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|July 4, 2001||
No ready cure for this cancer
For over a month now, the Indian press has been conducting a contest of sorts to suggest cures for the Indo-Pak cancer that has assumed almost terminal proportions. As 'the summit' comes close, almost everybody who is anybody in the inner circle of the editors' rooms has been permitted to try his or her hand at the game. One of the latest entrants to the contest, as on June 22, was a Pakistani 'analyst', courtesy The Hindu, who else?
The person's name is Faqia Sadiq Khan, styled as a research associate in some 'Policy Institute' in Islamabad. Probably patented as such in Pakistan, this Khan's cure, absolutely unique, prescribes the following:
On that same day, June 22, that same "national newspaper" reported, on its front page, a prominently displayed plan of one Aamir Ali (another Pakistani, presumably) to withdraw troops from the Siachen glacier to convert it into a peace park -- in the interest of preventing environmental degradation, loss of life and, conspicuously, because the proposal "skirted the contentious issue of border demarcation".
As if an Ali advocating withdrawal of troops from Siachen under the guise of "conservation" was not injury enough, an Indian Express Amrita Abraham did the same the other day by shedding tears for soldiers on guard in the icicles of the highest battlefield on earth.
Don't our senior editors read anything substantial that's written about India's woes and wars with Pakistan? The question (rhetoric, maybe) arises because anyone who writes for millions of true Indians, resident and non-resident, would get the disturbing "dope" on Siachen from just under half an hour's follow-up on the index section of the Kargil Review Committee Report:
Someone will say, of course, that a United Nations group could be stationed to monitor the peace park. Well, well, how many know that a UN Military Observers' Group has been deployed since January 1949 to supervise the Indo-Pak ceasefire along the LoC? How many have asked what exactly that UN group did during the Kargil intrusion and during all the countless cross-border infiltrations before and after? How much has that impotent outfit cost our treasury over the last 52 years?
To answer the last, you must know the strength of the outfit: do you know it comprises 49 members? And yes, it's still alive, even if not kicking -- a year ago, the outfit even got a new chief, a major general, from Uruguay.
If the UN didn't resolve the 'Kashmir' issue over the last 52 years, and, instead, has left us stabbed in the back; if Pakistan's wars on us (three? four? five?) didn't resolve the 'core' issue because we have remained the same stupid suckers that we have been from 1947; can these Pakistani 'analysts' or the Alis and the Abrahams be expected to offer solutions that will vindicate our legal and moral position on the state, whose sovereign maharaja acceded it to us constitutionally on October 26, 1947?
Today, the Indo-Pak cancer has assumed almost terminal proportions. There are simply no ready cures available -- not even the non-invasive surgery at the LoC as suggested by some of our senior editors and others of the 'peace with Pakistan' brigade.
Once that surgery is over, these self-styled 'realists' are the ones who may happily hop across to enjoy Islamabad's celebration parties. And it will be only the sensitive, sentimental ones on this side of the LoC who will suffer the psychological trauma of conceding our territory legally, and for all times, to a cockroach country.
But even before the wounds of the LoC operation start to heal, and this is not imaginary, Pakistan will plot more plots to further dismember this ancient, peace-loving civilisation.
Meanwhile, the Government of India ludicrously goes on chanting its old mantra of Kashmir being "an integral part of India", citing the Parliament resolution of February 1994 or the Constitution of India, without seeming to know what to do further about that 'mantra'. Why, it does not even know that that 'mantra' lies not where they think it lies, but elsewhere. Unless a very recent letter written by a senior citizen to the prime minister and his home minister has made them wise, we'll find that tome and the travails of the LoC surgery next week.
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