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India's Tortoise, Pakistan's Hare

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    India's Tortoise, Pakistan's Hare



    President Musharraf has emerged as a world class statement, with excellent PR skills which no leader in the region can match. After the President well received speech to the nation on Jan 12, the world is now becoming more and more aware of India's designs.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2002Feb8.html

    India's Tortoise, Pakistan's Hare

    Toss a question at Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's dignified-to-somnolent prime minister, and it hangs aloft for an eternity as he dismantles each dependent clause and inspects each adverb for danger or slight. Then Vajpayee begins an answer that will stretch across eons of pauses and epochs of vanilla, invariably leaving his interrogators guessing what he meant or even trying to remember what they had asked.

    The subject of a recent conversation in New Delhi was the military confrontation in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Vajpayee's dirigible of an answer floated down to this finale: "The day will come when India and Pakistan will be friends. It may not be right away, however."

    Gen. Pervez Musharraf treats questions as a skeet shooter treats clay pigeons. The Pakistani president enthusiastically blazed away in Islamabad two days later at the same subject and sent shards flying in all directions. Peace would be at hand if only the United States would prod India to the negotiating table. He and Vajpayee had nearly settled all this last summer in a meeting in Agra. They still could, simply by sitting down under U.S. oversight and talking about Musharraf's new four-point plan on Kashmir. "We are killing each other almost daily along the line of control," he asserted dramatically to underpin his appeal for immediate U.S. mediation. Then he wheeled to turn his fire on Vajpayee, the man he had just lauded as a potential partner in peace, and on Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh:

    "They went back on their word. I told Vajpayee at Agra: We have been humiliated and so have you. Maybe I should talk to the main decider" in the Indian government the next time, he said he told India's leader, who Musharraf assumed had been overruled by "hard-liners" in New Delhi. President Bush hosts the verbal skeet shooter on Wednesday at the White House. It is a high-profile meeting that Musharraf will want to center on Kashmir. Bush needs to keep it focused on Afghanistan, the search for al Qaeda's leaders and Pakistan's need for sweeping internal reform. And this is a moment for Bush to keep firmly in mind the vividly contrasting styles, mind-sets and strategic goals of the current Pakistani and Indian leaderships.

    There are times when getting foes together at the summit can help move their conflicts in the right direction. This is not such a time for India and Pakistan. Diplomacy in the Asian subcontinent should in fact concentrate on keeping Musharraf and Vajpayee out of the same room while their armies are still nose-to-nose as a result of the Dec. 13 terrorist attack on India's Parliament.

    The Pakistani hare yearns to race circles around the Indian tortoise once again, as he did in the Agra summit that Musharraf ended -- in his own account -- by openly insulting Vajpayee. Musharraf performed that same feat with the same evident unawareness of the effect he produced in a showy performance in Katmandu in December. There is a tone deafness in this relationship, as well as growing personal animosities, that make summitry a dangerous and unnecessary diplomatic option for India and Pakistan. It should receive no U.S. blessing or impetus this week in Washington.

    Needed instead are modest confidence-building measures that can be worked out in low-level contacts between the two sides, with minimal U.S. involvement. Attempts to resolve Kashmir politically should be shelved for the time being. Military de-escalation rather than statesmanship for the ages is the requisite of the day. Mother Nature has helped cool the confrontation in recent weeks. Heavy snowfalls in Kashmir have inhibited guerrilla infiltration or troop movements along the disputed territory's line of control. Musharraf's promises to curb any acts of terror from Pakistani territory have perhaps been easier to keep than even he anticipated.

    The danger of conflict yet erupting may be shifting to India's tendency to overplay its hand in the wake of conciliatory comments offered by Musharraf on Jan. 12. The decision by Vajpayee to let a scheduled missile test firing go ahead at the end of January bordered on provocation. And New Delhi has failed to ease the travel and diplomatic restrictions it put in place in December, despite Musharraf's subsequent cooperation with Secretary of State Colin Powell in reducing border tensions.

    There are foothills that can be climbed by lower-level officials, who must begin to break down the big problems that plague these two neighbors into small, manageable pieces. That pedestrian approach is not in Musharraf's nature, but ultimately it is in his interest.


    #2
    mallik it seems both want peace and almost
    made a deal may be others fear the unknown.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by rvikz:
      mallik it seems both want peace and almost
      made a deal may be others fear the unknown.
      Yes, that's why according to this article President Mushrraf said at Agra - Maybe I should talk to the main decider" in the Indian government the next time, he said he told India's leader, who Musharraf assumed had been overruled by "hard-liners" in New Delhi.

