Musharraf won’t be caught dead taking India’s help in Kashmir

There is a chance that India can save lives in Pakistan. That should be good enough a reason to accept Indian assistance

The Indian foreign secretary and prime minister offered it even before Gen Musharraf called for international assistance for rescue and relief work after the recent earthquake. Pakistan, he said, needs ‘transport and helicopter resources’, tents, blankets and medicines. But he was loth to accept them from the Indians just across the border. Even while asking the Americans for a ‘quick and generous response’ he found it unnecessary to take up India’s offer of help — because of the “sensitivity” involved (via Secular-Right).

The only sensitivity involved is that in Gen Musharraf’s mind, allowing India to provide assistance to Kashmiris — even those on the Pakistani side — is politically unpalatable. The hotline, as the Calcutta Telegraph reports, has gone cold.

The Pakistani leadership, which received teams of experts from Turkey, Britain and China today, also appears to be unsure how much India can help. “We are not sure whether any country in South Asia has the kind of expertise required to deal with such a situation,” a Pakistani official said in private. [CT]

The Indian government, of course, has its work cut out providing rescue and relief work for its own people. But if the Pakistani leadership had been less curmudgeonly, India would not have found wanting in terms of tents, blankets, medicines and yes, even those helicopters.

As Robi Sen writes, Musharraf may already be using this tragedy as moral blackmail to extract more money and aid from the United States. That is a cynical calculus not beyond Musharraf. That’s perhaps another one of those ‘sensitivities’.

5 thoughts on “Musharraf won’t be caught dead taking India’s help in Kashmir”

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  2. There is no doubt it is a major human catastrophe. I’m not sure how India will be able to help in this except send out relief through the ‘normal’ route, instead of taking it directly to PoK, as Pakistan has refused entry across the Line of Control. It will take extraordinary guts and charishma from the leaders of both the countries to open it up, atleast for the supplies. But any route is good if the supplies reach the people. It would be winter soon and I can only imagine the condition of people affected by it.
    The Pakistani generals will do what they do best, loot and cheat from everyone, not just during a tragedy. If they don’t get money this way, they will get it the other way some other time. But even among all this, it is sincerely hoped that atleast some of the much needed supplies reach the needy people.

    There would be lots of broken families and orphaned kids. We have to watch out for them, as many will undoubtably be taken up by the jihadis. Without any other alternative, they would be gullible to be sucked into the God and Islamic brotherhood rhetoric. And the generals will be only too glad to use this God-given opportunity to get the fresh crop of global jihadists ready. The quake would have closed some old terrorist trails and opened new routes to Indian Kashmir from PoK. I foresee troubling times in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

    Although the time is to concentrate on the tragedy and remedial action, it would be another tragedy if we fail to take precautionary actions from what this can result in. This current peace process that India and Pakistan are engaged in might just remain a process afterall. This could be an opportunity to turn the whole thing up side down, and really think out of the box, but only time will tell who did what.

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