By Raja G Mujtaba
Himalayan Voice has its origins in Nepal but based in Boston, USA. This was a talk conducted by its anchor, Mr. Rana. The 40 minutes talk covered a wide array of issues that concern SAARC in general and Pakistan-India in particular. (The Video is embedded at the end of the paper).
The major responsibility to maintain peace in the region rests with India; she is the bigger power. Every country that rings India has a trust deficit vis a vis India. In order to establish her hegemony over the region and beyond, India is in the habit of making the weaker and smaller countries scum to her wishes.
India has annexed many princely states that had every right to stay independent as a sovereign state. The most notables being Hyderabad, Junagadh, Mawadar, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir and over 500 hundred other states that fell to the Indian boots.
In Sri Lanka, India sponsored and fanned insurgency for over 28 years. That island state was rocked and it faced extinction but the political will and resilience of the people held it together.
Nepal has always been at the receiving end, India never allowed it to settle down to some peace thereby it could attain stability. First India destabilized the monarchy and wanted her own puppets in power but ultimately the people of Nepal won and defeated Indian designs.
India is infested with scores of separatist insurgencies in Maoist areas where the battle is raging. Though India is trying to suppress it since long but has not succeeded in doing so. Khalistan movement, though it received a setback with operation Blue Star but the flames are still simmering and gaining pace.
In Jammu and Kashmir, India has packed some 800,000 troops that are rampantly killing the Kashmiris with complete disregard to human rights. Its law (POTA) against freedom movements has been enacted that declares freedom movement to be a terrorist activity. Kashmir issue is recognized by all the world bodies including the UNO but it brings no pressure on India to settle the issue.
Going beyond, India moved into Siachen in 1985, Pakistan territory that is closer to China borders. Many talks have been held but no move forward because of India’s stubbornness.
On Kashmir, series of talks have been held but again India is not willing to accommodate any initiative in this regard. To top it, the Indus Water Treaty that was signed in the 60s between Pakistan President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister J Nehru that accorded exclusive control to the waters of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers. In violation of this treaty, India has built scores of dams and denied the water to Pakistan.
The trust deficit that exists not only between India and Pakistan but in the region in relation to India, is the prime responsibility of India to bridge that gap. What to say of others when even Bangladesh that owes its independence to India has also been targeted by India to make her kneel down.
Peace in the region can only come if India changes her attitude and mindset, she must learn to respect the smaller countries that ring around her. Same time, she must also stop the genocides of religious minorities in India and stop killing and burning Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains etc.
Talking on Pakistan-US Relations, it is evident that the US took things for granted and went around like a ‘Bull in the China Shop.’ Starting from Raymond Davis to Sallala attack and the Osama Bin Ladin operation has further sunk the relations to new ebbs. Finally attack on Sallala was like the US shooting herself in the foot. The closure of NATO supplies has hurt the Afghan operation very adversely but it’s the US responsible for it. She must come out of her arrogance and stubbornness to accept her blames. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan, its only Pakistan that can facilitate.