‘It is unlikely Kayani will compromise with India’ Ahmed J. Rashid
Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri in a lecture in New Delhi two weeks ago, lauded self-congratulatory progress achieved by the back channels to almost resolving all the complex bilateral problems bedeviling India and Pakistan since the British partitioned Hindustan. But for the lawyers movement which derailed president Pervez Musharraf regime in March 2007, Kasuri claimed, the Delhi born Mohajir General would have invited village Gah (Pakistan) born Indian PM Manmohan Singh over to Islamabad “for a long chat and a grand finale marked by a settlement on Kashmir, with an option for a review of the treaty after 15 years,” in MJ Akbar's words.
On resolving the Siachen dispute, Kasuri said, “Siachen has been ready for many years to sign. It is India’s concern as to whether if they move out, we will walk in... but we had taken care of all concerns. We will not be able to walk in. That is the bottom line. It will become a mountain of peace as your Prime Minister said.”
Downplaying criticism that Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani was not in favor of peace talks, Kasuri said Kayani was “definitely supportive” then and “if he was agreeable to what we were doing then, there is no reason to doubt he has changed his mind”.
Kasuri spoke to a large gathering of special invitees at Sapru House, New Delhi. A Cambridge (not Oxford) classmate of India’s Mani Shankar Aiyar, smart ex-diplomat, nationalist ex-minister, now a member of Parliament (from artists quota!), Kasuri in his rather long and boring lecture covered all problems between the sub-continent’s squabbling siblings.
All these Sisyphus like endeavors and efforts, covert and overt, made in all sincerity are unlikely to amount to much because of the divide and rule policy followed by Christian Europe and Russia since the roll back from 16 century of Ottoman empire from the Gates of Vienna (and Crimea), the destruction of five centuries old, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic empire established by the sons of Ottomans which stretched from Morocco to the Caucasus, from Hungary to Yemen, and from Crimea to Sudan, from which now more than 25 new states have emerged so far and still counting. Europe used all the strategy and tactics and more including the divide and rule policy employed ever since the concept of Imperial power took birth and blossomed in central Asia and west and south Asia.
Kasuri talked of common Geography. Yes, but those dominating Pakistan now, throughout history have felt jealous of the richer rulers of Hindustan with their capital on river Yamuna, whether in Delhi or Agra. The religion was immaterial. They had encouraged tribes from central Asia, when Chauhans were ruling Delhi; later invited the Moghuls when Afghans were ruling Delhi. Then they invited Pathans and Persians when Moghuls were in decline. For its strategic defense, Hindustan should control Kabul if not Kandahar as well as was done by early Moghuls. Once Kabul and Kandahar were lost, Hindustan became a plaything of invaders. And the Punjabi people joined in the loot and robbed the invader if he failed.
After the partition of Hindustan in 1947, Pak sent in raiders into Kashmir, after the 1965 probing of Brahmin/Hindu nerve first in Kutch, invaded Kashmir and in 1999 the Kargil invasion by stealth. And of course since mid-1980s under that Mullah in uniform Gen Zia-ul Haq, Pakistan has been bleeding a hapless India with what is called a thousand cuts.
In the considered opinion of the author, what Kasuri alleged or claimed is unlikely to come about any time soon, unless the malevolent influence of Anglo-Saxons, Saudi Arabia led conservative Muslim states and China disappears from the sub-continent. Even if the declining US led Western hegemony speeds up into a USSR like downfall and Washington takes with it China many a notches down. The author spent most of his diplomatic career in Muslim countries had to perforce , face, study and counter Anglo-Saxon divide and rule policy, machinations and propaganda to keep India and Pakistan in a state of quarrel , tension and almost war and even wars and; history of Islam and Islamic states and empires covering Balkans ,West and north Africa, Middle East ,Turkey and central and south Asia.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumphant and hubris laden US led New Rome and its allies broke up multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic modern state of Yugoslavia and has partitioned Iraq into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish dominated territories. Earlier Washington led West had fooled and encouraged Gorbachev into a policy of Glasnost and Perestroika and then with assistance from the cronies of a drunk or drugged Yeltsin detached resources rich central Asian republics. Under the charade of ushering democracy, liberal capitalism and globalization, West siphoned away from half to one trillion dollars wealth from Soviet bloc. In East Europe West aligned mafias have taken over bringing misery to the populations (In a Romanian poll 3 years ago, the much maligned Nikolai Ceausescu easily topped as the most important leader in history)
So, following the bankruptcy in the wake of WWII, London while being forced to quit Hindustan, with help from a so-called secular Jinnah whose policies aroused communal passions and riots (with Brits in attendance) divided it into India and Pakistan. (The Bengali speaking East Pakistan split away in 1991). The division of Hindustan was ruthlessly implemented by arch imperial servant Lord Mountbatten, who was not beyond exploiting his wife’s services in the cause. As neither Mahatma Gandhi nor Nehru would join any military alliance to guard western oil wells in the Middle East, the emerging new source of economic and military power, a weak Pakistan became a necessity.
