Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post Osama : Indo - Pak Tension

After the killing of world’s most wanted terrorist and leader of Al- Qaida, Osama Bin Laden (OBL) in Abbotabad, in a surgical operation carried out by the USA navy’s special SEAL commandoes, Indian hawks suddenly came out from their itching hibernation which they were forced to go into after India and Pakistan decided to hold bilateral composite dialogue. The political and military hawks have got an issue and so they are coming up with their fanciful ideas. They have been supported by the like minded media groups, which carry on their views and disseminate in public sphere. Their ideas can be a sure and certain inspiration for, what Prof.Dipankar Gupta, writing in Times of India ( May 5) , has said, a hit script for a second-rate Bollywood movie. To be fair, English media, following a democratic spirit, have also given spaces to alternative ideas. Their columns and speakers are from various backgrounds with different opinions. The problem is mainly with Hindi dailies. They have wide circulation and play important role in building up public opinion in north India, which is flag-bearer of Indian nationalism and jingoistic patriotism. Anything against Pakistan is welcomed by majority living in this part of India due to various reasons. Tuning in with the ideas of the hawkish elements “irresponsible” Indian middle class has started singing the same paean. In their columns two things are assertively presented by the hawkish elements;(a) No talk with Pakistan because one cannot trust and (b) carrying out US type surgical attack in Pakistan by the Indian elite commandos to assassinate the India’s most wanted terrorists ,who are hiding or lavishly living in Pakistan. Both ideas are irrational and not in the national interest of India. Of course, their national interest is different from mine. Thinking rationally, India has no option other than to talk with Pakistan. Peaceful, democratic and harmonious Pakistan is in the best interest of India. Both countries cannot afford another war or even a military skirmish. They are nuclear power and in case of war if one or other side at the verge of total defeat launches nuclear missile, there will be a nuclear genocide. They did not use it in Kargil but there were hints made by some Pakistani leader to use it as last option. Forget whose fault was it or just keep the past aside; truth is that both India and Pakistan are facing challenges and problems due to terrorism. The problem can be only sorted out if both agree to establish certain mechanism to fight jointly against this menace. Terrorism remains a grave challenge for global civil society. It has not come to an abrupt end with the killing of OBL. There are examples, where after the death of founder of a group, the group emerged more powerful and more dangerous than what it used to be earlier. In 1992 in a successful operation Israeli commandos assassinated the founder of Hezbollah, Abbas Mussawi, far from becoming weak it grew stronger under the new leadership of Hassan Nassarallah. It managed to get new weapons and has attacked on various Israeli installations. In 2007 it also forced the Israeli army to retreat upto Litani river when it entered into Lebanon in search of Hezbollah militias. Likewise, organisations or issues don’t come to an end with the death or killing of a leadership. It gets replaced by another and sometime the new leader is much more aggressive and brutal than the earlier one. Hence to overcome the menace of terrorism one need to politically or psychologically kill the ideas. About surgical attacks, Indian hawks have either forgotten the fact that India is not the USA or falsely presume that India can do whatever it wants without any repercussion. One cannot disagree that the USA was wrong in its action and approach. It has violated the sovereignty of a country which no modern state has right to do. But as a global hegemon since 1991 it has done it in Afghanistan, in Iraq and of late in Pakistan. For India, it’s useful to support a civilian government in Pakistan. It’ s always easy to have dialogue and get into agreement with the democratically elected civilian government. According to Michael Doyle democracies don't fight among themselves. Though this theory has been proved wrong in certain cases yet it can be maintained that the chances of making compromises and agreements is more viable in democracy than other existing forms of political system.