Partition: Jihad and Peace

Chopra, Subhash
Lancer Press
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From "National relations between countries are often a victim of manipulation of people's sentiments by the de facto rulers of the countries. This is true of the relationship between Pakistan and India. For most of the six decades since 1947, Pakistan has been under 'one-party' (military) rule which, for its own survival and hegemony over political parties, has kept up the anti-India pot boiling in the name of national existence, liberation of Kashmir, Islam and the Ummah (the global nation of Islam). India has been ruled by successive secular, civilian parties for most of its first 60 years since independence. Paradoxically, during the brief six years of the coalition government led by the fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, anti-Pakistani sentiments were at one of their lowest levels. Indeed there was an upsurge of people-to-people bonhomie -- 1999 Kargil war and 2002 Gujarat pogrom notwithstanding. Pakistan's de facto rulers (Army and its intelligence arm ISI) have long taken their allies, the USA and Saudi Arabia, for a ride and convinced them that India constitutes a threat to Pakistan's very existence. Such an existential threat, if ever there was one, had become forever neutralized with Pakistan's acquisition of the nuclear bomb, courtesy of China. Not satisfied with such a powerful guarantee, Pakistani rulers still thought it fit to launch the Kargil, in addition to numerous aided and abetted attacks on India, such as Mumbai 26/11. Clearly the so-called existential threat is a cover for the real objective, which is to protect and promote the Army's power-perch in Pakistan's polity. In the unholy bargain, Pakistan's nuclear bomb, once flaunted as the Islamic bomb, is now in 'mortal danger' of falling into the hands of freelance outfits like the Taliban. With the arrival of President Barack Obama in Washington, a worried US administration has at last woken up to advise Pakistan to shift its military focus from India to its western border badlands dominated by the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Notwithstanding the twists and turns of history and politics, peace between India and Pakistan is very much achievable. Indeed the two countries came pretty close during the terms of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan and Prime Minister Vajpayee in India. Once again, a deal looked likely in talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and General Musharraf but the General lost power. New leaders can surely pick up the thread and achieve what the people of both countries have long waited for.