How it was a sorry state to see offer of talks to India by PM Imran Khan in earnest of peace, producing nothing but more chill in bilateral ties between two countries because of crude acts of Indian arrogance, negativity and insensitivity to counsel of peace to an extent of hurling threats of surgical strikes on preposterous grounds. It is not first time that India has indulged itself so coarsely to foul up atmosphere by its awful contrivance. Such machination is its stock in trade to torpedo a peace initiative of substance, aimed at to give peace a chance. Even at Agra summit where both countries came close to an agreement but fell poles apart by morning after dabbling whole night over its draft. It was L K Advani who overruled; a virtual PM of India at that time. He is an extremist Hindu and staunch advocate/follower of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is lentingly oppressive in extreme to establish Hindu hegemony within and in region. Fundamentally this is the mentality which has steered India to date and there is no sign of it to wither away as it is ever on increase in India. Modi is its latest harrowing form whose hands are stained with blood of thousands of innocent Muslims in Indian Gujarat.
The host of reasons are being cited for ruining instant Pakistan’s offer of talks by India; internal dynamics and contradictions, to obscure Modi’s corrupt involvement in defense deal with France, to gain political mileage in forthcoming Indian elections by playing to the gallery, to divert world attention from a UN report on Indian atrocities being let loose on Kashmiri people in IOK by kicking so much dust while also in process denying a credit to Pakistan for initiating a well-intentioned offer of peace in region . Admittedly, these are so but only as of cashing in on a fleeting opportunity. Real reasons lie in perspective of history. The differences between both countries are rooted in history marked with an age old hatred, rancor and bigotry. Probably 70 years is not good enough time to efface their imprints or Indian leadership needs more sufferings of their people to let better sense prevail.
The Kashmir is core dispute between Pakistan and India and India is totally averse to its peaceful resolution through a plebiscite under UN auspices in accordance with wishes of its people. Its founding leader, Jawaharlal Nehru is still subjected to harsh criticism by people like Modi for having merely agreed to plebiscite. The Kashmir is a jugular vein of Pakistan. Under no event, Pakistan could sign away its lifeline. Peace depends on its resolution. Last but not the least, dream of Indian hegemony in region also constitutes a major stumbling block to peace. In his book “In the Arena” Richard Nixon writes “nations resort to war only if they believe they can profit from it. Unless we can change human nature, only way to achieve real peace in a world is to take out the profit of war”. India saw profit in war with Pakistan in order to realize its dream of hegemony and other aspirations however, development of nuclear bomb by Pakistan gave it a halt. As a next option, they contemplated cold start doctrine. With development of tactical nuclear weapons by Pakistan, it also had to be consigned to cold storage. Now it has resorted to hybrid war against Pakistan. In words of COAS General Bajwa “our enemies know that they cannot beat us fair and square thus, subjected us to a cruel, evil and protracted hybrid war.
They are trying to weaken our resolve by weakening us from within”. Coupled with this, India has also embarked upon to isolate us internationally. Both angles necessitate strong internal strength to thwart the threat. Militarily we are equal to task but on its other aspects, we are seriously wanting. These include economy, state institutions, critical infrastructure and domestic cohesion. Even we bungled up on CPEC which potentially could bestow upon us huge diplomatic and economic leverage, capable of banishing Indian madness and drilling a good sense in their blockheads. A little earlier, it was leadership and ideology also but with Imran Khan in saddle, both stands remediated. Nation holds hope and a vibrant sense of purpose because a leader is a dealer in hope as said by Napoleon Bonaparte. We need to take stock of above important ingredient of internal strength in order to put them back on rails. We have already won war of our survival. Now it is the stage of revival. The day we achieve this, fact of futility of their adventurism would dawn fully on Indians. If still they do not listen to counsel of peace, they would do it at their own pearl. Equally we need to accelerate work on CPEC. On its completion, it would open huge trade opportunity to whole region and trade is a reward of having peace.
Meanwhile, we may show positive disposition for peace talks even if it is unyielding but to expose Indian obduracy to world nevertheless, to an extent only where it does not impinge on national prestige and morale. Imran Khan Tweet on Indian stubbornness was an appropriate rebuff. If they do not show respect to diplomatic conventions, Pakistan need not to be so much concerned about it.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.