Pakistan-India Relations: Time to Take Serious Action

By Ahmad Karim

Pakistan-India relations foundation was set on animosity. Since their independence, both countries are engaged in scuffle for their regional gains and power.

The first war they fought was in 1948, just after their independence in 1947. They name it Kashmir war. Albeit any of them gained power in it but both countries common men suffered copious. Suffered in terms of economy, arts, literature et al. but who cared?

Proxy war is their facile tactic. Formally they engaged in 1965 again and this time they fought mainly in Punjab. After many days of furious battle both countries, India and Pakistan, realized that they should redeem their relations.

The days were never good in Dhaka in 70’s. There was palpable mistrust and confusion which led to revolt, revolt against tyranny. In that war, [1971] Pakistan lost its eastern part. It was a lose-lose situation for Pakistan, now limited to its western part only.

Till Kargil war, they kept engage in proxies. On almost every of bomb blast they both alleged each other. But suffered who?

This time that was different. Different in a sense that the world experienced the war between two atomic powers. It was a concern for the whole world and they mediated immediately after both Pak-Ind indulged in formal warfare.

Both Pak-Ind bowed to their mediation but took fun out of proxy war. In the first decade of 21st century Pakistan and India both witnessed major, impactful terrorist attacks. If I name a few, India had an attack on its parliament and an attack on Mumbai. Whereas, Pakistan had an attack on its armed forces GHQ, Mehran airbase and an attack on a school in Peshawar in 2014, namely APS.

Every time they intended to friendly their relations some rouge elements jumped in to derail the gumption.

The latest development in Pak-Ind relations is inciting my hopes for peace and friendly milieu. After the Kargil war and especially Mumbai attacks, India-Pakistan relations were never so cordial. How sweet it sounds when the on-duty ministers of Pakistan and India speak of trust and continuance of the step taken by both countries Prime Ministers?

After the terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase in India that took more than 10 Indian lives, everyone was dubious of the future of the positive steps taken by both countries NSA’s to redefine Ind-Pak relations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stopover in Lahore to gift and wish the birthday boy, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is also an inimitable event in the history of Ind-Pak relations.

After Pathankot attack, India provided Pakistan ‘actionable intelligence’ regarding the attack on the Pathankot airbase and demanded satisfactory follow-up action by Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif assured Narendra Modi that Islamabad would not hesitate to take “prompt and decisive action” if the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the attack on the Indian airbase was proved beyond doubt.

The leads that India provided suspect JeM. As JeM is proscribed in Pakistan, Jaish and its leader, Masood Azhar, have managed to keep their heads under water for long. The last time Masood Azhar was found in public, it was in Peshawar when Mosood was addressing a gathering for Afzal Guru’s death anniversary last year. If JeM managed the Pathankot attack, its capacity to go its own way is highly questionable.

The initial report sent by Pakistani authorities to Indian officials is being taken as satisfactory by Indian Home Minister. He said, after receiving the initial report, “there is no reason to distrust Pakistan’s assurances that it will take action against those responsible for the Pathankot attack.” One of the Indian minister said, “Pakistan has suffered from terrorism more than India and that Pakistan does not support terrorism.”

Lately, Pakistan Prime Minister Office [PMO] said the government wants to send a team of special investigators to the Pathankot airbase in India for further investigation. In a statement, the PMO also confirmed the arrests of several members of the Jaish-i-Mohammad militant group, which India suspects of involvement in Pathankot airbase attack.

Well such developments are enamoring but also raise suspicions. After Mumbai attacks, Pakistan faced extreme pressure from international community, same is the case in Pathankot attack too, to put the planners/handlers of attack under trial but we have seen how that case is being dragged. There is no logical conclusion to the Mumbai case almost after seven years of the attack.

The questioners ask question that how that case would be handled? It seems that the civilian government of Pakistan is willing to solve this conundrum but is the military establishment going with the same idea? Will they take decisive action against their protégés? Only Nasir Janjua’s commitment to redefine relations are not enough.

