India’s logic offensive


Jawed Naqvi startled the readers when he disclosed in his article published on the editorial pages of a leading English daily that the Indian Congress party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was visiting Pakistan on a special mission that is part of Track II diplomacy possibly aimed at bringing ‘consensus’ between the Pakistani and Indian government as well as its people on a number of issues, including Kashmir and nuclear. And he was here.

The same day a leading TV channel that is also spearheading the Pakistan-India ‘peace’ campaign, conducted a talk show with Mr Aiyar as the main guest and Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa via phone link, the latter lost his cool when Aiyar deliberately questioned his contention that the Indians did not accept Pakistan and said he should be arrested and brought before a terrorism court.

Though India’s ruling Congress party has disapproved of Mr Aiyar’s appearing on the Pakistani TV talk show with the plea that “even the perception of interaction with somebody accused of such heinous crimes like 26/11… is not acceptable”, yet conducting of talk shows, interactive media talks, seminar speeches, think-tank meetings and informal discussions with the visiting leader speaks of something part of the agenda which Mr Jawed Naqvi referred to.

The problem is not in giving way to Track II diplomacy, but the problem is with the loose counterparts assigned to counter the very well read and articulate Mani Shankar, who has apparently pushed everyone to the wall, be it the foreign office veterans and civil or military-retired wisdom-tycoons, who have actually hijacked or at least greatly influenced the policymaking.

No one like him has been assigned the task to counter him and give him befitting replies in a pragmatic manner so that Pakistan’s case is fought effectively. Through his logic offensive, Mr Aiyar, while sitting in the enemy country is aggressively fighting for his country’s interests, and no one on the intellectual front in Pakistan is coming to the fore as his counterweight. Not that there is no one, in fact there are many, but it seems it is all being managed to move ahead their own way.