Cold relations, strong allegations, dialogue initiation from the Indian side, a bold initiative by an Indian PM, followed by a terrorist attack on India, allegedly planned in Pakistan; the Indo-Pak relations have come a full circle in just a couple of month’s time.
The terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air force base has attracted sharp reactions from all parts of the country. A number of experts are urging the government to step back and call off the Indo-Pak talks in wake of these attacks. There is also no dearth of commentators who want the government to continue its initiative since they see talks as the only way forward.
NewsGram brings you some of the most well put arguments in both the cases to help you make up an informed stand.
The writer of “Pathankot attack: Should India go ahead with peace talks with Pakistan?” tried to put forward both the view points and presented arguments for either case. He says that peace talks must be stalled since “Pakistan is not interested to have a friendly relationship with India. In Pakistan, ISI is unofficially ruling the nation with PM Nawaz Sharif only a symbolic head.”
While putting forward the other side of the argument, he contests that“India will score brownie points by going ahead with peace talks and garner more international support for it.”
According to the author of “Stay the course after Pathankot”, India and Pakistan must work together to ensure that the talks aren’t impacted by these heinous acts. He supports his stand by putting forward the argument that, “A sustained dialogue is the only fitting answer to terrorist groups and to their handlers inside the Pakistan establishment who wish to destabilise the peace process.”
He further presents his views as, “Going forward, the talks process must be further insulated from the ‘veto’ of these forces. First, the foreign secretaries must move quickly to set up a timetable of meetings of all the secretaries in the two countries involved in the comprehensive dialogue.”
Stories such as “Pathankot attack: Shiv Sena questions peace talks” highlight Shiv Sena’s concerns that talks would be futile unless these acts aren’t stopped.
The articles quotes Shiv Sena leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut as saying, “We are not playing politics, but it’s a fact that the bilateral peace talks and terror attacks take place simultaneously… terror and peace talks can’t go together. Merely saying (that) the country will give a befitting reply to such attacks is not enough. When shall we give a befitting response to Pakistan?”
A write-up in Times of India, “Pathankot attack: BJP indicates peace process may get stalled if Pak’s role confirmed”, says that the Government is of the view that if Pakistan’s involvement in these attacks in confirmed, the peace process will be stalled.
The article says that “According to sources, whether to go ahead with the talks now hinges on how much the Nawaz Sharif government “cooperates” with the Indian authorities in the aftermath of the attack.”
“Jaise ki Vajpayee ji ke time par tha, Jaise ek dusre ke hamsaye hai, hume miljul ke rehne ki aadat dalni padegi aur aman se rehni ki aadat dalni padegi (Like it was during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time, we should learn to live peacefully as neighbours,”
Jammu and Kashmir, May 15, 2017: J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti spoke to media on Saturday after the meeting of youth delegations at her hometown Srinagar.
CM said that India and Pakistan have to learn how to be good and peaceful neighbors.
Mehbooba further expressed her grief over the killings on the border after two civilians lost their lives on Saturday during a shootout between Indian and Pakistani troops on LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, mentioned HT report.
The CM said “It is very unfortunate that the firing which is going on for past few days has led to deaths. First a lady died. Today there have been more deaths. Our stand has always remained that war and confrontation (between the two countries) has always affected (Kashmir) Valley and our people.”
She added, “That is why I will ask both nations; Pakistan should think that this type of shelling leads to killings of people in Jammu and Kashmir. I believe there will be deaths on the other side as well because in retaliatory fire people were killed there also and here also they are killed.”
Mufti said that no one will benefit from these exchanges of fire. Only the innocent people will lose their lives and that is the last thing any nation wants.
Remembering the time of BJP government under former PM Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she said “Jaise ki Vajpayee ji ke time par tha, Jaise ek dusre ke hamsaye hai, hume miljul ke rehne ki aadat dalni padegi aur aman se rehni ki aadat dalni padegi (Like it was during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time, we should learn to live peacefully as neighbours.”
The CM ensured the state of security and said that the state government will consider any request for security from separatist leaders following a threat by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat.
“When somebody will seek security from us, we will think over it,” Mufti told reporters.
It is to be noted here that Zakir had earlier threatened Hurriyat leaders if they “create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic State,” she further added.
New Delhi, 10th April, 2017: “India’s doors are always open for cooperation, but for that Pakistan has to shun terrorism”, Prime Minister Narendra said on Saturday, as reported by PTI.
Hitting out at Pakistan, Modi stated that it fosters, emboldens and promulgates terrorism and this “thought” is a barrier to peace within the region and the world.
He reiterated that “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” is not just limited to India, but also extended to the neighbouring countries and development of India is incomplete without the progress of the region.
“We have extended hand of friendship towards every country (of the region) and have invited them to be a part of our growth. Without being selfish, we have wished good for the entire region.
“We truly think that citizens of all nations of the region progress and prosper. Our doors are open for cooperation, but for this terrorism has to be shunned.
“There is one thought in South Asia which breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism. The thought whose priority is not humanity, but extremism and terrorism,” Modi said, without naming Pakistan.
Prime Minister Modi was speaking at the ceremony where families of martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were felicitated by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Modi said India is a victim of the “thought” that emboldens terrorism.
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“The thought, whose policymakers prefer terrorism over humanity, destruction over-development, destruction over creation, backstabbing over trust, is the biggest challenge to the society and its economic development,” he said.
Modi stated that the Indian army’s struggle in this cannot be forgotten as 1,661 Indian soldiers laid down their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War.
“The Indian army never shied away from its duty and set an example by following conventions of the war. Over 90,000 Prisoners of War were released safely after the 1971 war. The humane gesture shown by India is one of the biggest events in the century,” Modi stated.
