Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Awwal 1424 H
July 2003
Volume 16-07 No : 199

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Political Diary


Nightmare of Distrust


Nightmare of Distrust

If India and Pakistan really wish to learn from their past experiences,
they should keep their hands off Kashmir.

By S. P. Kewal

India and Pakistan have been living in mutual hostility for over five decades. Minus Kargil, they fought three wars with traditional weapons. The possibility of a fourth one in the shadow of nuclear arms cannot be ruled out. The situation is not alarming, but ironical because both the countries have refused to learn from history. What does history teach us? It tells us that the world map is not stagnant. It is both dynamic and diverse. Always in the process of change. New nations come up and old disappear into the sea of time. Thus, boundaries wear a new look because new countries appear on the world map. Therefore, history teaches us that nothing is permanent always, except change.

When we look into the history of India and Pakistan, we read that their story of relationship is a nightmare of distrust, deception and devilry. In consequence, it has brought them death and destruction. The world community views them in horror. Both have everything - finest man-power, rich natural resources, advanced science and technology and ability to become a mighty economic power. But theirs is a world where amity counts for little, smile is a weapon and trust is dead. The rivalries to defeat each other are played out most viciously. Their Epic story of hatred and bloodshed has left far behind the organized insanity of the 2nd world war. Both stand in the dock of traumatic history. This is Pakistan- women are beautiful, kind and compassionate. Men are friendly and hospitable. Children are chubby and lovable. Pakistan is a marvelous country full of verve and vigour. But history has not been very kind to it. The destiny seems to have all the arrows in her quiver dipped in the venom of tragedies. With the dawn of independence, the destiny struck its first blow when the founder of Pakistan Mohummed Ali Jinnah, the Quaid-I-Azam, died of tuberculosis. Soon after the first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated, the country almost plunged into chaos denying the newborn nation to consolidate its political system. The new Governor-General Khwaja Nazimuddin, President of the constituent assembly Tamizuddin Khan (both from East Pakistan) and the president of the Muslim league Khaliquzzamam collectively assumed the responsibility to govern the country. After the demise of Liaquat Ali, President Khwaja Nazimuddin got himself made P M of Pakistan. He was replaced by Ghulam Muhammed who was a non-entity in politics. Neither they had the vision for the community nor for the country. They were clay models. Successive leaders were equally men of limited intelligence and experiences. During the period of cold war, Pakistan became a hot bed of international intrigues and conspiracies. The people saw with dismay the seesaw of evil and military rules helplessly. This nemesis is still there.

A good orator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf is a serene and honest person. Welfare of Pakistan is at his heart. He wants to serve his country without claim to any special privilege because he is not driven by ambition to cut a figure in the world. They say he is in search of a legitimate political system. Will he succeed in his task? A clear vision, pragmatism, consensus, charisma and credibility always contribute to performance of a leader. Many observers feel that he may not go the Ayub, Yahya and Zia-ul Haq way. But he must not ignore the fact that he is presiding over a nation driven by economic strife and political corruption. Already a lot of invisible forces are working overtime to see his down fall. Like his predecessors, he has also decided to wear the “Armour of Kashmir” to protect himself from the nasty encounters within and without.

Kashmir has been the infernal obsession with both India and Pakistan. Ex-President of Pakistan Mr. Rafique Tarar says that “Kashmir is crucial for Pakistan”. Almost the similar views were expressed by Yahya Khan about East Pakistan before 1971 war, however, Pakistan has survived without Dhaka. It won’t be a dooms clock for Pakistan if it does not get Kashmir on a platter. In this respect, India is equally responsible for creating an atmosphere of Jingoism. Certainly, it won’t be a national calamity if Kashmir Valley becomes an independent, secular and sovereign state. Hasn’t Russia survived after the collapse of U.S.S.R? But if you suggest it to either party, you see a noose before your eyes.

Kashmir is not a complex problem at all. It is simple and straight one. But it has been deliberately made difficult by the inimical forces that do not want India and Pakistan to live in peace. It is not difficult to identity them. Tension in the region suits them well. Indo-Pak history tells us that whenever normalcy starts limping back, such elements become overactive to escalate the animosity. It is not easy to combat them. They are powerful people, and the ramifications are widespread.

The Kashmir conflict is out and out a political issue. India has re-conciled to the fact that it cannot take back (neither by force nor through negotiations) that part of Kashmir which has been with Pakistan. Pakistan too does not make a claim to Jammu and Ladakh. Dispute is mostly over the Valley with a population of 4 million Muslims. Without getting a third party involved, sagacity of the situation demands that the political leadership of both countries act with moral courage and graciously agree to the demands of the Hurriat leaders. If they could not survive without the Indo-Pak financial umbrella, it would be their funeral. If India and Pakistan really wish to learn from their past experiences, they should keep their hands off Kashmir. And wish the people of Valley a fruitful, rewarding and prosperous period of time ahead.

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