The paranoia setting in on the current foreign policy of the government is dumbfounded. The hyper patriotic television today almost took out every claw to somehow make me xenophobic of Pakistan.
Abdul Basit, the hawkish sound tempered high commissioner talked about no reciprocity and suspension of peace talks with India. Most people account it to be the spillover effect of an ‘Indian’ spy caught in Pakistan. It just looks like a repetition of history. Not many months back India called off the secretary level talks with Pakistan.
But can the Modi government be criticised for following a ‘fraudulent’ foreign policy vis-a-vis Pakistan? I doubt such a simplistic notion.
The media on either sides of the border always engage in pumping nationalism, to pressurize the government to follow a pattern where it will come across as ‘courageous’ , ‘brave’ and of course uncharitable to the counterpart. e.g? The 1999 Kargil war, The 1965 war in which both countries claim victory.
The theatrics play out amid raucousness and self righteousness with blinded vision to either logic or common sense. I remember, what Najam Sethi, a man who can be found everywhere- from dancing effortlessly in the cricket galleries to discussing politics on GEO News said about the Indian media’s 26/11 coverage and its effect on the Pakistani counterpart.
Najam is one of those who is severely criticised by various quarters for his “pro India stance.” He was also put behind bars by the I.S.I.
Sethi said,” The Pakistani media stood beside India after the attacks. But as the jingoistic histrionics gobbled up Indian media, the Pak media followed suit changing its tone and tenor.”
This blind patriotism of media especially TV media tantalises the Anti Pak or Anti India feelings among their respective countrymen. TRPs and Nationalism behave as the long lost brothers of Kumbh Mela. But what gets grilled in the process is coexistence if not peace.
The political parties like the television channels most of the times feels the need to come out as the beethoven of deshbhakti to make themselves appear to be patriotic.
In a recent statement, the Finance Minister of the country described the media as agenda setters who are digressing frequently from the original duty of the fourth estate.
The soldiers are getting martyred on the LOC. But one is not understanding even infrequently that the same is also happening on the other side. Someone who is sane enough to understand the situation is being seen as a traitor, or an apologist.
We have created a wall of falsehood where the other party is being seriously subjected to mistrust and cynicism. Indians are seeing the abortion of 26/11 investigation process as an evil design of Pakistan.
Pakistan on the other hand is ‘falsely’ trying to show the world how India is involved in abetting Baloch separatists. But why? BECAUSE, there are too many interests involved.
Both countries hold on to their ‘core principles’ with Kashmir bogey being raked up by one while Hafiz Saeed being the only issue for the other.
Bilawal calls for the capture of entire Kashmir, while the Congress Party which left its own PM Manmohan Singh alone after the Sherm-al-Sheikh ‘fiasco’ rants about the disrespect being caused to the Pathankot martyrs.
In many ways the relationship of enmity between the two countries will persist. Few handshakes and symbolic gestures here and there will not take away from the fact that the two countries will soon come to share the historical altercation of slugfest and mudslinging.
P.S- Well I am not a peacenik. The high decibels at my home have never allowed me to become one. However, I am sick of diplomacy which believes in placating a selective constituency of media and electorate first, oblivious about the interest of both nations whose prosperity to a large extent will depend on Khrushchev’s doctrine of 1956.
The need of the hour is to understand that Pakistan’s martyr is being seen by India as its enemy and vice-versa. The value of a human life is much more than the army, the PM or the sovereignty of a nation!