Is it Hard to give Peace a Chance?


Is it Hard to give Peace a Chance?

Once again, the systematic cycle of war and peace has war clouds gathering at the forefront. How do we know this for sure? Well, media on both sides of the borders is frothing at the mouth on the prospect of yet another twisted conflict.

 

Public opinion in both countries has like always, been shaped into vain hyper-patriotism and inclined to give the other a bloody nose. Add to that the fervor of independence days of the two countries fallen only recently and you get a perfect recipe for disaster.

 

The million-dollar question is, can any of the two nuclear equipped countries afford a war that will only lead to death and destruction on an inconceivably catastrophic scale? The simple answer should definitely No! How else could reason allow us to tread on a path so suicidal?

 

Is India ready for another war?

 

India has made some huge investments in the recent years to bolster its economy to an extent where now it presumably boasts of being the 10th biggest economy in the world, in terms of GDP.

 

To break the myth, its per capita GDP apparently rose from $670 in 2004 to $1100 in 2012, which is no means an achievement by any standards. Now, just for sake of comparison, Pakistan’s in the same period went up from $530 to $670, but that is beside the point. The real point to take home is it doesn’t need any telling that war is nothing but synonymous to massive destruction both in terms of infrastructure and wealth. And none of the countries are remotely able to afford it.

 

Why not? Because economies go bankrupt within days and inflation reaches levels, almost unimaginable in times of peace. Even the strongest economies take ages to recover from war roil. But when the warring countries are both nuclear states, it makes the range of cataclysm even more unpredictable.

 

Tune out the inciteful media remarks and distorted statements of patriotism; India would never try such an avoidable (mis) adventure. Especially not at the cost of zeroing all its economic achievement made in the last decade or so.

 

Pakistan, on the other hand, has more than hands full with problems of  its own; from economic woes to terrorism to drone strikes and floods, the list is endless. Its army is already over stretched with internal commitments in the North Western region. The last thing it will ever need is a full-blown confrontation on the Eastern front too.

 

 

And so, without any gain saying, Pakistan is in a much worse position as compared to India at least as far as its economy is concerned. For a country relying on IMF bailouts, war is just not an option. Recent skirmishes on the border have brought the warmongers on both sides out of their holes and they are going into overdrive drumming up support for a full-fledged armed conflict.

 

 

One Indian MP called for beheading 50 Pakistanis in response to the 5 allegedly killed by Pakistan across the LoC. Similarly, some self-proclaimed ‘defence analysts’ in Pakistan are surely enjoying a field day with the ‘free’ news channels triggering the onset of their version of Ghazwa-e-Hind.

 

 

But where there are hawks, fortunately, there are doves too on both sides of the border. Indian Defence Minister AK Antony gave a clean chit to the Pakistan Army over their alleged violation of LoC. Similarly Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for the peace talks to be continued despite these incidents.

 
What is for sure is, with will and correct guidance; the two neighboring countries can embark on an everlasting journey of peace and betterment of the millions of people both sides of the borders. Some important initiatives will have to be taken and stuck to despite all odds and oppositions:

 

 

Waving white flags will only bring us good:

 
1.      Complete overhaul of the curriculum getting rid of all hate-instilling material against the other country. Education is the single most important player in the quest for achieving peace. This will not only breed our future generations devoid of hate but will also deny breathing space to the existing hate mongers.
2.      Strict and sincere peace accord between the two nations to be ensured. Armed forces of both countries to have strict orders of not violating the LoC. Any violations from either side to be dealt with full force of the law of its own country. This will act as the first step towards disarming the LoC.
3.      Preceding point to lead to disarmament and significant reduction in defence budgets. The finances released this way to be invested in education, health and other development projects.
4.      Mass media campaigns to remove mistrust amongst the masses for the other country. It will take at least a generation of incident free time to get rid of the mistrust that has been built over the years, but this process has to start now.
5.      More and more opportunities to be provided to people from all walks of life to mingle up with their counterparts across the border; to let people find out that human race is peaceful and loving by default and that race, religion and geographical boundaries shouldn’t come between this natural instinct.

 
Let us keep our egos aside and give peace a real chance for once, not for anyone else but for our own people’s sake. And yes, together we can do it!



Nabil Akhtar

An IT professional who aspires to see a just, tolerant and peaceful society in his lifetime. Other interests are sports and travelling. He blogs at spiritual-legacy.com


  • M.Saeed

    To give peace a chance, governments of the region must ensure fairness and tolerance in mutual affairs. Rule of Law must prevail in all eventualities and resentments must be allowed to dissipate through talks in cordial and cool, result oriented atmosphere. The best way for such talks is in agreeing to protect Universal Human Rights. Being world’s largest democracy which is also widely divided by race, religion and culture, India should offer a hopeful middle path. If peaceful justice is the goal, then conducive atmosphere is a prerequisite which can only be achieved with a prosperous democratic Pakistan as India steadfast partner in progress.

