Talking to Pak futile

Talking to Pak futile

By THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN | 18 February, 2018

During the years when Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were Presidents of the United States, the military in Pakistan efficiently went about developing its nuclear weapons capability. The Reagan administration gave Pakistan a free pass despite its sorry nuclear accord because of Washington’s obsession with humiliating Moscow, a mindset that has endured to the present. In the case of Bill Clinton, his obsession was with forcing India to surrender its nuclear ambitions, and hence the focus of his staffers on India to the exclusion of Pakistan. And from the 1950s, the US has looked the other way while Pakistan cosyed up to China, despite its having joined two major US-sponsored “anti-communist” alliances in the region. Opportunities were missed to ensure that the nuclear program in Pakistan get strangled before the birth of a usable bomb. Both Israel and the USSR separately indicated to India that they were willing to join in an attack on Kahuta and Fatehjung to eliminate Pakistan’s nuclear and missile arsenal. In line with the propensity of Indian leaders to talk loudly but act in an almost nonexistent fashion, these offers were refused by Indira Gandhi and later Rajiv Gandhi. The consequence of such pussilanimity have been grave. Over the decades, the establishment in India (otherwise known as the Lutyens Zone) has stuck to the sterile path of talks with Pakistan, despite the obvious fruitlessness of talking to a militarized and fanaticised enemy which regards it as the top priority to weaken and fragment the world’s largest democracy through unconventional warfare carried out without pause. Belying his image as a hawk, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Pakistan in a most statesmanlike manner even during his swearing in ceremony on May 26, 2014. This was done through inviting all SAARC leaders to Delhi to witness the induction of the first government since 1984 where a single party had an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha. Subsequently, setting aside well merited feelings of betrayal and disappointment at the serial acts of terror against the Indian homeland committed by proxies of GHQ Rawalpindi, Modi even diverted his special aircraft to personally greet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. This was despite the knowledge that Sharif had zero influence over the Pakistan army. China has ensured that Pakistan have a substantial nuclear weapons capability, including tactical nukes, hence the generals in Rawalpindi feel emboldened to ignore the wishes of the international community that they give up their covert war using terror groups. The past year has been extremely expensive in terms of lives lost of the gallant men in uniform who guard the nation’s borders and ensure that terrorist groups do not overrun the valley of Kashmir. The screws are being turned hard against India and public patience is wearing out. While the statements directed at Pakistan by the Home Minister and the Defence Minister are welcome, as yet these have done little to curb the bad behaviour of the Pakistan military establishment. Nor will talks be of much value, as these have in the past been shown to have zero effect on the behaviour of the Pakistan army and its terror associates. Prime Minister Modi showed his determination by sanctioning a surgicalstrike against Pakistan, which must certainly have alarmed GHQ Rawalpindi. However, the strike does not seem to have changed Pakistani behaviour to the desired extent, nor is it a tactic which can be repeated often. The reality is that the only way that the behaviour of GHQ can get modified is if the country gets transformed. This can happen provided justice be given to the Baloch, the Sindhis, the Pashtuns, the Shia and other groups in Pakistan that have only second class status. It is the responsibility of India to stand by those in Pakistan who are opposed to the terror machine fostered and nourished by the Pakistan army, and this needs to be done through bringing the attention of the world to the inequities being carried out on an hourly basis in Pakistan, where the innocent pay with their lives or their honour every day at the hands of miscreants backed by the men in uniform. Globally a campaign needs to be undertaken that draws attention to such practices. It is extraordinary that so much attention is being paid to Rohingyas in Myanmar but nothing at all to the way in which Christians, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus are being treated in Pakistan. The nature of the regime in Pakistan, controlled as it is by a military that from 1947 onwards has been associated with terrorists, needs to be explained in detail to members of the international community. Also, unless India be given access to Afghanistan and beyond via Pakistan, Most Favoured Nationstatus should be withdrawn from Islamabad. Reciprocal curbs on diplomats, businesspersons and others need to be placed on nationals of Pakistan operating in India. Any company doing business in PoK should be barred from doing business The time for the belief that a miracle will occur and Pakistan become anything other that a nuclearised rogue state is over. It is time to give moral and diplomatic support to those segments of the population of Pakistan that are undergoing discrimination and intimidation by the army and its associates.

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One aspect of the very thought of having talks with Pakistan is the omission, on the part of Indians, whether these be diplomats, writers, artists, film personalities, is the harmful ignorance of the Taqiyya used compulsively in all "dialogues" which Pakistanis engage with their counterparts in India. Muhammad used Taqiyya against his enemies. Taqiyya is not considered to be wrong, or evil, in the Muslim's psychology. That is why during the last 70 years no agreement, no talk, has had any lasting effect. Jinnah always changed the rules, the demands, repeatedly, after the Congress leaders yielded to his demands to which he added new demands. That was Taqiyya, which the Muslims understood, but which the Satyagrahis of Gandhi failed to grasp. Even Abdul Kalam Azad, the scholar in Islamic Studies,did not school his Hindu colleagues in the Congress Party in the method or art of understanding the use of Taqiyya.

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