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Pak Tea House » Pakistan-India Peace Process » The absence of trust

The absence of trust

By Saad Hafiz:

The recent veiled warnings and tough talk between India and Pakistan has largely abated. And not too soon, as hope was evaporating that the two nations might have, at long last, realised the futility of prolonged confrontation and might therefore give peace a chance. There is no getting around the fact that the two neighbours consider each other arch enemies. This antagonism is not only on a state-to-state level. The people of the two countries also share the feeling.

Politicians on both sides, preoccupied with their own elections and re-elections and under pressure by internal lobby groups, added to the inflamed atmosphere, and their own rhetorical strategies circumvented meaningful communication between the two nations. Their initial reaction fed into the domestic demand to whip up xenophobia in order to stay in power. The recent tensions confirm how easily the atmosphere between the two countries and peoples can be manipulated from peace to war. Diplomacy that maintains an uneasy co-existence is quickly replaced by one that approaches the emotionally and vengefully nationalistic. Matters that should have been sorted out between the two militaries under existing processes and procedures were placed in the public domain, probably by elements inimical to the peace process.
The problem of the organisational relationship between a larger and smaller power plays a role in the confrontation. India is frustrated that in its relationship with Pakistan, its overwhelming military and economic superiority is not counting for much. Pakistan on the other hand, continues its obsessive pursuit of ‘parity’ with India and a pathological refusal to accept any status of inferiority. In the words of the South-Asia scholar Stephen Cohen: “One of the most important puzzles of India-Pakistan relations is not why the smaller Pakistan feels encircled and threatened, but why the larger India does. It would seem that India, seven times more populous than Pakistan and five times its size, and which defeated Pakistan in 1971, would feel more secure. This has not been the case and Pakistan remains deeply embedded in Indian thinking. There are historical, strategic, ideological, and domestic reasons why Pakistan remains the central obsession of much of the Indian strategic community, just as India remains Pakistan’s.”

There are powerful hardliners in the two countries with sizeable constituencies of their own, dogmatically committed to the policy of enmity. These constituencies advocate retrogressive and religion-based policies at home and hostile relations across the borders. They have over time refined a mindset that prompts their supporters to talk of teaching each other a lesson. Both governments should have taken steps to curb and contain these constituencies. Neither government has so far demonstrated any desire to do so. Both governments should recognise that the resolution of outstanding issues rests squarely on them. People-to-people contacts can create a favourable climate, but they cannot by themselves pave the way for peace.

India believes that Pakistan is unwilling to genuinely end its politics of confrontation with India, an integral part of which is the over-assertion of its Islamic identity. This is reflected in the propagation of its jihadi mentality, the nurturing of extremist religious groups involved in terrorism, and the political domination of the military in the governance of the country. The ‘war-crowd’ in India sees a permanent reason and a great opportunity to invade Pakistan and finish it forever. They feel India needs no excuse to invade Pakistan, since it has an excuse every day, and Pakistan keeps giving India more reasons without interruption. Pakistan’s failure to take any substantive step in the last four years to try those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack and the unwillingness of its leadership to accept that terrorism remains a crucial outstanding issue in India-Pakistan relations indicates that the nexus between the jihadi groups and political and military power centres in Pakistan will not be easily broken.

India should look to hopeful signs that the powerful ‘India-centric’ Pakistani military has concluded that persistent hostility towards India and an obsession with Kashmir has done great damage to Pakistan. This may allow Indian leaders to decide that some normalisation with Pakistan is necessary for India to play a wider role in the world. This is the basis for a truce between the two countries, but not the basis for a peace. For that to occur, there will have to be more profound changes in their deeper relationship, for they will remain two states allergic to each other without the development of strong economic, cultural and political ties.

If the examples of the countries that have established durable peace after prolonged confrontation are any guide, a willingness to concede ground is critical to establishing peace. The rhetoric of hollow nationalism without a willingness to honourably concede substantial ground is not adequate for peace-making. People have to be psychologically prepared that durable peace is not achievable without substantial concessions. They have to be made aware that the concessions made would be in the long-term interest of the two countries. Until this is done, a sound basis for trust and conflict-resolution cannot be created.

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87 Responses to "The absence of trust"

  1. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Islam did not succeed in exterminating hindu religions in India because hindu religions proved to be more resilient than christianity in Anatolia or Zoroastrianism in Iran

    HINDU IS NOT RELIGION.IT ISACCUMALATION OF MANY CULTS. in india muslims entered as builders .they were also racist .were interested in clean and good administration.like in spain before.conversion was not the aim.
    conversion took place during brtish era.in bengal and punjab hindu apartheid system was responsible for mass conversion of dalits and untouchables to islamic fold.same other places as well like in kerala.

    hindu is not religion it is system of slavery headed by brhmns.