      Comment


        #4
        The main decider in India are the people. AFtdr all its a democracy. Its difficult to make a deal with a dictator. Hopefully one day their will be a functioning democracy in Pakistan and a deal will be possible. till tht happens status quo is all that is possible.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Tanhaa:
          The main decider in India are the people.
          Tell that to the people of occupied Kashmir huh? Those that haven't been killed by the Indian army so far, and you might a different answer.

          Comment


            #6
            The problem with Pakistan is that at the moment they have a main decider, who may not hold for long and a new one will come up with his own ideas and he will be main decider at that time with no one to remotely challenge him and so on. What if democracy returns to Pakistan and a democratic govt. turns down an agreement done by a dictator who is not representative of the people of pakistan. Just being smart in summits does not make strong policies, otherwise India should send a good dialogue writer and deliverer like Kader khan or Nana Patekar from Bollywood who can sway people by their dialogues and actions. Diplomacy is not acting smart.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by dhir:
              The problem with Pakistan is that at the moment they have a main decider...
              You mean the problem of decision-making is in your own country, with a government headed by a puppet (Vajpayee), and Advani the Babri demolisher the real power. Our decision-maker truly showed that up in your own land when he came to Agra, followed by that encounter at Kathmandu. But it's good that you recognise that India has nowhere near smart diplomats and PR as Pakistan does.


              [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited February 11, 2002).]

              Comment


                #8
                Malik ji, you are beating around the bush blindly. What I said is exactly the opposite of what you understood. India does not put its General to do the diplomacy. There is no race between an army general and a seasoned matured politician. Physical traits are not a necessaty to become a head of government in India. In your understanding Mushy is much smarter to the Chinese leader in talking and walking, what should we infer. By your understanding we should put Aishwarya Rai/Amitabh Bachan as head of govt. who should simply swoop the ground beneath people feet by mere looks and speech.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by dhir:
                  In your understanding Mushy is much smarter to the Chinese leader in talking and walking, what should we infer.
                  No not my understanding, but an increasing number of foreigners who have become wise to the lack of Indian leadership and crucially Indian designs regarding Kashmir. Our General is now the internationally recognised and internationally acclaimed President and Chief Executive of Pakistan. President's, Prime Ministers, Interim leaders and the Kings of the world are able to meet with him, negotiate with him, and sign agreements with him. India is alone in being the only country in the world that cannot make compromises and negotiate in good faith. Is it any wonder that this article says that foreigners get little understanding of what India's leader is saying, and what he means. They have no such problem with our great President though. The bankruptcy of Indian leadership is shown by you repeatedly offering Bollywood actors (even dead ones) as examples of Indian leaders.



                  [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited February 11, 2002).]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    mallik if he so popular why cant he face
                    pakistan's electorate. if vajpayee is so
                    bad he will not be elected in next elections.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rvikz:
                      mallik if he so popular why cant he face
                      pakistan's electorate. if vajpayee is so
                      bad he will not be elected in next elections.
                      So now India is promoting "democracy" in the region? Has it been taking this message of "democracy" to regional leaders in Beijing, Bhutan and Rangoon for instance? If it has then India would surely have lost diplomatic relations with dozens of states around the world by now. As for Vajpayee being kicked out at the next elections - you said that at the last election and he was re-elected. Which must mean that Indian's are content with electing a powerless puppet to power over and over again.

                      The world over is pretty satisified and delighted to deal with our great leader, and all hypoocritical talk of "democracy" has gone out of the window.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        India a democracy!!! Oh well you learn something new every day.



                        [This message has been edited by Mursalin (edited February 11, 2002).]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Since Prez Mush has emerged as a world class Statesman - here is an example of how sincere he is :-

                          U.S. plans warm greeting for Musharraf

                          State Department officials initially praised Musharraf's assistance in looking for Pearl. But Musharraf's recent comments alleging that India might have played a role in Pearl's disappearance have deeply irritated U.S. Officials Washington believes India had no role in Pearl's kidnapping and also worries that Musharraf's comments could re-ignite India-Pakistan tensions. On relations between India and Pakistan, "It's important for the United States to tell Musharraf that this isn't a game," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Policy and a leading authority on Pakistan's nuclear program.


                          ------------------
                          AK

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Abdali:
                            India a democracy!!! Oh well you learn something new every day.
                            Yes you do. They should try telling that to the Kashmiri people they are looting, raping and killing for demanding their freedom.

                            Pakistan under Musharraf is now more safe, secure and stronger than ever before and our foes know that and fear it. In one of Britain's leading newspapers today it was commenting on the failed leaderships and policies of the African continent. It suggested that Africa needed leaders like Mitterand (the former French President) and Musharraf to show them vision and leadership. That's how our superb President is now viewed so favorably in the world today.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Stick to the topic and respect the forum rules



                              [This message has been edited by Mursalin (edited February 11, 2002).]

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