MASOOD AZHAR DETENTION: WHERE WAS SUSPENSE?

The news that Masood Azhar had been detained in Pakistan in Pathankot terror attack case broke like a sweeping development – taking over all in its awe.

But scratch a little and there is something familiar that worries us as – something that has worried us all in every case where perpetrators are ‘hiding’ at large in Pakistan with a respectable public life.

Unlike Dawood Ibrahim, whose presence Pakistan denies vehemently, such has not been the case with Hafiz Saeed, the LeT and JuD chief, with a US bounty of US$ 10 Million on his head. He is a highly respectable figure in Pakistan. He spews venom against India. He warns Pakistani establishment on speaking even a single word that is pro India. He regularly visits border areas in Pakistan to deliver anti-India ‘sermons’.

And such has not been the case even with Masood Azhar, even if he was an imprisoned terrorist in India who was swapped in the IC814 hijacking episode in 1999. A natural, responsible step by Pakistan would be to hand over Masood Azhar to India – because he would always remain wanted in India – with his past – with his arrest in Sringar in 1995 or his role in 2001 Parliament attack and his conviction in absentia, his role in 2008 Mumbai attacks, or in different terror attacks in India.

But India must not forget that Pakistan did not hand over Masood to America even after intense pressure in journalist Daniel Pearl murder case.

So, Pakistan is not going to detain him or arrest him for India – that is like daydreaming.

Also, it was said (or alleged) that Masood was taken in ‘protective custody’. Now what is this ‘protective custody’? You don’t need to go far and deep to know what this term legally means in Pakistan than a simple Google search.

A Google search with ‘protective custody’ returns with loads of pages saying ‘Osama bin Laden was in protective custody in Pakistan’. That is more than enough to tell us what it means. Osama enjoyed a safe life in Pakistan for years, in its military backyard – till one fine day – when America disrupted and destroyed the related ‘collective designs’.

Today’s rumour that spread like wildfire may well be intended at creating atmospherics for India-Pakistan FS level talks – that both countries are in a trap to look committed to – after Narendra Modi’s surprise Lahore visit on Nawaz Sharif’s birthday on December 25 last year.

Anyway, we can expect that something good will come out from this dilemma – that it will not work as some ‘entrapment’- because both countries are looking closest to their shared and distinctive realities now.

If Pakistan needs a ‘Pakistan’ that goes ahead on the path of development, away from a very certain scenario of nation’s disintegration, it must maintain peace with India – because most of its resources, in the situations now, are being absorbed in destabilizing India – something that is nothing but a daydreaming. A peaceful relation with the world’s third largest economy, that is also its neighbour, will give Pakistan the much needed leverage to initiate on the process of nation building.

For India, a peaceful Pakistan and peace at India Pakistan borders would help in developing areas in these conflict zones at par with other parts in the country. And obviously would smoothen the flow of energy resources from ‘energy-rich’ central Asian countries.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA AND PAKISTAN ARE TALKING AGAIN

So, on a non-rhetorical note, India and Pakistan have decided to resume their bilateral dialogue again – that has had a fractured history so far – with many more lows and few, standalone highs.

And away from all pointers of debate and who said what in the past and who did what – it is the best possible option available for both countries – because it suits their populations back homes – two populations that were one before 1947.

It is the best thing that can happen to India and Pakistan – increased people to people to contact – revisiting the shared cultural interests that still define life in every city of India – and a ‘peaceful’ Pakistan can immensely benefit from it.

The present geopolitical balance where economy is the most important parameter to weigh one’s share in the ‘group of most effective voices’ on world affairs, Pakistan is nowhere near to India. India is a major world economy now and is poised to become a global power.

But that only makes for the case that it engages in peace process with Pakistan – to synergise its efforts in building an economy that is already the most preferred destination of every global outfit – and thus building a society that becomes an example. That one is a massive task with long term goals and require decades of continued nation building.

And doing so, engaging with India in the peace process and looking for solutions to the issues that create problems, will ultimately help India – its fledgling economy – increasing radicalization of its society – and its crumbling national integrity.

Even if Pakistan employs all its resources and wages a war till its last remnant , it will not be able to take Kashmir, or for that matter, any other part from India. This realization is already there. The need is to act on it. The need in Pakistan is to utilize the resources for nation building that it is wasting in creating troubles for India – a huge pool of resources that can prove very vital for Pakistani society.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHY SHOULD WE BAN THEM?

We want to see India play Pakistan as far as cricket goes. Indians, barring few fanatics, want so, and there is no harm, even ideologically, if we are supposed to play with them in a third country.

Why value Pakistan so much that we are forced, that we are compelled to snap events on our shared cultural heritage, on our shared cultural traits – music, cinema or sports?

In fact, we Indians should happily ignore the fanatic calls or impulsive reactions to ban them – and should enjoy a good musical piece – should relish a good artful cinema work – or should worrying/thrillingly watch every moment of a riveting India-Pakistan cricket rivalry in the field.

That, in fact, should be a major priority factor in India’s ‘shedding Pakistan obsession’ policy.

We need to see Pakistan at best as a small country in our neighbourhood that shares common cultural elements with us. If any reality, in any comparison of India vis-à-vis Pakistan exists, it ends here, at this cultural context.

India had 17.22 crore Muslims according to figures from Census 2011 and Pakistan’s overall population that year was 17.62 crore. And Muslims are just 14.2% of our population – our equal brothers and sisters – assimilated in and contributing to our joint cultural values.

India and Pakistan began their sovereign, independent journeys together. But the similarity ended there. Pakistan is no match for India today. India is a global player while Pakistan is not even a regional power.

And even a Nawaz Sharif meeting Barack Obama this week in Washington or many Pakistan leaders shouting anti-India rants over the top on every possible global platform should be dismissed accordingly.

When they need to cease existing as the focal points of our South Asia policy, why should we care at all about Pakistani artists and sportsmen playing or performing in India?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/