Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Don't the Pak columnist get it?

Ever since the aborted peace attempt at Sharm-el-sheik, Egypt between India and Pakistan, the revered news paper columnists of Pakistan have been crowding around the - Give peace a chance - bandwagon.

And this bandwagon apparently only runs one way. From India to Pakistan. And this bandwagon carries with it the merchandise called - concessions.

Listen to the logic from across the border here and I paraphrase -

Pakistan needs all the help it can get in its fight against terror.

As a weaker power, Pakistan will always seek external intervention.

Peace in Afghanistan is only possible if Pakistan is secure about India's intentions.

And finally - By halting peace talks, the Indian government had handed the terrorists a major victory.

So which word in peace-talks do they not understand?

Its a two-way street, hello? The columnist have been going on and on about how India needs to show reason, India needs to be the magnanimous one, India needs to realize this is not helping the "war on terror" and that India is the reason for South Asian instability.

Let me be very clear. I am not against peace talks. In fact, thats exactly what was happening when the Mumbai attacks took place.

The problem is not whether India has the will to talk. The problem is whether India has the will not to talk. We all have seen time and time again, India gets beaten black and blue and still goes right back to the table. And for what?

Instead before all these talks can begin how about Pakistan really show us and the "world" how serious they are about the peace-talks.

And waxing eloquent in the media does not count.

How about showing us that you really really want peace? How about doing something really productive about controlling the anti-India terror groups? How about reining in the ISI? How about a year of peace in Jammu & Kashmir to start with? Importantly, how about abandoning terror as an instrument of state-policy, for real?

Yes. These are the benchmarks that no one wants to talk about. The columnist simply want a wild card entry for Pakistan to the finals whereas expect India to give all kinds of concessions to make Pakistan feel better and tickle its ego.

So, the bottom line is this. Pakistan does not want peace, at least not yet. Pakistan still feels that a proxy-war is its key to strategic parity with India. Its their power-parity card along with the Nuclear card.

If Pakistan gave up this one card, its game up. It has no other leverage against its bigger neighbor. And hence it will never give it up.

And this back and forth will go on. Pakistan trying to tie India down to the subcontinent's politics and India struggling to free itself of the colonial baggage.

No comments: