As I was asking him about the latest incidents in Pakistan, post attacks on the Sri Lankan cricketers, he said: "well, it is a failed state now".
That shocked me. Sure, we have talked about how things are better in India than Pakistan, but a "failed state" is a very strong term.
And today, I read this excellent piece by M.J.Akbar, whom some have [erroneously IMO] called a "hindu baiter and hindu bahser" and "muslim apologist".
Pakistan was born out of the wedlock of two inter-related propositions. Its founders argued, without any substantive evidence, that Hindus and Muslims could never live together as equals in a single nation. They imposed a parallel theory, perhaps in an effort to strengthen the argument with an emotive layer, that Islam
was in danger on the subcontinent. Pakistan's declared destiny, therefore, was not merely as a refuge for some Indian Muslims, but also a fortress of the faith. This was the rationale for what became known as the "two-nation theory". The British bought the argument, the Congress accepted it reluctantly, the Muslim League exulted.
The Indian state was founded on equality and equity: political equality through democracy, religious equality through secularism, gender equality, and economic equity. Economic equality is a fantasy, but without an equitable economy that works towards the elimination of poverty there cannot be a sustainable state. India, therefore, saw land reforms and the abolition of zamindari. Pakistan has been unable to enforce land reforms. India and Pakistan were alternative models for a nation-state. Time would determine which idea had the legs to reach a modern horizon.
On the day that terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricketers, I had a previously arranged speaking engagement at a university in Delhi before largely Muslim students. I began with the suggestion that every Indian Muslim should offer a special, public prayer of thanks to the Almighty Allah for His extraordinary benevolence - for the mercy He had shown by preventing us from ending up in Pakistan in 1947. The suggestion was received with startled amusement, instinctive applause and a palpable sense of sheer relief.
In a similar context, Ketan posted this one on mutiny titled "Why are We tolerating Pakistan?".
I wrote a response, which I am reproducing here for your eyes :-).
@Ketan: The answer, in my opinion, is 3 ("because we don't know what to do").
When I think loudly about this issue, the following comes to mind.:
- The Mumbai attacks [and a whole bunch of past crap] happened because it got support from Pakistan’s establishment, either overtly [Kargil war], or covertly/indirectly [uncontrolled terror camps]
- The people of pakistan do not actively want to mess with India. They, like people everywhere, want to lead their lives and raise their kids.
- Due to porous borders, if we don’t do something, we stand to lose lives/money
Assumption 1 includes ‘local support’ they got, but I assume that the main ideas for the big attacks still originated overseas
Assumption 2 above rules out options like nuking/war, not to mention the fact that they also have nukes :-).
So the _way to go_ to address the situation there, in my opinion, is
1. Figure out what action hurts their _government/army_. They don’t care if you send back their singers, hell it plays directly into their hands of “Indians are hegemonical, and we should hate them”. Until we hurt their establishment, there is no solving this problem. [focussed trade boycott anyone?]
2. The only way out, in addition to finding the magic bullet in point 1 above, is to _encourage_ the moderates there. Lets face it, a pakistan which is ruled by the Taliban is not in India’s interest. But it is also _not_ in the interest of the moderates there. [I have pakistani friends, and have heard a lot about how they feel threatened by the taliban/moral-police as much as you feel threatened by the Senes]. The only long term way out for us is to help the moderates in Pakistan get a voice. If it means letting some of them even show up on our TV Channels to make their case, so be it.
/ these are initial thoughts, but I hope you see where I am going.
// am not saying that allow any T,D&H from pakistan on Indian TV. But for a change, lets stop focussing on the crazies there who call us “hindu zionists”, and focus on the more moderate voices there. I know it makes for better TRP to give airtime to the former, but the latter are the ones whom _we_ should give visibility to.
/// There are those who would say ‘just secure our borders, close all communications, and wait for it to implode’. I for one would _not_ want a Nuclear armed neighbor to implode, and last time I checked, we were nowhere near securing our borders completely.
//// Reiterating: Lets _not_ break cultural ties. If anything, let their artists perform here. If they have a good welcome, they will go back and share their experiences, which will only work to dispel the lies that their govt. has told their people.
Version 2 of my answer to your question in the title: “Why are We tolerating Pakistan?”
A. Define “Pakistan”. People/govt/army/what? Once we know what we are tolerating, we can focus better on why we are tolerating them :-).
Interesting stuff. What do you think?