“Aman Ki Tam”Asha” (hope or aspiration for peace, or Not) indeed is an august and a lofty initiative undertaken by the media giants of both India and Pakistan. Only if it was mutual I would have wish it to fructify as it ought to. But the ground realities suggest that such a patently well orchestrated sorcery may falter and abort as the time passes.
The skepticism or lack of hope with regard to the success of this otherwise landmark mission is grounded on two fundamental arguments. Let us first of all not be swayed by the very sublimity of this unique effort that aims at paving peace between the two overly hostile and bellicose neighbors. The predominant desire is that such a lofty endeavor must see the light of the day and there must be a decisive breakthrough to bring peace and tranquility between the age-old inveterate adversaries.
Firstly, it’s the siege mentality on both sides of the divide that has been nurtured ever since both the states became independent from the British colonial rule in 1947. The very partition of the colonized Indian subcontinent into two distinct states was based on the perception that the Hindus and Muslims cannot live together because of a sea of mutual contradictions, predominantly based upon religion, and religious based culture.
During partition, the genocide of the countless Human beings for their identities as Muslims is a tragic and traumatic memory that instead of being forgotten or cast away has remained fresh all these years. There is always a lurking lust on Indian side, even on people’s level, to tear Muslims into species and commit orgies of blood if similar occasions come by. This has happened several times after independence mostly in India and to a lesser degree in Pakistan. The genocidal thrust, beastly revenge and the wild urge to cannibalize each other has remained dormant but never vanished from the minds of the people especially among the extremist religious and ethnic segments of the society. One would wonder if the Mumbai bloody melodrama was deliberately enacted to achieve the concealed yet coveted objective of having a walk over the territory of Pakistan and Kashmir and to glibly and indiscriminately bomb any place anywhere. In peace times, this untenable demand was made by India against such a neighbor that has gone a long way to normalize bilateral relations in all avenues with her.
This mindset of deep seated hatred and undiminished hostility towards Muslim from Hindu fanatics is a vile hang-up of the past but undeniably it is there. No amount of efforts how sincere and humane these might be, can erase the mutual suspicion and distrust and a wild penchant to destroy each other for being Muslims. It is precisely these gory realities or sordid facts that do not give much credence to the hope for peace between India and Pakistan.
The process of dialogue has remained in vogue for six decades now. Where has it landed: on further complicating the mutual relationship? The ambition or hope for peace should remain alive and this is manifest in the latest media blitz launched with profuse fanfare by the outstanding media groups, the Jang group in Pakistan and the Times of India group in India. However, even an imbecile knows that the substantive and cardinal issue that keeps the two nations in a state of perpetual mode of sabre rattling and that led to three major and two minor wars between them, is the settlement of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has, all along, been wishing that once this festering issue was seriously addressed and resolved, the climate of hostility could drastically subside and the visible peace and veritable amiability could surface. It is, therefore, not possible to even imagine that any breakthrough towards permanent peace can be worked out between the two traditional rivals simply by the initiatives taken by the media channels no matter how widely read, watched or circulated they are.
The statement of the India Army chief General Deepak Kapoor fliesin the face of these earnest drives and cordial enterprises in that he claims of the Indian forces’ capability to counter both China and Pakistan. He warned and hurled challenges both at China and Pakistan to be prepared when the time comes for two pronged military miracle produced by the Indian armed forces.
My argument may look plausible and even convincing when read along with the response of the Pakistan’s COAS General Ashfaq Kiani and Pakistan’s Ex Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani to General Deepak’s unusual daring outburst. General Kiani expressed his resolve to defend Pakistan and mildly berated his Indian counterpart for issuing such irresponsible and irrational statements.
Actually what is most pivotally needed is the unwavering political will and the real change of hearts to hammer out a meaningful thaw between India and Pakistan. That political will or initiative, unfortunately, has remained lacking between the countries in all the parleys on Kashmir dispute since they attained independence.The political will must demonstrate itself in addressing the most volatile Kashmir issue which once resolved to the satisfaction of all the three parties involved, namely Kashmiris, Indian and Pakistan, would generate a self propelling momentum and evolve an effective modus operandi towards speedy normalization of relations between the two mutually suspicious neighbours. Any initiative or effort without the resolution of thus far intractable Kashmir dispute would remain a no-starter and any statement to normalize relations between India and Pakistan would look farcical, subjective and mere pious platitude.
It would be rather plausible if the PMLN comes out of its complacent frame, fantasy and day dreaming with regard to having friction free bilateral relations with a dagger in cloak neighbor. The example of gas pipeline project was disrupted and abandoned by India for extremely flimsy reasons. The underlying reason for that volte- face was that it would have economically benefited Pakistan in a huge manner.
If India is supporting separatist movements in Balochistan why Pakistan cannot do tit for tat retaliation in India where dozens of such breakaway movements are going on for decades against the Indian hegemony.There cannot be a more sublime cause than to go down fighting for safeguarding the national honor and territorial integrity but if Pakistan surrenders hands down, history will judge Pakistani leaders as spineless betrayers to a country and a nation that was carved out with a dogged spirit for freedom despite a combined opposition and treachery from Indians and the British imperialists.
Let Pakistan fight on all fronts and fight to the last. To procure peace by becoming a protégé and a client state of India is ignominious and must be discarded. It’s time to talk plainly also to the Americans to not drag us too much in a quagmire that would ultimately devour us as a united country. However if genuine desire on the part of India for making durable peace with Pakistan is discernible then there may be no harm in giving such an effort yet another trial.
Pakistan should set a limit to curry favor with India and stop negotiating with India while lying down. As India is to Pakistan, an irreconcilable hostile country gets emboldened if not resisted or counterpoised by courage and determination. If the final clash is to take place then let it be so. Like their predecessors barring the brief Musharraf’s Kargil fiasco the successive Pakistani leaders in power have been more focused on extravaganza and puerile frivolities than serving their bedeviled nation.