  2. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Ashoka

    It’s not that people have no identity other than religion. A rational, modern, progressive man has many identities. What religion gives is one’s basic morality, way of thinking and looking at the world, sense of the past, and hope for the future. A religion like Hinduism does that too, but it is very fluid (like the religion itself). Many other religions are an entirely different kettle of fish, and they set things in place far more precisely than most Hindus realize.

    Anyways, Pakistanis and Indians, like every one else must try to live in peace. But peace does NOT come from ‘trust’. Never has, never will. Trust comes from peace.

    In fact, we should stay as FAR away as possible from someone who says ‘trust us’. Indians and Pakistanis must win trust by their actions alone, by establishing peace.

  3. Kamath Canada Google Chrome Windows says:

    Pakistani readers should read the latest colomn “Coexistence with India” by Mobarak Haider in todays DAWN newspaper. It is one of three columns . Others are yet to follow. I would say it is worth reading. It is an honest and blunt analysis of Pakistani history, mullahas and muhajids etc.

    See: http://dawn.com/2013/02/05/coexistence-with-india/

  4. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Can’t say much about Mobarak Haider’s other arguments, but am glad to notice that of the four founts of Pakistan – the Prince, the Playboy, the Pir, and the Politician, Mr Haider understands the role of two – the Prince and the Pir.

  5. Asoka India Safari iPad says:

    Kaal, Hinduism is probably a thinker’s religion. It lets the human think about what’s right, rather than laying down a tight track for the human to walk upon quite like the bullock on the mill. So this ‘precise’ laying down of things you set such great store to is not quite what the follower of Hindu faith is looking for. He has been given the tool, that is the brain to use to figure the right from wrong by his maker and he uses that. That is probably scares him about faiths that ‘precisely lay down things’, they take away his right to use appropriate wisdom and have the danger of freezing him in time. It is this which never attracted Hindus in large numbers to Islam or Christianity. The exploited classes went to these faiths of the then rulers in the hope of succor from the misery inflicted by the ruling classes. This was more an economic phenomenon than religious conversion which explains the intense Hindu color in sub continental Islam.

  6. Asoka India Safari iPad says:

    Correcting typos
    .
    Kaal, Hinduism is probably a thinker’s religion. It lets the human think about what’s right, rather than laying down a tight track for the human to walk upon quite like the bullock on the mill. So this ‘precise’ laying down of things you set such great store by is not quite what the follower of Hindu faith is looking for. He has been given the tool, that is the brain to use to figure the right from wrong by his maker and he uses that. Something probably scares him about faiths that ‘precisely lay down things’, they take away his right to use appropriate wisdom and have the danger of freezing him in time. It is this openness of faith and the allowance for free will that Hindus never got attracted in large numbers to Islam or Christianity. The exploited classes went to these faiths of the then rulers in the hope of succor from the misery inflicted by the powerful hindu classes. This was more an economic phenomenon than religious conversion which explains the intense Hindu color in sub continental Islam and Christianity.

  7. Yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Kaalchakra- your comment about fluidity in Hinduism and other religions
    I was curious, maybe you can explain me better.
    is fluidity not there in Christianity which divides them into Orthodox, RCs, Protestansts, Presbytarians, Scientologist, LDS, Pentecostals, why do they have pastors and fathers, why there is a debate whether to pray God or Jesus?
    Buddhism there are Mahayana and Hinayana and Theravada?
    Why in Jainism they have Shwetambara and Digambara?
    Why in Sikhism they have Nehangs and other Deras?
    In Islam, we have Shias who believe something and Sunnis something different., Ahmediyas are not even considers Muslims. Between Sunnis we have Wahabis, Deobandis and Barelvis. Between Shias you twelvers, khojas, Ismailis?

    Is is bad to have fluidity when you understand the basic essence that everyone is different and must be allowed to have their own way.It is like principles of inclusion to assimilate things and exclusion where you reject..

  8. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Yazid and Ashok,

    Naturally, a Hindu prefers fluidity, uncertainty, and ‘intellectual autonomy’. Whether it is a good thing or bad thing depends upon one’s perspective. Remember, this autonomy can lead one or a society into making terrible mistakes. Do you really wish to allow terrible mistakes? That is the basic question. And to that, there is no answer to satisfy everyone.

    As to sectarianism, sectarianism isn’t fluidity. In fact, one can argue that rigidity and sectarianism will always go hand in hand.

  9. Asoka India Safari iPad says:

    Kaal, how does or can autonomy lead to terrible mistakes? Most historical ‘terrible mistakes’ have been a result of rigidity and ‘precise laying down of things’. Germany, Japan, George Manson, North Korea, British colonialism.. And the list goes on. Individual autonomy will never allow the buildup of a mass acting in unison to be capable of ‘terrible mistakes’.

  10. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    And when will this fluidity allow its followers to learn to shake hands with the next human to show their goodwill?

    Rex Minor

  11. Sardar KHAN United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Will the bunderstani(baharat) government is willing and capable to make concessons needed to make peace between the two countries?Will the terrorist army and hinduata will ever realise their mistakes and be ready to compromise for peace?Towin the peace it is two to tango and only Pakistan has to make all the concessions.It is always bunderstanis take 2 steps back after making an agreement with Pakistan to pressurise it.And after 3 to 4 months billigrance,the bunderstani government will again shout about resuming peace negotiations.After some successfull agreement,will find an excuse to fall back and retreat and stop fulfilling the already made agreements.What a stupid and idiotic state of affairs is this?We have seen the same barbarian and danmfool attitude of the bunderstanis for last 64 years.What a shame,they say we want peace with Pakistan by the mouth and will stab a knife in the back,being the decendent of Chankia,nothing else can be expected from these liars.

  12. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Rex, you want to shake hands with a Hindu? Put a dollar bill in it.

    I am serious. To most Hindus, for whom EVERYTHING and anything goes, and ALL is the same, there is only one God, and it looks like the currency note.

    —————

    LOL, I wish I could introduce you to some such good Hindus in whose eyes you can see the color of nothing but money.

  13. Asoka India Safari iPad says:

    I see I am in an intellectually enlightened and open minded company here.

  14. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HA HA, Ashoka, please don’t be offended. The current Hindu logic that EVERYTHING is true, and ALL methods are acceptable and EQUALLY true can only lead to a moral and social dead-end, and that dead end at its most beautiful has the look of money. It is not indefinitely sustainable situation, but it surely must feel good while it lasts.

  15. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Oye GreatBottom (tajInder) put some vaseline on your Abbujaan’s mohMad and Ammijaan’s Teresa big bat of Mountbatten is going to enter in them. Alla for fukat ka Galla Hu Kabar.

    Drakulla Jinna

    today i have high temperature,broken arm and fractured pns.whole day i was in surajkund with gujrati bund.
    see u and awnser u tmorrow.

  16. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Drakkula,

    But tell me why have your kind started attacking your own women, making onions of them. Indian democracy is about to send them to gallows!! Hinduism will be forced to use the 7th century sharia laws against the believers in DIY laws.

    Rex Minor

  17. Yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaal mian

    I am now sure about few things about you

    You are a blind idiot who falsifies the facts all the time ( not burying the rape victim and shaking hand with a Hindu with money).

    How can you spread your insane propaganda???

    Best of luck, BTW it is a Pakistani forum.. and it irrelevant to expect sane thoughts….

    :) :) :)

    Koi gal ni

  18. Yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Thanks Darbari for enlightening about the great Sharia law which is 100% halal. Only Indian Kuffars are mad they are asking for chemical castration and death penalty (the kuffars have ordered 4 death sentences for rape within 10 days).

  19. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    We offer our hands to show that we carry no weapons, and shake them with those we offer our friendship and to express our intentions through feeling it. We embrace our friends to stregnthen our bond and kiss each other on the cheeks who are dear to us.

    Rex Minor

    PS We do refrain from a hand shake in certain places to avoid the risk of infection.

  20. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    was it not the Pakistan military Govt which had undeclared wars with India? If so then it should be in Common interest that Pakistan continues on the path of democracy!

    Rex Minor

  21. Vijay Goel India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaalji, I agree that the path taught by Islam does lead humans to be more considerate at leastof its fellow religionists if not the whole society and more aware of his obligations and maybe less greedy, however if one realises that the mind has immense possibilities and if it is let free it can discover hidden mysteries whether concerning this world or another. Of Course the mysteries can be for good or bad. But if we have faith and in the innate surviving instincts of man then we can hope that willy nilly “We will led by an invisible hand” to do more good to society than bad in the long run.

  22. saad Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Romain sb: Flippant comments are welcome!

    It is not clear that a richer India today wields greater influence on the global stage than a poorer India did in the 1950s under Nehru, when it was the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. Robert Kagan

  23. romain Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaal Mian,

    If my memory serves me right, I kinda said that thou sometimes speaketh with a fork tongue (Reference Yazid’s post). Now I dont remember if it was on chowk or on PTH.

    I would like to amend that and say that you just love a good argument no matter if the facts prove you wrong :)

  24. romain Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Saad sb,

    Robert Kagan is absolutely correct. The golden rule only goes so far!!
    And the new found religion in India has gone green :)

    Why cant Pakis take the initiative to build trust? The GOI, unfortunately, seems like a deer caught in the headlights (Have you seen Manmohan Singh lately?)

