Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Pakistan India Imbroglio

It was nice to see   Mr.  Nawaz  Sharief  attend the swearing-in ceremony of   Shri  Narender  Modi  though after some confusion regarding his posture about his ability to do so.The world has changed and things have moved on and so should the orientations of Countries and societies. I read in the papers a statement by Mariam the daughter of Mr. Nawaz Sharif   Why cant we Live      like  United Europe instead of being like North Korea  and South Korea ?  What a pertinent statement  from a good thinking individual.  Our Prime Minister Mr. Narender  Modi also deserves praise for inviting his counterpart of Pakistan.

I have been listening to many lectures from various individuals both from our country and from across the border and also at one instance some discussion about India by some school  students in Pakistan. I  find very few speaking about  India with a sense of animus. The basic orientation is largely positive. India and  Pakistan  show a behavior consistent with the behavior of Europe in the early 1900’s. Governments  at loggerheads and people aspiring for co-operative existence.

What can we learn from  United  Europe?  many things……they have put behind the agonies of the World wars..the  World  wars had their commencement due to poor Economic conditions in main-land Europe and the common man failing to understand the causes. Economic  depravation  in the past had a hand in the origin of wars. They have unified themselves.USA is an example of United Europe and co-existence- but in an altogether different Continent. Businesses of Europe now must on a path of upswing largely owing to such co-operations. Airbus Industrie of France may not have made the A 380 had it not been for co-operation from other European partners. Through co-operation Europe is developing its economy  and the effects of its development would have positive influence on even its  Asian and  African neighbours and would make the  Economies of these countries more self reliant owing to investments from near-by. Europe is not very far from India…You only need to travel possibly some 5000 kms…there is an altogether a positive situation emerging in Europe which would change World equations.

Look at the partition of India into West Pakistan and East Pakistan…an event uprising from the culmination of the Second  World  War. A deal that had to hurriedly  accepted  if the fruits of decades long struggle were to bear any fruit.  It was a game situation of marginal advantage for some and face saving on the other hand. Had the formula of partition not been accepted things would have prolonged through uncertainty and the  constituents  thought  it wise to take the spoils and put any other issue for future consideration and alteration. A hurriedly accepted solution for a prolonged struggle  for  independence. It left some loose ends and suffering to the populace from which this zone has to some extent reconciled.

Who is responsible for  Partition ? Some say it is the religious groups involved..Had it been purely religion there is something  amiss  as seen from the events decades  after Partition..the repartition of Pakistan itself into which India was forcibly drawn. Religious fervosity should have kept them together but over the years they parted primarily and possibly because they could not co-exist notwithstanding the factor of religion. Then who is responsible for  Partition ?  It appears to me the British itself. The Second World War to my opinion left the British Economically famished their efforts targeted at preventing the Germans from crossing the  English  Channel. War with Germany was on a much higher professional scale and lasted for too long…largely crippling the various Global supply chains. Study the policies of the British since time immemorial it always smacked of Injustice and selfishness and also marked by atrocities. They simply wanted no opposition an d treated with an iron hand any one who did so..with due respect to them and their skills as a community. They indulged themselves in such extreme acts time and again in various parts of the world. Can any one reconcile with the ”Doctrine of lapse” promulgated in  India. It is not that any single British has to be blamed their administrative machinery worked that way. They got into trouble with the Americans owing to such  policies  resulting in warfare. A wantonly unjust treatment of any given situation largely to their advantage and gross disadvantage to the other side..It had to be accepted or bare the consequences. Had it not been for the Economic circumstances prevailing post second world war India would have never become free..The British found it grossly difficult to support a large empire with the remnants of the war and thought if fitting to hand over the reins to local Governments and letting them do what they wished but had their own reservations about handing over such a unified territory into a single hand…Cut it into as many possible pieces and hand it over and leave for a posterity an environment of mistrust and conflict. Had the formula of Partition not been hurriedly accepted   this zone could have been severed even further.

Look at what happened in India post Independence. A   Government machinery that went in full swing to support an economy bequeathed by the British. I have no inkling how Pakistan handled its independence. On the Indian side there were think-tanks and highly committed individuals who put the pangs of partition behind and built a professional and scientific network. The British administration put the larger portions of the country un-developed but left many isolated pockets highly sophisticated..the cities from where-in their administration ran. The leaders of this country post partition looked at some of these cities to set up the framework from which the new country would find its footing…Madras…Bangalore…Bombay..Delhi..Kolkata…Ooty..just to name a few. They created five year plans..built dams..built Industrial institutions..built  Educational Institutions..and into these cities poured a first generation Indian populace seeking glory for their self and family the after effects of which govern the progress of the country even today. Foundations were laid without doubt for a modern technological country which believed in secular ideals which was slow to show results initially but with other global changes catapulted the country into a spin of Economic optimism.

The next question is What would happen to Pakistani and Indian economies of the future? The turning point of the Indian economy came  post  globalization and India as a country rode the upswing much better than the more established economies of these times. Globalized era in India started and thrived as a result of the growth of the Internet and mobile telephony preceded by the expansion of our Television networks. Indian Economy owes to technology a great deal and also to its leaders like Nehru and  Menon  who who  built scientific foundations for the country. Mobile telephony integrated India and Internet integrated India with the rest of the World..two lethal events unexpected and lacking in precedence. The rest is history and an unpredictable future which would be largely constructive and positive. The foundations of various kinds laid in India catapulted India into a higher orbit of World reckoning. Pakistan on the other side missed the Technological revolution and could not put to purposeful economic advantage the upsurge of Technology, and India by default increasingly would become a destination for foreign investments.

Pakistan had an ally  during the cold war era..the United states. The US administration of these times badly wanted the companionship of Pakistan to keep a check on  Soviet  movements in this part of the world..The end of the Cold war saw the diminishing significance of Pakistan in Military terms for the United States and with that a possible tightening of the belt in terms of financial support…Pakistan turns to a supposedly foe of India ..China  but of not much use. Language barrier with the Chinese and other fundamental differences would mean difficulty in sustaining long term goals. Pakistan would badly need an economic companion to hand-hold it into the modern era a force secondary to any other  considerations. Just take a case of a lad growing up in a Pakistani city and a lad growing up in an Indian city and compare the possible avenues for higher education. The opportunities for the Indian lad outweigh to a large number the opportunity on the other side. This a gross disadvantage with time will create an imbalance which would translate into economic arithmetic  and  with time would create a crisis in the other country.

Should Pakistan and India co-operate? The English speaking elite of these two countries will not have a problem. The problem would be from other sectors of the populace.  But sooner there is a platform for constructive co-operation the better it would be..a co-operation that puts the economy foremost to all other disputes and problems. What the British did must be undone sooner the better at least on the Economic front. As a first step education could be liberalized - a free movement of people across these zones for the purpose of knowledge and education; may be an Indo-Pak common university could be created where students from both the sides could educate themselves under a common platform. Understanding and Re-understanding of issues will help put many issues in the perspective. If a physical University is difficult to create to start with, a web based university with a conference session twice a year held in cities from both countries. This would be a welcome step as from this university would emerge next generation leaders in this part of the world who would shape the well-being of this continent and the well-being of Asia at large.

Mariam  the daughter of Nawaz Sharief is right…may be India and Pakistan would work like United Europe as against North and South Korea and seeing us the Koreans might follow suit.

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