Written By: Ahmad Waleed
Once again the hawks have failed to bring about peace efforts between India and Pakistan. India’s preconditions became obstacle to the talks between the National Security Advisors of both the countries. It seems that India’s dream of becoming regional power or say a world power is failing to materialize due to its own ugly way of dealing with others. There was no harm if Pakistan had shown its interest in meeting the Kashmiri leaders on the sidelines of NSAs talks. Be generous if you want to become a big power. Even India’s own experts would give this advice.
Someone rightly put it: “Few other activities in the world generate as much excitement and deliver as few results as the India and Pakistan dialogue”. Others view that the proposed meeting between the NSAs would have been nothing beyond point scoring and allegations in the face of hostile environment generated by the media. While India was set to give Sartaj Aziz a ‘surprise’ as he crosses the border to meet his counterpart, Pakistan had plans to hand over the dossiers of Indian involvement in Balochistan to Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
From partition till 1965 the relations between the nuclear-capable nations remained very normal. People would cross border at ease to meet the family members. The situation became tense after the 1965 war. The 1971 was another addition to the ever rising hostility. In 1989, Kashmir freedom struggle took a new turn and relations between India and Pakistan started worsening. It has been witnessed that anti-peace elements become active whenever both the countries start negotiations, be it Kargil in 1999 or Mumbai attacks in 2008. History will tell if which country is responsible for trying to derail the peace talks.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took a daring step when he went to India last year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had to face severe opposition back home. Knowing the Indian hostile attitude Modi would not have made such move. It is now evident to all that Indian media and hawkish politicians leave no stone unturned to launch a venomous propaganda against Pakistan. Under the prevalent circumstances any such talks would be tantamount to progression of one step forward, two steps back. All the previous talks were suspended by India, not Pakistan, on a variety of excuses.
In Russia both the prime ministers agreed to resume talks on security, LoC ceasefire violations at Security Advisors, DGs of Rangers and Border Security Force levels besides other outstanding issues. Unfortunately, temperatures between the two countries started to rise after Gordaspur and Udhampur attacks. A war of words ignited by Indian media resulted in cancellation of NSAs talks with disappointment and frustration on both sides. However, the good sign is DGs of Rangers and BSF are going to meet in New Delhi next month as per schedule.
This region is going to be a hub of international investment in the near future and no country can afford to miss the opportunity as it will be in the best interests of South Asia and everyone in it. The media on both sides of the border have a greater responsibility to act as a supporter of peace and this can be done if news channels avoid giving most of the air time to hawks. The political leaders of both sides especially India should keep in mind that all the outstanding issues including terrorism and Kashmir can be resolved through talks. This is the right time to make the most of the international investment ventures in this part of the world. Being a big nation India must come forward and initiate the peace process on its own even if it has to give concessions for the sake of sustainable and lasting peace in South Asia.
Story first published: 29th August 2015