The Prime Minister stated that the Pakistan-sponsored genocide in 1971 was undertaken to wipe out an entire generation of Bangladesh and every person who was proud of the idea of Bangladesh was demolished.
“If we give them and let them handle the mantle of religion that they seek to exploit for their own geo-political issues all over the globe, then we are really going to lose this war.” said Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Wisconsin-born Muslim
New Delhi, Nov 23, 2016: Pakistan-born Canadian journalist and author Tarek Fatah, whose sardonic dismissal of the radical Islam has won him fans in India, says that he is an Indian at heart.
Fatah says that he sees no progress for provinces of Pakistan like Balochistan and Sindh which are struggling to break free from the clutches of state-sponsored terrorism. The founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress praises the shift of India in its Balochistan policy saying that it has turned heads towards the issue which was never brought under the spotlight, mentioned HT report.
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When questioned by HT, about the endgame of the Balochistan Struggle- he said that a few years back, it could have been solved in a way where it could have been a part of the federation based on the presentation of some of the nationalist politicians, a six-point plan similar to what Sheikh Mujib Ur Rehman did to win the election in the year 1970.
The Pakistan government rejected it completely which sent out the message that the only path Islamabad suggested was the subjugation and elimination of the Balochi language.
He said that a government in exile is necessary and after India’s intervention there is hope that the Baloch leadership might get together into a confederacy. Fatah thinks that Pakistan was taken aback. He said that they never thought that the Indians would know about Balochistan.
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He tells HT, since most NGOs and journalists serve public relations companies and rely on press releases and lobbyists, the Baloch have no understanding of the working of international media and hence, their voice is never aired.
Rashad Suleymanov, the vice president of the European Parliament explicitly mentioned in Geneva that the European parliament will impose sanctions on Pakistan if the human rights infringements do not stop in occupied Balochistan.
While explaining the situation in Sindh, he said that Sindh has been diluted by the Urdu-speaking immigrants who migrated came in from India. At first, Jinnah took away their major city Karachi and converted it into an Urdu speaking city where no other language was permitted. This deprived around 90% of the population who spoke Gujarati, Sindhi, and Balochi.
None of the Gujarati speaking people were employed as the requirement was the ability to converse in Urdu and the Sindhi were pushed away from the urban cities.
On being asked why is he so critical of Pakistan he said that the colonial power has blood on its hands. It bullied itself into shame when Pakistan was formed. Around 60 percent Pakistan converse in Bengali, but the Punjabis forced Urdu upon the Bengalis. The bitterness is invoked by their attempt to appear as descendants of Babur and Taimur which will launch the retake of Delhi as the Mughal Empire. It is an insult to intelligence and the Punjabi ancestry.
“I visited Pakistan last in 2006. My brother had to change his last name. I do have extended family and unfortunately, sometimes they face questions. They have to disown me. That is what restricts most sincere people to speak out because the Punjabi Pakistani state has a very feudal, medieval way of torturing relatives or running away with daughters.” He told the Hindustan Times when asked about his family in Pakistan.
He said that it is not a natural alliance but that is how parliamentary politics works when asked about the BJP-PDP alliance.
Talking about the turmoil in Kashmir he said that the Arabisation of the people is taking place and it can be felt in Burhan Wani’s message. He said that it was not Sheikh Abdullah’s language, it was coming from ISIS (Islamic State).
He said that this was not about territorial occupation or freedom, it was about the dominion of this world by a “fanatic Islamic-Fascist order”.
“There is no national interest. They (Kashmiris), a segment of Indian Muslims, and the Indian left want some exotic fantasy of Pakistan to remain there. So they can live the drama of peace, progress, why can’t we live together. It is a complete fraud.” Says Fatah.
He explains that at one end we have the completely fascist order based on deception and the other end has Hindu guilt-ridden liberals that say they have a plan to practice brotherhood nut it is the Hindu right-wing hindering that.
“The real ultra-right is the Muslim liberal class, it is not the other way round.”
When said that he was very critical to the left he said “I think the CPM is the ultra-right wing party in India.” How can the Left, the Marxists, protect the rights of the fascists, Jamat-e-Islami, or the Muslim Brotherhood.
The most horrific face of Islam is represented by ISIS and they are the ones controlling the Kashmir agenda.
When asked if he would want to become an Indian citizen, he said, “I would love to but there is not a system in India wherein I could apply for it. Imagine, Portugal’s prime minister is the first European head ever to be of Indian origin, he would I’m sure love to visit Goa. I don’t blame anyone, but it is just how things are.
I have asked but there is no application for citizenship. Our entire family is Mumbai Punjabis, but we can’t be Indians. I am as Indian as anybody else.”
He says that the status of young girls is changing in India. There is something very different between the girls on either sides of the border. There are young girls clad in skirts and ties, sitting on bikes confidently, which is not at all visible in Pakistan. You could see this in the 1950s Lahore as most women went to work on a bicycle.
There is no unified Pakistan: the Sindhis and the Balochis want freedom, the Karachi mayor is imprisoned and they are in a delusional state. The Afghan wars have Arabised the Pashtuns and the Punjabis want to speak Urdu. There is an ongoing identity crisis but the majority of the ruling class are fundamentally aggressive and think it is their right to erase anything un-Islamic.
They have been taught that the Hindus are fragile and weak and it is their job to civilise them. A group of brainwashed people cannot be reasoned with rationally.
“We are dealing with a considerably more rational reasonable people (in India) because of women’s empowerment in India,” adds Fateh.
-prepared by Shivam Thaker with inputs from HT. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker