The end of the year has witnessed some positive developments in Pakistan-India relations. The long-awaited meeting of the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the two countries was held on December 24, who agreed on a number of measures to stabilise the Line of Control (LoC) by making sure there is no firing on it. If there is some incident, it will be contained by using the existing mechanisms of telephonic contact between the DGMOs and a flag meeting of local commanders.
The bi-annual meeting between the Director Generals of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) and India’s Border Security Force was held in Lahore on December 24-26, resulting in agreed measures for the management of India-Pakistan borders. This meeting was also viewed as a positive development. The commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Saarc meeting in January 2014. They are expected to talk on measures to improve bilateral trade between India and Pakistan. India’s foreign minister, on December 26, underlined the need for pursuing dialogue with Pakistan. On the Pakistani side, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his adviser on foreign and security affairs, Sartaj Aziz, have repeatedly emphasised the need for improving relations with India.
The developments in Pakistan-India relations have given the hope that the interaction between the two countries will improve in 2014 by returning to dialogue on some issues even if the total dialogue is not revived.
The present series of dialogue was started after India’s then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Islamabad in January 2004 for the Saarc summit. He and the then Pakistani president, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, agreed to start a dialogue on all contentious issues. The Congress-led government of Dr Manmohan Singh that assumed power in May 2004, also continued with the dialogue. Since then, whenever dialogue was suspended, it was done by India.
Both India and Pakistan have created highly nationalistic narratives of why their relations are troubled. Each side projects itself as pursuing the correct course of action and blames the other side for being responsible for conflict and tension in the region. On both sides, there are people and groups that have made careers out of preaching hatred against the other side. They have been socialised into a negative narrative about the other side and find it difficult to entertain the idea of normal relations between Pakistan and India.
There is no scope for improvement of relations if India and Pakistan stay prisoners of history and cannot look beyond the historical baggage. Both sides will have to do some out-of-the-box thinking if their relations are to be normalised. They will have to address their blind spots if they want to resolve their bilateral problems.
There is no solution of the Kashmir issue if both sides stick to their traditional positions: India arguing that Kashmir is its integral part and Pakistan demanding that the future of Kashmir should be decided in accordance with the UN resolutions of 1948-49. They will have to find a midway solution through negotiations. Some significant work was done by Pakistan and India on Kashmir between 2004 and 2007 for evolving an acceptable solution of the issue by incorporating existing political realities. This dialogue was based on Prime Minister Singh’s argument that borders cannot be changed and General (retd) Musharraf’s standpoint that the LoC cannot be turned into an international border. There is a need for reviewing this effort in order to see if something useful can be learnt from it.
Pakistan needs to examine the China-India model of relations, whereby the territorial claims and counter-claims have been frozen by both countries for pursuing need-oriented trade and economic relations.
Pakistan should give MFN status to India and take up the issue of reducing India’s non-tariff bureaucratic obstacles to supply of Pakistani goods to Indian markets. Pakistan can avail of India’s offer of supply of electricity because it is not difficult to connect the transmission lines between the two countries.
While Pakistan needs to change its approach, India also needs to take meaningful steps to improve bilateral relations. It cannot adopt an imperialistic disposition by asking Pakistan to do this or that without showing any meaningful flexibility. It has currently reduced its relations with Pakistan to a single-issue relationship, i.e., terrorism. Its leadership often argues that unless Pakistan satisfies India on terrorism-related issues, there cannot be progress in other sectors of relations.
Terrorism is one of the eight issues discussed in the dialogue in the past. It must stay on as one of those issues. However, India cannot hang the totality of relations on terrorism. Similarly, Pakistan cannot make the solution of the Kashmir problem as a pre-condition for progress in other areas of bilateral relations.
Of late, the role of the Indian Army appears to have increased in India-Pakistan relations. India’s Army Chief General Bikram Singh’s statements have been more hawkish towards Pakistan since January 2013 than those of India’s ministry of external affairs. It was the Indian Army’s opposition that blocked the withdrawal of troops from the Siachen Glacier, which had been agreed to in principle in 2006. It is very surprising that the Indian Army has developed such an overt profile on India’s relations with Pakistan. Hopefully, the new army chief will show restraint and facilitate improvement of relations between India and Pakistan.
Both Pakistan and India stand to gain if bilateral trade, economic and societal relations improve and they are able to resolve their problems in a graduated manner. This can be possible if they are innovative in their thinking and break out of the stranglehold of one-sided emotionally charged narrative of history.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2013.
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Who decides to what extent history is to be re-revisited ? Do we go back to 2008 or Kargil or 71 or 47 or 46 ? Or even way before that ?
I may not agree with all, of what the author has written, however it does not give a vibe of pointing a finger at India specifically or otherwise. I for one think that needs to be appreciated.
History is past. Doesn't matter how distant or how recent. Everyone owes a duty of care to the future. That's true for current generation as well as for generations who are to come.
Forward looking attitude is what humanity in future would appreciate.
@Atheist_Pakistani: Like Military Intelligence +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Contradiction in terms.
O come on now ... don't kill all the fun ...
I do not know about the opinion of Pakistan Government and its people about Kashmir? But I do know my own views about democracy and the rights of the free people.
The Kashmiri people must have the right to be independent in their own land to choose the kind of Government of their choice.
You are right, english is not my first language, but you do not have to relatavise the spin! By Kashmiri people I mean the citizens of Kashmir and not citizens of India per say! Quite frankly I have not the patience to debate with people who refuse to accept the basics, the universal morals and ethics which form the integral part of the scriptutres. It is very scary and foreign for me to communiicate with non believers. Sorry!
The number of HIndu Nationalist on this page is too damn high!
[email protected] RexM - Perhaps English is not your first language, so let me explain again -
You say - "Did you mention your opinion about the rights of Kashmiri people? " and "The people of Kashmir alone have the right in a democracy to decide upon their fate. "
I say - "Which Kashmiri people’s rights are we talking about? Those from Jammu or Ladakh or the Hindu Pandits who were driven out of their ancestral homeland at gunpoint or the Kashmiri Muslims who are happy being a part of India or the small radicalized minority who cannot face reality and would rather force their views down the throats of others? With the exception of the last minority mentioned above, the majority want to stay with India."
So how am I ignoring the rights of the Kashmiri? Or is the voice of the minority who want to secede to be given more priority than the majority who want to be a part of India? And what of the voice of the rest of India, who don't want their nation to be split again - is that to be ignored too? In my definition, respecting the voice of the majority is democracy - not sure what your's is.
Indian artistes not welcome in Pak: Playwright Our Correspondent
Pali Bhupinder Singh
Abohar, December 30 The kind hospitality extended to Pakistani delegations on their visit to India is not reciprocated when Indian artistes cross over, says Punjabi playwright Pali Bhupinder Singh. He had recently led a troupe of artistes to Pakistan and his experience was bad. “Our hosts did not make proper lodging and boarding arrangements. The worst part was that journalists there talked only about Kashmir. Only politicians or businessmen might find everything rosy in Pakistan,” Pali Bhupinder said during a function here yesterday.
He is unhappy at the trend of theatre artistes from Majha and Doaba featuring in Punjabi movies that are low on content.
Pali Bhupinder has no regrets on his recent films “Stupid 7” and “Nabar” faring badly on the box office. “I am going to start work on a new film in March. The focus, as always, will be on social issues,” he said.
@Talha Rizvi: Their obsession with Pakistan has always been puzzling! Does the indians have nothing bettter to do?
@REXMINOR, I don't know why you always say india is not a democratic country, or US is not democratic, that/this country is not democratic. do u think democracy is kind of fixed/ultimate position ? And again even after 65 yrs, people of pakistan still don't know exact pakistani position on Kashmir. India and Indians know Kashmir is part of India In pakistan, some say Independent Kashmir, some say part of pakistan, some say they want it to be part of pakistan. What is pakistans position on kashmir, pakistanis themselves are confused.
Given the basis of the foundation of Pakistan, this question is ingenuous. Unrelenting enmity and hostility towards India is a fundamental requirement for Pakistan to exist. Indians have no problem with that, we factor it in and move on
@Asad: What about may 11 ? was that inside job too ?
Sir we share the exact same views about India - we would also like you and your country to stop creating a mess in Pakistan.
This blame game is going to go on forever. I'm just amazed how you try to prove your point and act so innocent at the same time.
