Saturday, October 23, 2010

Now Or Never

British were always obsessed with their superiority. Their failure in Second World War gave them a bloody nose. To sustain the empire “Where the sun did never set,” become economically unviable.
America was the new God, Basking under the glory of its victory in Europe. Together, the Brits and Yaks feared the neo Devil, Communism.
Oil was important for the recovery of war torn Europe. It was Middle East from where the oil came from. At this juncture ceding independence to India was a strategic risk. But if India was not liberated, it would have been direct pronunciation of Hypocrisy of western ideology of Liberty and Freedom. After all it was this philosophy for which Americans have fought the war.
Churchill administration was certain that an India under leadership of Mahatma will not allow them to operate military bases in South Asia. And these were needed.
So the conspiracy of partition of India was hatched. What all they needed was Baluchistan and NWFP. Since Baluchistan was technically Afgan territory and Pathnas were allied to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan it was a difficult task.
The Idea of Pakistan saw light of the day.
It was a result of ambitions, distrust, misunderstanding on both sides; the Congress and the League, that partition of India became viable.
Radcliff did a brilliant Job. On close observation one can decipher the sinister design of the boundary. Kishangarh Buldge, juts into Pakistan where it is narrowest. Chicken neck, threaten Indian communication with Kashmir, Siliguri corridor is 80 Km wide and the Bay of Bengal is just 60 Km from Lungetlai salient.
The events during partition left a stigma which will take generations to wane. Who so ever stated it; both nations suffered, and are still suffering. To top it all Kashmir was invaded. Now if the British Commanding general of Indian and Pakistan army pleads ignorance, he is a liar. The nascent Pakistan was convinced by British that Kashmir or Part of it is necessary for their existence. One way it was. But the method employed in haste entangled the two nations in a 63 years old animosity.
We were Brothers and we could have settled it amicably.
If a policy for 63 years has produced no result. The policy has resulted in four wars. It is high time we need to relook at it. 63 years of hatred, why not give chance to love?

Now let us have a look at some facts.
In 2008-09 Pakistan allocated a sum of Rs 296 billion for defence. India laid down a defence budget 1.42 trillion rupees (28.4 billion dollars) in year 2010. Over the next 12 years, India is set to spend a whopping US$200 billion on defence acquisitions to replace its outdated inventory. This Money can be utilized for better purposes.
Here are some more recent comparative indicators:

One out of every three illiterate adults in the world is an Indian, according to UNESCO. Pakistan stands fourth in the world in terms of illiterate adult population, after India, China and Bangladesh.

One out of very two hungry persons in the world is an Indian, according to World Food Program. Pakistan fares significantly better than India on the hunger front.


Population living under $1.25 a day - India: 41.6% Pakistan: 22.6% Source: UNDP

The reason for higher levels of poverty in India in spite of its rapid economic growth is the growing rich-poor disparity. Gini indexmeasuring rich-poor gap for India is at 36, higher than Pakistan's 30. Gini index is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 100: A low Gini index indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini index indicates more unequal distribution. Zero corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 100 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).


Underweight Children Under Five (in percent) Pakistan 38% India 46% Source: UNICEF


Life expectancy at birth (years), 2007 India: 63.4 Pakistan: 66.2 Source: HDR2009


Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, male Pakistan: 80% India 87% Source: UNICEF

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, female Pakistan 60% India 77% Source: UNICEF


GDP per capita (US$), 2008 Pak:$1000-1022 India $1017-1100

Child Protection:

Child marriage under 15-years ; 1998–2007*, total Pakistan - 32%India - 47% Source: UNICEF

Under-5 mortality rate per 1000 live births (2007), Value Pakistan - 90 India 72 Source: UNICEF

The time has come for us to make a choice. Weather we continue our attitude of mutual distrust and spend money preparing for a battle that is costing future of our nation.Or we reconcile our difference and work together for progress.
It is not that difficult also.
We start with India taking the initiative. Revamp Indus water treaty to establish Joint Hydro Electric Projects in Kashmir. India will provide Investment and Expertise and Pakistan will get Electricity and water. With a Hydroelectric potential of 28000 MWin Kashmir, Pakistan can easy get up to 8-10 Thousand Watts.
This should be followed by Pakistan closing its terrorist infrastructure. A joint commission for investigation of Anti India and Pakistani activities should be established hereafter.
Pakistan to provide India the status of most favored Nation. India should provide soft lone for revitalization of economic activity. India should invest in Pakistan. This should be followed by establishment of common free market, and if possible unified currency.
The visa regulation is next. Like EU a common citizenship card should be established for both nations.
During this period Military to military interaction should increase. Exchange program for Military establishment should take place. Further a joint command should be established for UN operations. Later this can be extended into joint South Asian Command.
We should aim at field a Joint team in 2023 Olympics.
Then we can talk about Kashmir.

(Contribution - Mr Skand Nayal Khan)

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