Pakistan-India rift ‘the fault of the stars’
Pakistan and India are again threatening to wage war against each other. A few days back the Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement that a meeting with Pakistan’s foreign minister at the United Nations General Assembly had been called off and India was not interested in any peace talks with Pakistan.
Furthermore, not only did it release a copy of a letter written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, but an Indian Foreign Office spokesman gave a statement that Khan’s true face had been exposed.
India alleges that the recent attack by militants in Kashmir that killed three special-forces police officers was carried out by banned outfits in Pakistan with the support of Pakistani spy agencies. In reply, Khan took to Twitter and termed his Indian counterpart as a dwarf not deserving of the prime-ministerial seat.
The statement from the Indian ministry and the tweet in retaliation from Imran Khan against Narendra Modi were both against the norms of diplomacy and can be termed as below-the-belt tactics to gain the sympathy of their respective vote banks. Modi, in the face of the upcoming general elections in India and to divert attention from the recently exposed scandal on the Rafale jet deal, in which he was accused of asking Paris to pick his billionaire business friend as a partner, used Khan’s tweet to play the traditional hatred card against Pakistan. For his part, Khan used the opportunity to divert the attention of the masses from his visionless and unsuccessful policies.
Then came the statement from India’s Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, that India was ready to teach Pakistan a lesson, and in retaliation the director general of Pakistani inter-services relations issued a statement that Pakistan was ready for war and, being an atomic power, it was capable of not only defending itself but could also hurt India in the war.
The tense atmosphere between the two countries has given an opportunity for the electronic and print media to gain ratings by inviting hyper-nationalist figures on to their channels and as a result, the masses in both the countries have been told that they can destroy each other if war is waged. It takes only a few moments of anguish and a day of propaganda through the media to sell sensationalism and warmongering to the masses of both countries.
This was a reminder of how easy it is to exploit the masses of both countries. Narendra Modi in a bid to win the sympathy of the hyper-nationalist and conservative vote bank hyped up anti-Pakistan sentiments, while Imran Khan and his benefactor the military establishment used this opportunity to divert the attention of the masses from the growing economic crisis and the new surge of price hikes and income-tax increases.
The warmongering business suits the politicians and the military elite of both countries, as it is necessary to keep the masses hostage to the delusional mindset where they are told to believe that in order to survive it is necessary for both India and Pakistan to have large military complexes and to spend billions of dollars on the purchase of weapons
The warmongering business suits the politicians and the military elite of both countries, as it is necessary to keep the masses hostage to the delusional mindset where they are told to believe that in order to survive it is necessary for both India and Pakistan to have large military complexes and to spend billions of dollars on the purchase of weapons.
The Afghan war, the US presence and Chinese influence in the region also make the things more complex. From Kabul to Kashmir, proxy wars are fought to serve the interests of global powers and to inflict wounds on each other.
Rather than spending on education, health and research, both Pakistan and India spend heavily on buying weapons of war and keep developing minds that hate one another for no reason. A common man living in New Delhi and another sitting in Lahore have no time to waste on hating each other on the basis of religion or nationality as both are busy in the fight to survive in this modern age and to feed their families by working a job or running a small business.
The political and military elites of both Pakistan and India know very well that there is no possibility of a full-fledged war between the two countries as both are atomic powers and can destroy each other within a few minutes with their nukes. So they keep playing this card of a possible war in order to keep alive the hatred of the masses against each other.
It is very simple to understand that Pakistan and India will never indulge in a direct war as it would inflict more damage to the political and military elite of both countries than to the masses. Both countries even in the future will prefer to fight proxy wars. Pakistan will keep fighting a proxy war in Kashmir, while India will keep fighting one in Balochistan, while Afghanistan will remain the main proxy battleground where both India and Pakistan will continue to fight through extremists.
It will probably help both countries to achieve their strategic goals or to keep the military and political elite wealthier by taking commissions in weapons deals, but in the long run the masses in both countries will suffer because of poverty and a lack of health and education facilities.
Warmongers on both the sides along with the mainstream media will surely benefit from the rivalry and hostile relations between Pakistan and India, but it will be the generations to come who will pay the price of this warmongering and senseless self-created belief and self-created theories for hating each other.
Probably it is the fault of the stars that we were divided in 1947 on the basis of religion and nationalism. As a result, we along with the generations to come in both countries will live to hate each other in order to justify the partition of the subcontinent, keeping the enmity alive without any reason.
Our children need to learn about the beauty of life and the world, not the glorification of war and death in the name of being Pakistani or Indian. The masses in both countries need to realize that in this age of information and knowledge, borders have become meaningless, it is all about economy and ideologies now. So now is the time to stop giving birth to self-created warmongering concepts and delusions and to start living in the 21st century by accepting the reality that we are neighbors who lived together for centuries until the partition divided us.
We can at least try to fix the fault of the stars by developing the narratives based on peace, progress and knowledge and harmony in both India and Pakistan.