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Break all ties with Pakistan

Break all ties with Pakistan

Author: A Surya Prakash
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 27, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/152503/Break-all-ties-with-Pakistan.html

Since Pakistan has failed to take any credible initiatives even two months after 26/11 to bring to book the persons who planned and executed this dreadful terrorist strike, the time has come for the United Progressive Alliance Government, which has vigorously pursued the peace process with Pakistan since 2004, to take some hard decisions, which could include a complete break in diplomatic relations.

The process of disengaging ourselves from this sham relationship with a neighbour who has never had the desire to live peacefully with us can begin by ending social, cultural and sporting ties, none of which has had the effect of ending the cult of violence that is being spread by the jihad factories across the border. We must also press for an end to 'friendly exchanges' in various fields and trade and economic cooperation, all of which was agreed to after the UPA came to power.

Our diplomats were so taken in by the 'people to people' rhetoric that they unilaterally announced visa liberalisation in September 2004 for various categories of Pakistani nationals and even grant of student visas. India also proposed longer duration visas for people of both countries and liberalised visas for Pakistanis to watch cricket matches in India. But none of these measures has deflected Pakistan from its resolve to hurt us.

An example would illustrate this point: 6,077 Pakistanis were issued visas for an India-Pakistan cricket match in 2005. Months after the event, the Government informed Parliament that only 6,020 of these Pakistanis had returned to their country. 57 had stayed back. Are they ISI-trained terrorists who were sent in as cricket lovers and are they responsible for the many terrorist attacks we have faced in recent years? Even more extraordinary is the admission by Government that there are also cases of Pakistanis securing Government jobs in Jammu & Kashmir claiming permanent residence status in that State.

Since August 2004 and until the Mumbai terror attack last November, lists of wanted terrorists have been handed over to the Government of Pakistan nearly a dozen times.

It is indeed laughable to note that India has thought it prudent and practical to also have a 'Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism' with a nation which is the very epicentre of terrorism in the region. Apart from this fake committee, our diplomats have over the years found many other ways of tying themselves up in knots.

One such is what is known in diplomatese as 'composite dialogue'. This was reviewed during a visit of our Foreign Minister to Pakistan in May 2008 and "the commitment to fight terrorism was reiterated" by both sides. However, just two months hence on July 7, we got fresh evidence of Pakistan's 'commitment' to fight terrorism when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the gates of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing several persons, including the Defence Attaché, a diplomat and security personnel.

The Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism, apparently fashioned by spineless Indian diplomats who have picked up their spurs in the Nehruvian School, even met in October 2008, supposedly "to discuss the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul". Is it not a national shame that our diplomats 'discuss' this bombing with their Pakistani counterparts despite clinching evidence of the hand of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence in this attack?

After this worthless meeting of diplomats at the cost of Indian taxpayers, the Government made an embarrassing disclosure in Parliament that "there was no response from Pakistan" on the information provided to it and that the Joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism "unfortunately has not delivered desired results on its mandate". If this is the outcome, why do we still keep up this charade? When will our foreign policy be in sync with our national mood?

The biggest joke of all is the Home Secretary-level talks that were held on November 25 and 26, 2008 in Islamabad "as part of the composite dialogue between the two countries". The Government informed Parliament that at that meeting both sides "underscored" the need for visa liberalisation and that "useful discussions" were held "on a draft visa agreement". Within hours of the conclusion of this 'useful discussion', 10 Pakistani terrorists landed in Mumbai and wrought death and destruction in India's financial capital. Needless to say, these Pakistanis neither sought nor obtained Indian visas!

Is it not a shame that despite the series of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks which have claimed thousands of lives in India, our diplomats are still influenced by those who feel that 'people to people' contact between the two nations should continue? Is it not a shame that even after hundreds of young Pakistanis, possibly ISI-trained terrorists, have disappeared after entering India on the pretext of watching cricket matches, our diplomats see merit in granting 'cricket visas' as also student visas to enable Pakistanis to 'study' in India? Why are we tolerant of this brand of diplomacy which jeopardises our safety?

It is often said that there is no military solution to this problem called Pakistan because it is a nuclear state. But surely this does not mean that we accept the 'business as usual' approach of our diplomats after every Pakistan-sponsored terrorist strike. It appears as if the more Indians they kill, the more willing our diplomats become to 'resume dialogue'!

Pakistan will always be the springboard for jihadis so long as it remains an Islamic Republic. Therefore, as the world's largest secular, democratic nation, we must commit ourselves to the furtherance of these ideals and resolve to cut off all ties - social, cultural and diplomatic - with Pakistan so long as it remains an Islamic state. We must take the position that no meaningful dialogue is possible between the people of an Islamic state and the people of a democratic and secular state.

As a reader of The Pioneer pointed out in response to an earlier article, "Kshama shobti us bhujang ko jiske paas garal ho; usko kya jo dant-heen, vis-heen, vineet, saral ho".

A rough translation of this is that only a King Cobra loaded with venom has the right to forgive. A serpent which is de-fanged, which is devoid of venom and which is well-mannered and easy-going loses the power to forgive.

This Hindi saying must be etched on a bronze plaque and placed at the entrance of the Foreign Ministry's South Block office. Our diplomats have defanged us and turned us into a nation of impotents. It's time for us to tell our diplomats what we think of them and press for measures to inject some potency into our foreign office. How about introducing an exchange programme between the ministries of External Affairs and Defence?

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