A German proverb reads: Love your neighbours, but don’t pull down the fence. Unfortunately, only the later part is true for Pakistan’s relation with its eastern neighbour, India. Even after 67 years since the division of the subcontinent, neither side has shown what one could call “sportsman spirit” by accepting the other. Though a lot of efforts have been made to bring the two countries closer, the relation remains generally bitter. Pakistan and India have been a constant source of pain in the neck for each other. Since 1947, both sides have fought wars, sacrificed a lot of lives, have been exhausting a lot of resources to fund their armies and intelligence agencies, develop nuclear arsenals and sponsor miscreants to cause instability in the neighbouring country. While majority of population on both sides of the border lives below the poverty line and doesn’t have enough resources to even fulfill their basic needs, the governments and the armies stay at loggerheads and spend huge amounts and exhaust resources to bring down their neighbour. Let’s accept a few facts. India is a much larger country than Pakistan in terms of area and population. While both sides having their own type of problems to pay attention to, they won’t stop interfering and picking a bone in each other’s business. Even after fighting various wars against each other and finding no good in it, neither side seems to have come up with a better strategy that would take their relation away from war towards peace. India’s huge spending on defence, presence of over 500,000 Indian soldiers in Kashmir, repeated attacks on the Sialkot border threatening Pakistan’s sovereignty and its intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) involvement in Pakistan’s tribal areas is something Pakistan can’t digest They blame us for terror, we blame them for insurgency India has been supporting insurgency and militants in different regions of Pakistan. While talking to journalists, Lieutenant General (retd) Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai, KP governor, during Musharraf era, said that there was evidence of Indian hand in acts of terrorism in the tribal areas and some of the settled districts in the province. Indian weapons have been found from the compounds belonging to militants raided by security forces. Indian Embassy in Kabul and four consulate-generals in Kandahar, Jalalabad, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif have been repeatedly accused for harbouring and supporting militants who vow to fight against the state of Pakistan. India’s keen interest in Afghanistan is ‘fishy’ and their presence and involvement in Afghanistan puts Pakistan at a strategic disadvantage. While India alleges Pakistan’s Jamat-ud-Dawa for 26/11 Mumbai bombings which killed 164 and wounded 308, Indian Abhinav Bharat has been involved in Samjhota Express bombings which killed 68 passengers. India’s own investigation teams have found clues that link the bombings to extremist organisations in India. Spiritual dimension Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with majority Muslim population. According to few Ahadith of the Prophet (PBUH) Gazwa-tul-Hind, the war of India, is inevitable. It says that fighters from Khurasan (a region that consists of areas from Afghanistan and Pakistan) will capture India and bring its rulers tied in shackles. At the same time centuries old Indian doctrine of Chankiya preaches a simple way to defeat your enemy. “Start making peace with you enemy, hug him and stab him in the back.” This is what is indoctrinated in the youth. So no matter how many steps towards peace we may take, the spiritual prediction stays the same. Honestly, even after much efforts to bring the neighbours together, the current scenario is showing no signs of improvement. Aman ka ‘tamasha’ No matter how sweetly Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tells Indians that he loves the same food which Indian eat and that we share a common culture and values and that he loves Indian films very much, the ground realities will remain unchanged. No matter how many Pakistani artists perform in India, or media groups from both sides of the border undertake steps to promote peace and improve ties between the two countries, the forces will remain at war with each other. That is what they have been doing for the past 67 years and that is what you should expect them to do for the decades to come. Two states that came into being after millions from both sides lost their lives, women were raped, children orphaned, young girls widowed and many left their land and migrated. How can nation states that come into being after such brutality be at peace? India spends around $47.4 billion on its defence which is ranked 9th in the world rankings of largest defence budgets while Pakistan spends $6.98 billion and is on 25th spot in the rankings. With spending increasing every year, we are moving towards more aggression, life and tragedies. Just for a fact Pakistan is believed to possess 100-120 nuclear warheads while India 90-110. With this huge nuclear base that could wipe out 20 million people in one go, war is inevitable. Wars result in deaths and deaths bear hate. Whose hate triumphs, who makes the most kills, who captures the most land is what Pakistan-India relation is all about. That’s how it has been for the past 67 years, and that is how it will be for the foreseeable future.
Ahad, I hope you didn't put in a lot of time into restating the obvious. FYI, very few people subscribe to your conclusion that 'both sides are equally to blame'. The difference is that one side DOESN'T take its religious teachings literally. This leads to a world of difference in how you are treated -no one is dropping bombs in India to kill terrorists, Obama isn't flying half-way across the world to attend Pakistan's Republic Day and there are hardly any Pakistani diaspora as recognized as Satya Nadella, Vivek Murthy or Indra Nooyi.
The irony lies in the fact that India has successfully used words "cross border militancy and infiltration" to defame Pakistan globally. India wants to divert attention of global powers from the zarb e azam, Pak army's operation against militants which is quite successful. India wants to divert Pak army's attention to the control line. Unfortunately, such kind of tactics by BJP has affected the whole region. Even SAARC Summit failed because of Indian aggressive and hawkish posture. Modi' needs to revisit his policies towards Pakistan for longer peace in the region.
Pakistan and India are the historical rivals and their rivalry seems to be rooted. No doubt after fighting three major wars and gaining the nuclear capability with both countries, no full fledged war occurred, somehow both seems to be dragging into short term or low intensity conflicts remained. The deep rooted and historical rivalry cannot be ruled out all of the sudden or over the night. For that purpose efforts must be there from both sides but what we actually see is Pakistan being a peaceful nation also gives a positive signals to India for initiating talks and peace proposals and India on the other hand seems to be rejecting the proposals which shows that India wants to xecute its hegemonic designs while at the same time defaming Pakistan y its very old slogans of starting terrorist activities in India. Hope of improved relations between the two nations was there before the settling of Modi sarkar but since his onset hope is gradually diminishing because of its harsh and violent policies towards Pakistan.
There is a visible asymmetry at many levels which exist between India and Pakistan. At presents, there is a series of cross border violations which mostly endeavored around highest point of offense from Indian side. Ironic enough, India always remain successful in portraying the most miserable victimized face to the world. On the other hand, Pakistan is engaged from all sides many threats and challenges. Pakistan despite of being a front line ally suffered a lot from the hands of terrorism. At present, Pakistan is engaged with counter terrorism operations at the tribal parts of the country. On the other hand, India continued with its cross border firings.
Sad, but true. I do not see peace coming in my life time. I am just one month older than Pakistan.
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