I am not saying Pakistan is not to be blamed but hey you guys are no less - your interference in Pakistan is one of the big reasons for all the casualties that take place.
@Asad: Why did the Pakistani govt. agree that Pakistanis carried out the Mumbai attacks if it was an inside job. I would request you to please just think for more than 2 seconds before you type. If you actually believe what you type then unfortunately no one can help you.
@Talha Rizvi: @Agnostic: People need to learn to live with criticism. Its so easy to call people trolls or that they are paid by RAW/CIA. Discuss the points at hand. People make very valid comments most of the times (sometimes the language is harsh but taking it personally would be silly on an online forum). Blocking all criticism and living in a box will never make Pakistan better. Pakistans solution to most problems is to ban it and then stick your head in the sand while the rest of the world moves forward. No introspection leads to no development. Im an Indian and am Hindu but I have no issue if you disagree with me or criticize my country or faith cause I know my beliefs are strong and any stupid comments would only show your shallowness. I am well aware that India has a ton of problems (it wasnt a suprise that the shining India campaign of the BJP failed) but there are things to be proud about and things that need to be attended to that make every Indian feel ashamed. There is nothing wrong in accepting ones weaknesses. In Pakistan, based on my perception of peoples views, things are not great however there is still a feeling that its probably better than India and if anything is wrong then it must be a conspiracy and in most cases hatched by RAW or CIA. Pakistanis need to think what will make their country better. Thats what matters actually and if an Indian, American, Bangladeshi or a Pakistani raise this then it really doesnt matter in my opinion.
Sir, Your reply includes the answer! Neither your opinion nor that of the Maharaja has any significance in a democracy. The people of Kashmir alone have the right in a democracy to decide upon their fate. I have not said India is a democracy, but you guys do.
@Lala Gee: First you are wrong to presume that Indian army is in a position to influence its foreign policy particularly relating to Pakistan. The matter ends. you are day dreaming.
Is it not becoming more and more clear by the day that Pakistan badly needs peace and normal relations with India? And this need will grow to become a desperate necessity in not too long a time in future. India not only knows this, but also has been expecting it for a long time. India has many friends while we are losing even USA. Time for China to start cashing its investments is not far.
What should anyone in Pakistan interested in the welfare of the state, who is in possession of basic logic and capacity to reason deduce as the most logical way forward for Pakistan? Let us get real and think; day dreaming and trying to convince India that we know what is good for it is useless. India and Pakistan both need peace but only Pakistan's need is urgent. India too needs peace as soon as possible, but can afford to wait. India can even do without Pakistan, and can afford to protect itself even in war. This reasoning would lead to only one conclusion, which in very simple words means that Pakistan cannot get peace at its own terms, but only at India's. It would therefore be prudent of Pakistan to be ready to make concessions and not expect the same from India. India will give up nothing just because we need it desperately. India's attitude is likely to harden further; not soften. We will get only what we deserve; nothing more.
At least one thing should be as clear as daylight. India is never going to be cowed down by terror and our nukes/missiles.
Best of luck to both!
[email protected]: Like most Pakistanis, you neither know nor understand the UN Resolution. It is Pakistan that rejected the UN Resolution because they could not agree to the conditions of UN mandated plebiscite. After more than 60 years the resolution still can not be accepted by Pakistanis. Sorry, J&K is integral part of India now.
ETMods - rebuttal : @RexM - Which Kashmiri people's rights are we talking about? Those from Jammu or Ladakh or the Hindu Pandits who were driven out of their ancestral homeland at gunpoint or the Kashmiri Muslims who are happy being a part of India or the small radicalized minority who cannot face reality and would rather force their views down the throats of others?
With the exception of the last minority mentioned above, the majority want to stay with India.
Btw, Indian troops entered Kashmir at the request of the Maharaja - who did not have the military capability to counter the 'Pakistani regular and irregulars' that were pillaging his lands! So it is not the Indians that are the occupiers, it is the....
@Talha Rizvi: Sane advice but sadly sanity is not popular with the media. That is why so much Indian trash gets space, for example loads of hateful Indian comments about Pakistan are published. Hardly any Pakistani's comment has such derogatory content about India. Koi samjhay keh hum samjhain kya.
