Repeating a futile exercise
On a daily basis, there are reports of some mischief being done by Pakistan against the interests of India. Since its inception over six decades ago, our western neighbour has hardly made any gesture that can be even modestly described as friendly. And yet, the Indian government keeps making constant attempts to befriend Pakistan, deepen and widen relations and open the Indian borders for Pakistanis.
In the latest, foreign minister SM Krishna is travelling to Pakistan on 7 September. During his visit, among other things, he is scheduled to ink an agreement to ease visa rules. The Indian side has been ready with the move for months, with the Pakistani side dithering over it.
This overture of India comes in the wake of several anti-India moves prompted from the Pakistani soil, most likely with the knowledge of the people in power. Less than ten days ago, Pakistan-based groups mass messaged doctored images of atrocities against Muslims and forced an exodus of Indians from the north-eastern states to leave their places of work and head home from all parts of the country. And this they did to wreck internal trouble here over alleged ethnic violence in Myanmar. Other than meekly promising to ‘take up’ the matter with the Pakistani side, the Indian government did nothing.
Pakistan is increasingly associating with China along the India-China border, especially in the Kashmir region, to taunt and needle India. According to reports in the media over a thousand Chinese men are working close to the Indian borders, in PoK. The visiting Chinese defence minister had stated that there was no presence of the soldiers of the PLA, the Chinese army. India had made requests to China to cease participation in the development project in PoK as it is a disputed territory. China has not obliged.
India has taken up the issue of terrorism being sponsored and executed by groups operating from Pakistan. Even when shown the evidences, Pakistan has remained in a state of denial asking for ‘clinching’ evidence. Routinely unprovoked ceasefire violations are reported from across the border, sometimes resulting in casualties.
In the recent instance of exodus of minorities, especially Hindus from Pakistan, the Indian government did not take a view at all, for all practical purposes treating it as an internal issue of Pakistan. That the internal matter was spilling over to our land was ignored by this government. In contrast, it acted with such alacrity in dolling out millions of dollars to the ‘minority’ victims of riots in Myanmar. Pakistan has seen to it that India is kept out of the Afghanistan issue, though we have made huge amounts of donations to the Afghan cause.
The entire Pak-centric foreign relations agenda of India is building to a crescendo for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this year. Whispers are being heard on some agreements and settlements on such issues as Sir Creeks and Kargil, in which India has much to lose and Pakistan has lots to gain. It is alright to dance with the devil as long as the tune and steps are in our control. The UPA government and the Prime Minister should not give away the nation’s interest in pursuit of the mirage of peace with Pakistan. For mirage it would be, going by the past track record on the issue, given the character of Pakistan.