Love Thy Neighbour

One fifth of Pakistan has been affected by the devastating floods, worst calamity in 80 years. Its leaders are constantly SOS-ing the international community for aid. India offered 5 million USD, they refused. US intervened, they reluctantly accepted. Looks like a bad soap opera’s plot to me. Except, real people are dying here, real children are going hungry and without shelter. This can be confusing to any bystander, how can a country afford to do this in such a dire situation? Well, this is just not any country we are talking about, its  India and Pakistan. Ours is a different story….

India  and Pakistan went their separate ways in 1947. At least in theory. Pakistan started its journey as an Islamic nation (headed by a man who himself was  an agnostic). India chose to remain a secular nation. This is a classic example of political ambition taking precedence over reality. Both Jinnah and Nehru were agitating and preparing to exercise the power for years and this was their chance. The problem was, there could  only be one leader. They found a convenient scapegoat in religion. This was the advent of what would be the  tremulous history of the two nations.

The nations separated, people remained the same. Partition was the ugliest picture of pain, misery and  death possible. The atrocities committed during that time can easily dwarf Rwanda. 2 million people were killed in the communal riots and many more lost their homes. Memories of ghost trains have been haunting generations of Indians and Pakistanis. This is where we come from, this is how we started..

The memories of this gruesome start got etched in the hearts of people of both the countries and manifested itself as this deep rooted animosity, which constantly gets fueled by the perpetual conflict over Kashmir.  India and Pakistan have fought 3 wars since independence and can easily be called  the epicenter of  the next international war. Both the nations being nuclear powers. There have been many failed attempts of reconciliation, but this is  a stalemate. No one wants to go one step farther than the other. Is there a solution that can work for both the countries?

3 wars have taught us that military is not the solution. Talks and goodwill are great in theory but haven’t been proved  fruitful so far, nevertheless , there should be constant dialogue between the two countries and more importantly between the people. The only solution that seems practical enough is to increase the trade and commerce between the two nations. Let both benefit from each other. We can take the example of France and Germany after world war II, how they intertwined there economies  so that the  war became impossible. It is not as easy as it looks for us  in theory but this can be a start. If we look objectively at our situation and try to find ways to improve it, it is possible we can prevent history from repeating itself.

Our geographical location bounds us to stay together, there is no escape. The only thing we can escape from is our history. As they say, “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.

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3 Comments

Filed under Current Affarirs, India

3 responses to “Love Thy Neighbour

  1. Wonderful article but I beg to differ a lot.

    Jinnah was not an agnostic at all. Ypu can refer to his many speeches and you would find him a real muslim, yep you can argue that perhaps a less practicing muslim.

    You can refer to my article where i have quoted few excerpts from his speech.

    http://awgilani.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/secular-or-religious-what-quaid-wanted/

    Jinnah was not looking to rule any nation. As he left the country once forever, he was disappointed dis hearted over the lack of passion in the All India Muslim League. Then few top leaders of Muslim League went to him and persuaded him to come back. He was also the 1st governor general of Pakistan and his salary was Re ! only. But when he was a practicing Lawyer he was one of the expensive lawyer at his time.

    For me the only thing that hinders a better friendship b/w two countries is “Trust Deficit”.

    Lets hope for the better future.

  2. I apologize if my calling Jinnah an agnostic caused you discontent.That was not my intent.I am no expert on Jinnah and just took things at their face value, he did have a flamboyant lifestyle and admired Kemal Ataturk.
    I wanted to put the present situation between the two countries in perspective.Trust indeed needs to be built.We will get there, someday!

    • I hope your perception may have changed now. An I am glad that there are people on both sides of border which think the only way forward is “RATIONAL THINKING”

      Admirer of Kamal Atatürk can never mean a secularist or agnostic. It is the same case like Jaswant Singh us an admirer of Jinnah but it doesn’t otherwise.

      I hope, blogosphere form the subcontitnet will help to build that needed trust in the people of indo-pak.

      Regards,
      zawGilani

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