There is another derailment of Indo-Pak talks and so is one more turmoil within Pakistan with Imrans, Kadris, Baluch and of course, military trying to carve out their own niche. Since partition 68 years ago, many myths are being sold globally about Pakistan. First among them is that Pakistan can either be stable or democratic- a thought that justifies military coups and regimes in the notorious neighbourhood. Another myth perpetuated by ‘secular’ foreign policy experts on Indian side is that a stable and democratic Pakistan is in India’s interest and therefore, India should constructively engage and ensure stability in Pakistan. Both these primary myths have taken us away from reality and have pushed us towards romanticism. Unless we demystify these myths and unravel the objective reality behind this menace of faulty nationhood, realist Pakistan policy cannot be chalked out.
The demand for Pakistan was based on two assumptions-firstly, Muslims/Moghuls ruled the pre-British India and therefore, they are the legitimate inheritors after Independence; secondly, Muslims would never be safe in Hindu majority India. These two assumptions were systematically nurtured by falsifying pre-British history and propagating Hindu hatred in Pakistan. According to a report on education in Pakistan by a US Government commission, religious minorities (Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists) in Pakistan are often portrayed as second-class citizens and are asked to be grateful to Islamic Pakistan for granting limited rights and privileges to them. The same report also revealed that, Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam.
Some historians in Pakistan even claim that Pakistan was `created´ in 712 AD when an Arab invader arrived in this land. Asif Zaidi, a prominent columnist in Pakistan in his article “The white legend of Pakistan’s creation: teaching fake history to children”, rightly asserts that the creation of Pakistan shaped an artificial imperative to distort the history of Indian subcontinent. Pakistani scholars also ignored what is written in Vedic scriptures, saying that they are mythological and not historically worth believing, he added.
It is these ideological distortions that have led to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism – a core survival strategy against India. Because of it, the existential idea of Pakistan is ‘hatred for India’. In this backdrop, assuming any Pakistani ruler to have meaningful and sincere dialogue with India in itself is a myth, as it turns out to be fateful for such leadership.
More importantly, a nation created on false assumptions cannot create stable or democratic institutions. Whether ruled under a military or a democratic regime, Pakistan was never a stable nation. Though the political excesses and dissenting voices are better curbed under military regime, it also ends up fooling its citizenry by creating the mirage of structural stability.
Modi government is right in propounding peaceful neighbourhood policy as a necessary condition for India’s development. At the same time, we cannot forget that we cannot impose peace and stability in Pakistan from above. It is neither our political nor our moral responsibility.
Pakistan is in crisis again due to its own prophecies. In such a case, getting out of Pak-centric mindset is the best policy. Zero tolerance on meddling with internal affairs of India and discontinuing with proxy war policy should be testing principles while engaging with Pakistan. Sincerity claimed by the Pakistani High commissioner can be judged only by substantial actions against terrorist heavens on Pakistani home front. Neglected and isolated Pakistan either will have to mend its ways or perish to its own destiny. Perhaps then, their miniscule prodigies in Kashmir valley will also realise the futility of following their unstable masters.