26/11 was an inside job, come on. Stop blaming Pakistan for the mess you own govt has created.
No and never.
Rebuttal, ET Mods, please publish : @ GDin and ZarbeH - passing resolutions is one thing and being realistic about geopolitics is another.
Most, if not all, India politicians and defence folk know that India will never recover the part of Kashmir presently controlled by Pakistan and China. How many times has India, inspite of its military superiority, lanunched military operations across the LoC against Pakistan to regain that part of Kashmir territory? How many times at various international fora has India seriously demanded that Pakistan give back its part of Kashmir? How many times has India refused to negotiate / trade / play with Pakistan, till it gets back all of Kashmir? How many real & serious initiatives has India made since 1947 to get back all of Kashmir? The answer to all of the above is - NONE. So 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words'.
And even if by some miracle, Pakistan gives up its part of Kashmir, do you really think it is in India's interest to have that radicalised, extremist population added to its mix?
So go easy on the patriotic kool aid! Indians are just biding time and are happy with the status quo, till the other side realises that it is in a non-winnable position and agrees to LoC = IB.
Did you mention your opinion about the rights of Kashmiri people? It was friedrich Nietzsche who said that a good question usualy has the answer included in it. If you were to read your own narrative once again, you will discover the answer. India stands as the Occupation force in Kashmir!! Pakistan cannot and must not normalise its relations with a country which is using brutal force against the docile people of Kashmir. The author has not the sensitivity to grasp this issue and is engaged with his intellectual exercise.
No, as long as religion is what defines Pakistan state and its own identity. As long as the state of Pakistan is obsessed with its religious identity, it will drive it to hatred against India.
@V. C. Bhutani: fhmiriser to the rights of the Kas
Your narrative has no reference to the rights of the kashmiri people?
Indian constitution does not regard Kashmir as an Indian territory! Is this no longer actual?
ET moderator, I will not object if you were not to realease this reply!
@Insaan: No, I have not been to Pakistan or India either! You should not talk about Islam or Jehad which you are neither required nor were born with the geist to understand. India is a hub of terrorism, which ofcourse is directed mainly against women. We have a saying that one must clear up the mess infront of ones own house before criticising the neighbour.
So your saying that the USA became a superpower by using Pakistan to gain access to the Middle East? Yeah right.
G. Din is 800% correct. The Indian Parliament has passed a resolution that claims the entire Jammu & Kashmir. That claim includes the part ceded by Pakistan to China and also Gilgit and Baltistan which Pakistan claims is no longer a part of Kashmir.
Indian stated Position; Kashmir an integral part of India Indian Flxibility : Freeze LOC as IB. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Can display flxibility only under Zero Terror.( State as well as non state actors).
@3rdRockFromTheSun: "But, India has already moved from its original position of demanding all of Kashmir (as per the accession document) to now keeping its part of Kashmir and turning the LoC into the final international border. " Do you have any basis for claiming factuality of this outrageous statement? You should know there is a Parliamentary resolution to the effect that whole of Kashmir, as it existed under the suzerainty of Maharaja Hari Singh is considered as the integral part of India. That is what he signed off in his Instrument of Accession. Please do not promote your wishful thinking as historical fact. You have no right to mislead.
it all boils down to economics, when there is prosperity, there is good will. India and Pakistan should sign free trade agreements. enough of 60 years of fighting, bickering, blood shedding.
"There is no solution of the Kashmir issue if both sides stick to their traditional positions: India arguing that Kashmir is its integral part and Pakistan demanding that the future of Kashmir should be decided in accordance with the UN resolutions of 1948-49. They will have to find a midway solution through negotiations. "
Absolutely agree. But, India has already moved from its original position of demanding all of Kashmir (as per the accession document) to now keeping its part of Kashmir and turning the LoC into the final international border. India will NOT allow any more partioning of its territory.
It is now time for Pakistan to move from its current position of demanding all of Kashmir to keeping only its part of Kashmir!!
And again - for those wanting the UN referendum : there are 2 preconditions 1> Pakistan remove its troops (and other immigrants) from its side of Kashmir and 2> the only 2 choices in the referendum will be "Independence" OR "Merging with India" ; "Merging with Pakistan" is NOT a choice. But given the current conditions on the ground on both sides, - ie; the influx of Pakistanis from other provinces into its side of Kashmir; the outflow of Hindu Pandits from India's Kashmir valley; and the gift of a parcel of land by Pakistan to China - a referendum will NEVER happen.
