Large country, small country mentality


How was one to know that Modi would misbehave?




What do you say of a man who invites someone to a celebration and then presents him with his usual lament list? A small, petty, petulant host, would you not? To add insult to injury, as the guest is leaving the host’s servant hands over a charge sheet to him.

So was it with India’s new hard-line (to put it softly) Prime Minister Narendra Modi who invited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to join in the festivities of his inaugural. Sharif went in good faith as a goodwill gesture hoping that it might help restart stalled talks. He expected to hear a new song but instead heard the same old broken record of India’s whines and bellyaches. As Sharif was about to depart, Modi’s foreign secretary presented India’s stale demands as a precondition for resuming talks. Don’t they have any original thought whatsoever?

Worse, India invited Afghanistan’s outgoing president Hamid Karzai to announce without evidence that the recent attack on India’s consulate in Afghanistan was done by Pakistan-based extremists. During the inaugural ceremonies India was conducting intensified genocide in Kashmir while Modi was busy removing Kashmir’s special status in his constitution to legally make it an integral part of India against UN resolutions. It is Modi who is Hitler reincarnate, my dear Prince Charles, not Vladimir Putin. Wake up. Modi’s misbehaviour with Sharif highlighted what I’ve been saying for years: India is a large country with a small country mentality. Modi proved it. It takes a much bigger man to break the shackles of an inferiority complex camouflaged as superiority and get over more than a millennia of Muslim and foreign rule. Despite a civilisation thousands of years old its inferiority-superiority complex make India a ‘chippy’ country. Sad. The flip side is that having ruled India for a 1,000 years, Muslim Pakistan is comparatively a small country with a large country mentality – the largest this in the world, the biggest that in Asia. This hardly makes for a good relationship.

It is time that both countries understood that sensible regional economic cooperation makes for booming economies and human progress. But unless all countries of the region settle their disputes, this cannot happen. By dancing to the tune of hegemons we make cracks in our relationships and allow hegemony to slip through and make us all perpetually dependent. Aren’t we mature enough to solve our problems ourselves or was Churchill right, that we are not ready for independence? Being the largest country of South Asia, the onus lies most on India to prove that it is indeed superior, but first it must ask why its relations with all its contiguous neighbours are not friendly and do something about it for its own good. First it has to stop state terrorism within if it wishes to be free of violent extremism from without.

It is time that both countries understood that sensible regional economic cooperation makes for booming economies and human progress.

Don’t get me wrong. It was gracious of Nawaz Sharif to accept Modi’s invitation. How was one to know that Modi would misbehave? That Modi accepted the invitations of South Asian leaders to visit their countries doesn’t mitigate his misbehaviour with Pakistan. It would be best if he doesn’t come. We are done with shambolic gestures.

It was Sharif who did the first civilised thing by phoning Modi and inviting him to Pakistan. Modi responded with the symbolic gesture of inviting Sharif to his inaugural. Who was to know that he had snakes up his sleeve? But what gets my goat is that when Modi changed the atmosphere of cordiality to belligerence and bellicosity, the unprepared Sharif should have been quick to respond: Kashmir, water stoppage contrary to our treaty, Siachen, Sir Creek, the massacre of Pakistanis on the Samjhota Express by a serving Indian army colonel, funding and arming terrorists, rebels and Mafiosi of Balochistan, KPK, Karachi and Sindh… But then Sharif is no Ayub, Musharraf or Bhutto. Even Yousuf Raza Gillani managed to present a file of evidence of Indian malfeasance in Balochistan to Manmohan Singh, who came under immediate fire at home for even taking the file from Gillani and was forced to backtrack. Our foreign office should now serve a show cause notice on India and be done with it. In his keenness for talks, Sharif should not bend over and embarrass us. We want cooperation, not capitulation. The Modi fiasco increases the list of the many self-created crises Sharif has needlessly manufactured. Let talks go to hell until India sees sense and acquires some sophistication and etiquette. We can live without India, their cricket matches, their films and songs (what else do they have to offer?) as I’m sure they can without us. Is cricket more important than principle? What India really wants is trade with Pakistan. Well, at this rate they are not going to get it, forget MFN status.

As always, there were great expectations when Nawaz Sharif accepted Narendra Modi’s invitation. But when Modi threw cold water over them, the testosterone rush went south. Take a cold shower and return to reality. To expect Modi to change his views on Muslims and Pakistan is childish. We are patsies for allowing our wishful thinking to overtake our maturity. It keeps us young though.

Chatter fast and furious started in India: will Sharif, won’t he accept, like some lovelorn girl plucking at flower petals, “He loves me, he loves me not?” The answer came from a thorn called Modi: “I love you not, even if you do.” Modi had thrown the gauntlet at Sharif. Would he pick it up? The betting was that Sharif would refuse like Manmohan had ungraciously declined to attend his inaugural, his foreign minister Salman Khurshid rudely saying “It’s just a local affair” and betraying India’s small country mentality – was it a case of a Muslim trying to be more patriotic than the Hindu, perhaps?

