Monday, June 08, 2009

Some Dangerous Liasons in July

Some Dangerous Liasons in July
By M J Akbar

A turbulent whisper is surging through Washington. Barack Obama wants peace in the life of his first term. He has discovered the magic potion that will kill the roots of two poisonous plants, Palestine and Kashmir. He has told Israel that he wants a definite route map towards an independent Palestine state by July. July is also the month during which Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit the Indian subcontinent. In her baggage will be a war manual for Af-Pak and a peace prescription for Ind-Pak.

Here is some good news for Hillary Clinton. The Kashmir problem has already been solved.
It was solved on January 1, 1948, the day India and Pakistan froze their troops along a Cease Fire Line recognized by the United Nations. In 1972, through the Shimla Agreement, they renamed this the 'Line of Control'. There are few international pacts that have stood the test of so much turmoil. This one has been tested by war in all its forms, regular and irregular. Pakistan tried to change the map of Kashmir in 1965. In January 1966 it sheepishly reaffirmed its relevance at Tashkent when India and Pakistan exchanged territories won and lost across the Cease Fire Line in the battles of 1965.

Six decades of conflict have not shifted six inches of grass from one side to the other. Six more decades of furious sabre-rattling or squalid impotence will not change the geography either. Hillary Clinton could sort it all out in the minute it takes India and Pakistan to affix their signatures to a document converting de facto into de jure, and declaring this Line an international border. Punjab and Bengal were slashed; Kashmir will become the third major province to be formally divided, and the ashes of 1947 can finally be interred with the bones of Partition.

India is ready to accept this reality. Pakistan might need persuasion. It has to be told that there is nothing to be gained by the complications of discussion, and everything to achieve through clarity.

What about the aspirations of independence widely attributed to Kashmiris? This is a chimera. The terms of British departure in 1947 were unambiguous. No part of the British empire or its surrogate dependencies, the princely states, was offered independence. The list of those who flirted with the possibility is long: Jodhpur, Junagadh, Travancore-Cochin, Hyderabad, Baluchistan, Swat, to name only those states that come readily to mind. Hassan Shaheed Suhrawardy and Sarat Chandra Bose thought an independent, united Bengal would be a splendid idea. Pakistan did not arm and send tribal raiders towards Srinagar in October 1947 in order to create an independent Kashmir. Karachi wanted to absorb the Muslim-majority valley into Pakistan. It began to promote independence only when its dreams of acquisition were aborted by the intervention of the Indian Army. These are cold facts, and 60 years of heavy breathing by Kashmiris have not boiled them into a different concoction.

Pakistan could have opted for a peaceful resolution in 1947 and 1948. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir had been kept in abeyance. Nehru, in a note to Lord Mountbatten, suggested that talks could begin after the spring thaw of 1948. It is possible that Pakistan might have gained a shade more territory through a negotiated partition of Kashmir than it did through violence. But history does not offer premiums for stupidity. The sensible thing to do now would be to close this hideously expensive chapter on the page where history left its bookmark.

It is common knowledge that Washington acutely wants the next round of Indo-Pak talks to be between the chiefs of the two armies, rather than the heads of the two governments. There is a substantive challenge, from terrorists and ideologically motivated theocratic groups like the Taliban, to the stability of the region between Kabul and Delhi. This can best be met by cooperation between Indian and Pakistani forces. That will not happen until the warriors are tired of war without objectives. India does not want any parcel of land inside Pak-Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan cannot get a yard of what India holds. So what is the conflict about except a self-destructive ego?

The elimination of war, even were it to come about, is not synonymous with the arrival of cooperation. It will take time before India and Pakistan fully appreciate how much they can mean to each other. Trade, the true lubricant of prosperity, is susceptible to more factors than Islamic identity. Dread of India's industrial power and capital will need to be carefully eased through sedatives. Terrorists who hate everything India stands for will not disappear quietly into a soft sunset. But nothing could be potentially worse than two nuclear nations trapped by intrinsic virulence on the one side and contemptuous indifference on the other.

The obvious can stare you in the face, but you must also have the vision to recognize it. Hillary Clinton would do well to pack some specially-powered spectacles in her handbag. They would make a good present for her friends in Islamabad.

Appeared in Times of India - June 08, 2009


R.Alamsha Karnan said...

Brahmins are responsible for the partition and creation of Pakistan:

Undivided India today - Hard facts?

Total population = 1.55 billion.
Muslims = 600 million
Shudras (low caste Hindus) = 600 million
Christians, Sikhs and Others = 150 million
High caste Hindus = 200 million

Can you the threat?. Undivided India is a nightmare. Again Muslims will rule. If you and i were in the position of Nehru, what would have been our decision?. If i were a Brahmin, i will do the same.

Divide and rule:

Brahmins practiced Manu Smriti and Varnashram Dharma. They divided society in to four castes - Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya as high castes and Shudra as low castes who are supposed to serve the 3 high castes. This forced Shudras to renounce Hinduism and embrace Islam. This inturn lead to Hindu-Muslim hatred which eventually culminated into the creation of Pakistan.

Why India could NOT progress?:

Today, India is NOT able to provide better quality of life for 70% of it's population, who do NOT have access to toilets and clean water, despite it's spectacular success in science and technology. Instead, Manuvadis who inherited power from the British in 1947 have started blaming everyone around them for their own failures. Not only Pakistan, which remains a threat since 1947, but all our neighbours are perceived as a threat for India. China is 30 years ahead of India and has become the default regional superpower. We have stopped talking about our vision 2020 and superpower crap.

So, Brahmins are responsible for the creation of Pakistan. Otherwise, we would have remained as one nation and would have surpassed China and brought prosperity and better quality of life for all.


certainly India have not expected that barrack obama would help India in solving the Kashmir issue as per the demands of is to make pakistan happy and award its territory to be used by us ,obama wants that India should handover the Kashmir on a platter to pakistan.he is unaware that India can never severe its head. Kashmir is the head of India.Obama is unwantonly making tabada tod tel malish to pakistan who would be its destroyer one is giving vardan to pakistana s the shiva gave vardan to bhasmasur.then bhasmashur would ask for the scalps of obamaa.

Partha Rajagopal said...

Pakistan's main problem is psychological. It needs a treatment of its mindset.

First of all, Pakistan was formed due to two parties - the British and Jinnah. The British did not want to let go of India and did not like being forced out by Gandhi and Nehru. Jinnah is any other power crazy politician in the sub-continent. We have had the Periyars, Annadurais, Bal Thackareys, Bhindranwales, Longowals and Sanjay Gandhis. Each one was capable of what Jinnah could do. Only Jinnah managed to carve out a nation for himself so that he could be on top. After that he, like any other politician, had no agenda. So he sowed the seeds of hatred and mistrust of Hindus to sustain power. He was gone. But what he sowed had grown out of proportion and is burning our neighborhood.

The separation of East Pakistan for linguistic and ethnic reasons is a proof enough for a nation for Muslims being wrong. Ethnic and linguistic bonds are a lot stronger than religion and Pakistan itself is on the brink of these forces tearing it apart from within.

Whatever happened, happened. We cannot undo what has been done. We know the reasons for today's situation. There is no use blaming those responsible for what we face today.

India has to look at Kashmir, not from a Pakistani specific view point. We know that Jammu and Kashmir are part of India and cannot be let go based on religion again. That mistake cannot be repeated again. We have to work towards winning the hearts of the people. The way it is being done is horrible. Human rights are being abused with impunity there. Just holding elections is not enough. We should not do anything there just to demonstrate to the world. We should do everything in Kashmir to make life good for the people so that they like living as Indians and are proud of it. I see no discussions in the government circles or the media about how to make life better in Kashmir. No country would want to be a part of the EU unless people feel attracted to the benefits of it. India and Indians have to make themselves attractive in terms of prosperity, freedom, rights and safety. How do we convince the Kashmiri Muslims to experience the Indian mainstream? Are there any thoughts?