Courtesy: Pakistan Times
The Indo Pakistan honeymoon lasted less than 72 hours. On July 4, a Federal Minister each from Pakistan and India signed an agreement on cooperation in various fields amidst sighs of relief, particularly in Pakistan. There was cautious optimism in official and non-official circles on this side of the border against the backdrop of the Indian Prime Minister’s anti Pakistan utterances during his recent whistle-stop tour of some countries including the Soviet Union, the USA and France. He too hailed the signing of the Indo Pakistan agreement. One did not know, however, that the Indian Premier was welcoming the agreement with his tongue in his cheek. For, after only two days, i.e. on July 7, at his first formal Press conference since he became Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi repeated what he had been saying against Pakistan within the country and abroad before July 4. So it was back to square one, in the classic Nehru family tradition.
Thirty-nine years ago when Rajiv Gandhi was, perhaps, in his nappies his grandfather Pandit Nehru had destroyed chances of what then looked like a fair settlement of the “Indian problem.” The Muslim League Council had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan (1946) so had the Congress Working Committee. It, however, needed the approval of the AICC. This was to be a formal affair, as the AICC had always ratified the decisions of the Working Committee. This time too it did the same. Listen to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad here. Now happened one of those unfortunate events which changed the course of history. On July 10, Jawaharlal (Congress President) held a Press conference in Bombay at which he issued a statement which in the existing atmosphere of suspicion and hatred, set in a train of most unfortunate series of consequences. To the QuaidiAzam, Pandit Nehru’s statement came as a bombshell. He reiterated his demand for Pakistan as the only course left open to the Muslim League. He held the view that Jawaharlal’s statement represented the “real mind” of the congress. The QuaidiAzam argued that if the Congress could change 80 many times while the British were still in the country … what assurance could the minorities have once the British were no longer on the scene.
Let us now compare the summer of 1946 with the summer of 1985. The same atmosphere of suspicion and misgivings grips the region. In 1946, it was the grandfather who “changed the course of history.” In 1971 his daughter added her own chapter to it. Now, it is the grandson who is keeping up the pattern. Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, undoubtedly, expressed satisfaction over the agreement on cooperation that he signed in New Delhi on July 4. Yet, he also spoke of suspicions, misgivings and friction that made his task so arduous. The truth in the QuaidiAzam comment that Jawaharlal’s statement (on the Cabinet Mission Plan) represented the “real mind” of the Congress still abides. Whatever Rajiv Gandhi has been saying against Pakistan represents the ‘real mind’ of his congress. It is not difficult to read the “real mind.”
The QuaidiAzam had asked in 1946, “What assurance could the minorities have once the British left?
Thirty-eight years of independent India have provided the answer to the Quaid’s query.
One has lost count of the anti-Muslim riots in India. Indeed, the massacre of Muslims is taken as a routine internal affair of India. From Assam in the northeast to Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west, it is the same tragic story. Next on the list are the untouchables. Sikhs are the latest addition to the list. Hadn’t Mrs. Indira Gandhi once said that in a huge country like India communal riots were nothing to be worried about!
There are generally two types of minorities those within the country and those in the immediate neighborhood the latter being the small countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland in the case of the Soviet Union; Cambodia for Vietnam; Namibia for South Africa and Nepal, Sikkim, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the case of India. Emboldened by her success in East Pakistan, India grabbed Sikkim and then turned to Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, India has been repeating her East Pakistan strategy and tactics in Sri Lanka. Militant Tamils have their bases and training camps in TamilNadu. There is no other country in the vicinity of Sri Lanka which could offer the Tamil activists the same facilities. Where do the Tamils get their sophisticated weapons from? And, who supplied them the 120 kgs of gelignite, with remote control to assassinate President Jayawerdene in his office? The gelignite sticks clearly bore Indian markings. Those who supplied the guerillas such a big lot of explosives obviously did not foresee failure of the attempt. There would have been no question of “Indian markings” once the stock had exploded. The fact that the terrorists were caught close to their lethal van revealed the conspiracy. India’s double game may be noted. On the one hand she is sponsoring political negotiations, in Bhutan, between the representatives of the Sri Lankan Government and their Tamil militants; on the other, she is supplying the latter lethal material to blow up the office of President Jayawerdene.
Four main factors characterize India’s behavior towards her smaller neighbors: (a) the hegemony complex, (b) unwillingness to honor the plighted word, reference plebiscite in Kashmir, (c) mistrust and double standards, and (d) covert interference in their internal affairs which becomes overt at crucial junctures, like in East Pakistan in 1971. In the case of Pakistan, it is also revanche which may explain why India has been adding feverishly to her military strength. Again, in the background is the Muslim rule of India. One may recall Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s boast in December, 1971. “We have avenged a thousand years’ history.” Rajiv Gandhi only strengthens the family stance when he issues his threat on Pakistan’s imaginary bomb. On top, however, is India’s hegemony complex. It is like telling her neighbors, “When we are here, why should you worry about your security?” Add to this the nostalgia that dates back to Ashoka and Kanishka. According to an Indian historian, “The expansion of Indian culture and influence both in Central Asia and in the southeast towards the countries and islands of the Pacific is one of the momentous factors of the period immediately preceding the Christian era. It is however, the Kushan Empire of Kanishka which became the carrier of Indian thought into Central Asia _. 2 Today, it is the friendly Russian empire which is playing the role of the carrier of ‘Indian thought” in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Does the presence of the Russian army in Afghanistan provide any clue to the hegemonistic aims of Moscow and Delhi in the region?
And, now about Rajiv Gandhi’s renewed campaign against Pakistan. Guided and assisted by the Indo Zionist lobby in the USA a section of the American electronic media has gone to the extent of claiming that Pakistan has already exploded a nonnuclear device. This was allegedly done with the help of the so-called triggers procured clandestinely in the USA and carried to Pakistan. Dutifully, Indian media repeated the allegation, as if Pakistan had committed a massacre somewhere. India’s mistrust of her smaller neighbors is so deep that she will never accept Pakistan’s word that it is making no nuclear weapon. The irony is that India wants the world to forget that she herself exploded a nuclear device eleven years ago. Rajiv Gandhi did not shirk from urging President Reagan to give a written guarantee that Pakistan would desist from making nuclear weapons. Contrast this with the fact that India has been receiving a lot more nuclear help from the USA than Pakistan. Thousands of India technologists and scientists make what Rajiv Gandhi describes as “our brain reserve” in the USA. In nuclear science alone, some 50,000 Indian engineers and budding scientists are being trained at different
Centers, majority of them concentrating in Houston, Texas. A little before Rajiv Gandhi launched himself on a tour of the Soviet Union and the USA, a key American official was in New Delhi. His visit which produced an agreement under which India shall be receiving from the USA dual purpose high technology dual because it can be used for civilian as well as military purposes.
One need not go into the details of the “nuclear aid” India has been receiving from the USA and other countries particularly France. Most news analysts know all the relevant facts. What surprises observers everywhere are that having acquired the capability to make nuclear weapons herself, India should be expecting U.S. President to prevent Pakistan from manufacturing a nuclear device.
Now that is “back to square one” from the Indian Prime Minister, Pakistan will have to be extra
Cautious in its dealings with India.
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