Tuesday, October 1, 2013

“Ray of Hope amid Climate of Mistrust”

Most probably, the political leadership in India is addicted to score political mileage through cursing Pakistan. Higher the degree of allegations and hatred against Pakistan, more are the chances to be elected to come into power. If that’s really the case, Dr Manmohan (81) has been up to the mark with his anti Pakistan tough tone, while addressing the General Assembly recently.
Following the speech of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the general assembly, the prime minister of India had to target Pakistan labeling it as the “epicenter of terrorism” in South Asia.
The Indian premier didn’t even hesitate a bit while repeating the same “memorized version” of his story during his one on one meeting with President Obama.

Is it a reality that the Indian voters hate Pakistan so much that their PM felt so pressured to shift most of the blame of his regime’s failure towards Pakistan in order to get elected again next year? The audience can easily figure out the answer. Here, Indian premier’s attitude suggests there is a significant political mileage in Indian politics through blaming Pakistan. The fact of the matter is Mr. Singh’s party faces an electoral challenge early next year against the extremist Hindu parties that have called for a tougher position against Pakistan.

On the contrary, Nawaz Sharif (63) was more optimistic while telling the United Nations last Friday that he wanted “a new beginning” with India. “We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue,” he said during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Vow!

Yet, India stubbornly creates negative arguments by complaining about non-action on the Mumbai attacks and blames Pakistan’s inability to suppress jihadi elements and the recent LoC violence. But, Pakistan has been rightly upset due to India’s lack of willingness to take up the core issues including Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen and the issue of Pakistan’s share of water from the flowing rivers.

Thank God, subsequent to the “heavily polluted Indian speech” in the general assembly, the ‘aftershocks’ changed into friendlier atmosphere to bring the rivals closer during their one on one meeting in the larger India Pakistan dynamic. Though, many claim it was just a waste of time as it ended up with nothing but inaction, yet any benefit of the said meeting cannot be overlooked either. Mr. Singh was very cautious during his meeting with Mr. Nawaz. Probably, there is a great deal of trouble for his political party to survive the 2014 election.

In spite of all this, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif believe that normalization of ties is the desired outcome between India and Pakistan. Moreover, Prime Minister Sharif asserted for a sustained dialogue between the two countries. The two countries can prosper while making movement on the issues which have adversely affected relations. Sadly, both sides failed to come up with a workable mechanism to achieve the goal of normalization.
Positive development: According to Shivshankar Menon (India’s national security adviser), Mr. Singh and Mr. Sharif are in agreement to remove Kashmir related tensions which triggered three wars between Pakistan and India since 1947. The leaders have also pledged to push senior military officers to find “effective means” of restoring a 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir, said Mr. Menon.

Both the premiers agreed to pay visits to each other's respective countries. Of course, something is better than nothing.
Other problem is the economic position of India is not as sound as it was four years ago. The future condition of diplomatic relations between India and the U.S. is also preparing for a rough ride ahead. If the BJP assumes power in India after winning the upcoming Indian elections, a different scenario is quite predictable: The next expected Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has been twice denied visas to go to the USA, in 2005 and again in 2013, on the basis of his record of human rights violations. Therefore, it’s quite likely that the entire ball game with respect to Indo-US relations changes.

It may safely be presumed after the Manmohan’s recent visit to the U.S., that the era of U.S.-India understanding is almost over.
Friendly relations between India and Pakistan are of crucial importance for mutual trade and economic well being indeed.
Since, Indian water terrorism is costing Pakistan in terms of agriculture and its economic prosperity, India must stop violating water rights of the low riparian Pakistan.

Beyond doubt, there is a desperate need for improving the India-Pakistan equation. Mr. Sharif seems moving slowly and carefully. And, Mr. Singh is not so sure for his re-election. So, at end of the day, there is nothing but inaction.
Quite obviously, the words without action are meaningless.

Thus, without wasting further time and resources, a resolution of all outstanding matters, including Jammu and Kashmir, foreign interference in Balochistan, Siachen, Sir Creek and water issues must be a top priority to pave the way for viable friendship between the long time rivals.
The key word is security; prosperity follows it.


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