    I predict that when Modi becomes PM, relations with Pakiland will improve considerably, because he will have none of the baggage that Manmohan singh carries today. And also the goalposts for the Pakis will stop moving.

  25. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Kaal jee
    On your point about fluidity about Hinduism.
    May be you will be surprised that Hindus have three different sects within themselves which are called Vaishnavs, Shiavite and Shaktas. The way of approaching the way of life is different for all the three. There is little fluidity among these sects which continues to hold strong. My point is if you consider approaching the religion with your different views as I pointed earlier; your point of fluidity is void. It is actually your hatred and ill feelings which make you think in that manner.

  26. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Now you have got it Kaalchakra on the fluidity, the wise man from the orient! It is Vaishnavs, Shiavite and Shaktas! Now all you have to tell the wider audience, which one is responsible for the women rapes and which one for the children abuse, the new discovery from the secular India?

    The Pandora box is now open and the fluidity will only cease in dry period!

    Rex Minor

  27. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Yazid

    Although I do not like Rent-A-Hindu-for-A-Dollar religion called Hinduism these days, I hope you will see that I do know a thing or two about it.

    The best way to understand the philosophical/logical basis of Hinduism may be to focus on the concept of Shunya – the Great Void – and to see all else in universe as a manifestation of that shunya. That is fundamental Hindu idea, preserved more in places like Bali than in the madhouse of India.

    What does it mean? It means that you can keep peeling off manifested layers for as long as you want, until you have ‘nothing’ left. And that void is the core, the essence of all. The completion, the fullness, the perfection is in the void. It lies hidden beneath the progressive na iti, na iti.

    Vaishnava, Shivites, Shaktas do not encapsulate Hinduism. The Void behind them does. That which is NOT does. That is why Hinduism is fluid the way it is.

    ———————

    Now, please, no more teaching Hinduism to Hindus. Hindus are simply beyond help. So it serves no purpose my trying to explain Hinduism to them.

  28. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    Na iti, na iti, another link in the puzzle! On a serious note and to be fair, is it possible to state that Hinduism does not condone rapes and child abuses nor misreatment of women rights?

    For example, from my knowledge the catholic church does not appoint a married man for the post of a priest. But the Priests are not prohibited from sex with women either!

    Rex Minor

  29. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Rex Minor
    .
    .
    By Indian law, Hindu law, whatever, it is prohibited to have sex with nubile 9 year olds (child abuse and statutory rape), prohibited to have sex with a girl if you’ve killed her husband and father (rape and violation of women rights) and prohibited to marry the daughter-in-law even if you have accidentally seen her naked (women rights). In other words if Muhammad had come to India today he will promptly be put behind bars, on 3 counts.

  30. Maggu India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “Hindus are simply beyond help.”
    .
    So you are giving up the holy duty and obligation of Da’waa and not bringing the truth to the kuffar?

  31. Maggu India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “But the Priests are not prohibited from sex with women either! ”
    .
    is it just a peasant’s ignorance or you desperately need lies to insult the faith of others? Catholic priests take a wow of CELIBACY. Go figure what that means

  32. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP,

    Kaal is the enlightened one, you are either an ignorant or pretend to be one and refuse to address the concerns of the environment around you but ready to overstretch your 18 % brain capaciy to 7th century.

    I could accept your ‘whatever’ in 2012 but not in 2013 after the surfacing of the Indian social problems on account of their religious cults or whatever.

    Indian women are coming forward on international shows including those organised by BBC aand claiming the difference between ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’! Indian laws prohibit what Hinduism apparently approves or is silent?

    This was the reason the question I raised which has not yet been addressed by the Indian Govt. Zero tolerence and death sentences will not answer the question, What is it that drives Indian women to ride their women as if they are sardinian esels!

    Rex Minor

    Ps
    How come that hindu women do not participate in most blogs? My reference to catholics practicing celebacy, which is not unique to christianity which prohibits marriage but puts no sexual restraints. In earier times even the Pope had several wives and legitimate and illegitimate children.

  33. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    sorry, correction; Indian men ride(instead of women).

  34. saad Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Romain sb:

    Mr. Modi does get interesting commentaries.

    http://blogs.outlookindia.com/default.aspx?ddm=10&pid=2926&eid=31

  35. Romain Canada Google Chrome Windows says:

    Saad Sb,

    opposition to Modi is really out of political expediency as much as his own handling of the post-godhra riots was.

  36. ExWho India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Those who expose the evilness of islam are being slandered and silenced. Muslims have the money, the terror groups and the clout to do this all over the world, India included.

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