NAGROTA: PARTING SHOT BY GEN SHARIF OR INAUGURAL GIFT BY GEN BAJWA?

Though Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Bajwa, after taking the charge yesterday, said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan would be normal soon, indicating a softer approach than his predecessor, developments say otherwise.

The day, when Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa took baton from the outgoing Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, a proven India detractor, 7 Indian soldiers including two officials were martyred in a terror attack on an army unit near Jammu.

The attack that began early morning and lasted for some 14 hours saw fierce gunbattle and a hostage like situation with terrorists targeting army officials’ mess and residential units in Nagrota, near Indian Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters.

As expected, ugly politics over the issue has pitched in. Political goalposting has started. Debates and opinions are raging on ‘whys and hows’ of this attack that is clearly an intelligence failure but, at the outset, it is clear that it will be linked with Gen. Raheel Sharif’s parting warning to India and Gen. Bajwa ascendance to the throne.

While transferring power to Gen. Bajwa, Raheel Sharif warned India of its stand on Kashmir, comparing it with ‘increased terrorism and aggression’. He said, “India should know that mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous.”

We all know that is an empty rhetoric, especially after the fact that the all powerful army of Pakistan had no other option left but to deny the highly successful surgical strike by India deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The Pakistan Army could not have accepted the Indian surgical strike as it would undermine the numero-uno position it enjoys in Pakistan, presenting its weaker character before everyone – whereas Raheel Sharif had curated a ‘hero sort of image’ for himself – riding high on anti-India acts and rhetoric.

Also, doing so, as the Pakistani civilian leadership had done initially, accepting India’s claims till the army told them to toe its line of shameless denial, would have put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani army to reply back to India in a similar manner, something that it was simply not capable of.

But incidents like Nagrota or Uri present reaffirm the clear face of danger due to Pakistan’s proxy war in India. Almost all terror attacks in any part of India are found to have Pakistani links. If Jammu & Kashmir, that was once considered heaven on earth, has now become a living hell, it is because of Pakistan’s proxy war only.

It is this proxy war that Pakistan has adopted as the mainstay of its policy. Raheel Sharif actively extended that tradition. And whatever Pakistan’s military does, its civilian government has to follow that – willingly or unwillingly –  because military is supreme in Pakistan.

So, even if we were yet to hear a word about India from its next army chief, Pakistan’s spin doctors, its politicians, were already on the job. So Sartaj Aziz had said that any dialogue process cannot go ahead with India unless Kashmir is on the table, a prospect that India has officially denied, saying if there has to be India-Pakistan dialogue, it will be on terror only. So Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif had said there will be no change in Pakistan’s military policy on Indian border under Gen. Bajwa.

Even if Pakistan’s new army chief Gen. Bajwa is yet to speak openly on his thoughts on India!

Whatever little he spoke yesterday didn’t give much – but at least, from that little – we can give him the benefit of doubt – that this cowardly act in Nagrota, targeting residential units of an Indian Army base, was a parting shot by a frustrated Raheel Sharif, who, despite all his tall claims and boastings, would have to live forever with the fact that it was during his tenure only that India conducted a highly successful surgical strike deep inside his territory of influence and owned it before the world and he could not do anything.

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING ANTI-INDIA RHETORIC, PAKISTAN’S FS WARNS INDIA OF ITS BELLIGERENT ATTITUDE

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has warned India against the ‘harms’ of its hostile ‘tendencies’ against Pakistan, implying it’s a ‘dangerous’ territory.

According to a report published in The News International, Chaudhry, in a TV programme, said ‘India, with its belligerent attitude, was treading a serious path’.

Pakistan’s new army chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is assuming office tomorrow. His predecessor, General Raheel Sharif, has had the notoriety of pushing India-Pak ties to a historically low point with war-like situation prevailing along the border between the two neighbours.

Now it is a well-established fact that Pakistan’s army chief is its most powerful person. Gen. Raheel Sharif is leaving the Pakistan’s most powerful office with anti-India designs, something that reflects in the statements of every Pakistani politician, be it its prime minister or defence minister or foreign affairs minister.

If we take a cue from that, India is going to handle the same, belligerent and backstabbing Pakistan as it was during Raheel Sharif’s time.

Continuing the tradition of anti-India rhetoric, Pakistan FS said ‘Pakistan had very sagaciously reminded it (India) of such dangerous tendencies’.

While emphasizing that India and Pakistan needed to talk, he further added that ‘Pakistan’s defences were fully impregnable and it could not be intimidated with volleys of bragging talks’.

Pakistan’s leadership has been more livid ever since India conducted its surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September eliminating dozens of terrorists and terror launch-pads. What has been more humiliating for Pakistan and its military leadership is that they cannot accept on any platform any such military exercise by the Indian army inside the territory of its influence.

And so they are resorting to such ‘volleys of bragging talks’ like Pakistan’s FS has just said or like other ruling elite of Pakistan say about India every other day or like the continued shelling across our border areas ever since the surgical strike.

Ever since the surgical strike on September 29, Pakistan has violated ceasefire over 300 times and brags about how many Indian soldiers it has killed in the cross-border firing to appease concerns of its internal politics. But as the Indian forces have been given a free hand to give befitting reply to any Pakistani misadventure, the scale of damage on the Pakistani side in the Indian counter-firing has been manifold.

Last week we saw a glimpse of it when the Pakistani DGMO had to call his Indian counterpart for talks after India’s retaliatory fire in response to an Indian soldier’s beheading inflicted heavy damage on the Pakistani side. We can gauge the extent of damage by the fact that it was the first time since the surgical strike that the Pakistani DGMO had to speak to the Indian DGMO about bringing normalcy along the LoC.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT IS NOT THE NEXT WORST CRISIS HOTBED!

Some analysts, including a recent opinion piece in Al Jazeera, predict that South Asia (or more specifically the Indian Subcontinent) is poised to be the next worst crisis hotbed of the world – with the region having three belligerent nuclear power nations who are also neighbours – India, China and Pakistan – with historical border disputes and the enmity thereof that has given rise to many wars and consistent rush of skirmishes.

Well, to clear things first, India and China have had historical enmity and border disputes but both countries are now big enough economies to engage in a full scale bilateral war – China’s is the world’s second largest economy and India is the third largest. They cannot and they should not afford even the border skirmishes now and the recent developments indicate that.

Yes, there are problems but these are now basically rhetorical in nature as China’s authoritarian regime needs some tough posturing to send home the message. Ideally, in the prevailing circumstances, when China is now more of a ‘capitalist’ communist state, things should not go beyond that. And it should be seen in the context of India’s space and military prowess that can harm China enough to come to the negotiating table in case of a full blown war.

The sanctity of China’s authoritarian regime lies in how it manages and grows its economy. The nation certainly cannot afford a Tiananmen now.

And with Pakistan, though China is the country’s historical ally, it is not going to the extent to support Pakistan in case of any hostility with India – coupled with the fact the US is now there to support India against China. Also, China is facing Muslim insurgency in its Muslim dominated regions that gets lifeline from Pakistan.

Any military confrontation between India and China is damaging for the economies of both of the nations and they will not risk it – let alone the spectre of full scale war.

And if a military confrontation will be damaging for India, it will be annihilating for Pakistan. A blown out hostility or a full scale war with a bigger country that is many times you militarily and economically will be like inviting ‘the end of days’ for its all ‘powerful’ military that now stands nowhere near to India.

The future of the Indian Subcontinent will be driven by these ground-based realities – and the spectre of an economic meltdown thereof – and not by the incessant war rhetoric of Pakistan – and not by the toughly-worded posturing by India and China.

So, where are the next real crisis hotbeds – the conflict theatres so volatile that they can send the world upside down – a world bound by a globalized economy – the Korean Peninsula – or the South China Sea?

The ‘capitalist’ communist logic with China applies even here. But, certainly, we all need to be worried about North Korea and its young, obese, morose but mercurial dictator who is also insane.

