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Ray
29 Aug 06,, 20:59
Good riddance to a listless process



By Ayaz Amir


THE juxtaposition would make anyone uncomfortable but looking at the latest weather bulletin of India-Pakistan relations, it is difficult not to feel that even from evil some good can come.

There are no words to condemn the Mumbai train blasts, an act of unmitigated evil. But this horrific incident has had the one good effect of leading to the suspension of the charade called the composite dialogue.

Nothing good was coming from this dialogue. Pakistan had entered into it with great, perhaps unrealistic, expectations, its generals who were playing at diplomacy convinced that mere goodwill was enough to turn the course of the rivers. Hopefully they, now stand educated. India for its part, true to form — and true to its past record of turning hairsplitting into an art form — turned the talks into another dialogue of the deaf.

Pakistan had ample reason to switch off the life-support system keeping this farce alive. It is good that India has done so, much to the relief of ordinary Pakistanis.

In India the hawks, perennially averse to the idea of any serious dialogue with Pakistan, are pleased. In Pakistan not just the hawks but also moderate opinion, alarmed at the one-sidedness of Musharraf’s peace overtures, is relieved. The feeling has been pretty widespread in Pakistan that the generals have proved to be poor musicians, playing on their India accordion an unbalanced tune.

Musharraf’s own peace-with-India champions, a dwindling crowd but still including Foreign Minister Kasuri — one of the sub-continent’s last diehard optimists — are reduced to an embarrassed silence.

Let it be stated for the record that most Pakistanis are for good relations with India but not for anything that talks, walks, and looks like a sellout or a one-sided show. And although most of them realise that Kashmir is hardly open to military conquest, they are made uneasy by the ill-considered proposals on Kashmir which Gen Pervez Musharraf has kept throwing from time to time.

These largely off-the-cuff proposals have elicited no serious response from India. But they have caused considerable harm. When they include suggestions that Pakistan could move beyond the UN resolutions on Kashmir or it could be willing to consider joint control or management of Kashmir (a proposal floated in the recent interview given by Gen Musharraf to A. G. Noorani for Frontline magazine) they lend credence to the perception that Pakistan is weakening its stand on Kashmir.

Even if a change in the status quo is not on the cards for the foreseeable future, it makes no sense to move away from your basic position — especially in a vacuum, for nothing in return.

Critics charge the Musharraf regime with failure on multiple fronts, domestic and foreign. But no failure is showcased more conspicuously than its India policy for which it has precious little to show.

Musharraf says he has “internationalised’ the Kashmir dispute. This is true only to the extent that Kashmir is now linked to “cross-border terrorism”. In a recent interview the Hezbollah leader, Hasan Nasrallah, said that Hezbollah was opposed to occupation wherever it occurred and in this context mentioned Palestine, Iraq, the Golan Heights, but not Kashmir.

When Pakistan’s leader himself shies away from the narrative of occupation and self-determination — on which Pakistan’s case rests — how can others be expected to take its Kashmir concerns seriously?

But if Pakistan’s failure is one of misplaced expectations, India’s failure is one of vision. Here was a Pakistani leader, a military one at that, under American prodding or of his own accord willing to go the extra mile to engage with India, transformed from hawk to dove, in his new avatar oozing goodwill and bombarding India with different proposals.

Granted that some of the proposals were half-baked, the instant thoughts of a military mind. But no one is saying India should have handed over Kashmir to Pakistan on a platter. It could, however, have been more forthcoming on other issues: Siachen, Baglihar, Sir Creek, etc.

An agreement on any of these issues, especially Siachen, could have been a trophy for Musharraf to wave around in Pakistan, a vindication of his India policy, a befitting answer to the skeptics who labelled him with the charge of one-sided concessions. He could have said that for the last fifty odd years of bitter rivalry guns had solved nothing but here was a concrete dividend of peace. Even the cynics would have been silenced and the idea of enduring peace between India and Pakistan would have received a tremendous boost.

But this would be to underestimate the subcontinental talent (widely-acknowledged) for screwing up the simple and obvious.

On Siachen the Indian military dragged their feet, on Baglihar the water engineers stuck to their positions, on Sir Creek God knows who did the screwing up. But the net result is that the composite dialogue has nothing to show for itself.

The technocrats and diplomats or, in the case of Siachen, the Indian military are not to blame. It is their business to take a blinkered view of their special interests. Political will was needed to break the logjam and it was this commodity in short supply in Delhi. Pakistan was willing, nay, perhaps was eager, to deal, but India just wasn’t interested.