The U.S. is urging India not to respite dialogue. NATO countries consider the intelligence supplied to be credible leads if not conclusive evidence. This time Pakistan doesn’t need to be the object of ridicule and ignominy. A repeat of the Mumbai stand-off would be a set-back for this regions peace initiative.

If JeM is behind Pathankot attack and its leader, Masood Azhar, is the prime suspect, then that leader must be punished irrespective of its relations with intelligence establishment. My hopes are high.

I’m sure that Pakistan’s military establishment has learnt a lot from the hostile relations with its neighboring country, India. And that they’re ready to punish the perpetrators. Some of the arrests of JeM’s members signing green.

Both Pakistan and India now must benefit their countrymen. They now must fight together to eliminate poverty and mutually must provide opportunities to improve the literacy rate in the region, which would be extremely beneficial for both countries.

It’s time for both the states to rethink what they really want. The persistent scuffle and suffering for both countries and region’s common men or they want to see them prosper. No non-state actor is an asset for any country.

India must not use Afghanistan’s soil to support terrorism in Pakistan and Pakistan must not use its own soil to support terrorism in India. Hope both countries NSA’s meeting expected before foreign secretary level negotiations is positive.

The love of war is demon’s dream.

  • dunkirk

    The writer of this article has not taken into consideration the fact that islam – an alien arab imperialist and totalitarian ideology – determines the behaviour and psychology and mentality of Pakistan. Islam’s long-term goal is to exterminate non-muslims and impose arab fascism-imperialism on mankind, and Pakistan is a result and tool of this plan.
    A muslim stands under the compulsion to deceive non-muslims so as to weaken them so that they can be easily decimated.

  • engrich
  • Nuree

    The making of a terror apologist; A tribute to the practitioners of this art

    This piece does not intend to be a rejoinder to Harinder Baweja on ”Making of a terrorist: Babri Masjid demolition triggered Azhar’s jihad”

    If it was one, I would have told the author to feel a bit of shame before using the adjective audacious for a terrorist, one who sneaks through the border in dark, hoping to attack when victims are asleep and does not have the guts to face them face to face, man to man. The adjectives that are suitable are cowardly, dastardly and craven, instead.

    If it was a retort, I would have asked her as to why does the phrase, “O Babri Masjid, ….. you were a sign of our glorious past and we will not rest till we restore you to your former glory” reveal the hurt cry of an invader, an erstwhile ruler whose war loot, converted into a mounted trophy, that was Babri Masjid, has been taken away by the erstwhile defeated, subjugated & ruled race and definitely not an anguished cry of a Muslim preacher whose place of worship has been demolished?

    If it was a rejoinder to Baweja, I would have asked her as to whether a terrorist who exults with ecstasy when holding an AK 47 in his hand and feels that the gun was ready to talk to the enemy, dreams of falling bodies, should expect the securities agencies to shower him with rose petals after his arrest?

    If it was a riposte to said piece, I could have argued that the religious strife in this part of the world did not stay frozen before 1992 as per the convenience of her logic, that the action-reaction theory does not find its origins in 1992 and everyone whose place of worship is wrecked or desecrated, does not become a terrorist either, or India would be a nation of terrorists, we had around 40000 reasons for being one, and more.

    No, it is not a counter to the Harinder Baweja.

    Instead, it attempts to be a tribute to the tribe of terror apologist, a salute to the undying spirit of those who try to beautify whom the world thinks as beasts and the insurmountable challenges they face while doing their task.

    Believe me, defending a terrorist is no cakewalk. It is more difficult than say, even brain surgery. Let me explain.

    Each time a brain is operated on the surgeon finds the cerebrum and the cerebellum in the exact same place each time. Each person’s brain is the same, regardless of sex or nationality. Each incision is made with the knowledge that precisely what lies below is going to be there. Each time.

