The Aman Ki Asha Paradox

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. Probably peace and friendship are two such properties in the context of India Pakistan relationship that are ideal candidates for the uncertainly principle. If you have one, you cannot have the other. If one were to study the past 40 years of Indo-Pakistan relations one can see every friendship overture has been accompanied by incidents of open aggression or terrorist attacks that distort peace. The most peaceful times have been those of intense diplomatic hostility. Wonder why Indian Government and media refuse to acknowledge something that is staring them in the face and keep talking of friendship and diplomacy. The Times of India Group's Aman Ki Asha being the latest in the series of Quixotic ventures or is it just an instance of media knowingly sacrificing national interest for commercial gains? I feel India should take a leaf out of China's book and learn how to handle Pakistan.Though I sympathize with the Tibetans, from a strategic perspective I admire the way China has handled Dalai Lama, Taiwan and the Uyghur.

Before I precede any further I guess I need to justify why I feel it is pointless talking to Pakistan. First and foremost is the very ideology of Pakistan’s formation. Pakistan was formed based on the belief that Muslims cannot live harmoniously under the Indian State. So as long as there is significant number of Muslims in India, the Pakistan’s existential ideology would imply that a huge number of Muslims are being subject to a raw deal in India. If Pakistan were to acknowledge that Muslims live comfortably in India, that would trigger an existential crisis for them. So that itself puts India and Pakistan as adversarial states at a basic level. Then let us move on to the immediate and proximate issue of Kashmir. I wonder what the people talking about talks on Kashmir are thinking. Are they magicians looking to pull out a solution from thin air where there is none? I seriously wonder what is there to talk. India believes Kashmir is an integral part of itself. Pakistan does not. That’s about it. What else is there to talk? And last but not the least, what is this Pakistan we are wanting to talk to? Musharraf? Zardari? Nawaz Sharif? 15 years back, Musharraf was a nobody; Nawaz Sharif was in charge; Zardari in jail. 10 years back, Musharaf was in charge; Nawaz Sharif in exile; Zardari a nobody. Today Musharraf is in exile; Nawaz Sharif a nobody; Zardari in charge. Nice musical chair they seem to have been playing! What is the meaning in holding talks with someone who is all likelihood is going to end up in jail or in exile within the next 5 years. Why would we expect his successor to honor his commitments? I hope I do not have to give any more reasons to show talks with Pakistan are pointless. And if we are talking of the common man in Pakistan, I would ask you to get real. From when has the common man started mattering in international relations?

To someone who has been following my argument in the last paragraph, it might seem I might seem like one of those warmongers advocating war against Pakistan. But nothing can be further from truth than that. I am in fact a peace pilgrim who does not even consider war as an option. I felt the whole saber rattling after the Mumbai attacks looked so childish and immature. I wonder what India was trying to achieve. Luckily we had a level headed Manmohan Singh at the helm and better sense prevailed. Definitely war with nuclear armed Pakistan is no solution even if the Mumbai attacks are followed by similar attacks in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. For war would only mean throwing a million more lives after the hundreds already lost in the terrorist attacks. So the best way would be to prevent such attacks in future through more investment in internal surveillance and focus instead on diplomatic warfare.

I detail below how in my view India’s diplomatic strategy should look like. First of all our borders should be impervious. No trains, buses, flights or any mode of transport to be allowed to or from Pakistan. No trade whatsoever with Pakistan. The Indian embassy in Pakistan and the Pakistani embassy in India should be closed. No Pakistanis to be allowed into India and vice versa. Citizenship of any Indian visiting Pakistan should be cancelled and the person should not be allowed to re-enter India. Indian teams should refuse to play any sports with Pakistan even at neutral venues. India should lobby against inclusion of Pakistan on all international forums. Indian diplomats should not engage in any kinds of courtesy exchange with Pakistani diplomats on any international forums. These kinds of measures will build up the heat on Pakistan and solidify international pressure on Pakistan. If we ourselves are lax in handling Pakistan, the international community will keep aiding Pakistan so that they can prop up their failing state and keep causing trouble to India. We should also try to block any kind of international aid to Pakistan and publicly voice support for any separatist movements in the country.

Hopefully one day Pakistan would crack under pressure and we would have separate countries of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan that have embarked on a fresh start like Bangladesh and no longer carry the legacy of the partition to deal with. Then we can talk about friendship and peace in the same light.

Related Post: A Historic Perspective of Chinese Strategy


mg said...

