17 December, 2012


Despite running the risk of being charged with sedition I must say that we in India react either hyperactively or hypocritically when it comes to foreign policy in general, and with Pakistan in particular.

When the visiting Pakistan minister, Rehman Malik, told that we should not have 26/11, Babri Masjid, Samjhauta etc he may have acted undiplomatically but I for one do not think he was outright wrong.

That 26/11 was heinous and barbaric need not even be repeated. But to say that demolition of Babri Masjid was any less heinous in the background of its heavy communal build-up is untruthful, too. And merely because the former was committed by foreigners while the latter was home grown terrorism, ought to make no difference to the severity of crime. Indeed, native terrorism is even more heinous.

That Rehman mentioned neither the K-word [even as the Hurriyat leadership was headed to Pakistan for negotiations], nor the Godhra carnage, has not been sufficiently appreciated.

Do we in India not comment upon the demolition of temples and killing of Hindu doctors in Pakistan? And shouldn’t we? I for one always will.

If Dr Manmohan Singh were the Prime Minster of Pakistan and if something like Babri Masjid should happen in India can he guarantee that non state actors of Pakistan [fanatic Muslims out to avenge violently] will not commit terrorism in India, despite his best control and precautions?

We show the same hypocrisy on the Kashmir issue. Isn’t Kashmir a disputed territory? Do nearly all our laws not exclude J&K from their jurisdiction? Isn’t it a subject of international concern? Why else are Kashmir’s leaders in Pakistan right now, discussing its future?

Our opposition and our media act as childishly as our illiterate mobs when it comes to such sensitive issues. And this attitude obstructs the resolution of disputes.

Frankly in this background, and considering the emergence of the likes of Narendra Modi on the nation’s political horizon, I scarcely hope for sobriety, reason and fairplay to guide the discussion and find an amicable resolution of the various issues dividing these two natural allies.

How I wish the Vajpayee-Musharraf era had lasted just a bit more. With a sense of pain I must say that a workable resolution of Indo-Pak disputes seems possible only with a right wing party holding the reins of India and the military holding sway in Pakistan.

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