But Nawaz Sharif picked up the gauntlet and also made the substantive gesture of releasing 151 Indian fishermen and 57 of their boats that had strayed into Pakistani waters. We demonstrated that, unlike India, Pakistan rises above petty-petulant ripostes. It is India that needs to get over itself and stop believing its own propaganda. We took the opportunity of perhaps, maybe, resuming stalled negotiations by entering though the slight chink that had opened in the door. It proved to be a trap.

Sadly, Sharif’s slowness on the uptake lost us the duel. Later, his headless, minister-less foreign office tried to put many a spin on it, “that Kashmir was not on the agenda”. Can you believe it? Do they take us for fools? Such artlessness comes only from clerks and pen pushers, not policymakers. Was terrorism on the agenda, sir? Answer us. Why were you not prepared for such an eventuality? What point did Sharif make by not meeting the Kashmiri freedom struggle leaders as is the norm? That we no longer care about Kashmir? When cordiality became rudeness and bellicosity, why did you not stop or change Sharif’s written statement that seemed irrelevant because it had so obviously been written before the meeting on the assumption that it would be cordial? We await your answer. Its time you returned to the dignified retirement you were in when Sharif exhumed you. Go, in the name of God go, and save yourself and us some dignity. We need diplomatic and media spinners like Abdul Qadir and Saqlain Mushtaq to win this match. India will now unleash international propaganda to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. Are we prepared? They need foreign policy specialists, not clapped out bureaucrats and note takers to meet the challenge.

As always, there were great expectations when Nawaz Sharif accepted Narendra Modi’s invitation. But when Modi threw cold water over them, the testosterone rush went south. Take a cold shower and return to reality.

Even if negotiations resume, any act of terrorism either side or increased skirmishes across the LOC or some such could shut the door on them quickly. An increasingly disjointed world focuses on our intelligence agencies instead of worrying about the shenanigans of India’s intelligence mafias. People think that our military doesn’t want peace for it would put it out of business. To the contrary, it is the Indian military that balks at peace. When the signing of an agreement between Musharraf and Vajpayee in Agra was derailed literally at the last minute, we kept blaming LK Advani while it was actually the Indian army that put its foot down.

Let me tell you that there will be no normalisation until the following happens:

Both leaders have public support for any agreement. Both have their militaries on board. Both shed the baggage of the past, beginning from Partition.

Pakistan understands that while Modi has the majority of seats in the lower house of parliament he won only a minority of the vote cast, 31 per cent, and even less if you count the entire electorate, 17 per cent, putting into sharp focus the contradictions in the British parliamentary first-past-the-post system. This divide between Hindu fundamentalists (31 per cent) and secularists (69 per cent) could rise to the fore if Modi fails to deliver and make negotiations difficult. Same in Pakistan. These are the fruits of still colonised minds. And if Nawaz Sharif continues on his path of folly, his third term could meet the same fate as his first two.

India should understand that if the core issues of Kashmir and water are settled first, other issues will follow, not the other way round. Don’t go on bleating about trade, MFN status, opening the Atari border and all that nonsense. You cannot have a legitimate child before you are married.

Leaders and opinion makers of both countries should understand that the future and wellbeing of 1.5 billion people is at stake, more in the unlikely but crazy event of a thermonuclear exchange. Today they are standing in the court of the people. Tomorrow they will be standing in the court of God. When the Almighty gives you such enormous power He expects big things from you. Are Modi and Nawaz Sharif too small to rise to this divine task?


  1. On the flip side.
    Petty small terrorist Paki.
    Large megalomaniacal delusions of grandeur! LOL

    • Enter text right here!. I don't know which country you belong to and I don't want to know. But I do know that you are morbidly anti Pakistan and anti Muslim .

  2. The past determines your mentality. A nation of slaves of Muslim rulers for 900 years can not be expected to have large heart. Pakistanis, whose forefathers were rulers, have a natural gift of magnanimity.

  3. The visit of the Pakistan Premier Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif during the swearing in ceremony of Shri Narendra Modi; India's Prime Minister; was a step quite positive and constructive which will prove conducive to the future of the bilateral relationship of the two neighbouring nations. Radical comments like large country with a small country mentality or trying to promote hawkish perceptions indicate a lack of diplomatic maturity and understanding which benefits neither of the two sides. Also at the time of swearing in Narendra Modi and his cabinet were not answerable with regard to national and international issues. Infact it is too early to arrive at conclusion or draw any kind of inference. The focus of the media and the governments of India and Pakistan must always remain towards promoting a better understanding, trust and amity. There have been a positive developments during the past few years which require to be further enhanced and to be moved on to a higher pedestal.

  4. The author of the article surely sucks the CHUCHEE of Pakistan quite well…you can well see that through his vomit here.

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