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India’s Unhelpful Attitude

January 18, 2010

By Tariq Fatemi
Thursday, 14 Jan, 2010

India’s long tradition of democracy has given the country an image of a responsible and restrained nation. But this view is not shared by India’s neighbours, especially the smaller ones.

The past 60 years have shown India’s tendency to throw its weight about and browbeat its neighbours. With those that are bigger and more powerful, India tends to adopt a moralistic and intellectually superior tone, as noted by some American leaders. With its smaller neighbours, it does not hesitate to take off its gloves.

Of course, we are no paragons of virtue either, and in many cases, it has been our own arrogance and folly, more than Indian machinations, that have contributed to our failures and losses, whether in view of the East Pakistan debacle or the Kargil adventure.

It had, however, been expected that with the restoration of a democratic dispensation in Pakistan and with virtually all major political parties committed to establishing a cooperative relationship with India, New Delhi would engage in a comprehensive dialogue aimed at resolving the differences that have plagued ties between the South Asian neighbours.

The Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 angered the Indian government, which thereafter had to cater to massive popular outrage. The consequent decision to suspend the dialogue with Pakistan was understandable.

Since then, the Pakistani leadership has been engaged in a major effort to convince New Delhi that it was sincere in its desire to cooperate with India with the common objective of confronting the extremists. In fact, the most remarkable thing was the near unanimity with which the Pakistanis not only condemned the Mumbai attacks, but also acknowledged that their country needed to take concrete steps to assuage India’s anguish.

None of this, however, appears to have had much impact on the Indian establishment. Even the expectations raised at the Gilani-Singh meeting in Sharm El Sheikh were snuffed out when Manmohan Singh’s colleagues publicly expressed their misgivings.

Then again, while Singh’s statement last October in Srinagar that he was not setting preconditions for the dialogue had raised fresh hopes, it did not indicate anything new, for he placed his readiness for talks in the context of Pakistan being able to create an environment conducive to negotiations. His pronouncement neither accompanied nor followed any move to re-engage Islamabad. Instead, Delhi declined to respond to the road map for resuming talks that Pakistan had conveyed to Indian officials.

This led many to believe that Prime Minister Singh’s remarks in Srinagar were merely meant to coincide with US Secretary Hillary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan, as well as his own visit to Washington a few weeks later.

In the meanwhile, the Pakistanis kept pleading for the resumption of dialogue, while the Indians continued to rebuff these offers. The Indian foreign minister ridiculed even the offer of back-channel exchanges. It was then that realisation dawned on the Pakistani leadership that the country’s repeated requests were becoming demeaning.

In the meanwhile, India appears to have raised the ante, with the Indian army chief Gen Kapoor remarking that “the possibility of a limited war in a nuclear overhang is still a reality, at least in the Indian subcontinent”.

What has been particularly galling is the failure of the Obama administration to act on its seemingly wise policy pronouncements during the election campaign. Instead of encouraging India to reduce its presence in Afghanistan and ceasing to stir up trouble in Balochistan, the US appears to have gone along with Indian allegations, agreeing to inject into the US-India joint statement a provision “to work jointly to deal with terrorism emanating from India’s neighbourhood”.

This was strange, coming from an administration that had publicly expressed a desire to promote Indo-Pakistan normalisation and to work for the resolution of the Kashmir problem.

The Indian army chief’s latest statement in which he spoke of his army’s capacity to fight a two-front war has evoked great surprise and disappointment. But while it conveyed hostility and belligerence, his words are neither realistic nor achievable as India does not have the capability to successfully initiate its much-heralded ‘cold start’ strategy, much less wage two wars against two neighbours simultaneously.

This does not mean, however, that we can dismiss these statements as mere rhetoric. It could be more evidence of the increasing inclination of the Indian forces to have a role in the India-Pakistan equation.

According to some observers, there has been a slow but perceptible change in India where an increasing number are reported to have insisted on being given more than merely a ‘hearing’ on issues relating to Pakistan, especially Siachen and Sir Creek. The Indian armed forces have gradually come to believe that given the growing challenges that India faces both domestically and on its frontiers, a more visible role for it is in order.

Another important factor is the newfound confidence acquired from the special relationship that the US has so eagerly conferred on India, not only as its strategic partner, but also as a potential counterweight to China. No less important could be the growing influence of rightwing parties and religious groups that want India to adopt more nationalist policies vis-à-vis its neighbours.

