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    india votes in favor pakistan

    Winds of change

    Dr Farrukh Saleem

    India has declared a temporary "unilateral ceasefire". Pakistan has pledged "maximum restraint" along the Line of Control (LoC). There has already been an appreciable drop in the cross-border exchange of fire. At the IMF, India casted its 41,832 votes in favour of Pakistan's loan request. America, with its 371,743 votes, abstained from voting against Pakistan. The Executive Board of the IMF finally approved a $596 million stand-by facility for Pakistan.

    Abdul Gani Lone of Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference is saying out loud that "fundamentalists are a threat to peace in Jammu and Kashmir." Dr Farooq Abdullah, chief minister of the Indian-Held Kashmir, has expressed "optimism for early Indo-Pak dialogue." The former Hurriyat Conference chairman Mir waiz Omar Farooq says that "Pakistan's historical stance on Kashmir has changed". Yaseen Malik, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), has declared that India is "sincere in its attempts to bring peace and solve the vexed Kashmir issue." The military government in Pakistan has invited the executive committee of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to visit Islamabad. Finally, Nawaz is gone and Pakistan's political pulse has come down to a more normal level. The Karachi Stock Exchange is celebrating all this.

    Winds may be changing direction and something good is, hopefully, in the offing. If peace wins there shall be a heavy peace dividend on both sides of the LoC. If peace wins one-fifth of humanity, that has been in a state of low-intensity warfare for the past half century, also wins.

    To be certain, Indian political dynamics are different from Pakistan's. Indian political leadership is very particular about keeping a lid on their generals. Whenever the military is called upon to serve army's political influence increases. Defence allocation almost always depends on army's political influence (contrary to the commonly held belief that defence budget is related to threat perception). Right after Kargil, the Indian Army snatched a much larger share of the budget than it usually does. Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha was forced to hike the defence allocation by a whopping Rs12,893 crore ($3 billion) to Rs58,587 crore ($13.5 billion) for fiscal 2000-2001". Sinha had said back then, "This represents the largest ever increase in the defence budget in any single year."

    Indian politicians now want to put the uniformed genie back into the bottle. One way of doing just that is to cool things off in Kashmir. The other realization, that seems to be sinking in east of the LoC but is yet to arrive in Pakistan - is that economic strength has now become the primary driver of global political influence. Under the new world economic order, power no longer flows from the barrel of a gun. Its the economic engine that carries all other bogeys. India, therefore, now dreams to be an economic power. For India's dream to come true, a prerequisite would be the settlement of nagging border disputes.

    In India, the change in direction is primarily driven by internal forces (although there are external pressures as well). In Pakistan, on the other hand, the reform agenda is still externally driven. Generals in the driving seat are discovering Pakistan's economic vulnerabilities. In Pakistan, money, rather a severe lack of it, is making Pakistan's uniformed decision makers listen to the roars of the world community. Looking at the subcontinent from another angle, both India and Pakistan want money. For money, they both seem inclined to changing their political behaviour including resolution of conflicts through peaceful means. India is looking to attract General Electric, Exxon-Mobil, Ford, Enron, IBM, AIG, Unocal, Citibank and Chase (to name a few).

    There is a lot of foreign money looking at India as a potential investment destination in India's underdeveloped energy (Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are all short of power), water management and transport sectors. Pakistan, at least at this stage of the game, cannot expect any significant private capital inflow. It, therefore, remains dependent on multilateral loans to fill its black holes of budgetary and trade deficits. India wants equity investments while Pakistan is left with little choice but to accumulate additional debts.

    There also is evidence that Kashmiris in the disputed state are getting tired of violence. If Abdul Gani Lone, the senior Hurriyat leader, is to be believed then the "biggest danger now is from the extremists. They will make serious efforts to undermine the ceasefire."Lone also believes that "national press in India only gives the government's version of Kashmir, and it is the same in Pakistan." Four 'official myths' that Lone uncovered during his recent trip to Islamabad are:

    Many Pakistanis are led to believe that Kashmiris in India want the territory to become part of Pakistan

    All Kashmiris are mullahs and jihadis

    The Kashmiri freedom struggle is purely indigenous

    Mercenaries are welcomed in Kashmir.

    To be certain, Pakistan has long supported "freedom fighters" as a cheap way of keeping 15 to 20 Indian divisions tied down to Kashmir. The other side of the coin is that sectarian killings within Pakistan and the two freedom movements of Afghanistan and Kashmir have often overlapped. At this juncture, Pakistani strategists face a rather unique 'principal-agent' dilemma. Political interests of Pakistan, the principal, and those of "freedom fighters", the agents, do not fully align. The ultimate goal of the "agents"--that is after liberating Afghanistan and Kashmir--is to impose their own rather narrow and violent version of Islam on Pakistan itself.

    What began as a purely indigenous and a secular freedom movement has now become a religious crusade being fought largely by outsiders. There is a whole generation of jihadis that has grown up knowing nothing but jihad. Madarissas have long donated 'labor' while 'capital' has traditionally come from the Arab world. Jihad now moves on its own momentum.

    For Pakistani decision makers changing direction isn't going to be easy. Over the years, there has been a tremendous investment of time, capital, material, intelligence and personnel. There are powerful vested financial interests both in India and in Pakistan. Military commanders, west of the LoC, are finding their economic options getting narrower by the day. The world would be watching the LoC at least for the following two weeks keenly searching for clues of peace. To be sure, no one is looking for spectacular overnight results. Progress towards peace after some 20,000 days of hostilities is bound to be slow. What matters right now is direction rather than speed.


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    #2
    well hmmm... interesting read.

    ------------------
    CROIRE A L'INCROYABLE
    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

    Comment


      #3
      All we are saying give peace a chance!!

      Honorable,just &unconditional

      Comment


        #4
        Pakistan has to be careful here. hindutva objective of talks is:

        1. slow down the killing of hindu army. years of whipping is finally taking its toll and the army is fed up of picking up dead bodies of their fellow soldiers everyday. a freeze or slow down of attacks on hindu army will boost their moral... thus giving them more time to buy more sophisticated weapons from israel and other countries.

        2. create friction among mujahideen.

        3. Talks should revolove around Pakistan vacating Kashmir thus giving hindutvas control of entire Kashmir valley. While assuring hindutva loonies back home that there will be no compromise on Kashmir.

        hindutvas do not give two hoots about Kashmiries. They have no interest in the well being of Kashmiries or of Muslims for that matter. So i wonder if talks would really work with hindutvas on any issue. be it Kashmir or Babri mosque. hindu newspaper ran an article the other day quoting that "babri mosque has no significance for muslims and that mosques are broken from time to time. so muslims should give up their claim." and the hindutva pm of india quoted the same reasons a day later.

        Pakistan's objective and the only condition for talks should be:

        1. agree to resolving Kashmir as promised in UN resolutions.

        untill then... the hindutva army along with hindu govt officials oughta be fried one way or the other in Kashmir, out of Kashmir. land air sea wherever we find one.

        [This message has been edited by mundyaa (edited December 17, 2000).]

        Comment


          #5
          Talks should proceed by all means.What is the harm in talking anyway, so long as India is clear about it's objectives.
          Mundyya in view of the situation on the ground the motto should be 'A little less of dope would go a long way towards a hope'

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