Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
As long as India keeps dreaming the disintegration of Pakistan, it will survive as a viable state as the very negativity serves the purpose of knitting this crowd of 170 million people into a nation, whenever it is confronted by its arch rival. Editor of Indian Defence Review, Mr. Bharat Verma writes that ‘new Delhi is its own enemy, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic state on its borders,” I for one disagree as this state emerged as a result of a successful struggle for independence by millions of Muslims of India who felt that two nation theory is the only viable option to preserve and protect each other’s identity and core values. Indian Hindus too got liberated after remaining under Moghuls for over 6 centuries and then British Raj through the same process due to Gandhi’s vision. Independence was neither granted through diplomacy, nor as a charity. It was snatched on the basis of fundamentals of the modern day democracy, one man one vote’ principle and majority of muslim populated areas vowed to join the newly established idea of ‘Pakistan’ where they saw security, identity and a peaceful enjoyment of civil and political rights, and a freedom of religion, culture and values.
Looking at secular India’s state and its treatment to its minorities, the wisdom of Mr. Jinnah’s decision is obvious seeing the situation of Muslims of India. Demolition attempts on Babari mosque, and Hindu fundamentalists attempts to erect Ayodhia Mandar satirically smile on the claims of Indian democracy, equality & secularism. Kashmiri Muslims are at war with the state since its occupation, and are demanding for an implementation on UN Security Council Resolution 47 (1948) where India agreed with the World that question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir should be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. Kashmiris, instead, are facing bullets and worst genocide, than to have an opportunity to vote in a referendum. Riots in Gujrat exposes the treatment of Indian majority to its minority where thousands were burnt alive. Above all, latest October 2008 episode in Hyderabad where Hindu rioters killed six members of a Muslim family by setting fire to their home in the village Vatoli, amongst was a 2-year-old child. Muslim leaders called for better protection for minorities, and Asaduddin Owaisi, who sits in the lower house of the Parliament said that “Despite our repeated pleas and appeals, the government has failed to provide protection to the Muslims who live in remote areas and who have a very small population in those places.” This small episode exposes the state of those unprivileged in India and depicts the mind set of Hindu majority and answers all the critics of two nation theory as to why Pakistan came into being. I confess that it was as a result of a failure of Mr. Jinnah to secure equality & respect for the Muslims of India from congress.
Mr Verma further wrote in his thesis that, “many conveniently propose the myth that a stable Pakistan is in India’s favour. This is a false proposition.” I agree with Mr. Verma that stable Pakistan may not suit India but stress that it is conducive to the region and the world in general which takes precedence. Nuclear armed & secure Pakistan is a guarantee of stability and a bridge between right thinking powers and ancient civilizations. When President of Pakistan in his interview with Wall Street Journal says That, “ India has never been a threat to Pakistan,” or that “I, for one, and our democratic government is not scared of Indian influence abroad,” it transpires an individual thinking, but may not b a majority view. This view is quite identical to that of new US policy which is being imported into Pakistani mind set. In my 8 October meeting with US diplomats at London, I heard the same voices that USA insists that Al- Qaeda, Taliban and rising insurgents are a real danger to Pakistan’s internal stability and the World, and Pakistan should perceive that threat as real other than that of India. USA is hopeful that unlike Pakistan army, civilian leadership will cooperate and will share US sponsored view. In response to unilateral Presidential desire of peace, India has answered by blocking ten thousands cusecs water at Chenab river in violation of Indus Water treaty which may act as a set back for an agricultural country and will affect its crops production capacity. India is also heavily interested to play dirty at the rear border of Pakistan, and it is sending thousands of troops in Afghan Pak border and already has a settled presence, interfering capacity and intention which has a potential of escalation to a small skirmishes in near future. In any event India has responded its lovers in a befitting manner
Pakistan rightly quests for peace and stability in the region. It has played twice a major role in the region once to stop Russian invasion against Afghanisatn which resulted in Russian disintegration and secondly, as a non NATO ally against Al-Qaeda, an unfaced menace to the world. Its liberal & conservative mixture is its beauty which has a capacity to house many languages and cultures within an interesting heritage. Disintegration of one state, will be followed by others as it will set a principle that no components can survive in a Federation in the region, in return in the world. The world saw Russian disintegration as a result of an unlawful invasion, which is a lesson for all. Economic stability is not the only key to survive in a statehood, as trust, treatment and neighbors guarantee the future sovereignty of any state. Both India and Pakistan are at a crossroad, they must learn to live with each other, if not friends, as past enemies. They should live fairly keeping their own strategic positions intact on ‘live and let live principle’ as a little shift in equilibrium, will guarantee the disintegration of both. Sometimes, warming one’s hands in enemy’s fire can cost a lot and India is just doing that by meddling in Pakistani areas in difficult times and by sending its troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan is there to survive and is ready for its enemies at their waterloo.
Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court of England & Wales