India appropriates the bulk of the region’s geography. It also lays claim to a near-monopoly on subcontinental wisdom. So if events suggest that subcontinental intransigence has won out again, who is responsible for this outcome?

We say there is a trust deficit in the subcontinent. This cliche only partly explains our collective predicament. More likely there is an imagination deficit, an inability to see the wood for the trees. Often we tend to be overly clever and devious for our good.

India is still hammering away at the theme of “cross-border terrorism”. If all the trouble in Kashmir was coming from Pakistan, India should have nothing to worry about. Imported ‘terrorism’ is easy to lick. Look what happened when Pakistan tried to export guerrilla action to Kashmir in 1965. It didn’t work. The result was a disaster and a war Pakistan had not planned for.

In Kashmir now things are different. Indians get red in the face when reminded of this but they should get used to the idea that Kashmiri Muslims are totally alienated. They want nothing to do with India. If this were not so, there would have been peace in occupied Kashmir long ago. If over half a million Indian troops can’t secure peace, India sure has a problem on its hands.

This is not Pakistan’s doing. Even if Pakistan or its star intelligence agency, ISI, wanted to, it could not manufacture this alienation. It is the bankruptcy of India’s Kashmir policy that is responsible for this situation.

So there is no point in blaming Pakistan. Indeed, the more Musharraf bends over backwards to placate India, the more Pakistan loses influence in Kashmir. India’s name is anathema in the Valley. Soon, if Pakistan is not sensitive about Kashmiri feelings, its name too will invite similar loathing. The Kashmiris don’t want to be anyone’s pawn. All the signs from the Valley suggest that they want to take their destiny into their own hands.

Israeli intransigence has been the mother of Hamas and Hezbollah. India should beware of its intransigence begetting something similar in Kashmir. That would spell the beginning of an entirely new ball game.

Tailpiece: I was planning to read something on these lines at a seminar to which I was invited in Srinagar, arranged by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. I’ve never had problems getting a visa for other parts of India. But Kashmir I suppose is a different matter. I didn’t get a visa
http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/ayaz.htm

Is the process over?

Do you share the same feeling as Ayaz, who bile seem to have become uppity because of a denied visa?

kams
29 Aug 06,, 21:55
I, for one don't think its over. I am an Indian but given the nature of coalation govt. in New Delhi, Manmohan Singh has to walk a tight rope. If he had continued the talks after Mumbai Blasts, his own party would have given up on him. There is political pressure on both sides of the border but after a while talks will restart or publically restart. ;)

gilgamesh
30 Aug 06,, 03:17
PA is basically Mullas in uniform. Therefore the trust reposed on them(and the Pak Govt) should be ZERO. :mad:

Tronic
30 Aug 06,, 04:57
live and let live.

lemontree
30 Aug 06,, 05:26
Ayaz Amir has blamed India for all the bilateral failures, some of which he listed were:-
- He assumes that India should hand over Sir Creek to them. Does he realise that Pakistan claims the complete water channel and fishing rights? While India has been stating that the water channel should be divided between the two and the IB should run through the approx middle of Sir Creek. It is Pakistani selfishness that has stalled an agreement on this issue.

- Baglhiar dam - This project is a run of the river project to generate hydel power, this project will also fill the state coffers and provide electricity for export and local industry. But Pakistan is has a problem with that.

- Siachin - A silly issue when Pakistanis them selves wanted to occupy it in the first place, and are crying foul because we pre-emtied their move. A solution could have been reached if the present troop locations are authenticated by Pakistan, but they refuse to do so, meaning that they have ulterior motives and have an intention to cheat in the future.

Ayaz Amir very conveniently blames India for all the deadlocks, he fails to realise that India is not in the charity business to provide trophies to Musharraf and validate his "policies" (that have been forced upon him), in his endeavour to remain in power in Pakistan. Musharraf cannot expect to show "results" at our expense, while he is a failure in his own country and the people who depend on his governance.

stone_cold
30 Aug 06,, 05:40
Whats Mr. Amir's stance on the land pakistan gifted to china.

