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Out of my mind: Futile campaigns

If Pakistan is causing problems for India, why rush to the UK or the US?

Written by Meghnad Desai |
Updated: October 23, 2016 12:20:49 am
pakistan, pakistan terrorism, india pakistan, indo pak, india pakistan terrorism, indo pak terrorism, pak terrorism, india pakistan border, indo pak border, cross border terrorism, india terrorism Do people think that the British disapproval of Pakistan would make a jot of difference to Pakistan’s behaviour? (Source: File)

Soon after the ‘surgical strike’, someone called me from an Indian TV channel. There was an online petition trending in London which was asking the British parliament to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. Being skeptical, I asked, ‘so what?’. The answer came excitedly that if the petition reached a certain threshold of signatures, it would mean the British parliament would have to discuss it. I replied that even if that were the case, in London, this trending petition had made no impact on the daily news. Anyway parliament was in recess as political parties were having their annual conferences. Even if it had been in session, I doubted the petition would get any attention.

There was a similar petition in the US with a letter to the White House. This was taken off the website as it seemed to be full of multiple signatures by the same people. Here again was a breathless attempt to have the US or may be President Obama himself declare Pakistan to be a terrorist state.

Why do people waste their time doing such things? If Pakistan is causing problems for India, why rush to the UK or the US? It seems like children fighting and one child runs to nanny and says, ‘Look he hit me. Punish him’. Do people think that the British disapproval of Pakistan would make a jot of difference to Pakistan’s behaviour? It is 70 years since Independence. Why do people run to the old Empire for redress? Can America make any difference?

Had Pakistan generated an online petition by the Pakistani diaspora about Kashmir, can you imagine the rage across Indian TV news channels? It is a colonial mentality to air our differences in the mother empire headquarters. Then we complain they divide and rule. As Gandhiji said, “We divide and they rule.”

This idea of an appeal to the great powers only reflects our inferiority complex. If you have a troublesome
neighbour, deal with the problem yourself. Don’t go to others for shelter or succour.

Why does India issue appeals to China to help declare the Jaish-e-Mohammad a terrorist outfit? China is a permanent Security Council member with a veto. Does India think China will support the declaration on the JeM? It is not in China’s strategic interest to antagonise Pakistan. It wants a salt water port in Balochistan. China understands geopolitics. So why ask for something which is bound to be refused? Even if China agreed to India’s request (at what price?), and the UN passed some resolution, does anyone seriously believe the JeM will stop attacking India? It may just change its name as other outfits have done. Which country has ever taken a UN denunciation seriously? These outfits are not even nations. They are fly -by-night gangs who don’t care for the niceties of international diplomacy. They only understand tit-for-tat. If you can’t speak that language, suffer in silence. Or hit back.

Islamist terrorism has been the major new force for the last 25 years. Al-Qaeda established a parallel global outfit with a flat organisation and free franchising of other jihadist outfits. International law and the UN are for the old Westphalian world of nation states. Even America had to stalk Osama bin Laden patiently for 10 years before getting him. India has to learn.

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