Sham el-Sheikh in New Delhi.

February 28, 2010

Chandan Mitra

The dialogue of the deaf last Thursday had one clear winner, Pakistan, and one comprehensive loser, India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh capitulated again and will live to regret it

Last week India talked to ‘Pakistan’ amid much fanfare and media hype. I say Pakistan within quotes because that country cannot be described as a composite nation-state in the conventional sense. And, on issues relating to India, Pakistan is divided into many segments, at least five. First there is the Army, which controls Pakistan’s political, economic and military destiny whether formally in power or nominally in the barracks. Next is the ISI, the all-encompassing superpower in the Pakistani establishment, which functions as a state within the state. Third is Pakistan’s civilian Govern- ment, an insecure entity that has little popular legitimacy, is powerless against the Army and ISI and hopelessly divided within. The fourth consists of jihadi groups, both overground and underground, including the Pakistan Taliban, armed anti-India terror outfits like LeT, its public face Jamaat-ud-Dawa’h, others like JeM that share the same ideology and methodology, and the Afghan Taliban sheltered and nurtured by ISI. Finally, there is a small, elite civil society comprising well-heeled, English-educated socialites, more comfortable waxing eloquent on Indian TV channels when they are not busy sojourning in London. Each is at loggerheads with the other. They do not fuse into a collective entity except, may be, when Pakistan is at war with India.

Given this reality, what Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao did last Thursday was to talk with the designated representative of one-fifth of Pakistan, namely its civilian Government, the second-most fragile component of the Islamic Republic after its fledgling civil society. No significant outcome was expected and none happened. So, it may well be asked why get agitated over something that predictably did not rise above ‘time pass’?

The Delhi talks may have ended as a non-event but there were disconcerting developments in the run-up while the aftermath too will be no less damaging for India. First, India visibly capitulated for a second time since the grisly 26/11 attack in the face of joint Pakistani and American bullying, the first being the shameful genuflection at Sharm el-Sheikh. There it succumbed to Pakistani bluster by admitting Balochistan in the Joint Statement — a grave blunder that has allowed Islamabad to triumphantly bracket its most disturbed province to counter India’s plea to stop cross-border terror in Jammu & Kashmir.

This time, the brow-beating by Washington was so severe that India scurried to call Islamabad to the table a day after Home Minister P Chidambaram appealed to them to do “something, just something” to progress the 26/11 cases Pakistan has been stonewalling. To add insult to irony, the very day India invited Pakistan to talks, JuD and other assorted terrorists held a rally in the heart of their capital where Abdur Rehman Makki declared that Pakistani farmers were ready to march across the border and “drink India’s blood” if more water was not allowed to flow into their fields.

More water has since flowed down the rivers of Punjab. Apart from Pakistan’s Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s cocky remarks against India in New York, its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi offered a “blank cheque” to China on his visit to Beijing, urging it to become the “third party” and help resolve Indo-Pakistani issues, knowing fullwell how that would irritate New Delhi. As the talks date neared, Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the mass murders in Mumbai, thundered “Ek Bombay se kya hota hai?” thereby inciting his fanatical killer squads to perpetrate more such acts.

In sum, while we talked to one-fifth of Pakistan, that is its civilian Government, the country’s other components derisively ignored the dialogue — the Army offering to bail out the US from Afghanistan provided India was held in leash by Washington, the jihadis declaring their resolve to intensify the bloodbath, the ISI sheltering and training terrorists to infiltrate across the LoC or strike cities like Pune, and even elements in the civilian Government speaking the language of hate.

Meanwhile India cut a sorry figure, ignored at the Afghan talks in Istanbul, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna made to sit in a second row chair at the London Conference where Pakistani officials strutted around as bridegrooms at a wedding, and rapped on the knuckles by Uncle Sam for hesitating to put out the other cheek for Pakistan to administer another resounding slap. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quite candidly acknowledged on the eve of the Delhi talks that the Obama Administration had “encouraged” India to get back into the dialogue mode with its tormentor.

Anyway, judging by the official Indian briefing last Thursday, both countries reiterated their stated positions face-to-face in Hyderabad House. India handed over three fresh dossiers to Pakistan, something that could well have been mailed by diplomatic bag the same way as the last six were sent post-Mumbai but never acted upon. Pakistan raised Balochistan; we said their concerns were baseless. They made a song and dance over river waters; we said the Indus Water Treaty had stood the test of half a century. We mentioned beheading of Sikhs by Taliban; they said ‘very bad, very bad’. We told them about Ilyas Kashmiri and 17 Indian Mujahideen killers basking in the Pakistani sun; they said they would try to find out if that were true. We pleaded with them to restrain the fire-breathing Hafiz Saeed; they lied, saying their laws did not permit action against his utterances.

From all appearances it was a dialogue of the deaf. But we were, clearly, the losers. That’s because we abandoned a cardinal weapon aptly described by BJP leader Arun Jaitley as the “diplomatic option of not talking to a hostile country”. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir can go back home and credibly assert he stood his ground and managed to add water and Balochistan on the agenda apart from pressing for a “solution” to the Kashmir issue (by which Islamabad means handing over the Valley to them). Bashir also spent last Wednesday evening confabulating with three separatist Kashmiri leaders although he was frustrated by their insistence on meeting him separately, presumably to run down one another and seek enhanced funding for their respective outfits. Their Foreign Minister can now feel vindicated; he claimed last fortnight Pakistan had succeeded in dragging a whimpering India to the negotiating table.

Watching from the sidelines, the entire drama that played out seemed surreal. It was like a neighbour walking into your house saying ‘You have a lovely lawn. Give it to me.’ You refuse. He slaps you hard and keeps assaulting or insulting you endlessly. Finally, you get so scared you invite him over for tea. He walks in, reiterates his claim and adds a few more items to his wish-list. He has, meanwhile, mobilised the local dada who stands guard, intimidating you further. Obviously you can’t accept the preposterous demands. So he slaps you again and walks out threatening more violence. You cower into a corner, tremulously awaiting the next assault!



  1. what the heck he is talking about? Indians sure have some imagination, must be effects from bollywoood.

  2. A full of B.u.l.l.S.h.i.t self-serving article by a Hindu Indian. Each word of this article shows his inferiority complex regardless of India’s 200 Billion Dollar military acquisition program. Why do we even waste our time on these low-lifes?

  3. the biggest group of Pakistan, the nation, its not mentioned anywhere!!!

  4. 5, 6 or 7, what ever make the baniya feel good. Who cares what these khatris say or dont say. By the way all these 5 can easily fit India: a country with a civilian government, an army wanting to formulate its own defence policy and rouge elements terror bombing trains, several Hindu extremists groups, the low class and dirt poor Indians, the educated class talking English even in their homes, the even lower class Muslims. Top this with the Hindu cast system and the picture gets even more fragmentet.

    The Bania is cornered and they know it. Hehe 🙂

  5. lol lol lol …hahahahahhaa

    Pakistan Zindabad 😀 😀

    Ofcourse your going to cower down 😀 :D…do you have a chance ??

    Mess with the best die like the rest 😀 😀

  6. You can smell the fear in this article… it comes off the screen and hits you so hard you just wanna laugh…. these idiots are so afraid of pointless talks, with insincere, corrupt, incompetent and useless ppp ‘politicians’… imagine the state of fear they would be in if we actually had a proactive policy of sending jihadis all over india? JuD is a kashmir centric group focussing on Kashmir with all its activities in Kashmir… they wouldnt even piss on mumbai or pune or whatever the hell its called cos they dnt give a flying fuck! second.. we pakistanis do believe that the valley of kashmir would be a much more peaceful place if you hand it over to us… why is there no uprising in Azad Kashmir? because those people are free and if indians think the ‘solutiuon’ for Kashmiri freedom is to hand over Azad Kashmir into Indian slavery then i know that it would be the end of india as they would not be able to absorb the uprising for more than a matter of weeks… the Kashmiris in Srinigar hold high Pakistani Flags and cheer Pakistan Zindabad! in anti india rallies. how many Kashmiris hold up indian flags or cheer for india in Muzaffarabad ?Mirpur? Kotli? etc etc…. how many anti pakistan rallies have thier been in Azaad Kashmir in the last 60+ years? The truth is plain to see but they are blinded by their own stupidity… the fact is Kashmiris have never accepted india, they dont accpet it and they wont accpet it… they might accept Pakistan but they would prefer to be free from both… however unlikelyh that may be… however… given the choice i firmly believe Kashmiris would choose Pakistan over india in the blink of an eye.. hence no plebiscite!

    • You are so smart my friend… Itna pechida masla chutkiyon mein solve kar diya aapnay, wah wah…

  7. …and they say that Indian’s are not afraid of Pakistan!!!.They’re only fooling themselves!!!

  8. Why does it seem Indians are always feeling victimized?

    • Because they are ZANANAs.Watch their PM walking from the backside.THUMMAK THUMMAK

  9. The writer of this article probably is a “MIRASI” as he considers talking about water for pakistan is a music and a dance. The question from him is that if ISI is a state within a state it means he considers that ISI is not controlled by anybody then what about RAW activities the epicenter of terror who is controlling it? The indian parliament controls RAW?? if it does then the whole of india is terrorist which it is anyway as they have been sponsoring terror not only in their own country on kashmiris, nexals, dalits, sikhs, muslims and christians but also in their neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka (the tamil tigers?? what were they? not lashkar-e-toiba? were they? no they were indian sponsored terrorists). Sponsoring balauch and TTP terrorists in Pakistan and the others in China.