    Let us be realistic and see who gains by creating Economic Barriers in our progress, using the Weapon of Mass Destruction called “Terror”.

    • Farooq Hashmi

      The present tense situation at a number of sectors of the border between India and Pakistan portents a flare-up in the times ahead. While the government is making every effort to keep the people in the dark about the dangerous border situation and is trying hard to send them into a slumber with the lullaby of ” Pak-India friendship “, it’s they themselves who need to keep their vigil at the possible threatening oddities in the coming times..

      • M.Saeed

        The important question is, can Pakistan Army go to such savage limits as capture and kill an Indian soldier at LOC and return the body without its head? And, to do that, when the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to mend the broken link he meticulously established with A.B. Vajpayee?
        There must be several missing links to the most improbable story from Pakistani point of view. India is not ready to listen “terror angle”, although the entire world is already fighting a “World-War” against terror for the last 12 years!

    • http://gravatar.com/skchadha SKChadha

      Sir, kindly elaborate on:
      a. Ensure fairness and tolerance in mutual affairs?
      b. Rule of Law must prevail …. which nations rules and which nation’s law?
      c. Resentments must be allowed to dissipate through talks in cordial and cool, result oriented atmosphere – What do you mean by resentments and of whom .. whether of governments or of non-state actors?
      d. What do you mean by middle path?
      e. How India can ensure about prosperous democratic Pakistan?

      • M.Saeed

        Thanks for your response Mr. Chadha. Following are my answers to your points, ad-seriatim:
        a) Tolerance is a prerequisite for starting talks between two estranged people or groups. And:
        In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is his best teacher. (Dalai Lama)
        Highest result of education is tolerance. (Helen Keller)
        Also
        Acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness, are life-preserving lessons.
        Principles of justice and progress, tolerance and honouring dignity of all, are common virtues of civilized humans.
        Barack Obama

        b) All rules of Law are made to serve humanity and this is universal, accepting some very insignificant variations in limits.
        World Justice Project describes the Rule of Law as a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

        1-The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
        2-The laws are clear, publicized, stable and just, are applied evenly, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
        3-The process by which the laws are enacted, administered and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient.
        4-Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the make-up of the communities they serve.

        c. Chadha Ji, You can observe that, on your resentments and lame objections (for I know from history of your other blogs that you are a reasonable learned person in all of your endeavours not aimed or directed towards Pakistan) I am trying to obliterate them through systematic reasoning in all cordiality, although I know you will still come out against it, in another such catalogue, just for the hack of it.

        d. What do I mean by middle path?
        Should I remind you Buddha’s simple yet profound message???
        “Neither a life of self- indulgence, nor one of self-mortification can bring happiness. Only a middle path, avoiding these two extremes, leads to peace of mind, wisdom, and complete liberation from the dissatisfactions of life.”

        e. Very simple! I have repeatedly stated, as also in this post that:
        “Let us be realistic and see who gains by creating Economic Barriers in our progress by using the Weapon of Mass Destruction called “Terror”.
        My often reference in such statements is towards proliferation of the rise and sudden fall of “Asian Tigers” of 90′s and we must open minds to see the obvious beneficiary of our senseless wars. And, I know you are not with your self serving politicians of either side.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    Whereas years and years of battology of ” Amn ki Asha ” had already drained people of their patience, Mr.Nabil Akhtar has come up with the frayed jargon,”give peace a chance” to hammer it down into their heads to the point of exploding.The five solutions which he has suggested under the heading, ‘ Waving white flags will only bring us good ‘ are not new.They have already been presented multiple times in multiple different phraseologies. When the mutually- hostile countries are, on daily basis, adding to their respective stock-piles of weapons and the border skirmishes have become the order of the day, to talk to people in terms of peace is untimely and out of the place. One does not need a philosopher’s brain to know the factor impeding the normalization of relations between Pakistan and India, and that is the lack of will to settle the issues. A child with a tender mind knows that unless the outstanding issues between Pakistan and India are solved, slogans as,” give peace a chance” and ” asha” of “amn” will gain no ground.A long-lasting peace between both the countries can be built on the solution of the issues,especially the major ones. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  • Naseem Altaf

    This is 21st century; and the substantial parts of humanity have learnt to go beyond the past . The futility of wars , and the benefits of peaceful human development are beyond any argument.
    We in South Asia, Africa, Arabia,etc etc also need to wake up.
    Time does not wait for the unworthy; they deservedly are consigned to the dustbin of history.

  • M.Saeed

    Let us see what Modi brings for India come-16th Lok Sabha elections ’14, (—if—) All signs are pointing to a terror-wash through Congress-engineered plan of action already seen in execution. No body can make them rise from their feigned slumber.

  • NASAH (USA)

    Modi is going to sink BJP for good.

