July 20, 2010

Playing Hide and Seek with India

It appears as if the Pakistani Army Chief, Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, has once again pulled off a classic stunt. This time, he has forced the Indians to go on the defensive instead of bullying the Pakistani corp around. What is even more scintillating is the fact that this strategy has taken the Indians completely by surprise as is evident by some of the views of their political commentators, particularly Mr. Naiyar, who was so bamboozled by the whole affair that he went onto suggest that we should take the positives from the Foreign Ministers’ meeting! I ask you sir, what positive thing if any, was there to be had from the meeting between Mr. Krishna and Mr. Qureshi?

No doubt the army has flexed its muscle, and flexed it well. But the more important question is why can’t our gutless politicians scramble some courage too? Why is it that the army is looked up to every time a housefly flies into our faces? Such dependence on the army is not good for democracy as has been previously seen. But more importantly, this fraternization of the army in matters that are primarily the concerns of the Foreign Office is tantamount to inviting the army to rule over us and dictate our national policies. No doubt the generals know what’s “in the best interest of the country.” As if. The Pakistan Army is subservient to the Government of Pakistan and consequently, it needs to toe the line of the (un)elected representatives of this country no matter how bitter the decisions seem. This is not to say that the government of Pakistan makes right and correct decisions, but rules, laws and constitutions were made for a reason.

Coming back to the composite dialogue, the take it-or-leave it approach by Mehmood Qureshi has sent tremors jolting through the orifices of power in New Delhi, London and Washington. The declaration by the Pakistani Foreign Minister that he would not visit India if it deploys stalling tactics is the right way to go about this whole sordid affair. There is no doubt that India has used Mumbai 26/11 as a stalling tactic in the dialogue with Pakistan, and therefore Pakistan is absolutely correct in demanding some solid proof regarding India’s sincerity before continuing down this road. It still remains to be seen what response India gives on this new assessment from the Pakistani side but one thing is for sure, as long as the Indian government harbors people like Mr. Pillai and Ms. Swaraj in official capacities, conclusive decisions will never be reached between the two countries. Of course India should take an overview of its foreign policy and decide what it wants to do with its neighbors because we’re not the only country in a tremulous relation with it. China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh are all tired of the Indian shenanigans.

In more news, it appears as if my earlier guess of General Kayani being given extension has been proved true. And this time all limits of decency and general ethos have been broken by extending his reign by not one, but two years. Once again I am forced to question the wisdom of this decision by the powers that be. The Pakistan Army is touted as the best, most versatile band of men, with outstanding strategists and planners among them in the Motherland. If that is the case than I wonder why General Kayani was decided to be the perfect man to lead the force after his reign officially ends. Let us also not forget that while we’re hell-bent on preaching the Indians a lesson (hear, hear!), we overlook the fact that in our neighbor, all military generals serve their three years, get into their private cars at the end of them, and go home. But I suppose that isn’t as exciting as living in the knowledge that playing cats and dogs with the army is like playing with fire. You get burnt.

That is all for now. Terrible occurrences are happening with impunity across Pakistan. Rapes, murders, rapes, karo kari, vani and what not. Women are treated worse than sacrificial lambs in this country. But more on that later.