SLASH
30 Aug 06,, 09:28
The writer should try comparing POK and our Kashmir to see which side is alienated. POK has become a hot bed for terror camp.The region is ruled by PA and ISI and they call it Azaad Kashmir.....lol..We saw what an excellent job Pakistani government did during the recent eathquake.Compare it with the Gujrat earthquake and see where does Kashmiris interest lie.the Indian economy supports Kashmir.Without India Kashmir would become the next Afganisthan.15 year olds will be walking around with AK-47,opressing women,worship Osama, learn how to destroy buildings instead of making them,math for them would be the number of Christans,jews and Hindus they've killed and science would only be restricted to making grenades and other deadly explosives,have wet dream fantasizing about their porno heaven.

They tell us not to talk about their internal matter(Baluchistan) but are very vocal when it comes to Kashmir and Gujrat.....hypocrites....

Kashmiris don't want to be part of India??? Neither do Baluchi want to be part of Pakistan.Leave Baluchistan alone than we can talk about Kashmir.

There are hue cry from Pakistanis about Human rights violations in Kashmir when Pakistan itself is a hot bed for Human right violation.Atleast we don't blow up villages in Kashmir with missiles.

They ask for removal of military from kashmir and at the same time have a military dictatorship......hehehe..... :biggrin:

Ray
30 Aug 06,, 12:16
Ayaz Amir was never too fond of India as it is.

I saw him on the Indian TV when he visited India.

The dialogue will continue, but will go slow unless something serious happen like Balochistan going up in flames!

gilgamesh
05 Sep 06,, 04:03
Captain killed in Valley encounter, four skeletons found near LoC

Express News Service & PTIPosted online: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
Srinagar, September 4: Four army personnel, including a Captain, and eight militants were among 13 persons killed in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, officials said today.

Army Captain AJI Anthony, two soldiers and three militants were killed in a fierce gunbattle lasting nearly 20 hours in the Bandipora area of Baramulla district, a defence spokesman said.

The encounter broke out at Ayatmullah village in the Bandipora area, 57 km from here, last evening and ended this afternoon, the spokesman said.

A police spokesman said three residential houses were gutted during the operation, which was still continuing when last reports were received this evening.

Prior to the Ayatmullah encounter, a militant of Lashker-e-Toiba outfit identified as Ilyas was arrested in an injured condition after a brief encounter at nearby Reshipora, the spokesman said. However, the injured militant was handed over to the police and was taken to hospital, he added.

In another encounter, the police spokesman said security forces shot dead a Pakistani militant affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit Qadir Yaar, a resident of Sargodha, during search operations at Midoora-Khangund in the Tral area of Pulwama district today.

However, his associate who was injured in the encounter escaped. An AK assault rifle, 10 under barrel grenade launchers and a grenade were recovered from the killed ultra, he said.

The spokesman said an army jawan was killed and four injured when militants hurled a grenade on a security patrol near Kalwa in the Mahore area of Udhampur district last night.

Meanwhile, the police recovered four human skeletons, believed to be those of militants, during search operations at Lashdat near the Line of Control in Kupwara district today, the spokesman said adding that two rusted magazines and two hand grenades were recovered along with the skeletons.

He said the police recovered the body of a middle-aged person from Kaloosa village of Bandipora in Baramulla district today. Identified as Zahoor Ahmad Sofi, peon in a private educational institute, the killing of the deceased triggered massive protest demonstrations in his Brar village as the residents alleged that he was killed in custody by Special Operations Group of local police.

The residents took to streets and refused to conduct last rites of the deceased, demanding a probe into the circumstances leading to the death of Sofi and severe punishment to those responsible for his killing.

They alleged that the deceased was arrested by SOG stationed at Kaloosa 10 days back and killed him during interrogation. The body bore torture marks, they said.

Taking serious note of the incident, Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Baseer Ahmad Khan ordered a magisterial inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death of Sofi, the sources said.

They said Assistant Commissioner, Baramulla, was assigned the job of investigating the incident and asked to submit his report within a fortnight.

Grenade attack: 1 killed

JAMMU: An army jawan was killed and four others injured when militants attacked a vehicle belonging to security forces in the Mahore area, Udhampur district on Sunday night. Militants hurled a grenade on an army vehicle at Chajroo on the Mahore-Gool road, sources said adding that the grenade hit the vehicle which was on patrolling duty. The vehicle was damaged when the grenade exploded resulting in the death of one army jawan on the spot and injuries to four others.

Troops from the nearby camp rushed to the spot and evacuated the injured. Security forces have launched a search operation in the area to track down the militants.

express.news.service@expressindia.com

Peace with these folks and their sponsors? :mad: