Must we always turn the other cheek?

Posted: September 23, 2009 in Pakistan, US
Tags: , , , ,

I wish that holding talks, peace marches and candlelight vigils at India Gate or the Wagah border could solve the problems between Indian and Pakistan. But since it can’t and never will, let’s get real.

Today at the South Asian Youth Peace Meet (SAYPM) at the Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication in Lavale, Chintamani Mahapatra, Chairman, Centre for Canada, US & Latin American Studies and Professor at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, narrated a very interesting incident about the attitude of the members of a Pakistani delegation during a conference to discuss the problems between the two neighbours, held somewhere abroad.

During that conference, the Kargil fiasco erupted and the Pakistanis began to celebrate. Their mood would oscillate between fury and joy as they kept hearing about the developments. And these were people who were there for a peace meet!

One well known editor of a Pakistani newspaper came up to Mahapatra at the same conference, puffed up his chest and announced loudly, “Tell your government not to get too adventurous, Pakistan now has the bomb.”

Mahapatra reminded him that in the event of a nuclear war, lots of Indians might lose their lives, but looking at India’s population, millions will still survive. In Pakistan’s case, even that was doubtful! Incidentally, the conference was organised at Dr Mahapatra’s request, which goes to prove that good intentions, don’t mean much to the Pakistanis!

What I and, I’m sure, many others like me would like to know, is how a country, supposedly on the verge of bankruptcy half the time, and in the throes of anarchy, the other half of the time, can repeatedly tell its more powerful neighbour to F*** OFF, every time they are asked to arrest the people who plan terrorist attacks on Indian soil? My apologies for using the F word here, but there is really no other expression that fits so perfectly what the Pakistanis have been telling us to do for the past so many years.

See how the Pakistan Army hosts Hafeez Saeed at an Iftar, when they should, in reality be arresting him for his terrorist acts, or see the contempt with which the Pakistani foreign minister treats each dossier he receives from the Indian government. For that matter, see how easily Pervez Musharraf admits that the funds and weapons which were given by the US to fight the Taliban, were used against India. Even more ironical is A.Q. Khan stating that he had sold nuclear secrets to China, Iran and North Korea. Have you noticed any signs of surprise or outrage against any of these actions anywhere, except in India? I find it difficult to believe that the Americans didn’t know what Pakistan’s Dr. No was up to?

Take the case of Dawood Ibrahim. Indian Intelligence officials have given Pakistanis every single detail about the underworld don, but the Pakistanis simply junk it claiming that it’s not adequate. What else do they need – his underwear brand name?

Could the Pakistanis have done any of this without tacit backing of the Americans or Chinese? Don’t you find it strange that despite all the dirty tricks Pakistan indulges in, the US and Chinese continue to fund it? The Americans first castigate Pakistan for, “not doing enough” and then promptly send them a couple of billion dollars of funding to fight their “war on terror.”

A few days earlier, also at the SAYPM, well known reformist Asghar Ali Engineer, had me smiling when he said that wherever in the world there’s unrest and strife, there’s a US hand! A man after my own heart, this Mr Engineer!

The Indian sub-continent is becoming a very dangerous place, thanks to the Americans. They are running riot all over Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and no one can do anything about it. Things are slowly and surely spiraling out of control and the weak-kneed Indian government is busy sending out dossiers to all and sundry or flying out its ministers to meet God (read Obama) and complain to him about our unfriendly neighbours.

Just because Mahatma Gandhi told us to show the other cheek, must we take it so literally?

  1. Zubin says:

    Americans, for the past 100 years, are paranoid about countries who may become more powerful than them – not that they really have to worry on that score. So in the larger interest of their own geo-politics, a variety of dirty tricks are indulged in. Unfortunately due to the threadbare politics of our own nation, we cannot take a firm stand.So the net result is follow Gandhi – literally – and turn the other cheek. So easy !

  2. Seema says:

    Looking at the condition of our defense forces, what can the government do apart from turning the other cheek? We are so not in a position to slap back. The Americans and the Chinese will concentrate on their national interest not ours. Hence they will continue to back Pakistan and our government just cannot do anything (even if it wants to). All that our government can do is concentrate on making our developing country into a developed one so that one day we will also be in a position to hit back. I just wish that “one day” comes soon.

  3. Joe Pinto says:

    My dear Sinha,Both the governments of Pakistan and India have entrenched economic interests in ensuring that the tension between the two neighbours is kept simmering and occasionally — boils over. The military-industrial complexes (the war machines) of both countries, each for their own special and different historical reasons, want war to remain a possibility.Look at the way the media is being fed and lapping up stories of tension — with China!!!After World War II, the USA has built and developed its economy hugely due to its military-industrial complex (private companies, subsidised by the defence ministry of the government). These "merchants of death" have to sell their wares somewhere. Pakistan and, lately, India are willing customers.Did you hear the story of how the over-fed cunning cat wiped away the bowl of kheer from the hungry mouths of the two stupid monkeys? If Pakistan and India want to be the two silly monkeys, why blame the USA for being the cat that divides and rules?Peace and love,- Joe.

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