February 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Nice write up. Yes even i don’t like war but i am sad when Innocent people are killed and we as a government will make a hue and cry for some days and forget it. I really don’t find any reasoning why we go on creating these so called aman ki asha when in future it had lead to more and more attacks.

    Keep Rocking,
    PN.

     

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