Three faux pas or blunders
Unilateral withdrawals or steps are taken either by very powerful parties – for they can reverse the situation if the other party does not reciprocate. They do not fear that they cannot rectify the situation if the other party takes advantage of the gesture of creating a more balanced situation on the ground and previous to such unilateral step talks have taken place where the two parties understand under what background such moves are being made or the party is so weak that it cannot do otherwise and instead of being forced to give concessions does it to avoid being made to give the concession on the ground. Like Talleyrand’s principle do it today before you are compelled to do tomorrow.
First let us take Nawaz Sharif’s statement first. Even if Nawaz Sharif was moved by concern for the Military personnel who lost their lives recently, the matter is to be viewed in the light of India’s previous record even in Siachin itself. Absolutely correct that bilateral demilitarization there is a good idea if the other side will understand this idea. But both sides must agree to de-militarize Siachin, hold talks and settle from where to where this de-militarization will be enforced. Bilaterally talks are required on this militarization and the area is to be marked on the maps. Invitation for such talks is a different thing than suggesting a unilateral withdrawal . If Pakistan withdrew unilaterally India will occupy the vacated land. Was the position on Siachin before it was decided to post military posts there not much better for Pakistan ; “the Quaid post” in Siachin which India occupied etc. There is a history of Siachin’s militarization and it was India’s forward policy in Siachin two decades or so before. It is difficult to ignore that background while being too generous on vital strategic matters with India, with which there is a background and in present day there is the problem of a silent denial of water by India to Pakistan in Occupied Kashmir.
The same about Mr Zardari’s statement on “no first use by Pakistan of Nuclear weapons against India” . N-capability is a safety devise for Pakistan and an equalizer in military power. It was acquired as such after the devastating defeat of Pakistan in Bangla Desh War in 1971, not as a toy but as an equalizer in military power with India. This idea was behind Bhutto’s vision of a Nuclear Pakistan and on which Pakistan worked under all regimes from Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif. This was based on realism of power between India and Pakistan . As long as Pakistan remains independent and jealously guards it independence, continuation of N- safety belt has to be maintained. In this connection I recall Tito’s idea as the guideline for late and lamented Yugoslavia, “Hope for the peace as if it would last for ever, prepare for defense as if war will break out tomorrow” It is not a jingoistic guideline for national defence .
Coming to Imran Khan’s statement, I read in the press after Imran Khan’s meeting with the Indian High commissioner that he discussed Kashmir with him and said that unless this “issue” is solved India-Pak relations cannot be normalized. We have been describing this Kashmir as a “Dispute” and later some rulers downgraded it to “problem” and now Imran Khan has further down graded it to “issue” the lowest description for this dispute. It seems that all the three had made these statements without any consultation with any Think Tank of theirs if they have any worth the name. I might refer on this point what I read long ago in Tuzk-e-Temuri. Temur was that ferocious conquerer of foreign lands who used to have minars or spirals of severed heads of the enemy soldiers after conquests. That ferocious conquerer says: I never take any major decision without consulting my advisrs. And I seek advise not from any body but from those who have experience in that line. Consulting any one whether having any experience of that field reduces a King’s prestige,” The leaders may better have their think tanks. In Lahore there are retired senior ambassadors and foreign secretaries like Shamshad Ahmed Khan, in Karachi Iqbal Akhund and Najmuddin Shaikh. Why these leaders not consult or pick up on the brain of highly experienced former luminaries of Foreign Service. Imran Khan has Ms Mazari.
But if one would deliberate deeper on these changing attitudes, the sudden change of heart one would find that possibly these leaders are having second thoughts and are now engaged in appeasement diplomacy with India, as was a major indicator of that trend Mr Zarda ri’ s visit to Ajmer Sharif dargah and incidentally only incidentally the visit to Indian P M Manmohan Singh, who indicated that he might visit Pakistan from October to December this year
An irrelevant thought on this occasion. When I read the news or watch the Court proceedings I wonder whether Islamic traditions of justice and judicial system would not get rid of all these petty-fogging and filibustering intended to prolong the process of justice and come straight to the matter under examination.