Pakistan & India: who wants what? -- by Maria Saifuddin Effendi Back   Home  
What leaves a vivid and palpable impact upon the policies, national interests, decision- making, prioritised ambitions and goals of any country is basically the varying international world order which keeps on changing. This does not mean that prevalent global polity dictates its own terms to run the inter national politicalstructure but to some extent it is quite true. How? Too simple, to follow the contemporary trends, every wise nation state ought to adjust its national, security, economic and political concerns accordingly. In terms of developing bloc, one seldom expects’ such wisdom. Among the praiseworthy emerging states, India is the one that joins the liberalistic vogue of post cold war era. Being densely but under nourish populated, it is highly motivated and ambitious to have a golden crown of global power. Taking its military and economic muscles into strict consideration, one can prognosticate the emergence of India in the near future. According to IMF calculations, by 2006 India will have a larger GDP than either Italy or Britain. If the present growth rate continues, by 2025 India’s GDP is expected to exceed those of Germany and France, making it the fourth largest economic power. From European Union to the United States, Central Asia or even now with Middle East (Islamic world), it keeps its commercial hug warm and tightened. On one hand, Russia signs a pact on the nuclear arms build-up with India and on the other France offers submarine nuclear technology. One even wonders that its big power ambitions hinder it to be acrimonious with its rival states. Like China with which Indian territorial ties are to the world but in order to survive, India shares an economic cuddle with it. Similarly, Iran , an Islamic regime but India sans shun its strategic importance as well as oil and gas reserves. With all such developments, one perceives Indian wide-ranging future prospects with concrete efforts.

Some questions that irritate any Pakistani's mind are : i) Does this ambitious sub-continental state really bother in terms of its bickering neighbour? ii) Would it be possible to achieve all of them under the existing polemical state of affairs with Pakistan? iii) How does Pakistan make its relevance with Indian dreams? iv) What perks could be gained by Pakistan within such parameters?

Thus, the worth responding riddles constitutes the whole discussion in this article. Let’s have a look: Needless to mention that Indian dream of becoming a world power shapes its foreign policy, being woven in global scenario. The geo-economic arena knits the burgeoning interaction of India with emerging or emerged economic players of this international power theatre, being owned by the US. The horrendous demise of Soviet Union left the United States to rule alone as a super power.

A superpower needs to be too vigilant to keep its eagle eye on its upcoming competitors in different parts /continents of the world. In South Asia, India with robust and sound industrial (software especially) and technological base together with its ideal geographical proximity with China, suits best to be a sharp spectacle of US to check the regional progress. Despite a superb camaraderie with Soviet Russia during cold war era, India is known to serve US interests in somewhat safer manner in post-cold war period. What makes India distinct is that it is utilising its use by putting its own goals before the US. To get into P-5 of Security Council, India lives with this plan today for which it really strives harder than ever. Linking it with Pakistan or particularly Kashmir, the recent Indian hobnobbing with Pakistan during the famous ‘Musharraf’s Ancestral Home Diplomacy’, could be smelled as a major volteface in the cussed attitude on the part of Indian government since a longer period of time. Though it is coined as a failure or more appropriately poor diplomacy among the pedantic circle of intellectuals and think-tanks but the thawing change in their stance towards the issue of Kashmir is also felt greatly. The change here makes one eager to know whether Indian ruling, establishment is really sincere to have cordial framework under which the areas of mutual concerns could be discussed bilaterally or it is mere ‘elephants’ visible teeth. Well, keeping all of Indian goals in the view, it is poppycock to assume their fulfilment without involving Pakistan. Albeit, unlike its neighbouring foe, Indian policies are not ‘Pakistan specific’ but achievement or the glittering aims needs what one calls — it ‘sacrosanct impression of India’ throughout the world. In the regional scenario combine with global repercussions, making an alliance with Pakistan would bring the following boons for which Indian tilt is too obvious. i) Pakistan and Kashmir still possess significance and importance equally behind any Indian move. If one asks how, then answer is not opaque. India, in order to leave its positive and prestigious image on international community, has to normalise its relations with Pakistan which sticks with Kashmir resolution . Kashmir, being acclaimed as its ‘atoot ang’ by India, has proved to be the major hurdle in the peace process between the two. This widens their’ thorny gap, always whenever a process is willing to start. Today India wants to bridge this gap with Pakistan by putting Kashmir on back burner, which seems suicidal for Pakistan. Trade and commerce, culture, technology etc, these are the grounds on which India seeks Pakistan’s assertion towards the breaking of the viscous ice between them. From India’s point of view, a dialogue with Pakistan is relevant to its desire to play a global role. It wants to disentangle itself from the conflicts with the neighbouring states so that it could become an international actor ii) This bonhomie after the Lahore Declaration with the ‘Kargil Man’ is nototiose. It definitely indicates another hush hush of Indian farsighted vision. Confederation of the seven South Asian States including Pakistan, can make one recall the statement of the Indian Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani who suggested this confederal option along with Pakistan.

As it is not mind-boggling that Pakistan was an unwanted child that took its birth due to the untiring efforts of our ancestors. This can be traced back from the times of Freedom Movement of Pakistan. Division of subcontinent was next to anatomization of ‘Bharat Ma’ata’ which was against the Hinduism. It was widely propagated by Hindu leaders that the partition meant the vivisection of the motherland and an insult to the goddess Kali who symbolised the motherland. Interrelating this Confederation with South Asian States in general and Pakistan in particular with such Hindu ideology of the past, one might be assured that their deep buried wish of ‘Akhand Bharat’ still alive today. Thus, India is lured by the current phenomenon of regionalisation these days. Like Americas or EU, United States of South Asia or India would make it mightier and stronger letting all of Indian dreams come true. By going through all such assuming realities, Indian harmonial gesture seems to be just a booby trap and nothing else.

Now, come to the next part of our perspicacious analysis, ie how could Pakistan play a role as the means to achieve various Indian ends beyond South Asia (which India envisages with much euphoria and ecstasy)? As it has been mentioned earlier that Indian objectives are somewhat tremendous, regardless of boundaries and frontiers that it even joins its hands together with its former enemies. It works for dual purpose: for its own as well as the US. Since US is not only anxious of Chinese, economic expansion but also those states which once made rebellious attempts against it. Iran could be placed among them. India is considered as an actor from US side through which the US might have its interference in the internal and external dynamics of sanctions ridden Iran. Here it is no exception if the US provides its larger support to maintain its upperhand over the Indian Ocean sea lanes. As far as the Indian interests are concerned, so it needs a route via Central Asia which almost 60-65 trillion cu mtrs of natural gas which basically amounts to about 45-50 % of the global gas reserves.
This is a modified version of an article published in Pakistan Newspaper PakObserver. This one shows the mistrust between the two nations. Every positive move was diognised with a suspective analysis. I donno when these people start looking at things with a positive attitude.