Showing posts from June, 2015

Ramzan diplomacy

In my last column, I talked about the absurdity and inherent dangers of the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan in recent months. From threats of cross-border strikes from an Indian minister to Pakistan’s Defence Minister declaring our arms are not meant for decoration, from Indian Prime Minister Modi’s bombastic anti-Pakistan statements in Bangladesh to our military establishment’s accusations about Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan, the war of words between Indian and Pakistani leaders had certainly reached a crescendo.

Such level of hysteria is not unknown between the two neighbours but this time around, there was a sense of betrayal in this warmongering hysteria. The reason being that there was hope that peace would finally prevail in the region after Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is openly committed to the idea of peace with India, came to power followed by the formation of a strong BJP government in India. Mr Sharif’s Muslim League and the BJP have right wing base…

Of hawks and doves

One: ‘Spy pigeon’ detained in India after crossing border from Pakistan
Two: Modi told China, Pakistan economic corridor unacceptable – Sushma
Three: Centre plans ‘carnival’ to mark 50 years of India-Pakistan War of 1965

The first news item is quite hilarious given the absurdity of the claim in this tech-savvy 21st century world. Social media had a field day with this news report as memes were made, Bollywood songs shared, witty blogs written, etc. On the one hand, this news item is indeed funny but on the other, it also shows how much mistrust there is between the two South Asian neighbours. Decades of enmity and hawkish policies have led to this — that even a pigeon that flew over from across the border was seen as a potential threat.

Relations between India and Pakistan have rarely been peaceful and after the Mumbai attacks in 2008, things inevitably got worse. The second news item points to further escalations between the two countries. As an editorial (‘India’s objections to CP…