Sunday, February 14, 2010

Peace with Pakistan: chasing a mirage

Continuing a theme. A depressing theme, and scary in its implications (is the alternative a nuclear war?) but reality nonetheless.

Retd. Col. Anil Athale:
Paraphrasing a Mao dictum, the jihadis survive since they swim in a pond of fanatics. Without the latter, like fish out of water, the jihadis would not survive.
In June-July 2006, I participated in the goodwill mission between Mumbai and Karachi. Within a few days of our return from a goodwill trip to Karachi, the terrorists struck at Mumbai's local trains on July 11, killing more than 200 innocent people. But such is public memory in India that it has been forgotten totally. The pseudo-peaceniks and sundry busybodies now want Indians to forget the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and continue the peace process with Pakistan.

Let me hasten to add that we met a lot of people of goodwill and peace in Pakistan. But most of them were part of the elite. There is no doubt about their sincerity as well. But there is a total disconnect between the elite and the masses. The biggest problem in the case of Pakistan is that civil society has very little influence over either the masses or the government.

The argument then was and today is -- the jihadis want to derail the peace process, that is why they are doing it but we must continue with normal relations, sporting ties, cultural exchanges et al. All this while the Pakistanis deny any connection/responsibility towards these atrocities. I do not buy this argument. If the peace process is not capable of bringing about these minimum conditions, then it is useless. I publicly disassociated myself from this pointless exercise.