Whatever the reason, our leaders should not react in haste or with similar belligerence. What must be avoided at all costs are provocative steps, such as refusing to cooperate against the militants or brandishing nuclear assets.

Instead, what is required is a dispassionate analysis of what these signals portend for Pakistan and sensitising our friends to Indian actions. While we must not be distracted from the objective of seeking a peaceful resolution of our differences with India, we must not show undignified haste towards that end.

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21 comments

  1. Nice one SUmmayya


  2. @ Tariq Fatemi,
    Just look at Bangladesh, how things are changing. Nepal and Srilanka are on the way of changing their ways with India.

    It is now India’s time under the sun.

    Pakistan has had a long and easy time against India, when there was no such thing as US-India relations, and there was free flow of military and economic aid to Pakistan with no strings attached.

    Pakistan’s desire for dialogue with India, without taking any punitive actions against the perpetrators of Mumbai killings, is a purely tactical ploy to buy time.

    The “undignified” haste on Pakistan’s part to plead for dialogue with India, has a reason.

    India talking to Pakistan would provide Pakistan with some sense of legitimacy, face saving and would help it out of the isolation it is in.

    India has no reason to commit that blunder.


  3. Although I first thought to re-act to Neel123’s(Bindusara boy)comment,but now I will talk about the pseudo-intellectual Tariq Fatimi.I don’t know any of his qualities which made him to represent Islamic Republic of Pakistan.He keeps writing and appears on TV programs,just to remain IN,and has a very strong pat on his back.Now listen to this.
    1)Foreign relations are never based on “Dictatorship or so called democracy”.Are there no dictatorships now(Libya,Egypt,Syria,Iran,you name them).Are they isolated.It is “NA LAIQUI” of FO and our ambassadors(including Fatemi)
    2)In the name of liberalism,he likes washing dirty linens in public and tries to find fault with Pakistan.
    3)From where,he concludes that there is a unanimity among Pakistanis on condemning Mumbai attack,which we all know was a “false flag”operation.
    3)By jumping to topics from Mumbai to Siachin to Sir kreek,he wants to say that he is a visionary man,whereas his talk is “FALTOO”.
    4)He talks of Indian Observers(to show that he is well connected and should be utilised for “Track two diplomacy),whereas only last night,the spokesperson of Indian FO,says that there can be no dialogue with Pakistan untill Mumbai “culprits” are handed over.
    5) Finally,to show that he is a sincere Pakistani,talks about the timing of Manmohan Singhs statement in IHK for dialogue,coinciding with Hillary’s visit to Pakistan.

    Mr.Fatemi!!! When you know about India’s treacherous behavior,what is the above article about.You should suggest to Pak Govt,how to deal with India’s treachery.


    • I am greatly impressed by your controlled and educated response and that you did not loose your patience to neel123’s (whom you call Bindusara boy) provocative comments.


  4. INDIA WANTS TO DEVASTATE THE WHOLE WORLD ESPECIALLY USA,UK.AUSTRAILIA,AND ISRAEL AND BLAME THAT ON PEACE LOVING COUNTRIES LIKE PAKISTAN AND CHINA.


    • You need to have your head examined!If what you state was true then as the saying goes”PIGS COULD FLY”.The words Pakistan,China and Peace do not go together.GET A BRAIN buddy.


  5. @IC,

    Thank you.
    Chanakya(legendary Hindu character) is said to have tear off the womb of a mother to take out the unborn.Bindu means blood and the baby was full in blood,hence called Bindusara.It is all on Wiki.

    For me all Hindus are born like that.


  6. Anyone who think there is a real possiblity for peace with these people have failed to understand the geo-political environment which we live in.

    We have a 1000 years of history with these people. India is just waiting for the right moment to finish off what they started in 1971: to destroy the last remains of Pakistan.

    Indians can not be trusted! They want us to take steps against our own interests first and only then will they discuss Kashmir. This is a pure lie. Where was the dialogue before the world become terrorised by terrorism? No where. Indias stance will remain the same no matter what. Our long history points to the same thing: these people do only understand the language of force. The two failed attempts to bomb Pakistan in the past 9 years prove this.


    • Exactly the same is thought by India.

      In India’s perception,right from operation Gibraltar launched by Pakistan in 1965 to Kargil,ostensibly to liberate Kashmir,Pakistan has used the idiom of force.

      Ikram Sehgal, a known Pakistani defence expert writes about this where he again advocated using force.

      http://www.defencejournal.com/jul99/gibraltor-2.htm

      The article was written in 1999.

      And 10 years later ,what is Pakistan’s situation now in 2009?

      Has it made headway in anything against India?

      In fact today people are discussing about the very existence of Pakistan as an independent nation.

      We in India still do not understand this.

      What does Pakistan gain by thinking of using force?

      Will India not retaliate.will it not use force?

      How Pakistan thinks it will get away.

      Pakistan has not been able to hold Siachen or Kargil.

      It has made no headway in Kashmir.

      As a result of Indian retaliation to OP Gibraltar of 1965,it lost half a country.

      How much damage India has caused and is capable of Pakistan causing is very apparent.

      Why does Pakistan not compromise to ground reality and negotiate on practical terms?

      Is Kashmir so important that Pakistan will rather destroy itself destroy itself.

      One more question bothers us.How do you have a 1000 year history?

      Like India you gained independence in 1947.

      And if you are talking about Muslim history,India has all the important sites of Delhi sultans,Mughals etc.

      The Taj Mahal,Red Fort,Agra Fort,Fatheh Pur Sukri,Aurangabad,Gol Gumabaz,Mazar OF Auliya,Tughlakabad,Golconda etc etc etc all are in India.
      The capital of all important Muslim rulers are in present day India.

      There are 160 Million Indian Muslims living in India,almost as many as in Pakistan.

      So who are you talking about???


  7. @ rajk
    the historic sites built by Muslims in to-days bharat and capitals of all the Muslim dynasties in todays Indiya ,is a proof of just and balanced approached m ulim sultans had towards natives… as against 60 years of rule by hindus who have left no stone unturned in destroing jain, sikhs, christian and muslims places of worship….and as far as military might and so-called cold start and pro-active-operations (PAO) of indian army is concerned.. we have seen them in last two escalations/ stand-offs in last 8 years… dont have cheeks n balls to act overtly, the world has seen.. yeah treachery n deceit are your hallmarks.. as shown in ur involvement in Afghanistan today n in east Pakistan starting from 1947 onwards.. no to mention Bhutan, Srilanks, Sikkim, Nepal and Banladesh today… rather than calling ur diplomatic enclave chankyapura.. u shud name ur country as such…


    • The Muslim dynasties of medieval India are part of Indian culture today.

      Just like any other part of Indian history there was the good and the bad.

      Lets not get into who became more known for being the ‘boot-shikan’ and who imposed ‘jiziya’or for the conversions.

      That is part of history long ago.

      It is part of my India and its history.

      You talk as if Muslims are something external or outside of India.Despite what some extremists think,Indian Muslims are as loyal as any other to India.

      Which Jain,christian places you are talking i don’t know.

      About Golden Temple and Babri Masjid.Both happened in specific context and time.

      Op Blue star in the golden temple was a anti-terrorist operation.

      Pakistan had no qualms attacking Lal Masjid.
      At least the Indian army went after hard core terrorists.

      Pak army went after students in lal masjid.

      Babri masjid was demolished.But still the rule of law is there as YET THERE IS NO TEMPLE built at that place till date.That is what makes India,despite so many problems,India.

      The Golden Temple is proudly standing today.Sikhs have been the President,Prime minister,Defence minister,chief of army,navy,air force ,BSF,CRPF etc of India at one time or the other.Which other minority has given and got so much to a country i do not know.

      Would an ahmediya or a hindu or a christian ever get such status in Pakistan.

      As for the two stand off,you write your history as you like.

      All we care is the Pakistan army and leadership do not have the capability to keep captured positions even for a few months.

      They are capable of some tactical movemnet,but miserable in their strategic thinking.

      India took Siachen and its 20 years and its still there.

      Pakistan took Kargil and could not keep it even for a few months.To top it all,at the end there was a military coup.

      After the parliament attack,all India had to do was station troops on the border.Without a shot fired,pervez rushed for concessions on Kashmir,agreed to Bus diplomacy,cease fire in Kashmir,confidence building measures etc etc.

      India did not give up anything on Kashmir.
      What Pakistan gained,at least ,i do not know.

      If you still feel you won,OK, does not matter in the least to us.
      I have already given a link above of Defence journal magazine.Read it and the see who the deceitful one is.


      • rajk,
        You sound and think and write like an ‘IGNORANT BUFOON’.


  8. Rajik, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is a fact that one, even me, get a little carried away on patriotic forums.

    But what are also facts is the hate (or misunderstanding?) Hindustanis has for the Pakistanis. This has resulted in:

    – The genocide of Pakistanis in East Punjab.
    – Occupation of the Pakistani Muslim majority province of Kashmir (2/3rd of it).
    – Forcefully invaded and partitioned our country in 1971. You ask what 1000 years of history? Read PM Indra’s statements after the 71 invation. “Today we have avenged a 1000 years of history” etc.
    – Invaded Azad Kashmir’s Siachen in 1984.
    – Terror bombed our cities near the end of 1st Afghan war which killed 1000s of Pakistanis.
    – Killed 1000’s of kashmiris in the 90’s.

    – Supporting RIGHT NOW terrorist groups like TTP and BLA in Pakistan from Afghan bases.

    So here you see Rajik. Hindustan has been our number one enemy from the very start. I would be the first one to say YES TO PEACE but your country’s attitude is all but friendly.

    Case of point is the massive built up of attack forces on our borders, delibrate violations of our air space with your russian war planes and the daily terrorist activities and bombings inside our cities. Heck, TTP’s are fighting our Jawans with Made in India weapons. How do you explain that? You cant! Its all in the open now.

    So back to my conclution which is founded on the above stated facts: Hindustan is just waiting for the right moment to finish off our country something Hindustan could not fully achieve in the 71 invation.

    Hindustan is the aggressing party by any definition. While the Hindustanis want to fight a first-attack war, Pakistan is fighting for its sharw survival. Hence the nuclear deterrent. This deterrent is real and active. General Kapoors will go down in Indian history as being the biggest scum bag if he follow suit on his aggressive remarks on bombing our country as our reaction will be full non-convention war. Doubt it? Dare to attack us!


  9. @rajk(Bindusara boy),
    But for Nehru’s womanising with “Lady”Mountbatton,he treacherouly,by grabbing Gurdaspur,occupied Kashmir,which on a larger scale includes Kargil and Siachin. But still it is disputed and the issue is on the UN agenda.

    India’s occupation may be de-facto,but not de-jure.
    That is the reason we consider 1947 as an un finished agenda .But East Pakistan’s case was different.You crossed International borders.

    SHARM TUM KO MAGAR NAHIN AATEE

    On parliament house drama which you staged, failed ,that is why you are not able to hang Afzal Guru.Consequently,you tried to browbeat Pakistan by putting one million odd, your forces(of which according to Manekshaw,900,000 were cowards)for 365 days on whom you were spending One Billion.daily,i.e.365 Billion and quietly withdrew.What you achieved.
    For face saving you say Musharraf came running.What a joke.

    In fact the 440 million indians who are living under poverty lines should hold your govt accountable.For details see A.Srinava (Human Rights Activist)aricle dt. 17 Jan,2010 at:

    http://Civil Liberties Monitoring Commitee,India


    • Both India and Pakistan see their actions as quid pro-quo.

      India thinks Pakistan is causing it trouble in Kashmir,while Pakistan feels India is meddling on its side of the border.

      Both will continue to fight it out.

      This is a war of attrition.

      It is upto both to decide what level of losses they will sustain.

      But as i have said there is a large differential of strength between India and Pakistan.

      Economically and resource wise,India can sustain the fight much longer.

      How much damage has already been caused to Pakistan in its quest is alraedy seen.

      Kashmir is not only a legal position.

      Its a test of nationality for both.

      India see’s Kashmir as a symbol of its secularism ,while Pakistan as a unfinished agenda of the two nation theory.

      Besides,there is the question of water resources.

      India claims the Kashmir has acceded to it legally.

      The UN resolutions also are not required to be fulfilled,since for it to be implemented,the resolutions require a FULL WITHDRAWL of Pakistani forces,non-kashmiris,tribesmen from the whole of kashmir,AZAD,included.

      Indian forces will STAY on at REQUIRED minimum level,till the conduct of a plebiscite takes place.

      You can check,this is what the resolution says.

      http://www.kashmiri-cc.ca/un/sc21apr48.htm
      http://www.kashmiri-cc.ca/un/

      Pakistan off course claims something else.It also claims that it is ready for withdrawl,provided India does too.

      India again claims,follow the resolution,you withdraw.
      India is not required to fully withdraw under the UN resolution,otherwise there is no plebiscite.

      Do you think,that any Pakistani leader or army will EVER take the risk of withdrawing from kashmir controlled by it unilaterally.Will it ever allow Indian troops in to azad kashmir as per UN resolution.

      I doubt that it will ever be able to do so.

      Also the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Inda and Pak makes the issue a bi-lateral one to be solved WITHOUT outide intervention.

      So kashmir issue will get nowhere as per UN resolutions.

      The best solution is status quo,each keeps what it already has.

      Anything else,JUST is not possible.

      Afzal Guru has been tried by the Indian courts and sentenced to die.

      Even though,most would have like that he be shot immediately,he got a trial in court.

      All people condemned to daeth,even he ,gets a chance to appeal for commutation of death penalty for life.THe appeal is to president of Inda.

      Since this is such a sensitive issue, a persons life,in all such cases it takes a long time to decide.
      Even Rajeev Gandhis killers mercy petition is still pending.

      Actually this wait is as good a punishment they deserve.
      If they die,they die.

      This way they get to feel the cosequences of their deed everyday.

      And if you claim Parliament aatack was staged for some benefit by India.
      As i alrady said,it up to you to consider what the deployment means.

      What we know is that WITHOUT a shot fired,pakistan caved in.When Pervez musharraf got the message that enough is enough, why did we have to do anything.

      He gave us the cease fire,agreed to the bus diplomacy in Kashmir,started confidence building measures,border trade started with Muzzafarabad,militancy declined in Kashmir.All this happened AFTER the border deployment.

      Now if you give what we want,just like that,hame kya padi hai ladne ke liye.

      WE used the money saved for our economy.

      The deployment caused pak army resources to be drained.
      Automatically the same can be claimed,that GHQ attack or Lahore or karachi or Peshawar or baluchistan attacks are all dramas of pakistan ISI,to get international sympathy as a victim of terrorsim and get more dollar from the americans in the name of war on terror.

      Poverty is an issue not singular to India.
      Nobody denies Indian poverty and the only way we will deal with it is by econnomic progress.

      With 1.2 billion any figure for India will feel large.

      You should also worry about what the pakistani population has to say about its govts ego.

      As per the Human Developement Index,Pakistan has a LOWER position than India.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index#Medium_human_development_.28developing_countries.29


      • @rajk

        It seems that you google alot and seem to know history.

        How long did Muslims rule the sub-continent ?


      • From the rise of the Delhi Sultans,the afghans,the Tughlaqs, Mughals, Bhamanis,Lodis India in its Medieval history was ruled by dynasties who happened to follow Islam.

        Now it depends what you want to make of it.

        You statement indicates some sort of a superiority complex that ‘muslims ruled over the sub-continent’.

        But why and on what basis is that to be?

        Apart from extremist fundamentalists,who give twists to its,how does it matter.

        Its a part of Indian history,where there was an ancient phase,the medieval phase,the colonial phase,and post independence modern India.

        Europe at one time was overun by,Romans,the barbaric tribes,then the turks,mongols etc etc.

        SO does that mean the europeans of today each has a complex to some of them in Particular.

        The brits ruled over canada and USA too.

        Any complexes by the US or Canada about it?

        Only the insecure or those with an agenda play up stuff like this.

        Medieval Muslim kings,are part of Indian history.Like others before them,they came to the subcontinent,settled down,spread their culture,religion and are part of Indian culture today.

        The 170 Million Indian Muslims and symbols of Islamic culture in India did not just drop out of the sky.

        And Pakistan is not a sole successor to that legacy.

        In fact India has the major part of islamic legacy.

        Only the religious chavuinists and funadamentalist will try to project it as a matter of shame or of pride or to generate conflict for their own benefit.


  10. Our position is clear Rajik. Muslim Kashmir should have been part of the rest of the Muslim majority provinces of India which formed Pakistan in 1947. While kashmiris are our brother in blood, culture, geographicly, civilizationally, it is more of a question of land for India.

    India is morally wrong in its occupation and you know it.


    • When 160 Million Muslims have their home in India,there is no reason why the 7 million Muslims of Kashmir are not part of India.

      Pakistan ascribes to the two nation theory,India does not.

      Pakistan’s population is 180 Million.

      India has 170 Million Muslims,almost equal to pakistan.

      SO how does the two-nation theory have a basis when
      i) Including bangladesh many more muslims of the subcontinent reside outside pakistan than within it.
      ii)how did east pakistan seperate on the issue of culture and language,when it too had majority muslim population.


      • Good points… As my good Pakistani friend and colleague said the other day over a plate of Biryani that we shared, “Arre yaar pehle apna mulk to banayen, phir Kashmir ki baat karen…”


      • Dont worry soon their will be 350 million muslims living in Pakistan.



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