    As far as the role to india in Afghanistan is concerned and the treatment to india in london conference is due to the Americans realising that india is a terrorist, conspirer only and they do not have balls to fight america’s war in afghanistan but actually are using the american soldiers to destablise pakistan and the americans understand that why they were begging americans to stay in Afghanistan because they are cowards who can only kill unarmed kashmiris but would not dare stay on their own as the brave kabli pathans will kick their ass and this is the reason that no one supporting india in afghanistan.

    The writer is so stupid and calls pakistan officials liars when they have been caught red handed staging drams such as bombay that even america would not buy it. This writer should not be allowed writing articles rather he should be a fairy tale writer which he is – Shame on this jealous banya

  10. Quick march of Indian PM to SA may actually be an attempt to exploit traditional Muslim divide in the region. In the 1990s, when Pakistan was at odds with Iran over the Afghan issue, India got strategically close to Iran in order to counter the influence of the Pak-Saudi alliance in Afghanistan. That not just thwarted Pakistani hopes to have a friendly and stable Islamic government in Afghanistan. The shared interests and close cooperation between the two countries in Afghan civil war provided Indians with a strong impetus to secure a mega deal for Iranian gas, construction of Chah Bahar port, and an access to CentralAsia. Indians also used Iran in getting Pakistan pressurized in trying to secure a favorable deal for India regarding the IPI gas pipeline.

    Now that Iranians are furious by the multiple Indian backstabbings at IAEA and dirty Indian role in destabilizing Irani Balochistan as part of an evil partnership with Israel and USA, India needed a strategic leverage in this region. The Indian hopes to get cheap and dependable energy supply from Iran have obviously died without bearing any real fruit. The fact that Zardari government is not politically close to Saudi Arabia might have attracted the attention of Indians too. Indian diplomacy to woo the Saudi government and forge an alliance with Saudi Arabia may potentially have multi-dimensional benefits for Indians. First, it may send a clear message to Iranians that Indians have no shortage of options. The message presumably is that if Iran is not willing to go along with India based on the 1990s understanding, India has readily available alternate source of India’s energy security. Second, Indians may be hoping to play a similar game against Pakistan as they had been playing in 1990s by getting closer to Iran. In addition, Indians need at least one influential Muslim country to have some leverage at the OIC meetings. Indians can also oblige Americans by getting away from Iran (even though Iranians wouldn’t like to get stung once more even if Indians try to get close to Iran). American influence in Saudi Arabia can also be helpful for Indians in guaranteeing some basic requirements of future Indian energy security. Finally, Indians may be dreaming of a Saudi-supported alliance in Afghanistan against Iranian influence.

    A controversial statement by the Indian deputy FM regarding useful Saudi role in improving Pak-India relations may actually be a well thought-out diplomatic maneuver to attract Saudi attention. We Pakistanis, however, have nothing to concern about that Indian thrust towards Saudi Arabia. Pakistan has very cordial, brotherly, and deep-rooted ties with Saudi Arabia. That relationship is unique in its nature and scope. Only a few other countries have earned that kind of friendship and trust from Pakistani people. This brotherly relationship between the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is independent of governments and personalities. Our Saudi brothers will not but only do us good. However, Saudi government should really call the Indian bluff by offering and insisting on an active role for resolving the J&K dispute between India and Pakistan.

    Muslims of this region have suffered enough by getting divided along Iran-Saudi or Shia-Sunni lines. We all need to work in cohesion to solve the issues in Afghanistan. Afghan civil war must not be allowed to return once more at the instigation and fueling by the enemies of Islam and the Muslims. The last Afghan civil war became a mischievous business of all and the sundry and finally resulted in the American occupation of Afghanistan that entailed with the American/British invasion and occupation of Iraqi. There are many lessons for Afghani, Pakistani, Iranian, and Saudi governments and people for all the bloodbath that Muslims have gone through as the result of the previous Afghan civil war.

    Indians, on the other hand, need to understand that they would not get off while keeping their illegal occupation of the J&K in continuous violation of UN resolutions. Despite Indian propaganda, no one really think Kashmiri freedom movement to be terrorism. Kashmiri people are bravely fighting against brutal and overwhelming Indian occupation forces. They are fighting against their right of self-determination promised to them long ago. Pakistani people are determined to fight along their Kashmiri brothers. If Indians really want to curb what they call terrorism and save their soldiers from attacks by the Kashmiri freedom fighters, India should vacate J&K to allow the people of Kashmir to decide for their own future.

  11. wow… Such articles from across the border gives me more kick than my early morning coffee and a cigaratte. I just LOVE it

  12. I love such encouragement from the Indian media, India should take a tougher stand. It is good to see constructive criticism from the responsible media.

    • yes. INDIA is developing fast – economically, politically and morally

      • lol lol lol

        Yeah its developing so fast that 75% of the people defecate out in the open 😀 😀

        And the Tejas is a colossal failure …lol lol 😀 😀

  13. This chandan mitra seems to be a weed addict.

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