Kashmir problem was created with the West blatantly supporting Pakistan in UN and elsewhere to eliminate any chances of any direct land link between India and USSR / central Asia. That perfidious policy still persists. Since 1947, Western leaders led by the Anglo-Saxons and media have sided with Pakistan and repeat ad nauseam, ‘resolve Kashmir’ and how. Even When a panic stricken and demoralized Nehru wrote to US president JF Kennedy in November, 1962 for military assistance against China, the Anglo-Saxons first wanted the Kashmir problem to be resolved.
Both London and Washington have been since 1947 inimical to India’s strategic interests and remain so. I have been predicting the decline and fall American hegemony since 2002. London is bankrupt while Washington is on artificial respiration amounting to 2,600 billion dollars, which have nothing to back it and exist only on computer screens. With industry declining in USA except the flourishing arms industry, this hot money flowing in and out has turned stock exchanges around the world, especially in Asia into Casinos. Invested in commodities in league with local fat cats it has raised inflation around the world, India being a major sufferer. In Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria there have been riots, with the pro-Western ruler of Tunisia, cited as an example of the success of IMF laid down policies, being forced to quit. India has Washcon pensioners in key economic decision making positions, but poor and hungry Indians (with 70% subsisting on half a dollar per day), brainwashed into belief that it is the result of their karma in last birth are unlikely to follow in Arabs’ footsteps.
Only foolish and sold out Indian Ignoranti hogging India’s celebrity and trivia obsessed TV channels trust and trumpet US policies and interests. India and China can rise and co-exist together. Before the arrival of the British East India Company in the late 18th century, the sub-continent's share in world manufacturing was 24.5 percent in 1750 (and 32.8 percent for China). Beijing can expand in the Pacific and elsewhere leaving India alone and not arming or financing Pakistan misadventures for which Pakistani pay the price. With almost equal populations, Indian GDP is about $ one trillion, while China’s is almost 4 trillion. Chinese are pragmatic, hardworking and proud nationalists, while the argumentative Indians are looking for deals, commissions and kickbacks, the new words for dachshund of Brahmins, now collected by the neo-Brahmins aka rulers a totally immoral and corrupt political and corporate class who in bhagidari - joint looting have usurped almost all power. Sea the Indian fat cats crowing on corporate NDTV with Radia tapes corporate go between bringing ill repute to the fair profession of journalism. Wait for more Radia tapes unveiling many more corporate agents masquerading as journalists.
If India has given up the idea of getting back its territories from China by force, it is foolish for Pakistanis to think that they can ever get Kashmir by force. It is easy for Anglo-Saxons to excite, encourage and bribe Punjabi Pakistanis about their bravery and valor which keeps Western powers happy and Beijing happy too. Look at the number of Pakistanis given posts in UN and allied agencies compared to more populous Muslim Bangladesh and Indonesia. Islamabad is quite happy to carry out Western bidding and use Kashmiris as cannon fodder.
Kashmir problem is not like those of Kurds, historically a distinct people straddling across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Kashmiris are being exploited like the Kurds in history by neighboring states and outside powers like Britain, Russia and now USA. Many Kurdish websites post my pieces on Kurdish problem and resistance. One of them once enquired if I am against Kurdish Independence. I said no, but it’s not likely to happen any time soon. A very senior member of the Kurdish National Front told me that Washington is not taking any action against the Marxist rebels PKK in north Iraq under US control since 1991 so that it can use it as pawns against Turkey. Five years ago, Turkey had almost broken relations with Israel because Tel Aviv was training Kurds in north Iraq for possible sabotage against Turkey and other neighbors Iran and Syria.
Unlike Kashmiris the Kurds till recently had to call themselves mountain Turks, still cannot use freely Kurdish for education and broadcasting. Kurdish stone throwing children in south east Kurdish region of Turkey are given long prison sentences. Yes, unlike rest of India Kashmiris were not allowed to throw up grass-root politicians like Yadavas and Lals in India’s cow belt. New Delhi Brahmins relied on only a few families who leverage their loyalty to remain in power. Yes in a vicious process Kashmiris are suffering from human rights violations. So are people elsewhere in India, leading to insurgencies and revolts.
Disgruntled Kashmir elements are trained, equipped and financed by Pakistan for its own ends, when it is quite clear that Islamabad has no intention of agreeing to an independent Kashmir. Why go far? Just look at the terrible conditions in Pak occupied Kashmir ruled from the interior ministry of Pakistan.