©/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/

INDIA SHEDDING ITS ‘PAKISTAN OBSESSION’: PAKISTAN DESPERATELY TRYING TO PROVOKE INDIA

“Narendra Modi contested elections on anti-Pakistan platform and now wants to dictate terms for the dialogue with Pakistan but we will never accept this and we have already conveyed it to New Delhi.” He said Kashmir will be part and parcel of any agenda of talks with India and that the international community has accepted Pakistan’s point of view in this regard. Aziz said that no one could dare to launch any attack inside Pakistan and if anyone did so, he would get a befitting response. He said that Pakistan would not be pressured by Indian threats of an attack at any time, adding that if India even thought of attacking, Pakistan would provide a befitting response.

Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Dawn, September 8, 2014

“If the enemy (read India) ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale – short or long – it will have to pay an unbearable cost.”

“Enduring peace is not possible without a just resolution of Kashmir. The issue can no longer be put on the backburner.”

Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s Army Chief, September 6, 2015

“Undoubtedly Pakistan is a responsible and peaceful nuclear power. Though, we are fully aware of the conspiracies and tactics of the enemies (read India), we desire to have good and peaceful relations with all our neighbours on the basis of sovereign equality. I wish to make it clear that we will protect the sovereignty and security of Pakistan at all cost.”

“Today we are celebrating the golden jubilee of those memorable events, when our brave armed forces not only successfully defended its frontiers but also thwarted the nefarious designs of the enemy (read India).”

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, while speaking on 50th anniversary of 1965 war between India and Pakistan – September 6, 2015

“September 6 is the day of aggression for India and the Day of Defence for Pakistan and with the Grace of Allah, it became the day of victory for Pakistan and the day of defeat for India.”

Pervaiz Rashid, Pakistan’s Information Minister, September 6

These loud claims cap the prevailing sentiments in Pakistan’s ruling establishment, that is, it’s all powerful military, and a political regime that depends on this military for its survival.

As India is finally shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, Pakistan’s ruling elite are getting ever more desperate to look for fodders that words of Indian establishment used to provide to lubricate (incite) the ordinary Pakistani mindsets – an anti-India atmosphere that the Pakistan’s ruling class has exploited since the days of partition.

Irrespective of what Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Advisor meant, India, for decades, practiced the policy of getting engaged in ‘below the belt’ verbal wars with Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan outdid India many times on international platforms while spreading falsities and propaganda about Kashmir – not because Pakistan could do it efficiently – but because India’s sluggishness allowed it do so.

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 it has not happened in a year.

But the realization on Indian part, in the ruling establishment of India, came late.

India should (and should have) dismiss (dismissed) Pakistan as a disturbed nation that is (was) trying to divert attention from its internal problems by targeting India – through words – through wars – and proxy war activities like militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and support to terrorism in other parts of India.

Well, Pakistan has been at it for decades. And has failed to make any significant dent – even after waging many wars – that it all lost – including this one in 1965.

India knows it. The world knows it. Pakistan knows it but doesn’t accept it back home.

India was giving undue attention to Pakistan so far. The time is now to realize and move ahead. The time is now to remain silent and act whenever there is any provocation, as is the policy now – inflicting heavy damage whenever Pakistan violates ceasefire (that it does in routine). Destabilizing India and taking J&K from it are beyond Pakistan’s reach. And a growing global stature of India has made things even more difficult for Pakistan.

As India is shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, not rushing to react on war-mongering rhetoric by Pakistan’s leaders while replying Pakistan’s armed provocations with twice the force, Pakistan is finding hard to explain back home the failures that are piling up by the day.

Everyone in Pakistan’s ruling establishment is trying hard to provoke India – but India, it seems, is not going to buy the verbal bravado now – or is not going to be trapped there – in a ‘below the belt’ war of words. For Pakistan’s support to armed militancy in J&K and other parts of India – our internal apparatus is strong enough to mitigate hostile developments.

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

GOOD THAT INDIA IS FINALLY SHEDDING ITS PAKISTAN OBSESSION

When Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that any talks with India ‘sans Kashmir’ were futile, he was only summing up the line of ongoing verbal volleys – by his other ministers.

After (naturally) expecting it – as we are hearing Pakistani leaders of different hues, including Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz – Sharif’s version was only a symbolic summation of how the political establishment of Pakistan once again surrendered before its all powerful army (and therefore its real ruler, the army chief there).

And it is good that we, in India, didn’t reach much into it and decided to stick to our position this time – that the whole Jammu and Kashmir (including Pakistan occupied Kashmir) is our integral part and its society and politics will be governed according to the Indian Constitution – and not what some sidelined separatist leaders like the Hurriyat ones say.

It is good, that, we, as a nation, are finally shedding its Pakistan obsession.

Yes, it is political pragmatism that every nation wants a peaceful neighbourhood, especially with democracies. And, irrespective of intelligence claims and counterclaims, we have valid and worldly reasons to believe that India is not orchestrating unrest in Pakistan. Terrorism and other internal rifts in Pakistan are its own making and Pakistan is paying a heavy price for that – now.

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.

Sovereign India and Pakistan started their journeys the same day – two countries that shared a joint geographical patch and culture until then.

India remained a democracy, and with time, in fact, strengthened its institutions and processes. Its security establishment proudly built on its own. Its economy grew. Its middle class swelled. And today, it has become as imperative a market for the global economy as China is. And as China is slowing down, the world is looking to India – the world’s fastest economy – the world’s third largest economy – and the world’s youngest country demographically – with projections to have the world’s largest middle class by 2030.

Yes, India’s democracy has had its internal flaws but in spite of that, we have a healthy electoral system that makes our democratic set-up robustly functional.

But, Pakistan started faltering very early on its sovereign journey. During 68 years of existence, the country has been ruled by its army most of the time. Pakistan’s political establishment could never stand on its own. Military effectively entrenched itself into every aspect of Pakistan’s socio-political milieu – killing democracy in the process.

Pakistan has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

Yes, in India, every aspect of society has corruption as malaise, but here, we can raises voices and push for remedies. Pakistan’s military establishment doesn’t allow that – acting on cases based on its self-interest.

Pakistan of the day is failing to handle its internal mess, something that is its own creation, including terrorism, anarchy in tribal areas and separatist movements but the ego (or the compulsion) of its ruling/military dispensations is forcing them to still engage in anti-India activities and propaganda – primarily in Jammu and Kashmir – and in India wherever possible – trying to provoke Muslims in the name of religion – even if India has more Muslims than Pakistan – even if the Muslims of India have registered maximum decadal population growth rate (as the Census 2011 data on growth rate of different religious communities released today says). They are our equal brothers and complete the arch of India’s diverse cultural landscape.

India and Pakistan started their journeys as independent countries in similar circumstances. India is a global player now – on its way to become a global power in a multi-polar world – and Pakistan is not even a regional player.

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

PAKISTAN’S TALKS AND J&K GOVERNMENT AND BJP’S POLITICAL TRANSITION

Two developments that are intricately interwoven around Jammu & Kashmir, India-Pakistan bilateral ties, BJP’s politics and political identity and National Democratic Alliance government are taking some curvaceous churning these days.

The BJP and Narendra Modi have had a reflection of nationalist pro-Hindutva politics with a tough stance on dialogue with Pakistan.

But in the changed political scenario, with the responsibility of running the world’s largest democracy, any hard-line stance needs moderation. In fact, the stance needs some fundamental changes to redefine what constitutes nationalism. And it requires effectively nullifying the pro-Hindutva reflections here.

The BJP and Narendra Modi realize it. The party, along with its most popular and successful leader of the time, has to go through this transition, something on the lines of having a ‘nationalist, secular identity’ with a global vision of being a responsible world power. And whatever we think or have discourses on, the global community along with its world powers, still want India and Pakistan to talk, even if bilaterally, over J&K. Yes, it’s true that Pakistan has lost most of its currency on the issue, but it is still some years away that the world finally discards Pakistan’s hollow rhetoric on it.

