When Hitler appeased Chamberlain…

…and a bizarre inversion of an analogy

Ayaz Amir is among Pakistan’s most respected columnists, and often comes out as a reasonable voice — especially when it comes to documenting the follies of Musharraf’s military dictatorship. But he stretches an analogy to incredible levels when he compares General Musharraf to Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s gentle prime minister during the run up to the Second World War. And yes, Dr Manmohan Singh, India’s soft-spoken prime minister is the Hitler of the piece.

Chamberlain kow-towed before Hitler at Munich, allowing Hitler to go ahead with the rape of Czechoslovakia, assuming that this was the price for averting war. “Peace in our lifetime,” he proclaimed on his return to London even as the German Wehrmacht moved into Czechoslovakia.

Although disastrously wrong, Chamberlain at least was motivated by good intentions – the old story of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. President Musharraf of Pakistan doesn’t even have Chamberlain’s excuse. There is no war threatening to break out between India and Pakistan. It is all quiet on the eastern front, quieter than it has ever been in living memory.

And yet, for no rhyme or reason – or at least none comprehensible to mortal man – he has just done a mini-Munich in Delhi, effectively agreeing to the Indian position on key issues and getting only bland words and good intentions in return. [Dawn Archived]

3 thoughts on “When Hitler appeased Chamberlain…”

  1. Wow! I am now thinking, maybe Manmohan Singh does resemble slightly to Hitler! Just remove the turban, change the moustache, dress, …. and so on!

    Ayaz Amir is really out of his mind!

  2. Being an Indian American, I fondly look forward to closer ties with the US. Being practical, I also see the growth of the India-China relationship as a positive step forward. Pakistan’s new stance I believe is largely due to the warming relations we have had with these “friends” of Pakistan. They have been able to, through economic and even military assistance, do something Pakistan will never allow us to directly do, manipulate its foreign policy.

    For the medium term I hope that the Indian government realizes this, and increasingly puts pressure on China, US to force Pakistan to mitigate its gung ho stance on Kashmir. Just long enough for Pakistan to allow India to trade with it in terms of goods, values, and culture…one of the few instances where I will give bollywood a pat on the shoulder. In other words India needs to keep the pressure the US and China on long enough for India to have substantial “soft power” over Pakistan.

    Unfortanetely, a direct result of this sort of policy would entail India continuing to remain mute on the issue of continued cross border terrorism. Luckily, (which most of you would disagree with) the Indian government has, as of late, consistently been “praising” Musharaf for decreased terrorists infiltrations.

  3. My personal opinion is that the repsected columnist is not producing an analogy in the specific sense implied here, but showing a moral lesson from history which can be seen as valid in the instant case. No two historic moments will be identical, but commonsense dictates that previous lessons should not be forgotten. No one can reasonably compare the Pakistani and Bharti premiers to Chamberlain & Hitler then to any other two peoples from past or present per se. But, what we can appreciate however is the (Pakistani) sentiment that the columnist is trying to convey that General Seb is conceeding or compromising the Pakistani Stance too greatly in order to normalise relations with Bharat without giving due regard to the principle of proportionality.

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