Ours is the Present – Priti Jain

History holds the charm to recrudescent the long forgotten events in our lives. It is that part of our previous lives that proffers us our present. The whole world is witness to the foundation, our past lays in establishing our existent lives. World politics today is that art of living which heavily feeds on historical manure. Pakistan and India share the most inglorious anterior relations that have not yet healed with time. Constant fits of mistrust have straitjacketed the various attempts at coming to terms with each other.

The recent visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister, Mr. S M Krishna has supposedly brought some relief to the long-awaited liberalization of visa norms between the two nations. The leading authorities have finally walked the talks by sidelining their military and political tensions. The easing of these rules will greatly benefit not only the business class but also the common man of the two lands. Adding new categories of group tourism visa, pilgrim visa, extending the 3 cities rule to 5 cities and multiple one-year and two-year visits for businessmen and senior citizens respectively will boost the social and economic front tremendously. The cross-border marriages that had been the worst hit and marred will witness an end to their ordeals. They had always blamed the socially insensitive natures of governmental politics in being unbeknownst to their incessant plights. Now hopefully they’ll be thankful to their respective governments.

 The move to shift to a negative list of imported goods will open up the gates for better bi-lateral economic relations, incentivizing cross-border trading. The latent economic ties will thus receive the much needed momentum. The traditional economists of the world were of the opinion that the supply of money in the market is the prerogative of the monetary authorities. But the modern thinkers begged to differ and pitched for banks and the public having an equal hand in stirring the money supply. To increase the monetary supply between the nations the banks thus play a promising role. A keen interest shown by the richest man in Pakistan and chairman of the MCB Bank, Mian Mohammad Mansha is a step towards the same. Dialogues between the Commerce Ministries vouching for resuming the banking ties which have been suspended since Indo-Pak in 1965 are under way. RBI and the State Bank of Pakistan, the two central banks are in the process of opening up of applications by the commercial banks to venture in cross- border banking. The late reciprocity by the Pakistani government in finally granting India the MFN (Most Favored Nation) status should prove to be the harbinger for the many benefits that will be reaped by the two nations.

But one thing cannot be forgotten; whatever amount of trust is gained in the economic front can never compensate the continuous loss of love on the military front. Our economic boom is going parallel with the military doom. We’re fighting two wars; a legal war and an illegal war, both scoffing humanity in the face. We say that politics is for the learned and the intellectual one, but what faith does it instill in the people when they can’t get over their constant bickering and come to terms. We’re talking about the legal wars here. Our military hold over parts of the Siachin glacier, the Sir Creek and our beloved Kashmir is not approved by our Pakistani counterparts and vice versa. Calling for the UN intervention in this matter was our first and by far the biggest mistake in handling the situation. Both the nations had to severely pay for this delayed and unsatisfactory arbitration. It took us decades to realize the need for a one-on-one peaceful dialogue addressing all our raging concerns and we’re quite sure there will be more time wasted in actually having concrete results in our hands. No doubt that the demarcation of the land is no cake-walk but neither is it insurmountable. Honestly, it’s better to give up one’s ego than to play with thousands of lives under the pretext of nationalism and national security.

Illegal wars are just another way of subtly extenuating terrorism. It is the biggest threat enveloping the whole world today. The pre-revised norms of the visa were primarily met out to keep a check on terrorist activities owing to our constant wars and general hatred towards each other. But did the old visa regime help in restraining the terror outfits’ activities to any extent? Not really. Terrorism does not need any visa restrictions to meet out its covert plan of action. Their will and means are beyond it. Frankly speaking, they are not terrorists by choice; the social, political and economic environment surrounding them has molded their thoughts contrary to that of their state. Some are brainwashed, some are forced, though a decent number are devoted to the cause by choice. The world today perceives them as nothing but some self-obsessed, sadistic creatures, dismantling the fabric of the world, with displaced anger and extreme jingoism. Neither are the ever happy nor do they let anyone be happy. For some, terrorism is no more a means to protest the existing way of life, no more a means to demand a healthy living. Their means of violence has become an end in itself and now terrorism is their way of life. They are their perpetrators and they are their laws and authority. Their fealty to their cause is religiously monitored. But let’s not forget that the politically instigated terrorism is its worst form and has no end to it. Though to curb it is not impossible; an honest political will devoid of corruption, keeping in mind the national interest is all you need.

The terror attacks in turn have lead to a blame game ensuing between the nations. India’s demand for justice in the 26/11 terror attacks was met by a Pakistan asking for justice in the Samjhauta Express blast. They fall prey to their own incompetency in vindicating themselves. Their patent answers fall back to the judicial processes, asking for time and hardcore evidences. When provided with evidences, they are ironically not accepted and the executers of the act roam scot free, making new plans. And eventually the world loses interest in the matter and moves on, sooner or later to be struck by another unprecedented act.

Another barrier in normalizing the ties is internal politics by the dissent. Their synecdochical approach towards Pakistan causes a hindrance in thawing the relations. Yes, we talk about MNS leader Raj Thackeray and his many attempts at targeting the cultural programs and sports events. His derogatory remarks and threats completely put off the purpose of building trust among the people. These instances showcase India’s failure at having a single and strong positive national view. These cheap tactics for grabbing public attention does no good to anyone.

We should learn from our past mistakes and redeem ourselves at every point. But doesn’t history repeat itself? Whatever we do today, good or bad will befall us in our future. Whatever goes around definitely comes back to haunt us, so choose your acts wisely. Our past leaders got us in this mess, if we succeed in appeasing our ties with Pakistan today, our progeny will only thank us.


  1. Aparna /

    It is important we live in the present, however a secure, robust and prosperous future's foundation lies in a well determined and defined objectives preset in the present with a vision. India lacks this vision and even a visionary for that matter. The economic boom and the ties as also the cultural exchange in terms of arts and cinema are although appreciative but are not bigger than the national security. We live in times where we can't trust Pakistan government and it's narrow and hypocritical ideologies. The efforts from the side of Indian government to tackle this viciousness of the Pakistani rule is neither staunch and is rather lame. What India needs from Pakistan government is transparency and a commitment which is focused on bringing a change and peace. Our previous efforts to achieve this have been admonished by them in a way that mocks our system. We need to prepare ourselves so that the Pakistani government is forced to act in a way that contributes largely towards the national security.

  2. It’s pretty much obvious that Pakistan is never going to ready for a hardcore commitment and our own leadership is in questionable hands. Not only have we failed on the political front, but also on humanity front in general. There is no trust amongst us at all and no democratic or political effort is going to change that whatsoever if we are not ready to accept each other. Think about it!

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