DAM THE DIALOGUE
Pakistan’s former foreign secretary, Riaz Khokhar, right, and Indian former foreign secretary Shashank shake hands before a meeting in New Delhi in 2004
Since our independence 63 years ago, India has not accepted us as a sovereign State. This, therefore, precludes any possibility of our acceptance as a neighbour, what to talk of being accepted on equal terms. The Indian dream of “Akhand Bharat” (Greater India) has turned into a nightmare. Their strategy of coercion has evolved from one form to another without check, transcending into a state of frenzy. They have done well on a number of accounts though. Occupation of Jammu and Kashmir was a success annexation of Hyderabad and Junagarh was a success, waging of three wars on Pakistan and dismemberment of East Pakistan, with the world watching, was another success. Development of large Armed Forces, their nuclear capable Army, Navy and Air Force ranking very high in numerical ratings worldwide, was yet another success. These successes have allowed them to remain in a state of euphoria, encouraging them to explore new avenues in their specialization of hegemony. They are the pioneers of “Water Terrorism”, a term not known to the world earlier. They want to turn Pakistan, the breadbasket of the Sub Continent into a desert and Bangladesh into a swamp.
Generous as they are, they want Afghanistan to say thank you, by building dams on their rivers flowing into Pakistan, by allowing a free run to their RAW but not so raw, by allowing their Military Trainers into Afghanistan and by getting into the Guinness Book of World Records by establishing a record number of Consulates and “Trade” Offices to export terrorists to Pakistan. The biggest so called democracy of the world, “Shining India” treats its minorities like “Dalits”, a low life form, something the west would probably never understand. Turning the Golden Temple red with the blood of Sikhs, custodial killings in Occupied Kashmir, mass graves, dishonouring women, Babri Mosque, torching of Churches, the festering wounds of Naxals and Maoists are manifestations of their Human Rights record.
Their Miss Worlds are a world away from the thousands of their like, who are being herded like cattle and sold in the region for a shameful life into oblivion. With her ambition for a Blue Water Navy, a distant dream, she has excelled in “Naval Warfare” to dazzle the World. All this with great success, the World sees their Oscars and not what is shown in the Slum Dog Millionaire! Imaginative as they are, with Bollywood and its stunt masters as their Gurus, they have of late excelled in the art of drama. Whether it be the storming of their Parliament, the Samjhota Express, a train that runs between India and Pakistan, shooting down of an unarmed Naval Aircraft on a training mission or Mumbai attacks, they turn reality into fiction – Oscars for them again! Followers of Chankya and Kuchalya, they have a history full of deceit. I knew General Deepak Kapoor was deaf, did not know he was dumb too. Taking on China and Pakistan together and sorting them out in 96 hours, some imagination!
India rumbles on, with her cap full of feathers, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim, a set back with the LTTE in Sri Lanka – just a slight hiccup, never mind. A nuclear deal with US, more with UK and France? Successful missile tests, nuclear submarines, another aircraft carrier, contracts for an enormous fleet of state of the art aircraft, IPL and the short of dress girls – all is hunky dory. From the Cold Start through Escalations and Stand Offs – all was well, fully coercive, but with no scope for talks. Why this change of heart all of a sudden? A host of theories are making the rounds but I will not dwell on them, for the time being.
Talk we must, but from a position of strength. We need to give up our attitude of appeasement which has crept into us during the last three decades. They threaten us with Surgical Strikes, increase infiltration when they like, turn off the tap when it suits them. They propagate Cold Starts and want to turn our country into a wasteland. Our “Aman Ki Asha” may be taken as a sign of weakness, our self proclaimed intellectuals, experts and human rights activists talking of Kashmir and Balochistan in the same context, cementing this perception. Let us talk about Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachin, your interference in FATA and Balochistan and the cost that we are paying in the Global War on Terror. Let us talk of the “help” that you are providing by trying to tie us down on our Eastern and Western Frontiers. Let the dialogue be Composite and fruitful and not another sham. And stop threatening us, with your Gunboat Diplomacy, please, for your Cold Start could be met with a “Hot Start”, much too hot for your liking. You try and kill us with thirst and we will Dam your Dialogue.