The recent peace-making efforts aimed at Pakistan are bound to fail.
The core of the problem is religious extremism, not a border issue.
Pakistani Government, the Army and the ISI believe in violence and military attack as the only way to reach peace with India. If Times of India is allowed to make us believe otherwise, the Government and the people of India will regret sooner than later.
Pakistan is not a Democracy. There is no respect for the rule of law. Pakistani people are dying every day due to the lack of law and order, and an impotent government scared of the ISI and the Taleban. In fact, the government of Pakistan cannot survive even for a day without the support of the Pakistani Army, the ISI and the U.S. Government (rather their funds !).
So, where is the question of making peace with a deadly country, savaged by religious extremists ? Only Times of India can see peace in such an environment. The infiltration of terrorists has increased across the border, and the Indian Army/Border Security Force is struggling to contain it. People continue to die in Kashmir, and where is the protection for the common man ?
The Kashmir problem won’t go away, notwithstanding the peace efforts being made by both sides, since sincerity is lacking. There is no true purpose, when on one side Pakistan is negotiating for Nuclear Reactors with China, and on the other hand, sweet-talking the Americans for more funds and more F-16s. Who is going to be misled ? May be the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India. But not the Home Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of India.
Peace dialogues are so arcane today – how long can we keep talking ? What is the result ? Look at the success of Israel. They first strike, then they will see if they are pressured to talk, otherwise no talk. Security comes first, citizens’ lives come first. American pressure comes later.
It is important to realise that one can only negotiate from a position of power. Whether it is economic power or military power, it is for the country to decide. But the country cannot keep idle when Pakistan continues its build-up of weapons of mass destruction, and sends militants with powerful weapons across the border. We have to make Pakistan realise that notwithstanding the efforts of Times of India, India will still take action if and when necessary.
We should be ready to press the trigger. That is power.
04 July 2010