Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Better Leave the 'Bitter Past' Behind!

A journey of thousand miles begins with first step. But, if the first step reminds us of thousands of Muslims who were butchered during the “state orchestrated pogroms” in Gujarat, the initial step automatically becomes too heavy. There is frustration, anger, hatred, and trust deficit - all in one. Most of the people with good conscience know well who really was the chief culprit or abettor of the massacre at the time. The ruthless mass murder can’t be forgiven under any circumstances.

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Congratulations to India for having Prime Minister with a heavy mandate. Based on his past record of good governance Mr Narendra Modi successfully worked his way up from the position of chief minister to the hot seat of prime minister of India through polls.

With Modi in the driver seat, the well mandated BJP (Bharati Janta Party) has already begun to run the show with full confidence. Yet, it’s too early to suggest whether India’s addiction to keep denting the image of Pakistan would pause for a while to continue later or there would be actual benefits showing up sooner or later. From his body language and facial expressions, it seems as if Modi’s perception hasn’t changed a bit towards Pakistan. Therefore, his pre election “anti Pakistan rhetoric” cannot be taken so lightly.

During the one on one meeting on Tuesday between the Indo Pak leaders, both prime ministers admitted that war was not the solution, so peaceful negotiated settlement is the only option left.
Habitually, PM Modi mainly asked PM Shareef for stopping terrorism, yet he failed to show his intention to disengage Indian involvement in Baluchistan, the Fata and other parts of Pakistan. That’s really depressing. Apparently, Modi copied the ongoing style of maintaining momentum of Indian claim merely to build up pressure on the visiting Pakistani group of high office bearers and the PM Shareef.

According to Pak resources, the Mumbai ordeal was an inside job that was carried out only to defame Pakistan so that the international community has soft corner for India. The problem is Indian propaganda always has been aimed at getting Pakistan declared a rogue state and epicenter of terrorism.

Maybe, Modi’s invitation to PM Shareef is signal that India intends to make the south Asian region to be its sole area of influence. Eye brows are being raised at the BJP’s projected foreign policy to control the region with good economic muscles as promised during the election campaign. This should not apply to Pakistan simply because the nuclear equipped neighbors can move towards the acceptable direction only on the basis of parity and equality.

Under Modi “India will be the regional boss,” is merely India’s over confidence. The fact is Pakistan can’t be under-estimated, because it’s rich with immense natural resources and reserves with a price tag of trillions of dollars. If Baluchistan has gold mines, the FATA has copper mines. There is manpower and there is brain power. Only foreign sponsored terrorism is the main hurdle in the way of development.

Inherent disease: It’s true that because of poverty some people in Pakistan are vulnerable; they can be suppressed, oppressed, manipulated. They end up being corrupt, while the successive regimes tended to be corrupt as well. It’s the obsolete system which needs overhauling for sure.
Coming back to the topic, it’s pretty interesting to note that Indian press reported: The former Indian diplomats and intelligence officials did advise Modi to invite all saarc members as part of a foreign policy masterstroke at the beginning of his tenure to establish India as regional boss. On the contrary, PM Shareef did not have any clue as to what was actually cooking. He should have consulted Pakistani intelligence personnel ahead of accepting the invitation.

The looming fear is the BJP government appears to be adopting a more aggressive nationalistic foreign policy and a more confrontational course with Pakistan.

A big lesson for Pakistani Political elite: The winning secret of the BJP is their past delivery including excellent performance, faster economic growth, infrastructure development, more jobs and less corruption. Mr. Modi has a track record of excellent delivery. He is seen as a competent economic manager now at the national level as well.
Also, the BJP is committed to reconstruct the Ram temple in Ayodhya on the site of the destroyed Babri masjid (anti-Muslim pogroms). By the way, Mr Modi used a picture of Ram as the backdrop at a public meeting at Faizabad near Ayodhya defying the election laws forbidding the use of religion for political purposes.

Quite obviously, India’s massive tilt to the right is expected to put the country on a path to becoming a more assertively Hindu society which is intolerant of other faiths. The question is, where would the Secularism go? Furthermore, BJP campaign was obsessed with the anti-Muslim flavour all the way. Not condemning last year’s anti-Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar is serious. Not condemning the recent murder of over 40 Bengali Muslims in Assam by Bodo militants is intolerable as well. Modi also warned that once in power he would send the Bangladeshi infiltrators (Muslims) back to Bangladesh.

Good thing:  Pak army remains fully awake to watch the strategic national interests and the vulnerable assets. No matter what, it stands with the government to help protect them and is never interested to sabotage Indo-Pak relationship in the making. Beyond doubt, the Pak Military and ISI (the inter services intelligence) have been competent enough to defending the remainder portion of Pakistan. The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three conventional wars with no gain.

Prime Minister Shareef suggested the neighbours should use their cultural and traditional similarities to help improve ties."We should remove fears, mistrust and misgivings about each other. Both countries should rid the region of instability and security that has plagued us for decades, he added.

Since the Indo-Pak issues are age old and new ones are creeping in as a result, there is a desperate need for urgent composite dialogue to resolve the outstanding core issues as follows:
·         Kashmir issue on the basis of UN resolutions allowing the right of self determination (Plebiscite).
·         Water issue on the basis of international rights for the lower riparian countries.
·         Ending Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan to promote peace in the region for economic prosperity and the bilateral trade.
·         India and Pakistan must jointly help out each other to defuse tensions and the related crises in the region.
Despite the tough stance of BJP towards Pakistan, let’s give it a sincere try to turn a new page in our mutual relations for the benefit of present and future generations.

1 comment:

iremi nisces said...

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