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We must dump Lahore Club

We must dump Lahore Club

Author: A Surya Prakash
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 13, 2009
URL: http://dailypioneer.com/149579/We-must-dump-Lahore-Club.html

Though their numbers are dwindling, members of the 'Lahore Club' (a bunch of pro-Pakistan do-gooders who always advise India to exercise 'restraint' after every Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attack) and some of its offshoots are still around. After lying low for some time when public anger against Pakistan was at its peak in the immediate aftermath of 26/11, these self-styled peaceniks are now crawling out of the wood work and once again thrusting their unsolicited advice on Indians, the Government of India and the political elite in our country, and urging all and sundry to avoid utterances or actions that would hinder the 'peace process'!

Since Indians are democrats and have high levels of tolerance, some fellow citizens and their non-Indian friends have made it a habit to lecture us on the virtues of peaceful co-existence after every terrorist strike. Among the arguments often advanced in support of their pro-Pakistan stance are: India must yield and thus 'strengthen' democratic forces; if India takes a hawkish stance, the Pakistani Army will gain the upper hand; war will wreck economic progress and leave the population even more impoverished than it is today; and, there is no such thing as a winnable war against Pakistan because it is a nuclear weapon state.

Those who push the 'peace with Pakistan at any cost' line have such a stranglehold on the Indian establishment that they have successfully prevented us from retaining the gains of the wars in 1965 and 1971 and taking effective measures to secure our borders. Their latest argument is that people-to-people relations and the bonds that have developed between the civil societies of the two countries should not be weakened. Needless to say, according to them, war is no option.

We are all by now familiar with this gibberish because we have heard it from the days of partition. After Pakistan's aggression in Jammu & Kashmir in October 1947, the Prime Ministers of the two countries met at Lahore in December that year. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru 'urged' his counterpart Liaquat Ali Khan to "appeal" to the intruders to withdraw. Khan pleaded his inability to do so. He told the Indians that he ran a Government of "moderates" and that if he issued such an appeal, there was every danger of his Government being replaced by extremists!

The Indian leadership, prompted by the then members of the 'Lahore Club', fell for this ploy and agreed that it would be inappropriate for Khan (the man who sponsored this infiltration in the first place) to "appeal" to the infiltrators to backtrack. Thereafter, we have seen many repeats of this story leading to dozens of such examples of Pakistan's aggression and India's pusillanimity. Every time we got ready for the kill, rationalists came out of the woodwork and urged us to give in so that there is 'lasting peace' and the 'danger of extremists gaining control in Pakistan' is averted.

We should not fall for this gambit any more. We must end this habit of pathetic submission to Pakistan's criminality and warmongering, but we cannot do that until we deal with these pseudo-patriots and expose their hypocrisy. If we fail to do so even after 26/11, we will forever lose the capacity to protect our borders, our democracy and our way of life, and renege on our responsibility to hand over a secure India to future generations.

Therefore, the first task should be to confront members of the 'Lahore Club' and its many mutations and ask them to find a more appropriate location to peddle their wares. For example, they could open shop in Islamabad and direct their unsolicited advice towards citizens of a country who are in dire need of basic political education. If these professional advisers are truly committed to peace and modern constitutional ideas as they pretend to be, they ought to read the Constitution of Pakistan or what passes for it and urge the citizenry across the border to drop the term 'Islamic Republic' from this basic document.

Side by side, they could suggest that provisions which require the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers and other constitutional functionaries to solemnly swear their allegiance to the Quran and to commit themselves to the preservation of what is described as 'Islamic ideology' should go. When the peaceniks achieve this goal, they will acquire the right to advice secular India and promote peace.

Also, once Pakistan is re-built on a secular foundation, our so-called 'friends' across the border will have taken the first step towards removing the dehumanising logic on which their nation rests since its inception in 1947. Since many members of the 'Lahore Club' are closet Communists who have hailed the dismantling of the Hindu Rashtra in Nepal and the advent of democracy in that country, we must presume that they have similar commitment to the dismantling of the Islamic Rashtra in Pakistan!

After this task is achieved, there are many more chores for these so-called 'friends' of India. The 'Lahore Club' can take up a task in which its members claim to have expertise - detoxification of school curriculum. Pakistani textbooks contain vulgar abuse of Hindus and Hinduism. Surely, the detoxification of Pakistani textbooks ought to be a noble undertaking for secular beings?

Further, many of these worthies are aware that the Pakistani state ensures that the seeds of jihadi violence germinate in young minds. Since 2007, a new Islamiat curriculum has been introduced in Pakistan and the teachings begin from Grade III and go on till Grade XII. Students are taught the full concept of jihad as also the virtues of monotheism. This is where hatred for Hindus, Hinduism and India is injected. When textbooks contain such rubbish about 800 million Hindus, how can there be harmonious people-to-people contact between these nations? Any way, who are these 'people' in India who are shamelessly maintaining contact with such uncivil people across the border?

We often respond in anger when the Americans or the British talk of India and Pakistan - two countries which are from a constitutional, moral and humanitarian sense, poles apart - in the same breath. Then, why do we put up with this twaddle from these so-called Indians who are hell bent on perpetuating the hyphenated approach between a modern, secular, liberal, democratic India and a medieval, Islamic, theocratic Pakistan? Those of us who value our freedom, our safety and the well-being of our children, must expose their humbug and impose sanctions on these hypocrites. What we need today is zero tolerance towards those who are weakening our resolve and rendering us vulnerable to state-sponsored terrorism from across the border. We can deal with Pakistan later.

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