So, there are different approaches to the two core problems that have shaped the BJP’s politics over the years – the party’s stand on Jammu & Kashmir and on dialogue with India Pakistan.

The ups and downs in talks with Pakistan are its truest reflections. First inviting Nawaz Sharif, even with other SAARC head of states, to his government’s inauguration, then suspending India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks on Pakistan’s High Commissioner’s meet with J&K separatists, then again pushing for the talks with FS S. Jaishankar’s Pakistan visit beginning tomorrow, even if it is part of an extended trip, the ‘SAARC Yatra’.

And these reflections are further reflected in the prolonged discussions on government formation in J&K. The PDP and the BJP are two extremes in terms of ideologies and it took months of negotiations to arrive at some deal to form the coalition government in the state with BJP MLAs taking ministerial oath for the first time. Everything about this alliance has been uneasy so far, including its beginning with the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed thanking Pakistan, separatists and militants for ‘allowing’ peaceful elections in the state.

But, these may be written off as the initial hiccups of some unusual, uneasy formations, that if the BJP pulls of effectively, will become milestones in redefining its political identity and thus its political space in the India’s socio-political future.

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

INDIA CAN ‘FORCE’ PEACE AND TRANQUILLITY ALONG ITS BORDERS WITH PAKISTAN, WORLD COMMUNITY KNOWS IT

India and Pakistan because cannot be brought to peace because the ‘disquiet’ is always Pakistan provoked; because of Pakistan’s belligerent ruling class gets its lease of life from its military that in turn draws authority in the country due to its anti-India stand exploiting the deep chasms of Hindu-Muslim divide across the border.

India is undoubtedly an emerging world power, already the world’s third largest economy and projected to be having the largest middle class by 2030, is a place the world economy is looking up to. No other country including China has the edge of a huge consuming middle class that can satiate the needs of the world’s capital flow. Its market is going to transcend all and the world powers know it.

India is also the world’s largest democracy, a responsible democracy, a democracy that has the potential to play the role of power packed export house of talent, a democracy that is space power, and that is a military power of growing prowess.

Why would it engage in hostilities with a small country like Pakistan when it knows a peaceful Pakistan is good for its own growth?

And India can handle bullies like Pakistan on its own the world community is increasingly realizing it, irrespective of how many times, including today’s, Pakistan pleads for world intervention in the Kashmir issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chided Pakistan reminding the neighbouring nation of the futility of raising the K-issue on international forums saying a UN platform would only derail the process and no one in the world community reacted on it. That should have been the clear message to Pakistan. Because the world community knows India will not provoke hostilities on its own.

But then, Pakistan’s political leadership has had no spine and has had a skewed character crushed under the iron-grip of a shadowy military that has nothing but anti-India rhetoric and machinery to draw its sanctity from.

Conflicts like India-Pakistan border issue are bilateral in nature and subside with the increased world stature of one of the parties involved and that would ultimately happen in this case. India is becoming bigger while Pakistan is facing a worsening civil war in its restive provinces and terror threats across the country.

At the same time, Pakistan is seen as ‘terror sponsoring and exporting’ nation-state and a forced peace in Pakistan, sooner or later, would become a world liability, something a must element for the world peace. Yes, no one can say when. Probably, when the terrorists would threaten the Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with their direct reach.

Till then, India can maintain peace and tranquillity along its borders with Pakistan. And India doesn’t need to go over the top for it because Kashmir may be an issue of survival for Pakistan’s military and politicians but it is no issue at all in India, in spite of the decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the state.

Use of restrained force has become a necessity in these days of state-sponsored terrorism and transnational terror outfits and that is what India did during this round of unprovoked ceasefire violations targeting and killing civilians and the world community knows it.

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

AND THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2013 GOES TO MANMOHAN SINGH

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/