And realistically - neither Pakistan nor India nor China for that matter will permit an 'Independent' Kashmir to exist.
So LoC = IB is the ONLY option. That is the only way relations between India and Pakistan can ever be normal. So presently, the ball is in Pakistan's court!
its important that Pakistan support Indian Govt to ensure Indian Army does not take over the Indian govt in a coup,
Pakistan? Preventing a military coup in India???? HAHAHAHAHA. That's a good one. My vote for joke of the year.
Indian govt must accept Kashmir as a dispute.
It is such a pity that you can not read.If you could, you would know that the Lahore Declaration does recognise the Kashmir dispute.
And you would also find out that the UN resolution calls for complete withdrawal of Pakistanis from the territory of J&K. http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/jkunresolution.html
Only if you could read.
Can Pakistan and India ever become normal neighbours ? The one line answer is 'yes they can' provided Pakistan abandons its decades old policy of cross-border terrorism and winds up its terror machinery.
@Hasan Askari Rizvi
Our stand is clear and Kashmir is integral part of India including PoK . No discussions on that . Any minor aggression from pak will be replied by heavy retaliatory action from our side and no mercy will be entertained . To add to your causalities , If Modi or any coalition comes , we will come down upon you heavily .Any gov from Indian side shows mercy or tinkers with Kashmir , we , people of India will show them their way .
Pakistanis need to stop slaughtering each other, and learn to live in peace with their co-citizens, before they can think of improving relations with other nations, including India.
@Rex Minor: They should freeze their relations with each other and build a wall along their borders as India has erected one with Bangla Desh.
You are very smart. I hope by "Freezing relations" you mean, Pakistan should stop playing terrorism card also. Have you been to Pakistan to study Islam and Jihad yet?
@Ikram: What about wishes of Baluch and Afghan people? It is time Pakistan stops interfering in Afghanistan in the name of gaining strategic depth and stops slaughtering Baluch people. Best solution is just accept the LOC as peace line and stopping terrorism. Pakistan attacked Kashmir which had decided to stay independent at the time of partition.
This paper by Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi has the merit of accuracy and shows some effort to see things with an attitude of detachment. It is wholly right that a nationalistic view of things from Islamabad and New Delhi cannot bring about good relations. In the main the author has dealt with two questions – (1) Kashmir, and (2) terrorism. I am unable to agree with him on either of these. Why is Kashmir an issue between Pakistan and India? The problem arose in the first place because Pakistan convinced itself – and nobody else – that because of the predominantly Muslim people of Kashmir, the state had to be part of Pakistan. And then Pakistan proceeded to incorporate Kashmir in Pakistan by sheer aggression. That Pakistan came to occupy a large part of the state was possible because the state itself had no military means to resist and it was not till then part of India. It was voluntarily offered by Nehru that the final disposition of the state would depend on the wishes of the people of Kashmir. In all the years since then Pakistan has so vitiated the atmosphere by its virulently pro-Islamist attitude and propaganda that by now every Pakistani believes, like the Pakistan leaders of 1947, that Kashmir by right belongs to Pakistan. If conditions in Kashmir were peaceful and normal, it would have been possible to ascertain what the people of Kashmir wanted. Now, the government as well as the people of Pakistan and more especially the latter day Islamist elements in Pakistan’s body politic and social have ensured that normalcy cannot and shall not return to Kashmir. Even then they want that the wishes of the people of Kashmir should be ascertained in the midst of terrorist violence directed and provoked from Pakistan. For any useful steps in Kashmir there has to be normalcy first. In pursuit of its one-point foreign policy from the moment of its birth (that point was to grab Kashmir from India by any means fair or foul), Pakistan tried all measures – sabotage, provoking insurrection, four wars, and finally terror. It happened that in the long run terror began to eat at Pakistan’s own vitals. It is not clear if terrorist outfits are all still within the control of the army and intelligence. In any case they are not, they never were, within the control of the civilian government. This being the view taken in India, why is Dr Rizvi surprised that India makes eradication of terror the first condition of better relations? MFN and everything else that he mentions shall not amount to much if terrorism is not controlled. I would think poorly of any government in New Delhi if it proceeded to make good relations with Pakistan while terrorism continues. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, 30 Dec 2013, 1740 IST
Can Pakistan ever become Normal?
