Of Pakistan’s unilateral concessions

Ah ha!

Ayaz Amir contends that Pakistan has made so many ‘unilateral’ concessions receiving only lollipops in return. He contends that Pakistan was wrong in dropping its long-standing demands supporting self-determination for the Kashmiris and (for only India to implement its side of) the decades old UN resolution calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.

The point has come where there is no shortage of Pakistanis positively fearful of their government’s mania for unilateral concessions. Sure, Pakistan is not ceding territory or sovereignty to India. Even so, it is irritating to see Pakistan performing minor gymnastics to show flexibility and then citing its own athletic performance as proof of progress along the road to peace. This is a recipe for self-deception.

The composite dialogue is settling into a familiar pattern. India doesn’t budge an inch from known positions. To induce movement Pakistan throws a concession. Nothing happens, India still refusing to budge. Pakistan throws another concession. Again nothing happens. Pakistan goes into a sulk and there is talk of the peace process stalling. At which point India, by way of a lollipop, thrusts a ‘confidence-building measure’ (CBM) in Pakistan’s mouth. There is rejoicing in Pakistan and editorials are written about how things are finally on the move. [Dawn]

Amir writes with great style, but seems not to have been following the news lately. But even if he missed Gen Musharraf’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly this September, surely, he can’t be ignorant of the jihadis that Pakistan continues to arm and inject into India. Amir fails to explain why Pakistan should continue supporting the ‘Kashmiri cause’. He’d do well to read Irfan Hussain’s column that appeared in the same newspaper a day later.

A couple of months ago, I attended a seminar in Colombo to which participants from India, Pakistan and both sides of Kashmir had been invited…One Azad Kashmiri said in his presentation that Pakistan “had paid a very high price for Kashmir.” In my intervention, I said that as a Pakistani, I agreed with him, but I didn’t want to continue paying this price any more. To my surprise and amusement, he interrupted and exclaimed: “But you have to go on paying!”

The fact is that by and large, most people are fed up with the whole Kashmir dispute, and wish it would just go away. It has stunted economic growth, warped the political process, at least in Pakistan, and consigned our region to the backwaters of the global economy. India is clawing its way back, but Pakistan teeters on the brink, despite the hype emanating from Islamabad. [Dawn]

5 thoughts on “Of Pakistan’s unilateral concessions”

  1. As much as I distrust Pakistan, I must admit that I agree with Irfan Hussain.
    If only more people in Pakistan will think like that.


  2. George Curzon remarked of Tsarist Russia in the late 19th century “where the ruling class is entirely military, it would be strange if war, the sole avenue to distraction, were not popular”. Pakistan’s military has been the de facto ruling class since 1949 and has little incentive to remove any of the jihadi infrastructure while perpetuating the myth of unilateral concessions

  3. The Generals in Pakistan give out lolipops, which are nothing more than literally lolipops, because they need to show to US that they are working hard, and thus be eligible for more arms and money. This fact is soundly understood by one and all, both in Indian and Pakistani establishments.

    The core issue for Pakistan may be Kashmir, but I wonder why India needs to talk to Pakistan at all on Kashmir. India’s core issue is Terrorism, which mainly comes from ‘Azad’ Kashmir. India should be talking to representatives of ‘Azad’ Kashmir as it is they who are directly responsible for it. Many of the terrorists are ‘Azad’ Kashmiris, apart from Afghanis and other foreigners. The primary non-Kashmiri military does not have an interest or public support of the rest of Pakistan to resolve it as they are not directly effected. It is for Azad Kashmiris themselves to do something about it. Sadly for all parties involved, this will lead to more delay in this already much delayed ‘process’, but it will bring out the hypocracy of Pakistani military establishment of their seriousness in bringing a closure to the Kashmir issue. It will also show the international community, how ‘Azad’ this ‘Azad’ Kashmir really is.

    I doubt if they really want a closure to it at all. Only the will of the people can ultimately lead to it, but sadly, the required internal momentum is not being built and noted columnists such as Ayaz Amir are not helping either.
    It should be well recognised that the generals will not let this issue cool down and it’s only the people who will have to make the call. It really would be a test between the people’s and the army’s mettle which will lead to an outcome to this issue. Even the Indian Kashmiri ‘leaders’ are merely interested in milking the money from India and the goodwill from Pakistan. They have an interest in not resolving this dispute too. That’s why they need such heavy protection from the very security forces that they claim to fight in Indian Kashmir. If they don’t have it, the Kashmiris will get rid of them overnight.
    This earthquake has been a God-send in my view. Let Indians do what they did during the tsunami. Make the food\other packages prominently display ‘Sent by Indian people’ to all those affected by it. Let the Pakistanis know that Hindus are not as bad as their government and their school books tells them.

  4. Raven,

    I do not contest that few or many Pakistanis are like Irfan.
    My point is that if we talk of peace, terrorism has to go, sadly I don’t see it happening .
    Terrorism is harming Pakistan as much as India, why any sensible person would support terrorism is beyond my comprehension.


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