Every once a while some starry eyed Indians and some Pakistanis (mostly in denial) come together to discuss peace. This happens often amongst the bored celebrities. The fact is that the perceptions even amongst the educated and those who have resisted blatant brain-washing amongst the Pakistanis (which may probably be just 1% of the population – at least thats the sample that I have from my interactions) – are totally skewed. Their idea of where the world is and where they are is just so different and the hiatus so huge that its tough to get over it.
This is an interview with Asma Jahangir, a Human Rights activist in Pakistan. Not that she is loved there for many “patriotic” Pakistanis find her to be selling Pak pride out everytime she takes up an issue. But even her perception seems so out of whack! To a question on where India and Pak are on peace intiatives, she starts:
There are understandably very confusing, very negative feelings from the Indian side.
I don’t know, but there is nothing confusing about the feelings in India. We want the Islamist Jehadis to be behind the bars and 26/11 perpetrators be hanged or sent to us. No confusion there.
To another question on whether this is a good time for peace initiative, given the Indian insistence on 26/11 action, she comes up with another one:
To make Pakistan action over 26/11 a condition for peace initiatives is a mistake.
Honestly, what does it mean “to have peace”? What is peace? Is it some arbitrary and artifically created scenario? The truth is that Pacifist – pseudo and well meaning alike – do more harm to the Peace in this world than the violent. “Peace” by numbing minds, logic and common sense is no peace! It is a compromise and usually ends up in trash bins sooner or later. The ONLY reason why Peace has NOT happened in the Middle East is because the world leaders are dancing around the main and central reason – religiousity that borders on madness and the acceptance that historical hurt is a valid position to take. I can say UNEQUIVOCALLY that REAL Peace in Middle East can ONLY happen after a wide scale and bloody war. Before that we are merely lookng at sustained and regular killing of the poor. I am not against Peace, but I am making a statement that will stand its test in time.
Simply because the so-called leaders have been after a totally screwed up concept of peace, we are in a situation where no peace deal is even worth the paper its written on. We need better ways to do things.
Peace is not created in board rooms or drawing rooms or in conference halls or seminars or boder vigils. Peace is created in people’s minds and hearts. Peace is first EARNED for ones ownself and then shared with other. If I am inherently in massive and giant conflict, then my relationship with the other is merely an extension of that conflict. Peace with other, similarly, is an extension of my internal peace.
Peace between Pakistan and India will be created when Pakistan gets its historic quirk straightened out. It is a statement of fact that all conflict between India and Pakistan is a result of Pakistani aggression from 1947 Kashmir invasion to Kargil. 1971 was perhaps one of those times, when Indira Gandhi saw an opening to end the mess of Pakistan’s constant fingering once and for all but failed to complete her mission.
From Khalistan to Kashmir to Terrorist strikes within India, Pakistani aggression has not stalled at any time.
Pakistan has to move to an understanding that Pakistan is in existence FOR itself.. not because of some religious historic agenda like a “Two Nation Theory”. They still behave as if defending their “religion nation” from imaginary and self made threats (even in far off lands as Jerusalem) is their god-given-agenda and duty. That, if they are not speaking in someone’s favor or fighting in someone’s favor amongst the “Two nations” of Jinnah (or now many nations – including Jewish and Christian), they are committing blasphemy.
Pakistanis need to live for themselves FOREMOST. Forget the rest of the world. Rest of the world is not important. Whether a Hindu flourishes in a near by country or a Jew runs the financial system 3000 miles from them is NOT important. What is important is what are YOU doing to live better and to prosper?? How many factories did you create in the last 5 years? How many new world class schools and colleges did you create in the last 5 years? Did you create an environment of trust, peace and innovation where the young artists and scientific minds would love to contribute?
If all that is not happening… then how is peace possible? Not all that is happening in India.. but some of that is happening.. and what do we get from Pakistan? Some Jehadis and ISI combined force decides to target Indian Institute of Science or our Scientists or our financial capital! Why?
Why can’t we rejoice in other’s success at creating such things? Why can’t we take that as an inspiration to do something similar ourselves?
Our issue, Ms. Jahangir, is just that.. that instead of striving to create a “Pakistan Institute of Science” which is far better than “Indian Institute of Science”, Pakistani establishment (and don’t give me that shpeel about establishment is not engaged with the Jehadis!) and Jehadis find it kosher to bomb the institute across the border!!
When the Pakistanis demand opening up their own institutes instead of bombing others’ and rejoicing in that scenario… peace will have quietly but surely tip-toed into our sub continent… unbeknownst to all the conference halls and celebrity parties. You will be part of it but not the creator of it. Like they say, Love Happens. Peace will Happen!