@Lal Din: " “empty vessels thunder more”" ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Thank you for that. Now I can intrepret what ISPR and the FO dish out.
Frankly in the Love Tranagle Pakistan China India.... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ India can trust China far more than Pakistan. Why/
@Ikram: "Any economic integration with India would mean economic dependency." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ True but economic integration with China eg Gwadar......... means economic supremacy! .
@KAKA We understand that but for some reason unknown to many our PM is in love with India
No way ! Not in my lifetime or the next.
Answer is NO . We people hate you like anything . Please understand and maintain a distance.
@Ricky: No one can compromise on security issues.Moreover we need to address the root cause of terrorism. Why this incidents take place in India and Pakistan. Both countries have some extremists elements and they always take advantage.Both countries van rid of this menace if work together with sincerity. One more thing: This is not a positivity from an educated person who just say "no i don't want,no we don't want peace", personal feelings about liking disliking must be kept in heart only.Here our objective is not to instigate each other rather to bring people close. Nikki
The Answer is Simply NO
Good articles. Carry on, you chaps have my moral support. Peace for all, hate for none. Never mind the Americans.
I wish peace between India and Pakistan for the New Year. But stop terrorism, bring to justice Mumbai planners who are roaming freely and forget any schemes for additional land grab. Otherwise we wish you well. Polio spread is a nervous story hope it doesn't transfer to India. Peace.
Balnced and well argumented piece: Relations between Inida-Pakistan have been good and bad both,but most of the time they remaind bad which is really bad becuase impact of negative relations is still exisiting and trust building is taking place.Let us restore trust first and then talk about ' a way forward" . In politics ' give and take and' a quid pro quo' strategy always work.Let the two military and political leadership meet and resolve the old issues through negotiation, conflict is not solution. Constant effort for peace from both side will bring normalcy not only in 2014 and beyond.Both should have keep their cose eyes on non-sate actors they will try to derail the process as they have done in the past.
I don't know about the Indians but Pakistanis need to start becoming normal with each other before they become normal with their neighbours.
@Alansaralhaq: Please read about early life of Ajmal Kasab in Pune, India and schooling in a Marathi school. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajmal_Kasab. If this does not help Valium is always a useful tool to escape reality.
Sir with due respect, terrorism might be one of the many issues in Indo-pak relationship for you but it's the biggest issue for us(Indians). Internal and border security is much required for us. A bomb blast a week might be common in your country but we don't want India to get in that situation, 8-10 years back terrorist activities used to happen but not in quick succession but Mumbai attack changed everything now i don't want any compromise on security issue because what's the meaning of all the liberty and freedom if you're not safe. We have no animosity for Pakistan but it's not really necessary to be friends also. We haven't been doing pretty bad without any trade or tourism relation with Pakistan so it's better we just focus on ourselves.
When Author says "whenever dialogue was suspended, it was done by India" He shows his lack of comprehension how deep is the feeling of hurt among Indians about Mumbai massacre , after which dialogue was suspended. Majority of Indians thinks dialogue can go no further till the logical end of Mumbai Massacre.
India is the biggest short opportunity the City has seen in ages! Put your trades in now.
I suspect you have not read the UN resolution in full on Kashmir, have you? Most Pakistanis have not or they only know selective portions of it. The UN resolution is outdated and does not address the realities of today. Turning the LOC in to an international border may solve the boundary issue. After all, it is Pakistan, not India, who insists on 'solving' Kashmir before upgrading its relations with India.
I must say that the author is an intelligent individual and means well, but he does not think straight. I am a foreigner but knowing history of Pakistan, am aware that it was because of muslim league and its followers were of the conclusion that they cannot live peacefully with their non muslim majority neighbours, that Pakistan came into being.
Why must the author based on the experience of the last more than half a century is playing the music of becoming normal neighbours. Are the Americans acting as normal neighbours with Cuba and most of the south American Nations? Why does'nt the author accept 'NO' for an answer? They should freeze their relations with each other and build a wall along their borders as India has erected one with Bangla Desh.
