Date: 01 Aug 2010


July 31st, 2010 /////////// S.K. Sinha//////////// Tags: Indo-Pak talks, sm krishna, SM Qureshi /////////// The recent Indo-Pak talks fiasco has understandably agitated the nation across political divides. We need not blame Pakistan for what happened or for the intemperate language of Pakistan foreign minister S.M. Qureshi. We need to blame ourselves for daydreaming for anything better. We seem to have been obsessed with Mungeri Lal’s dreams in pursuit of good relations with Pakistan at all costs. ///////////// The origin and history of Pakistan has been of relentless hostility towards India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan, had grandiose plans of reviving a new Mughal Empire in India. He not only wanted Pakistan to comprise the Muslim majority provinces in the West and the East, but also wanted a 1,000-mile corridor connecting the two wings passing through the well-known Muslim cultural centres of Delhi, Lucknow and Patna. Besides, he put forward the legal argument that the Princely States had entered into a treaty with Britain acknowledging the latter as the paramount power. After British withdrawal, those treaties would lapse and paramountcy should revert to the rulers of those states. They should decide the future of their state, in terms of opting for either India or Pakistan. Jinnah had his eyes on Hyderabad, hoping to secure the largest Princely State in India — the size of France. //////////// He even tried to lure the rulers of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer to join Pakistan. As for Kashmir, he was confident about geography and demography favouring Pakistan and that Kashmir would fall like a ripe plum into Pakistan’s lap. The British were willing to oblige. The Indian Independence Act of 1947, passed by the British Parliament, catered for the provinces to be allocated to the two dominions on the basis of religion and the Princely States on the basis of the decisions of their rulers. Maharaja Hari Singh’s decision to accede to India was perfectly legal. It also had moral sanction with Sheikh Abdullah, the state’s tallest political leader with the maximum following, endorsing it. Kashmir being a part of India is something totally unacceptable to Pakistan. They call Kashmir the core issue and say until it is resolved there can be no peace on the subcontinent. They have, to an extent, succeeded in putting this across to the international community, particularly the US. The fact is that this issue is not the disease, but only its symptom. Even if it were to be resolved on Pakistan’s terms, it would only whet Pakistan’s appetite for bigger gains. In the context of Al Qaeda’s international jihad, and of other such terrorist organisations, jihadi victory in Kashmir would be a step towards establishing a caliphate. There is little realisation of this internationally.//////////// Before Partition, Jinnah had thundered that he would see India divided or destroyed. His grandiose vision of a new Mughal Empire floundered. He could get only a moth-eaten Pakistan. Within weeks of Independence, he unleashed a tribal invasion under Pakistan Army leadership to annex Kashmir. Successive military invasions by Pakistan — 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 — failed. From 1989 Pakistan started cross-border terrorism but that has been largely contained. Jihadi terrorism has spread to various cities in the rest of India. 26/11 was the mother of all terrorist attacks. The military, which rules the roost in Pakistan under a facade of civilian rule, considers the terrorist outfits as strategic assets. //////////////// With increasing realisation in the US that the war in Afghanistan is not winnable, and the US planning to exit with honour, Pakistan is now well placed to pursue its strategic goals in Afghanistan and at the same time continue targeting Kashmir and settle the issue on its own terms. For the last three years Pakistan and its supporters in Kashmir have been trying to whip up a mass movement in the Valley to break away from India. In 2008 it was the Amarnath controversy, based on totally false and absurd propaganda of India changing the demography of the Valley like Israel had done in Palestine. The communal card was played to the hilt. In 2009, the accidental drowning of two women in Shopian was projected as a case of rape and killing by the security forces to create an anti-India frenzy. /////////// A CBI investigation brought out the conspiracy and those guilty of fabricating false evidence are now on trial. This year emotions have been aroused against the security forces at the deaths of some “innocent” stone-pelting young boys. The PDP has been hand-in-glove with the organisers of these three successive mass movements. It is significant that the stone-pelting operation, with support from across the border, was organised on the eve of the recent Indo-Pak talks in Islamabad. Pakistan has a long history of violating written agreements. It violated the Standstill Agreement and invaded Kashmir in October 1947, the Ceasefire Agreement and launched the 1965 war, the Shimla Accord and started cross-border terrorism, and the Lahore Declaration with the Kargil intrusion. In 2004, Gen. Pervez Musharraf gave a commitment that Pakistani territory would not be allowed to be used for terrorist action against India, but that continued abated. /////////// Pakistan has always denied its hand in acts of aggression against India but subsequently the lie has got exposed by its own people and from overwhelming evidence. Maj. Gen. Akbar Khan’s book, Raiders Over Kashmir, gave details of the Pakistan Army’s involvement in the 1947 war; Gen. Mohammad Musa’s book, My Vision, showed how Pakistan launched the 1965 war; Gen. Musharraf’s book, In The Line of Fire, throws light on the intrusion in Kargil. ////////// Pakistan’s stand that there is no cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and that it is an ongoing freedom movement was given the lie by a former ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Javed Ashraf Qazi, in Pakistan’s National Assembly. In the case of 26/11, it has been the same story with evidence from Ajmal Kasab and David Headley blowing the lid off. But Pakistan yet drags its feet on taking action./////////// The story is no better in terms of observing civilised behaviour and diplomatic norms. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto talked of a thousand-year war and referred to Swaran Singh at the UN as an “Indian dog”. Musharraf’s breakfast press conference at Agra violated democratic norms. On the eve of foreign secretary-level talks, Mr Qureshi, in a speech at Multan, said Pakistan was not on its knees asking for talks, it was India that had done so. Mr Qureshi’s recent barbs against Mr Krishna and India have been reprehensible.///////////// India has always pursued a peaceful foreign policy. This can only be done from a position of military strength. Ashoka the Great had nearly a million-strong standing army. We learnt a lesson in 1962 — that peace cannot be pursued from a position of military weakness. Pakistan has been involved in the nuclear blackmarket and is the epicentre of international terrorism. It is both a rogue and a terrorist state. Libya, for doing much less, had been declared a terrorist state. No doubt India must ardently pursue a policy of peace with Pakistan, but this must be done from a position of military strength, and not under external pressure. We should not be seen as a soft state chasing illusions./////////////////////////////////////// * The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was////////////////// Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir./////////// 000000000