Home Global Village Are peace overtures worth the effort?

Are peace overtures worth the effort?


Imran Jan |

Imran Khan, one could argue, has acted unprecedentedly by making peace overtures to India, which has come up with laughable excuses. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “Terror and talks cannot go together.” That is disingenuous, to say the least. It is India that is involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan and aggression in Kashmir. Kulbhushan Jadhav is one such example. Secondly, Bowe Bergdahl was swapped for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Taliban office has been set up in Doha for peace negotiations with the US. The US and the erstwhile USSR had swapped Rudolf Ivanovich Abel and Francis Gary Powers at the height of the Cold War. In all these instances and many not mentioned here, the hostilities were ongoing while these difficult exchanges were made. All that is needed is a will, which is absent in New Delhi.

The Indian media consistently drills an anti-Pakistan propaganda into the minds of the Indian people. They would not wake up the morning after the election with a deep love for Pakistan. Imran Khan should stop wasting his time.

Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat demanded of Pakistan to become a secular state if it wants peace with India. That is mindboggling. Let me ascertain that Jinnah had envisioned a secular Pakistan. Nevertheless, even superpower states do not ask other countries to go secular as a precondition for achieving peace, let alone a hungry, naked, extremist, and rape-and caste-infested nation like India. The United States does not ask Saudi Arabia to go secular for peace between the two countries. India and Israel are allies and Israel is by no definition a secular state.

More importantly, is India itself a secular state? There are endless stories of abuse and discrimination against Muslims, Sikhs and low-caste Hindus. Last month, there was a New York Times story titled “‘Tell Everyone We Scalped You!’ How Caste Still Rules in India”. In late October, a 14-year-old Dalit girl was beheaded by an upper-caste man. Dalit men aren’t allowed to ride horses.

Read more: Is PM Khan betting on an Indian “Tabdeeli” for Peace talks?

In March, one Dalit man broke with the tradition and rode one, causing higher-caste men to kill him. Avatthi Ramaiah, a Sociology professor in Mumbai, said, “You may talk about India being a world power, a global power, sending satellites into space but the outside world has an image of India they don’t know. As long as Hinduism is strong, caste will be strong, and as long as there is caste, there will be lower caste.”

The propaganda narrative has always had us believe that it is the Pakistan army generals that do not want peace with India for their nefarious and financial reasons. Nothing can be further from the truth. And the current rude Indian rejection of Pakistan’s peace overtures is a continuation of India’s decades-old belligerent mindset.

Imran Khan’s belief that India is rejecting his peace offer because of the upcoming elections in India is wishful thinking. The fact that the Indian leadership needs anti-Pakistan credentials for winning the election speaks volumes about how futile these peace overtures would prove to be even after the election.

Avatthi Ramaiah, a Sociology professor in Mumbai, said, “You may talk about India being a world power, a global power, sending satellites into space but the outside world has an image of India they don’t know.

Imran Khan himself said that the BJP had an “anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach”. However, the problem is not merely with the BJP but rather more with the constituency of the BJP which happens to be the majority of the Indian population. It is not just the BJP, it is this anti-Pakistan mindset that won’t just disappear even if a different party is voted to power.

Many people question how Trump won the election despite his racist and anti-immigrant hostile talk. He did not win despite his ugly rhetoric but actually because of it. This is about the constituency, not the individual leader or a party. A change of government would merely mean the majority of the Indians putting their trust in another party and another leader to achieve the same exact goals.

Read more: Late actor Om Puri spoke of peace between India-Pakistan in his…

The Indian media consistently drills an anti-Pakistan propaganda into the minds of the Indian people. They would not wake up the morning after the election with a deep love for Pakistan. Imran Khan should stop wasting his time.

Imran Jan is a political analyst, he can be reached at imran.jan@gmail.com. The article originally appeared at The Express Tribune and has been republished with author’s permission. The Views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.