Let us be Realistic about relations with Pakistan (Part II)

December 12th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by ANI  

People who call the shots in the four main Pakistani provinces - Punjab, Sind, Balauchistan and NWFP are mostly Punjabis. They have managed this through the army of Pakistan, which has been running the country for a majority of years since its creation.

The NWFP which followed a leader of the stature of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, known as the Frontier Gandhi in the subcontinent, has been turned into a hot bed of militant Islam and terrorism.

The tribes living in the areas known during the British period as “Ilaqa Gheir” or what Pakistanis today call as FATA territory, were honourable and self respecting people who gave massive support to Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’’s red shirt movement. They were well on the road to acquiring modern education and moving into today’’s world when the partition of the country threw them before “the wolves” as Frontier Gandhi described the situation at the time.

It is the same sad story in Baluchistan too. The Baluch have nothing in common with new Pakistani culture. The situation is similar in Sind province, which has a large population of Urdu speaking migrants from India who are till today referred as ”mohajirs” (refugees).

The Pakistan Army, which took over the country in the sixties, sought to legitimise itself by telling its people that India is its greatest enemy, and legitimately the ”Moslems” should have been ruling in the Red Fort. School books were rewritten and officers and soldiers in the Armed Forces were indoctrinated with that message.

So, how does India deal with a country with such a fragmented polity? One answer would be to deal with the army. Here again, it is a no win scenario, Why should Pakistan’’s army befriend India and destroy its legitimacy and necessity for that country?

Therefore, let us take a close hard look. Firstly, it is just too bad that we have a neighbour like Pakistan, which is hostile. The first and foremost thing to be done is to secure your own house. The recent terror attack in Mumbai has exposed the fact that India has neither fully secured its land frontiers nor its coastline. We need to get that done.

The whole idea of these trains and buses travelling between the two countries needs a fresh look. We need to study the rise in the number of terror attacks on India ever since these so called “people to people ” contacts became too open. There has been a quantitative rise in these attacks as the enemy has been able to use these services for frequent incognito visits.

Yes, let the trade relations grow, but strictly on a reciprocal basis. We have serious differences with China, yet trade between the two countries is multiplying. Surely we can do some thing similar with Pakistan if that is workable.

If the Government in Pakistan is seen as trying to respond to Indian concerns following the Mumbai commando attack by elements from that country, it is because of international pressure on Pakistan which is today on the brink of bankruptcy.

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