  • M.Saeed

    Let disputed history rest for a while and see who is talking hoarse now?
    Even today Pakistan is talking about granting India the “Highest Favoured Nation” and is already changing rules to import electricity from India.
    Being better disposed and even-minded Raj ji, you were expected to see the BOTH in capitals and not call the rooster being unipolar.

  • NASAH (USA)

    My dear Raj Chauhan — the Pakistanis are seeing the beams in their eyes — but the Indians are NOT.

  • M.Saeed

    Chadha ji, in my comment, there is a very big (—if—) involved for Modi and then, there is an already visible Congress plan of action in operation of the type employed by Bush in the US elections of 2000, when election results hinged on Florida mandatory recount offset by the US Supreme Court, awarding Florida’s votes to Bush and granting him the victory. That was an engineered manoeuvre and similar tactics are expected to be employed by Congress, if Modi manages to come close.

    • http://gravatar.com/skchadha SKChadha

      Saeed Sahib, I have my own doubts about Modi ….. It may be a hung Parliament again …… chances are remote. Any coalition government may not allow Modi on podium. Let us see ….. Indian elections have become unpredictable as even villagers now understand the value of their vote.

  • NASAH (USA)

    Gujarati ji — I meant it as a compliment to Modi. As you know it is really hard to criticize one’s own terrorist.

  • NASAH (USA)

    Raj Chauhan ji — I know Hafiz Saeed is the worst terrorist of the world and I have said it on so many occasions on NEWS because he kills outsider Indians — I like Modi because he is a conscientious terrorist and a good administrator to boot — the best thing about him — he doesn’t kill Pakistanis — he kills his own Gujaratis in his own Gujarat – not in Bihar.

    • Raj Chouhan

      Respected Dr. Sb,

      Neither you are a Pakistani, Indian, American or any one else, you are a true human being of Allah the great who always speak truth and reality. Sir, I consider you an exceptional human being and a true messenger of the Almighty that is why where you stand in my heart hope you must have been knowing. My comments in response to Saeed Sir’s post was not for you.

      Sir, I do not have any love for Modi, if he is really responsible for the riots then he would face the consequences if not on the Earth then in HELL. On the other side if we thinks that he was responsible for Gujarat riots then my some observations are as under:-

      (1) If Modi as an administrator of Gujarat state is responsible for Gujarat riots then Zardari, Gen Kayani, Miaan Sb and all the rulers in the world are as responsible for all the miss-happenings in their countries.

      (2) Why Muslims in Gujarat are flourishing like any one else there, why Gujarati Muslims never want to migrate from Gujarat to other Cong. ruled States? Why ratio of Gujarati Muslims favoring Modi in elections are increasing day by day? Why thousands of Indian Muslims are migrating to Gujarat from our other states?

      (3) Why there is not a single riot in Gujarat after 2001 whereas hundreds of riots have happened in other non BLP ruled states??

      Sir, 2001 riots was a reaction against those who killed 66 innocent people who were on pilgrimage. Blame always goes on those who lit the fire and not on those who did not take the immediate steps to douse it.

      As an administrator Modi is unmatched this I know personally. Getting a work done in Gujarat is as easy as in other advanced countries with zero tolerance to corruption.

      REGARDS

    • M.Saeed

      What surprises me the most is the fact that, why Hafiz Saeed is not drone-attacked and eliminated for good, if he is such a hard-boiled terrorist?

  • M.Saeed

    According to a wise man of the West, what India desperately needs today, is five years of ruthless dictatorship for getting rid of its filthy-selfish rulers. That is what I mean by terror to Congress.
    Not for Pakistan but, Modi is now the problem No.1 for India. His governing policies are geared more to Gujarat than India.
    History is dynamic and ruthless. Three out of the four most powerful and important Indians in fight for Independence from the British in 1947— Jinnah, Gandhi and Patel, were Gujaratis. But then, religious divides and caste differences were not there and Gujarati leaders dominated India. Not the case any more now. Congress is playing Muslim-card and might over-play it.
    In any case, Modi is oblivious of the fact that, India can only be governed from Delhi and not from Gandhinagar.

  • M.Saeed

    India is not our enemy number one. Our real enemies are our gutless leaders having no respectable ways and means to solve any crisis.

    Decency and patience wins without wars and best course to follow with your enemy is, work with the enemy to make him partner in mutual progress. Pride in violent-force is self-defeating monster and an intelligent enemy knows it well.

    “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of real humanity. The other is mere business”.(Mahatma Gandhi)

    • Raj Chouhan

      Sir, I second your views but what the rulers can do when they always have a sword hanging on their head. Still , I think democracy is the best form of Govt. Before expecting much from them first they must be given full powers to Govern. I hope this period of Miaan Sb. would be much better with world support. Simultaneously, you have to keep your power hungry khakis to their specified jobs and should contain them to strictly follow the elected Govt’s policies. .