India and Pakistan (sad to say) are destined to stay at the state of "no war, and NO PEACE" until one or the other self-implodes. That is the current and future state of the stale-mate. This will never change, and comparisons to China or Israel/Middle-East etc are odious at best. There is simply too much "baggage" from the past to get past (no matter whatever the good wishes or intentions of authors like the above might be). Better that each country do the best it can for its own people APART from each other in the mean time. Frankly, even that is probably a BIG ASK especially for Pakistan, with its ever expanding rate of population growth and crunch of natural resources. It will indeed be a miracle (and a WELCOME one) if there is "no war" in the future in the sub-continent for the last reason alone... the sad reality of Pakistan it seems is that it was created for ensuring that there will NEVER be peace in this part of the world. Of course, I dare say that Pakistanis would hold the same view of India.... again, sadly if I may say so.
Dear Editorial staff at ET I would like to appeal to you to Block the vitriolic and hate filled comments of the Indians. I agree that one must be open to all opinions but sadly our neighbors have a history of abusing our hospitality. The last thing the Pakistani people need nowadays is the ranting from hostile commentators who are literally on every article and news and use it to degrade Pakistan even news on art and Literature is not safe from them. Esteemed Sir/Madam kindly look in your heart and please tell me how would people whose relatives die in suicide attacks and incidents of Terrorism feel when they hear these people gloating on these horrific incidents. It’s surprising for me that my comments are so carefully moderated but the Indians extremely negative and even poorly worded comments are given so much space. There are online forums to discuss the Indo-Pak issues kindly desist from turning an esteemed newspaper in a Place where hostile and ill mannered people come and post multiple comments on Pakistan and even Islam for that matter. Except for some most Indians have an inbuilt hostility towards Pakistan and their hate filled comments are an eye sore for any sane thinking person. If you have a problem with publishing this comments than kindly take a survey on your website to see how many people support this thinking. Or please employ a stricter editing policy to ensure that these kinds of hate filled comments stay in the minds of their biased thinkers. This includes those Indians who use multiple names in order to post their comments and of course there are Bangladeshi trolls like Dhaka and M.Emad and Afghanis like Afghan Maihan, Kabul and Zalmai. Don’t let this site turn into TOI where all manners of filth is flung.
First you have to define normal. The reality for normal is different for each side. India has right off Pakistan as a lost cause. It is not an issue in elections, economic policies and external affairs policies. Improved relation with Pakistan India will not gain anything in GDP. On the other hand Pakistan needs to change a lot to be normal not with India but with rest of the world. In case of India you have to change text book full of hatred, also would Pakistan accept the presence of India in Afghanistan as normal? Would Pakistan accept India’s candidacy for seat on the UN Security council? Would Pakistan accept Indus river treaty as final and effective and not raise it every forum? Would Pakistan accept that non state actors were not effective and shutting down of the camp is a normal thing to do? I can go on with the list but what is the point we will never agree on the definition of what is normal and civilized for a state to be part of the world so that the citizen of their respective country can prosper. All the authors of Op Ed know that in 2014 western border will have no US and Eastern border will have Modi. Reserve for foreign currency of Pakistan is not enough to have a war with India for even one day. Its time for Pakistan to have a look east policy and make unilateral wholesale changes in the society to be a normal enough to be equal to what East Germany became for West Germany that when borders were open it was a festival season and the traffic was from east to west. If borders are open today the traffic of flow will be from Pakistan to India and not other way around may be except for to the Nankana Shaib.
Till than we can say that two nation theory was based on different definition of what is normal for a society.
Indo Pak Relations: There is peace today but zero trust ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There can be no peace dividend without trust. Trust and Terror do not mix well.
@deep: Nne of the world intelligence agencies have associated Pakistan with your false flag operation it was damnation of Pakistan by the stupid pathetic Indian media.
C'mon how did Ajmal Kasab look Pakistan, he looked Marathi, Spoke Marathi and even mentioned fearing Bhagwan in his statement.
Grow up douche bag, call a spade a spade.
So India needs Pakistan....
We don't need India, we have China, respect in Central Asia and the Middle East.
