The treatment of mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani authorities has clearly shown that they will never lose an opportunity to denigrate India and Indians, even on a humanitarian issue. It was shameful to see the two ladies being humiliated when they went to meet Kulbhushan at Pakistan’s Ministry of External Affairs. They were made to change clothes, forced to meet Kulbhushan while he was across a screen and not allowed to converse in their mother tongue either, which is Marathi. Not only this, Kulbhushan’s wife’s shoe was taken away on some stupid suspicious grounds. To make it absolutely reprehensible, Pakis ensured that both the ladies met him without sindoor, mangalsutra and bangles, like a widow. How low can they get!
Now compare this with our humanitarianism. Our Minister of External Affairs, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, has been extremely benevolent towards Pakistanis in granting them visas on medical grounds, ever since she assumed office more than three years ago. I do not remember any case where she hasn’t gone out of her way to help Pakistanis. Those Pakistanis she helped have even heaped praises on the minister. The Pak govt has been silent on the matter though.
The difference between our and their humanitarianism cannot be starker than this.
Pakistani establishment’s attitude stems from the hatred that they have for India ever since the birth of their nation. According to Hussain Haqqani, this hatred is one of the pillars which unite Pakistan. Haqqani has been Pakistan’s ambassador to US as well as Sri Lanka. In his book Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, he cites this hatred being one of the three pillars on which Pakistan stands. The other two pillars, according to Haqqani, are support from a major foreign power and Islam.
The hatred that Pakis have for India is all encompassing. Anyone in their establishment who tries to mend fences with India is hounded out. This was one of the reasons why Nawaz Sharif was forced to resign from office recently. The court case in which he was indicted was just an excuse to achieve this purpose. The reasons given for his conviction were also frivolous. This is not to say that courts were wrong in convicting him. What I’m trying to say is that there are so many senior politicians who’re facing far more serious charges than Nawaz Sharif but it was only him who was picked out from amongst them and fixed. The fact is that he was perceived by Pak army as being too friendly to our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi. Modi’s unscheduled visit to his home in Lahore also contributed towards Sharif’s political demise. The bonhomie between the two was absolutely unpalatable to their army. Hence, the conviction. Suffice to say that no one in office in Pakistan can work towards having peaceful relations with India.
As should be obvious by now, Pak army’s hold over their country is absolute. They control the narrative which guides their nation. And ‘Hate India’ is at the core of this narrative. The reason for this is not very far to look. If the army doesn’t ensure this, the citizens of Pakistan will start asking questions about their army’s hold over their establishment, especially about most serving and retired generals controlling all the govt business ventures. Not only this, they would even question the army itself being engaged in business activities like transportation, textiles, steel, bakery products, radio stations etc. It should come as no surprise that the forces control a very large percentage of their GDP. According to Ayesha Siddiqa, it could be anywhere between seven to ten percentage points of their overall GDP. She has given a very elaborate account of their activities in her book Military Inc, Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy.
Another question of discontent which may be raised by their citizens is the huge individual land holding by serving and retired force’s personnel. Pakistan, as a policy, distributes land to its defense personnel as part of their entitlement. According to some estimates, the total holding of these personnel could be up to five percent of land of the entire country.
You would be surprised to know that Pervez Musharraf is a designated Numbardar of village called Chak 13 BC, as a result of his land holdings in the village, accumulated while he was in the service.
One can only imagine how uncomfortable these questions would be for the forces, if the citizens were allowed to question these holdings. It is for these reasons that Pak army has to keep the bogey of fear of India alive in the hearts and minds of their citizens to remain relevant and secure themselves.
The second pillar, the support from a foreign power, has been a major source of funds which has helped Pakistan sustain not only its economy but also its jehadi machinery. Till about a decade ago, this foreign power was the US. It has been replaced with China now.
They picked out America when our relations with Americans were on a weak wicket. America too found them to be useful allies for their objectives in Afghanistan. When Americans found them to be back stabbing them in their operations there, Pakis gradually ditched them to latch on to China with whom our relations are again strained. It is obvious that Pakis have homed on for support on nations who aren’t friendly with India. They created circumstances wherein they make themselves useful to the foreign power. In America’s case they tried to portray themselves as their ally in their campaign against communism earlier, and then for their ‘War on Terror’ after 9/11. That charade worked for a couple of decades but not anymore. In China’s case, Pakis say that they’re keeping nearly half of our forces tied down in Kashmir and on our western borders. This is true to an extent. A very large part of our army is indeed deployed in Kashmir. This gives a sense of security to the Chinese, however false it may be. This charade on the part of Pakis to use a third force to counter us will continue till we find a permanent solution to the issue of Pakistan.
The third pillar which holds Pakistan together is Islam. In 1975, Zia-ul-Haq changed their constitution to make the country an Islamic Republic. It was the first country in the world to do so. He then started islamizing the country feverishly. He even introduced religious tenets in every aspect of governance including the forces. This islamisation led to the growth of Islamic radicals which Pakistan found useful in Afghanistan and Kashmir. This too worked very well for Pakistan for a few decades. These unemployed youths of Pakistan found religious JEHAD to be an escape from their dreary lives. 9/11 changed all that when Musharraf was forced to align Pakistan with US by Bush Jr.
However, Pakistan still counts itself as being amongst the custodians of Islam. They say that they were the first nation to become an Islamic Republic. While this may be true, it has not prevented them from being treated, as some say, as ‘second rate’ muslims in the Islamic Civilisation. The current crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, a few months ago had said as much. He said that Pakis are not Arabs. He even went to the extent of calling them ‘our slaves’. You can check out this statement here. This feeling amongst Arabs is not new. This has been the case ever since Pakistan was created. Not surprisingly, it has led to a deep-seated inferiority complex. They believe that they’ve to do more as muslims to be accepted as part of the Islamic civilization. For them this means hating India even more, which they believe will help them in being more acceptable to Arabs.
Samuel Huntington in his famous book Clash of Civilizations, talks about a concept of Torn Nations. He says that these are nations which are not part of a particular civilization but are desperate to be a part of it. He gives the example of Mexico, which he says is part of Latin American Civilization since they have a lot in common with them, but by virtue of being next to America it is desperately trying to be part of Western Civilization. However, he says, this is not going to help. They’ll continue to be considered Latin for times to come. No country in history of the planet, he adds, has been able to successfully tear itself away from its parent civilization.
This is exactly the case with Pakistan. They’re indeed a Torn Nation, in every sense of the word. They’re part of the Indian Civilization but are desperate to be seen as being part of the Islamic Civilization. It is for this reason that they believe that making peace with India would make them appear as weak muslims in the eyes of Arabs. That would further weaken their case.
In view of these facts, it should be obvious to any observer of Pakistan that it is impossible to believe that they can have peaceful relations with India. I’ve further dealt with this issue in my forthcoming book 26/11 Unforgiven.
Many people consider Kashmir to be the core issue between our two nations. But the reality is that Kashmir is just an excuse. If the issue of Kashmir wasn’t there, Pakis would’ve invented another issue to fight India. And therefore, there is only one solution for our problems. It does not necessarily have to be a war. There are other ways as well. Take a guess what they are.
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