India/Pakistan — Dealing with Pakistan: Time to Face Realities

India’s pol­i­cy of extend­ing a hand of friend­ship and accom­mo­da­tion has been a total fail­ure. On the con­trary, it has embold­ened Pak­istan into con­sid­er­ing India to be a soft state and increased its intran­si­gence and hard­ened its anti-India atti­tude. How to deal with an unrea­son­able and hos­tile neigh­bour con­tin­ues to be a con­vo­lut­ed dilem­ma for India. Every Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter has made lib­er­al con­cil­ia­to­ry ges­tures in the mis­tak­en belief that he could make a place for him­self in the his­to­ry of the sub-con­ti­nent as the har­bin­ger of peace. One went to the ridicu­lous extent of ban­ning Indi­an secret agen­cies from oper­at­ing in Pak­istan. All were doomed to fail for the sim­ple rea­son that they were based more on hope than hard ground real­i­ties.

This arti­cle is pub­lished with the kind per­mis­sion of “Defence and Secu­ri­ty Alert (DSA) Mag­a­zine” New Del­hi-India

Defence and Security Alert (DSA

 -

Over the last six decades India has tried var­i­ous poli­cies to make Pak­istan see the ben­e­fits of a ran­cour-free rela­tion­ship. Every Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter has made lib­er­al con­cil­ia­to­ry ges­tures in the mis­tak­en belief that he could make a place for him­self in the his­to­ry of the sub-con­ti­nent as the har­bin­ger of peace. One went to the ridicu­lous extent of ban­ning Indi­an secret agen­cies from oper­at­ing in Pak­istan. All were doomed to fail for the sim­ple rea­son that they were based more on hope than hard ground real­i­ties. In the end, the Indi­an lead­er­ship had to throw its hands up in sheer frus­tra­tion due to Pakistan’s anti-India intran­si­gence.

A few years ago a group of Indi­an ladies vis­it­ed Pak­istan under a social exchange pro­gramme. One of the ladies sus­tained a wrist frac­ture in an acci­den­tal fall and was tak­en to the near­est med­ical facil­i­ty. The orthopaedi­cian on duty treat­ed the lady dili­gent­ly and to the best of his abil­i­ty. While ban­dag­ing the wrist, he engaged the lady in small talk. When the lady referred to com­mon­al­i­ty of Indi­an and Pak­istani cul­tures, the doc­tor flared up and blast­ed the lady for her ‘flawed views’. “What is com­mon between us? We eat cows and you wor­ship them. We asked for a sep­a­rate nation only because we are total­ly dif­fer­ent in all respects. I sug­gest you Indi­ans should stop fool­ing your­selves”, he thun­dered.

The above inci­dent has been recalled here to show the extent to which Pak­istani cit­i­zens have been brain­washed. Their deep-root­ed hatred and ven­omous mind­set defies log­ic. When some well-mean­ing enthu­si­asts talk about Track-II diplo­ma­cy and ini­tia­tives like ‘Aman Ki Asha’, they for­get the fact that Pak­istan lives and thrives on anti-Indi­an pol­i­cy. The day Pak­istan sheds hos­til­i­ty towards India and adopts a con­cil­ia­to­ry stance, it would amount to negat­ing two-nation the­o­ry, the rai­son d’être for its very exis­tence. There­fore, it will be naïve to expect Pak­istan to have a change of heart.

‘Be patient with a bad neigh­bour: he may move’ is a famous Egypt­ian proverb. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, such hopes can­not be enter­tained with respect to a bad neigh­bour­ing coun­try. It is a great mis­for­tune that India has been cursed with a neigh­bour like Pak­istan which does not mind harm­ing itself only to harm India. Kash­mir is mere­ly a man­i­fes­ta­tion of Pakistan’s infi­nite hos­til­i­ty towards India. Were India to han­dover Kash­mir to it on a plat­ter, Pak­istan will invent new­er issues to keep the pot boil­ing. Dis­cord and acri­mo­ny would con­tin­ue as always.

