Skip to main content

If Modi can meet Nawaz Sharif, Adani wants to sell 4000 MW power to Pak, why are our soldiers killing each other?

The 2005 Indo-Pak peace march
By Sandeep Pandey*
In 1947 India was divided by the foreign rulers by playing a game of divide and rule to which the religious fundamentalists fell prey. India and Pakistan since then have a checkered history and uneasy relationship sometimes climaxing in wars and violent conflagrations. While the governments prefer to maintain adversarial relationship, which now sustains certain vested interests on both sides, the common people and business interests on two sides want peace.
They do not want conflicts in which people die. The soldiers dying on both sides, after all, come from mostly modest middle class rural backgrounds. While the leaders can meet when they choose to, the common people do not have control over their destiny.
The manner in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stopped over in Pakistan in December 2015 while on the way from Afghanistan and participated in a family event of Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, the former heads of intelligence agencies Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, Asad Durrani and Research and Analysis Wing of India, Amarjit Singh Dulat co-authored a book ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace,’ National Security Advisors of two countries retired Lt. Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua and Ajit Doval continue to meet in third countries, Adani is interested in selling 4000 MW of power to Pakistan and powerful business interests have ensured a peaceful border in Gujarat, why is it that on the northern border soldiers keep killing each other?
We never hear of any Indian soldiers dying on China border probably because India and China have an unwritten-unspoken agreement not to kill each other’s soldiers. If this is so, why can’t a similar understanding be reached with Pakistan. After all, leaders of governments and intelligence agencies and security advisors are talking to each other.
We believe if the governments cannot solve the disputes between the two countries then the people should take the initiative. If the common people of two countries are allowed to meet then over a period of time peace and harmony will prevail. The two governments should facilitate the meeting of common people from two sides by granting them passports and visas easily. Since people from two sides of border share a common culture they can play an important role where the governments have failed.
Along the Indian border with Pakistan there are openings between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in Kashmir, at Wagah-Attari in Punjab and at Munabao-Khokrapar in Rajasthan-Sindh. Gujarat doesn’t have an opening into Pakistan even though a number of fisherfolk from both sides land up in each other’s jails. The people in Bhuj, Kutch have had intimate relationships with people from the other side and given an opportunity trade can flourish between the two areas again.
If the border between Gujarat and Sindh is opened either at Khavda or Nada Bet the people from two sides will get an opportunity to meet easily and there will be promotion of trade, tourism and ultimately peace and friendship will be strengthened. The fisherfolk whose relatives land in jail on other side can easily travel across to find out their well-being and make an effort to get them released. It is in the interest of common people that borders are opened up.
If people of two countries are allowed to meet freely an atmosphere of peace and harmony will be created in which it will be easier to resolve the outstanding disputes too. When our defence expenses will go down resources will be freed up for developmental activities which will benefit the poor on both sides.
When the two Koreas can end their enmity after almost as long a period as India-Pakistan animosity has existed, why can the two South Asian neighbours not achieve the same feat?
The two governments should also take an initiative to replace the military ceremony on Wagah-Attari every evening with a peace ceremony where people are allowed to meet and celebrate peace, harmony, friendship and their shared culture. Such a model of peace ceremony can then be replicated on all border openings. A model for peace ceremony has been developed by a class on Social Movements at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar during 2016-17.
The governments of India and Pakistan should create a situation in which ultimately all restrictions on travel across the border are removed and people are allowed to meet freely. This will be a great service to humanity.
A India Pakistan Friendship and Peace March is being organized during 19 to 30 June, 2018 from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad to Nada Bet on Pakistan border, 290 km from Ahmedabad. Organisations endorsing this March include Vishwagram, Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Minority Coordination Committee, Gujarat, Gujarat Lok Samiti, Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan, Pakistan Institute for Labour Education and Research, Karachi, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, All India Secular Forum, Manthan Samayiki, Kolkata, Jharkhand Nagrik Prayas, sacw.net, Confederation of Voluntary Agencies, Hyderabad, Hamari Awaz, Insaf Foundation, Gujarat Mazdoor Panchayat, Khudai Khidmatgar and Socialist Party (India).
When European countries, which were so bitter enemies of each other that they converted their wars into World Wars less than a hundred years back, can create a Union in which all restrictions on travel have been removed why can’t the same thing be achieved in South Asia? If over hundred countries in five regions of the world can sign on agreements to make themselves Nuclear Weapon Free Zones why can’t India and Pakistan do the same?
In the long term there is no alternative to the currently going on low intensity war between two countries than to establish peace and friendship, especially since a full-fledged war in not possible because of the presence of nuclear weapons on both sides.
---
*Well-known Magsaysay award winning scholar-activist

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”