Partition: Jihad & Peace
National relations between countries are often a victim of manipulation of people s sentiments by the de facto rulers of the countries. None more true than for Pakistan and India. Pakistan for most of its 60-odd years since 1947 has been under one-party (military) rule which for its own survival and hegemony over political parties has kept up the anti-India pot boiling in the name of national existence, liberation of Kashmir, Islam and the Ummah (the global nation of Islam). India has been ruled by successive secular, civilian parties for most of its first 60 years since independence. Paradoxically enough even during the brief six years of the coalition government led by the half-secular Bharatiya Janata Party under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, anti-Pakistani sentiments were at one of their lowest levels. Indeed there was an upsurge of people-to-people bonhomie 1999 Kargil war and 2002 Gujarat pogrom notwithstanding. Pakistan s de facto rulers (Army and its intelligence arm ISI) have for long taken their allies, the USA and Saudi Arabia, for a ride and convinced them that India constitutes a threat to Pakistan s very existence. Such an existential threat, if ever there was one, had become forever neutralized with Pakistan s acquisition of the nuclear bomb, courtesy China. Not satisfied with such a powerful guarantee, Pakistani rulers still thought it fit to launch the Kargil war besides numerous aided and abetted attacks like Mumbai 26/11 on India. Clearly the so-called existential threat is a cover for the real objective which is to protect and promote the Army s power-perch in Pakistan s polity. Notwithstanding the twists and turns of history and politics, peace between India and Pakistan is very much achievable.
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