India’s pol­i­cy of extend­ing a hand of friend­ship and accom­mo­da­tion has been a total fail­ure. On the con­trary, it has embold­ened Pak­istan into con­sid­er­ing India to be a soft state and increased its intran­si­gence and hard­ened its anti-India atti­tude. How to deal with an unrea­son­able and hos­tile neigh­bour con­tin­ues to be a con­vo­lut­ed dilem­ma for India.

Ground real­i­ties

Before embark­ing on a fresh ini­tia­tive, Indi­an pol­i­cy mak­ers will do well to analyse under­ly­ing rea­sons for Pakistan’s anti-India stance and antag­o­nis­tic atti­tude while keep­ing the fol­low­ing ground real­i­ties in mind:

Neg­a­tive core val­ues: Every nation has cer­tain core val­ues. These are fun­da­men­tal traits that pro­vide sus­te­nance to it for its exis­tence. Nor­mal­ly, these are pos­i­tive attrib­ut­es which are con­sid­ered non-nego­tiable and unal­ter­able. In many coun­tries, the core val­ues are enshrined in the open­ing chap­ter of their writ­ten con­sti­tu­tion. In India’s case, it is to secure for all its cit­i­zens jus­tice (social, eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal); lib­er­ty (of thought, expres­sion, belief, faith and wor­ship); equal­i­ty (of sta­tus and oppor­tu­ni­ty); and fra­ter­ni­ty while assur­ing the dig­ni­ty of the indi­vid­ual and the uni­ty and integri­ty of the nation.

Rogue coun­tries like Pak­istan do not believe in inter­na­tion­al con­ven­tions and shame­less­ly flout them. The only lan­guage they under­stand is of strength and ret­ri­bu­tion. India must make it amply clear to Pak gov­ern­ment that every anti-India mis­chief would invite imme­di­ate reprisal and that no trans­gres­sion will go unpun­ished

On the oth­er hand, despite high sound­ing asser­tions in its fre­quent­ly rewrit­ten con­sti­tu­tion, Pakistan’s core val­ues are based on the warped polit­i­cal prin­ci­ples of ‘hate and hurt India’ at all costs, even if its own exis­tence gets jeop­ar­dised in the process. Pak­istan was cre­at­ed on the ide­ol­o­gy that the ‘pure’ can­not coex­ist with the infi­del. A nation born out of hatred needs hatred to feed itself on for con­tin­ued sus­te­nance and to jus­ti­fy its exis­tence. Anti-India stance ful­fills this need and can­not be shed.

Deep root­ed prej­u­dices: Bhutto’s ‘1,000 year war’ and Zia’s ‘bleed­ing India by 1,000 cuts’ are indica­tive of innate prej­u­dices. In its school text books, Pakistan’s exis­tence is claimed since the time Qasim cap­tured Sindh province in the 8th cen­tu­ry. Muham­mad-bin-Qasim and Mah­mud Ghori are por­trayed as great heroes who were instru­men­tal in the estab­lish­ment of Mus­lim rule in India. When a lead­ing Pak­istani paper claims that Pak­istan is des­tined to defeat India because Pakistan’s ‘hors­es in the form of atom­ic bombs and mis­siles’ are far bet­ter than Indi­an ‘don­keys’ and boasts of re-con­quer­ing India, the lev­el of per­co­la­tion of anti-India ven­om can well be gauged.

In the wake of 1962 Indo-Chi­na con­flict, Pak­istan tried to fish in trou­bled waters to extract con­ces­sions from India. Sub­se­quent­ly, it decid­ed to befriend Chi­na to spite India. Today, it swears by its cama­raderie with Chi­na. It is an unprin­ci­pled mar­riage of expe­di­en­cy against a com­mon adver­sary. Anti-India atti­tude has com­pelled Pak­istan, a nation owing its exis­tence to reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism, into embrac­ing com­mu­nist Chi­na.

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →