Turn­ing the other cheek to the In­di­ans

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Anees Jil­lani Anees Jil­lani is an ad­vo­cate of the Supreme Court of Pak­istan and a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton, DC Bar. He has been writ­ing for var­i­ous pub­li­ca­tions for more than 20 years and has au­thored sev­eral books.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif at present ap­pears to be fol­low­ing the above ad­vice to the max­i­mum pos­si­ble ex­tent when it comes to In­dia. The cur­rent round of skir­mishes started when five In­dian soldiers were killed on Au­gust 6 near the LOC; In­dia says that they were killed by the Pak­istani troops while Pak­istan de­nies its in­volve­ment. How­ever, some­one must have done it and the fact that it was done close the LOC points the fin­ger to­wards us.

We would never find out as to who did it. But PM Sharif should at least try to find out if the killing was un­der­taken by the Pak­istan Army or done by the Mu­ji­hideen op­er­at­ing from Azad Kash­mir; and whether the Mu­ji­hideen op­er­ated in­de­pen­dently or with of­fi­cial mil­i­tary sanc­tion. In­dia be­lieves that Mu­ji­hideen do not un­der­take any mis­sion with­out a green light from the ISI. How­ever, one can only wish that ISI had so much clout and con­trol over the Mu­ji­hideen as the ISI it­self is con­stantly be­ing at­tacked all over the coun­try, along with the other sec­tions of the armed forces.

Re­gard­less of of­fi­cial in­volve­ment on Pak­istan’s part, it is legally not per­mis­si­ble for any coun­try un­der in­ter­na­tional law, in­clud­ing the United Na­tions Char­ter, to al­low its ter­ri­tory to be used for at­tack­ing other coun­tries. If al­lowed to do so, the in­ter­na­tional sys­tem would be­come chaotic and one would be com­ing across one world war af­ter an­other.

Pak­istan has a se­ri­ous prob­lem in this re­gard as its western bor­der is be­ing used by the Tal­iban to launch at­tacks in Afghanistan; eastern bor­der to lib­er­ate Kash­mir and a few Mus­lim Chi­nese mil­i­tants sit in the North­ern Ar­eas. This is a sad sit­u­a­tion and a nui­sance for our neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Come to think of it, is it re­ally their prob­lem if our civil­ian rulers when in power fail to con­trol the mil­i­tary part of our es­tab­lish­ment?

Nawaz Sharif is con­stantly turn­ing his other cheek to the In­di­ans de­spite their con­stant shelling at the LOC which has so far killed five Pak­istani troops and one can only hope that the fig­ure will re­main static by the time this col­umn is pub­lished. In the midst of this ten­sion, the Sharif Govern­ment of Pak­istan on Au­gust 23 re­leased 340 In­dian pris­on­ers, mostly the fish­er­men. The ges­ture no doubt is com­mend­able and will be ap­pre­ci­ated in­ter­na­tion­ally if not in In­dia.

But the cur­rent ten­sion is in­tol­er­a­ble. The In­dian and Pak­istani gov­ern­ments are not han­dling it right. Many jus­tify the bel­liger­ent In­dian stance to the com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tions. If this is true, then it is even more sad and goes to show that un­like the peo­ple in Pak­istan, In­di­ans want war. In­stead of the For­eign Of­fice daily sum­mon­ing the Deputy In­dian High Com­mis­sioner, Nawaz Sharif should pick-up his phone and talk to his coun­ter­part in New Delhi and ex­plain his coun­try’s po­si­tion re­gard­ing the Au­gust 6 killings and ask In­dia not to be­come a hostage to its me­dia and the fa­natic sec­tions of the pop­u­lace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.