In final analyses, the exchange of delegations between India and Pakistan and overt and covert talks will achieve little in the current strategic balance. Yes, sometimes, it can lower the tensions which Anglo-Saxons keep on stoking and igniting, Western media loves it. It cannot mention India and Pakistan without mentioning three or four wars on Kashmir. Should we mention whenever there are differences between Germany, France and UK about the horrors and murder of millions during two World Wars, including in concentration camps, where in the very acme of Western materialistic capitalism, Jews were abused to the last ounce of energy and even their bones.
How the same corporate controlled US media and London Government BBC spin, exaggerate and tell lies led by US presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries of state and the Lord of them all, Tony Blair about so called weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Baghdad’s connection with Al Qaeda and now lies about Iran’s legal enrichment of Uranium for power generation allowed under NPT which it has signed.
Yes these sometimes bring down the tensions raised by western powers and media and a false sense of wellbeing. These overt and covert meetings act as feel good therapy. Kuldip Nayyar can light candles; visit his ancestral home in Sialkot, so can Lahore born Mani Shankar Aiyar. To believe that the partition could have been avoided shows total lack of understanding history and strategic calculus, a special trait of frog in the well (big one) mentality of naval watching Indians. Many still continue to live in a fool’s paradise.
It is unlikely Kayani will reach a compromise with India.
In a news report in Indian Express of 28 January, Pakistan journalist Ahmed Rashid Kasuri’s assessment about the current Pakistani strongman on peace with India has been set aside. (Rashid is now more an establishment journalist. Having delivered lectures at the universities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent and Andijan –birth place of Emperor Babur in 1998 and studied central Asian history in Turkey where I spent ten years in two tenures, I was amused to read his much quoted first book on central Asia in 1990s. While like orphans, the local ethnic leadership of Soviet central Asian Turkic leadership, after having been ditched by Russian Slav leadership under Yelsin who had removed the carpet under Gorbachev was planning future of Slav Russian leadership of Ukraine and Belorussia, Rashid was agog reciting the great Tatar, Mongol and Turkish empires and rule over Russians, forgetting that they had been beaten back into submission by the Russians by end 19th century)
When asked about Military policy, Rashid replied; “Currently, the military is obsessed with (first) Afghanistan and the Taliban and (second) India. Therefore and unfortunately, the army is not taking the domestic situation seriously. In fact, with Taliban’s increasing power, the high command is deeply concerned, (it’s a threat) that could arouse sympathies. They are worried that these sympathies are penetrating the security services. Kayani has an Afghan-obsessed agenda.”
About Indo-Pak relations Rashid said;
“It is unlikely Kayani will reach a compromise with India. He sees India as an activist army, an enemy. This is a problem for Pakistan as well. Unfortunately, the army is not looking at domestic issues. It must make peace with its neighbors — this is a view I have long held. Pakistan’s social crisis cannot be solved without peace with its neighbors.
“The situation in Pakistan is dire — we’re in a complete economic crisis. Of course, the only real (and potential) investor could be India. We need to bring an end to this isolation. India is investing across the world; it can in Pakistan too. The liberal societies, the industrialists, are crying for engagement. When relations were normalized five years ago (under Musharraf), we feared Indian products would swamp out markets but, Indians like our products too. The old fear, that India would swallow us economically, is no more. In fact, renewable energy is a key issue that India and Pakistan can cooperate in. We are both short of energy — we both need pipelines for instance. These are common problems and this (economics) can unite us. We need dialogue.”
On the radicalization of the youth and punishment for the perpetrators of 26/11, Rashid said;
“The radicalization that we see has been going on since the 1980s since the madrasas took root. But during that period people — in the establishment — did not give enough focus to them. This development now has become hugely disruptive. The state did not provide adequate educational reform; the syllabus has not been drafted adequately.”
26/11 Rape of Mumbai
Whenever Washington feels India and Pakistan are getting closer, it can even participate in events creating acrimony and even warlike tensions. The 26/11 rape being a recent example.
It not only allowed 26/11 to happen but FBI agent David Headley was an accomplice and active participant in the universally broadcast rape of India’s commercial and cultural capital, Mumbai. India was not even allowed to complain. When Indian Home secretary Pillai complained of Washington not informing New Delhi about Headley visit to India even after 26/11, he was forced to eat his words.
The author has maintained that even before the Wikileaks disclosures that Washington, knew about the preparations of 26/11, with hundreds of its agents crawling around Karachi from where almost 80% of war material for Afghanistan is sent. The 26/11 terrorists were trained around Karachi and sailed from there. With its agents and command over communication technology, Washington allowed 26/11 to happen as it angered the unprepared security apparatus and hapless Indian population, with both India and Pakistan running to Washington as in the fable of two squabbling cats and the monkey. Ask US allies like Turkey and even Saudi Arabia; how they have been abused and let down?