Increasing Diplomatic Distrust Across Radcliffe Line In Sub-Continent

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

Although both India and Pakistan never had friendly relations since their creation in 1947. The persistent mistrust between the two neighboring countries over various key issues has defied numerous international attempts at resolution and entered its most dangerous phase when both India and Pakistan openly blaming each other for supporting and funding the terrorist activities across the Radcliffe Line.

Both are well aware of this material fact that they cannot change their neighbors even then both hesitated to exercise their diplomatic muscles to ease the bilateral tensions. No serious efforts has ever been made in this regard to create a fear free environment in the world’s most thickly populated region. Fog of fear and mistrust are as old as the political age of both the countries. There were several occasions in the history when both could have negotiated a peaceful resolution of the conflicts and have progressed forward to establish trust instead of bullying. If there were some measures taken in this regard, they were merely on piece of paper under international diplomatic pressure but these accords were never accepted from either side passionately. For instance, Tashkent agreement of 1966 lost its credibility and validity only after six years when both fought another war in Bengal in 1971 and as a result Bangladesh came into being and Pakistan Army had to surrender amid defeating and humiliating circumstances.

1972 Shimla Accord between Z.A. Bhutto and Mrs. Indra Gandhi also could not prove to be a lasting and defining doctrine as the definition and explanation of the articles and clauses have different meanings in the diplomatic and self-explanatory lingo across the Radcliffe line.  1989 uprising in Indian held Jammu Kashmir again fueled the mistrust and both confronted each other internationally through their diplomatic muscles by the harsh words of intervention in the internal affairs, terrorism support, human rights violations and so on. 1998 proved to be another catastrophic year in bilateral rigidities when both tested their nuclear weapons one after another thus blowing the whistle for a deadly catastrophe in the region. Soon after the nuclear experiments both take the U-Turn and signed another treaty at Lahore, Pakistan declaring to move forward theoretically but ended up fighting a war at the Peaks of Kargil in Jammu Kashmir in 1999. Again During the Vajpayee and Musharraf regimes both countries came close to each other for a short period of time but the Confidence Building Measure could not last longer and 26/11 Mumbai attacks swept the dust of friendly relations under the old carpet of animosity. All the blames for the attacks were leveled against both the State and non-state actors from the territory of Pakistan.

Continue reading Increasing Diplomatic Distrust Across Radcliffe Line In Sub-Continent

Advertisements

Pakistanis buy Dubai property worth $379m in three months

BY AAMIR SHAFAAT KHAN

KARACHI: Pakistanis remained in pursuit of real estate in Dubai in the first quarter of 2015 as third biggest amount of foreign property transactions $379 million came from Pakistani nationals.

Pakistanis purchased properties worth over $4.3 billion (16bn dirhams) in 2013 and 2014 in Dubai.

Read: Pakistanis bought property worth 16bn dirhams in Dubai

According to data released by Dubai Land Department in April 2015, Pakistani nationals made transactions worth $379m (1.392 billion dirhams) during the first quarter of 2015.

In terms of investor numbers, however, Pakistanis stood second with a total of 953 investors, only behind Indians with over 1,000 investors.

Also read: Capital flight to Gulf states worries govt

Pakistanis also make up the second largest non-Arab nationality in the UAE.

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1183845

“The state is not on its way to course correction”

Arif Hasan, architect, planner, social activist, points to social and political changes taking place in Pakistan and why the state does not consider these when making policy

By 

The News on Sunday: (TNS) Do you think that having lost its sole monopoly over violence, the state of Pakistan needs to redefine itself?

Arif Hasan (AH): It is a wrong question implying that the state is justified in having a monopoly over violence. Why should it have such a monopoly? State can adopt violence only when there is epic impediment to the execution of the functions of the state, or if violence is necessary in generating peace against those who are disruptive and when all courses of negotiations and peaceful resolutions fail. Some states are oppressive. They should be overthrown.

TNS: Has the state of Pakistan come to a point where it needs to lay down new goals for the country? Does the national interest need to be redefined and how? Do we need a new social contract?

