FOR HIS PEACE INITIATIVE WITH PAKISTAN
Friday, October 11, 2013: In a development that has shocked the world community including many in India but has pleasantly stunned Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, has announced the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize goes to the career bureaucrat, who also happens to be India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The prime minster’s office at the 7RCR in Delhi has opened multiple lines of communication to receive the greeting calls from the ordinary citizens in a bid to cash the announcement for the electoral mileage at an electorally tough time for the Congress party, the largest party of the ruling coalition, the United Progressive Alliance. But it’s been hours and the response has been muted like the muted reaction of the political opponents of the UPA and the Congress party.
While Manmohan Singh was elated beyond words and asked us to wait for his worded response, the Congress party said it was a testimony to what the UPA government has been doing for India.
Excerpts from the Norwegian Nobel Committee press-release read:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 is to be awarded to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, the world’s largest democracy. If a democracy like India is somehow functional, it is due to the hard-work of the likes of Dr. Singh. India is a rapidly developing global superpower due to its large market size and impressive growth rate over the last two decade barring the last few years. With changing times, it becomes imperative for the country, an emerging superpower, to play a major role in the global peace-keeping process and what could be the better beginning than establishing peace at the controversial India-Pakistan border.
Dr. Singh, for the past 10 years, has been relentlessly working to maintain peace in one of the world’s most hostile region, Jammu & Kashmir, the South Asian patch of land claimed and shared by both the neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan.
In announcing this Peace Prize to Dr. Singh, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is driven by the similar intent and sentiments that it had while announcing the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Barack Obama, the serving US President and one of the great motivators of the Indian prime minister.
The decision to award the Peace Prize to Mr. Obama was based not on his achievements but on the ‘promising hopes’ he had raised with his journey to become the elected President of the USA, an inspiring journey then, with his ‘yes, we can’ promise.
Dr. Singh also raises hopes that the process of building peace in one of the world’s most hostile regions that can have serious implication for the global stability, Jammu & Kashmir, continues, even if it means drawing intense criticism back home. In fact, Dr. Singh’s achievements become even more credible when we see what compromises he had to make to continue with his peace-initiative with Pakistan.
He had to tolerate the bullying of Pakistan. His country is still being victimized by the continued acts of state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan in many parts of India including Jammu & Kashmir. Had it been with any other leader, we could never have thought of the India-Pakistan peace process coming back to the dialogue table so early and that too, with the continued backstabbing acts of Pakistan, as Dr. Singh did during the United Nations General Assembly session last month. On this count, Dr. Singh outdoes even his motivator, Mr. Obama. Recently, Mr. Obama cancelled summit talk with Mr. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, after Russia gave asylum to Mr. Edward Snowden, whom the US alleges of compromising the national security by leaking classified information.
Also, Dr. Singh had to face intense criticism in his country when he decided to resume summit dialogue with his Pakistani counterpart. It was in addition to the problems he was facing on internal political front owing to the multiple corruption allegations against his government and a slowing economy. That could have easily weakened anyone’s resolve to bow to the domestic pressure in the country to not withdraw from any dialogue with Pakistan at this stage.
But, Dr. Singh showed he was a man of intent. In spite of criticisms and allegations, he went ahead and held the meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, on the sidelines of the UNGA.
Like his domestic problems, nothing promising can be said about the India-Pakistan peace initiative spearheaded single-handedly by Dr. Singh but as mentioned earlier, the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee has been taken keeping in view the prospects of the peace-initiative and not its outcome. Peace between India and Pakistan, and its economic returns, would inspire other South Asian countries and hence the world to weigh their options and policies again. If South Asia could become a peace haven, it would be a boon for the world. Hosting three hugely populous countries with around 1500 million of population, the region could become a hue market, an economic powerhouse for the world, bringing prosperity to the world in a globalized economy.
For 112 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to promote a global environment of peace and prosperity and the Committee endorses Dr. Singh’s efforts to contribute to this never-ending process.
Oslo, October 11, 2013
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/