Hmm...I do agree that India has been lax in dealing with Pakistan over issues such as terrorism and Kashmir,but I can't agree with your views on complete denial of Pakistan's existence.Such actions would heighten the tensions between not only these two nations, but many other supporters on each side as well.We should be stern on our stand on issues like Kashmir and terrorism but at the same time,continue diplomatic talks on these matters.This is essential as they may be ineffective and farce but they do serve as a placebo in building Indo-Pak relations.

T F Carthick said...

@mg - I believe tensions should be heightened. Then only there won't be attacks. If situation is relaxed there will be more attacks and international aid to Pakistan. We do not need Indo-Pak relations. There is only one kind of relation possible between India and Pakistan - that of enmity given the historic background. No relation is better than that.

Aphron said...

If we completely ignore the Pakistan and mount pressure on it from all quarters with the help of the other countries..There will be one serious problem..We might not do anything to them by completely isolating them,But they already have hundreds of terrorists in INDIA roaming around us..Few days back a terrorist was caught at a Bus stand here in Hyderabad.They would certainly create havoc in the country and our intelligence though are capable but cannot be compeltely relied on. Dialogue is the only way forward.

T F Carthick said...

@Aphron - Terrorists will roam about whether we talk with Zardari or not. Dialogue is waste of time. It will only lead to more attacks and ultimately to war. better to boycott now than to wait for more incidents to occur and then go to war. See even how shabbily we have handled the issue of Pakistan players in IPL. Even Pakistan players would have appreciated if we had taken a principled stand of no relations with Pakistani people till they are under a progressive and legitimate leadership. Instead we talk bullshit of diplomacy and sports being above politics and shit like that and then insult them. This way we only alienate the common man of Pakistan.

DeeperDaxer said...

on your views of sealing off border,I absolutely second that thought but pak is not going 2 dissolve because of diplomatic pressures alone- it has been limping since it was formed and it will keep on limping till time oblivion, what we need is to surgically amputate that leg (surgically means not surgical strikes) rather through proxy war that our beloved neighbour has been trying so long, I absolutely DO NOT believe a stable pakistan is in the best interests of India- NO pakistan is in the best interests of India. whenever they have food in their belly , they start training guns towards us - let us create an environment where nothing grows in pak, its about time we did some serious behin the scenes deals with anybody (balochis, sindhis etc) who want to break up pak. - my 2 paise in

T F Carthick said...

@deep - I have clearly stayed within what is legitimate in international relations. Waging proxy wars is not a legitimate course of action and it is not wise to advocate that in a blog that is up for public viewing. God knows how many bloggers have got into trouble for irresponsible posts.

Nitin said...

i agree with your stance here. Though I see some problem, which you might have missed.
1) There is on going Taliban threat. Taliban is trying to get control over Pak. And if we let that happen then god helps the world. So first thing if we try to isolate pak right now and block all the aids then there is this another angle of Taliban.

2) Breaking up pakistan will be in the interest of india but before breaking it up, we have to eliminate the taliban threat. USA is actually doing its bit but thats not enough. After july,2011 I think even India has to get involved in this fight.

3) Punjab and Sindh of Pak is whr the army control lies. So FATA and Baluchistan can be separated out without much effort but again doing so the threat of taliban is not going to get decreased. Having a democratic govt. in FATA is impossible and the current setup under Pak is the best solution i cud think of.

My 2 paisa.

T F Carthick said...

@ Nitin - Yeah, there can be problems as you mention. But this current state of Pakistan is never going to be a friend of the current state of India for reasons I had mentioned. If instead of India we had formed a Hindu Rashtra, Pakistan could have found it much easier to relate. But a secular nation goes against the fundamental belief of Pakistan's formation.

Saigol said...

Man proposes and God disposes...Islam does not believe in land rather then faith...its not country that matter its the nation.. no matter how many pieces of lands will be there but once the call comes its only one Nation that stands together on a single cause..and that is Muslim and that is what the Divine plan is against the Lucifer...Lets wait and see and be tolerant to each other views and faith. thanks.

jj said...

I agree with all your points except the no aggression thing. We need to take covert or overt military actions against Pakistan in order to completely eliminate threat of terrorism. Strengthening inner security can work only up to a point, after that you need to attack the source.

Additionally Paki artists, singers etc shouldn't be allowed to work in India and Indian events

T F Carthick said...

@jj - As I have mentioned clearly against any kind of cultural/social exchanges. But war, I don't support as unnecessarily lot of innocents will die on both sides - many more than who die in terrorism. And a mad leader in Pakistan can use nuclear weapons and destroy most of India. We may still destroy Pakistan and win the war. But what is the use of this if we are among half the nation that died in the war?

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