AH: Pakistan is no longer what it was 25 years ago. There have been huge social, political changes. And these are not considered when dealing with policy.

There has been an eclipse of feudalism. Led by the collapse of the local system of commerce, governance, the panchayats, thejirgas, the patels, the numberdaars. They are no longer present. Moreover, the state has not tried to fill this gap. As a result of this change, many things have happened.

In the rural areas, the link between caste and profession has broken. The village artisans who provided services through barter system today work in cash. They have migrated to urban areas. The rural areas are entirely dependent on the urban produced goods. That is a very big change.

Another change is mobility. People move all over for trade and commerce. Where once roads used to be empty, today they are full of trucks. The Anjuman-e-Tajiran in various cities/towns has become an important political player. They are in constant negotiation with the state.

Women have emerged out of nowhere in public life. This trend is rapidly increasing. They dominate the public sector universities. Gender roles have changed. Extended family is disappearing.

All these changes require new society values and new governance structures, so that they can be consolidated.

TNS: What has led to these changes?

AH: All the reasons described above. Our population has increased 600 per cent since independence. There is technology/invention, cash has replaced barter, there are new varieties of seeds, farm sizes have become smaller, and the landless village labourer cannot afford the village’s dependency on urban produce.

Since 2000, over twenty universities have been established in small towns of Pakistan. Those who are studying in these universities are men and women from surrounding areas and villages. We have more people who are educated now. TV has also contributed in changing the values. Court marriages have increased. Migration abroad has also contributed to change in values. According to our study, migration and remittances have caused the breakdown of the family system.

All these factors have contributed to this change. Furthermore, you cannot close a country off from changes that are taking place all over the world. All these factors may lead to turmoil unless we can support them.

Also read: “On its own, no military can deal with political problems” — Ejaz Haider

TNS: The failure of the state is often pitched against a functioning society. Do you see the two at variance with each other or connected since we also witness a deeply conservative and overly patriotic society which could only be a product of the state?

AH: We have a conservative and patriotic state with an ideology and a value system. But trends in society are unconsciously changing. And this change is unconsciously challenging the traditional value system.

Our so-called Islamic values are being violated all the time. We see roadblocks (protests) against injustices and women are active in these roadblocks; be they against karo-kari, excesses by the wadera, water shortage or anything.

These things were unheard of before. It shows that the society is fighting back. They are fighting back conservatism with contemporary values.

Media projects a lot of injustices against women, but they do not project the changes taking place, nor are they projecting the role models who are challenging these traditional barriers. Role models, too, are just individual cases, like Malala.

The problem is that not only the state, even the opinion makers and academia are not grasping these changes. They are constantly dealing with conditions, not with trends. Societal changes need to be understood, articulated and brought into consciousness. Right now, these are not being articulated at all.

TNS: How can they be articulated, when there is such limited space for dialogue?

AH: Who says there is no space for dialogue? Nobody is stopping people from reaching out. We are in a trap. We keep talking about jihad, cruelty of the state and society, and no doubt all this is there. We are talking about all this in the framework of nostalgia.

The past was a period of elitist politics. This is a period of populist politics. Karachi was the way it was because it was colonial port city being governed by colonial elites. Today, it is run by populist political parties.

The past was a very oppressive system, and it went on because people used to accept the oppression. Now there is freedom, most importantly, freedom to choose. The only thing is that people do not know what to do with this freedom.

Don’t miss: What must the state do?

TNS: To repeat a cliché, the institutional imbalance is said to have harmed Pakistani state. Do you think this institutional imbalance is on its way of course correction?

AH: The institutional imbalance has harmed Pakistan. This imbalance is located in the very foundation of this country, which has been a consistent actual and perceived threat from India. And India, too, has done everything possible to help with the development of this perception.

No, it is not on its way to course correction. Our political establishment is far too weak, corrupt and very much involved in seeing its class interests served.

Continue reading “The state is not on its way to course correction”