You play your games let's see how far you get and to the idiots in Pakistan remember Pakistan Manzil Nehin Magar Nishane Manzil Hain.
Let us recreate a new modern Khorasan and not look to our East as history has shown us the East of The Indus has looked to her West and north to progress.
The present series of dialogue was started after India’s then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Islamabad in January 2004 for the Saarc summit"" ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So Indo Pak dialogue started in 2004? Is the author shy of factoring in Kargil?
"It is very surprising that the Indian Army has developed such an overt profile on India’s relations with Pakistan." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ It is very surprising that the author fails to explore the role of the Pakistani Army/ISI on Pakistans relations with India. Wonder why is he shy of that :)!
Pakistan can avail of India’s offer of supply of electricity because it is not difficult to connect the transmission lines between the two countries."" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Incorrect. A transmission line can connect any two points on this planet . The key is that Pakistan needs electricty and India has offerred it.
"It cannot adopt an imperialistic disposition by asking Pakistan to do this or that without showing any meaningful flexibility" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Translated into English: Dont ask us for prosecuting the 26/11 accused. Such out of the box thinking is more out law thinking for Indians and a sure non starter. The event occurred in 2008 and the more Pakistani foot dragging the more strident Indian demand for Justice.
@Idol: Keep your favours to yourself. We have survived - and thrived - without your favours for the last 65 years. Trust me, we don't need you to get anywhere. Worry about yourselves before thinking of bestowing your favours.
The root cause of Indo-Pak tensions has always been Kashmir. India cannot give up what it has got and it will not want to acquire the PHK (Pak Held Kashmir). So the only way forward is to convert the LoC into international border allowing for a few minor adjustments either way. There is NO OTHER OPTION available to India or Pakistan. When Pakistan demands a solution to Kashmir problem, it implies that India gives up Kashmir. They need to dump the historical baggage, be realistic and let Pakistan move forward.
So the aurhor is saying forget Mumbai attack, Kargil, Parliament attack, IC 814, Kabul emabassy, Kashmir terrorism, Dawood Ibrahim, Hafeez, Shakeel..... Just forget everything... It happens don't stop the dialogue process... we will keep repeating it... you behave like an elder brother and keep getting hurt... wah wah wah
Yes ! Dream on ! The very existence of Pakistan in its present form is in serious doubt over next decade, let alone normalising relations with India. Sheltering those Assets and training them for their Jihad, is not an act of Nation that wants to live in peace with its neighbours.
Very well argued article. Talking of Bikram Singh the popular expression "empty vessels thunder more" applies quite well. The civil military hierarchy, NGOs, and the media can play a role in defusing tension. But if both parties keep on playing hide and seek game, it will further complicate the things.
If Indian Army has become very powerful in Pakistan-India relations, then its important that Pakistan support Indian Govt to ensure Indian Army does not take over the Indian govt in a coup, but for Pakistan's support Indian govt must accept Kashmir as a dispute.
I think one of them is normal.
We guys don't like you, why don't you understand that?
65 years after independence. Dear author, don't you find it ridiculous that we still speak of peace as if it is 1947?
My dear Author, you can bomb India all you want, you still won't get me because I am in the south of India, the part that has no beef with Pakistan. But yet I do. Because Pakistan as a country has made life miserable for Indians for no fault of theirs such as 26/11.
My own son is is an American living in India. Your actions as a country will have a bearing on how he views Pakistan.
Trust me, we want to go on with our lives. Only if you and your establishment let us be.
When you say: It cannot adopt an imperialistic disposition by asking Pakistan to do this or that without showing any meaningful flexibility.
I am not sure what is imperialistic in expecting pakistan to pursue the cases against the Mumbai accused and do some police work to corroborate evidence against Hafiz saeed.
Sounds logical but China doesn't view itself and the World through an anti India prism. Pakistan birth, life and strife are all defined/justified by not being India.
UN resolution on Kashmir is the best way to solve this dispute as it incorporates the wishes of the Kashmiri people. India needs to grow up like Israel when it handed Sinai to Egypt for peace. Also the China-India economic relations cannot be applied to Pakistan-India. China and India are both economic giants whereas Pakistan cannot come even close to India's economic prowess. Any economic integration with India would mean economic dependency.