    The surgeon also has a whole battery of equipment that can be used to see through the skin and bones before the operation to help even more with the preciseness of the operation. It would be a bit more challenging for the surgeon (to say nothing about the patient) if the brain was different for each operation and there were no way to see into the brain.

    The challenge for a terror apologist is much, much bigger.

    While brain surgery is precise and exacting, the process of defending a terrorist is imprecise and unexacting. Where each brain is the same, each terrorist is different, with none ever the same.

    Each terrorist brings his or her own level of extremism, militancy and criminality to the parlour (The objective being beautification, remember!). He may be a pathological hater, a deluded fanatic, a serial killer, a psychic criminal, a heartless slaughterer, it takes all kind, you know. Also for example, there is no way to know how the terrorist would react to a recital of his crimes, with proud confirmation or with a deceitful denial or whether he would take out his gun and shoot you! But despite all these uncertainties, apologist has to deliver the final product in the standard form; an object of pity or sympathy, even respect.

    Now, let’s look at what all has to be done to hide what is ugly and make the species presentable to the world.

    Typically, the defender has to first find and focus on a physical attribute or personal trait which answers to adjectives like diminutive, soft, homely or an average Joe to set the tone of brief. It lays the foundation of building up the victim narrative later.

    Next come the salutation, very important aspect in the business of image laundering; very important component of beautification. A respectful salutation has the power to negate all the killing and crime committed by the subject, in the public perception.

    Then comes the most important part of identifying a life changing event which is the cornerstone of the apology, the main structure of the edifice; the narrative of victimhood. It goes something like, “The diminutive Maulana, angrily stamping the ground, squashing the Indian soil with his shoes, crying and saying….” Now the structure is ready.

    Then the process of softening of how acts or events are defined begins, like a process of makeup; lighten the dark spots and the blemishes. For example, an exchange against hostages becomes flight to freedom, prying on the innocent people becomes turning his attention, collecting funds for terror activities becomes procuring donations, a cowardly, audacious strike, inciting people becomes a much positive phrase of motivating them, etc. The list is long and the effort needed on the part of the apologist is immense.

    In short, a terror apology needs its author to be highly accomplished to be able to pull it off a credible piece. Very challenging vocation, indeed!

    What is surprising is that the literary world has not yet woken up to this genre that is neither fiction nor non-fiction, instead deserves a name and place of its own. Nor have Sahitya Academies instituted any awards in this field?

    As a common man, only thing I can say is, “May their tribe thrive, forever”.

  • dunkirk

    This article in the Dawn should be read by all

  • engrich
  • engrich

    That descendants of hindus who have converted to islam are hating and killing hindus is cause for much joy among arab

    where.this was your dream.brhmns weep if their slave leaves the shackles of slavery.

  • dunkirk

    The shackles of slavery caused by islam are much worse – that is becoming evident now. But muslims must live in their cocoon of self-deceit. What islam brought was more slavery, fascism and arab racism. The muslims are proving this through their deeds now. Islam can be maintained only through violence, arrogance, closed-minded-ness and deceit. Muslims are proving this too.

    The worse of islam is yet to come.

    It is not brahmins who are weeping – it is muslims weeping over their own misfortunes, their self-willed bloodshed, their lies.

    The descendants of hindus who were fooled or bribed into becoming muslims are and will be the worst killers of hindus. Pakistani muslims and their arabized brothers in India are being trained accordingly.

  • engrich

    brhmns are not indian.their dna matches with dna of jews.muslim dna is indian.

  • engrich
  • dunkirk

    muslim dna is indian – but islam teaches them to bootlick arabs and turks.

    the dna in the muslim tongue may be indian – but the dirt on the tongue is from the arabs’ and turks’ boots. and the muslim is taught by islam to love this dirt as his best final meal.
    the muslim with the indian dna is taught by islam and arabs to be a killer of non-muslim indians and bring India under the boot of arab ethnofascism-imperialism.