Musharraf sticks to his guns

While India continues to yield

Gen Musharraf also said that Pakistan will continue its “moral, diplomatic and political” support for Muslim separatists in Indian-administered Kashmir.

“We are totally with the Kashmiris in their struggle.”
“Our moral, diplomatic and political help will always continue in their struggle until they succeed in their great objective. Our sincere prayers are with them.” [‘BBC’]

If public statements are anything to go by, then it is a penitent India that has realised that it needs to talk peace with a resolute Pakistan. So not a day goes by without India demonstrating more flexibility, not least due to the likes of Nutwar and the loony Left, General Musharraf’s public utterances have remained substantially where they were. (linkthanks Vijay Dandapani and Srirangan)

Indian leaders now instinctively downplay cross-border terrorism; and Indian officials at all levels report that the number of terrorists sneaking across the Line of Control in Kashmir has fallen. Truth, often the first casualty in war, may have become a casualty in the peace process too — no one in the Indian government or mainstream media, for example, has found it necessary to reveal how much of the reduction in infiltration is due to the high-tech fence. But the absence of this essential metric has not prevented the Indian foreign policy-wallahs from tacitly attributing this entirely to Musharraf, along with the grateful thanks of the entire nation. If at all, the tone in which India now charges Musharraf of cross-border terrorism has become near apologetic in tone.

Musharraf meanwhile continues to stick to his guns. Instead of using his Pakistan day speech to rally his nation in favour of peace, he used it for exactly the opposite. Confidence building measures, he contended, would lose their ‘impact’ and ‘credibility’, if ‘real disputes’ were not resolved. Those tired formulations which have always meant only one thing — give us Kashmir, or else…

Apologists for India’s timid policy towards Musharraf would argue that it is necessary for Musharraf to make such statements to ‘bolster’ his position among his hardliners back home. But if Musharraf is unable to prevail over his hardliners after the ‘peace process’ has moved along so far ahead, then it is unlikely that he ever will. Moreover, the manner in which India is caving in does not give him any incentive to even try.

The Indian prime minister, the kind soul and graceful host that he is, finds time to have lunch with visiting members’ of General Musharraf’s family. The General himself finds it timely to conduct another ballistic missile test and continue to stake his claims to Kashmir.

Related Link: That’s simply not cricket: Vijay Dandapani’s Rediff column

6 thoughts on “Musharraf sticks to his guns”

  1. I get the feeling the “political” word has been added only recently. From what I remember, through the 1990s and possibly till Musharraf took over, Pakistan’s government used to say “moral and diplomatic support”. I really cant remember the word “political” being used.

    We’re playing into Pervez’s hands. The problem is that the nature of the government at the centre does not really affect anything. The NDA government was equally culpable of talking peace with him even as his men were killing Indians in J & K. Now he’s befriending Afghanistan bigtime and Hamid Karzai being the US stooge that he is, there’s a high chance that he will be told by the US to be friends with Pakistan, in spite of the fact that Karzai knows the amount of damage Pakistan caused to Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban.

  2. Suren,

    On the Acorn, that is an affectionate reference to India’s current foreign minister, who would have been funny, if he were not so dangerously self-defeating.

  3. There was a real cool reply to Vijay Dandapani’s Rediff column:
    “Will somebody buy or gift him a good TV so that he can watch cricket with replays and everything?”

  4. Nitin – the sad part is that this is not new. If you have closely followed the news on Indian foreign policy for even the last 15 years (which I have) this has been the constant response of Indian foreign policy machine. We seem to never learn from our mistakes.

    There was perhaps some improvement during the NDA rule but it is hard to say whether that was directed by policy or merely driven by circumstances. They tried to bomb the friggin’ Parliament in Delhi. Any government would have reacted strongly.

    Sadly, with the loony left and suppliant men in the ruling seat, the future does not look very bright either.

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