Mumbai, Media & Politics

India Pakistan Conflict

Pakistan India Conflict --- courtesy nicholson cartoon

You dont go to war with a country which is already at war!

India might not get this message, but engaging Pakistan in a war across the border, even a minor skirmish, will not bode well for the region. This past decade has proven one thing beyond any doubt, that forcing a war on a nation will not resolve any conflicts. Rather it will only exasperate any imploding matters. US incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan and its ill effects are quite evident to all of us. Israel’s disastrous short war against Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006 is another great example. Heck, even Kargil conflict between India & Pakistan in 1999 has shown us that hot wars cannot resolve long standing conflicts, it will only make matters worse.

This current Mumbai crisis has the hallmark of becoming a major flash point in South Asian politics. Already, India’s politicians have shown little leadership and more showmanship. Their anger and threats towards Pakistan have actually lost them more friends here than anytime in the past. This was a time to work together with newly elected Pakistani leadership in capturing the culprits. After all, Pakistan is suffering from terrorism within its borders on a daily basis.

What was surprising was the biasness of the Indian Media. When Mumbai crisis began, there was widespread sympathy for the victims. After all, Pakistan is going through a similar turmoil for the past few years. Therefore, there was an immediate connection and people felt sorry. However, Indian media, began implicating anything and everything that is Pakistan without any substantial proof, logic or common sense. As the hysteria was built up by the media, it was apparent, that Pakistanis were beginning to change their perceptions and were more dejected by the false reports being telecast from India. Today, Indian media are considered the “biggest liars on TV” here. They earned this respect in less than a week of irresponsible reporting.

Not many people realize that today, Pakistan has over 100,000 troops engaged in War Against Terror in North West of Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan army is the second largest military force after the US war machinery that is actively engaging Talibans and Al-Qaeda elements within its borders. This military force is not just out there to keep Pakistan safe, but is working closely with international partners to keep the world safe.  Therefore, it would have been prudent for Indian Politicians and media to have engaged Pakistani leadership rather than threatening them with dire consequences.

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown visited Pakistan and clearly indicated that it would be prudent for the world to work with Pakistan government in eliminating Talibans within its borders. Today, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is also sending out the same message to its enemies and engaging them in peace talks. India should follow suite and work closely with Pakistan. There should be more sharing of intelligence reports and facts.

The recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martti Ahtisaari  when asked about the Mumbai crisis clearly indicated that one cannot resolve such matters without resolving Kashmir conflict. This festering wound has already caused three major wars between India and Pakistan. The longer Indian leadership continues to ignore United Nations resolutions dating back to 1949 on this conflict, the longer the conflict will continue. It is time for all leaders to sit down and resolve old conflicts. Drumming up war with Pakistan will not resolve any crisis rather will act as a catalyst for terrorism to spread to other parts of the world.

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About Atif Mumtaz
A serial entrepreneur who loves to travel, discuss politics and hikes on weekends.

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