Wednesday, September 02, 2015

When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers

It is that season again.

No, not autumn, but the crazy season when India and Pakistan violate their ceasefire agreement and use gunpowder to match the amped up rhetoric.  Compared to these two siblings, even the two Koreas seem to be getting along much better!

Let us count the number of years since 1947 when they gained their independence from the white supremacist colonial masters: sixty-eight.  A human born in 1947 will now be coasting along in retirement, while these two countries continue to behave worse than middle-school boys during recess!

The situation is so crazy that their mutual neighbor, China, is urging them to, you know, talk..  China, of all countries!  Yep, the same China that every single day seems to want to make the neighboring countries across its waters nervous and jittery.
China on Tuesday advised India and Pakistan to exercise restraint on the border, and try to resolve differences through dialogue and mutual consultation.
Of course, there is another reason for China to interject--it is getting ready for the grand parade and celebrations in Beijing "honoring the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II."  Pakistan is sending its president, while India will be represented by a second-tier federal cabinet minister.  Guess which country China favors? ;)
The stakes are high for China, which has committed to invest $46 billion in infrastructure and power development in Pakistan, and build an economic corridor which will link it to the Arabian Sea through the Gwadar port. New Delhi has reasons to worry about China's quest to obtain access to the Arabian sea, which touches the west of India.
The China funded economic corridor will also pass through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which India considers as its own territory. 
India and Pakistan are engaged in a "dialogue of the deaf," this op-ed notes:
Lurking under this neighborly rage are stereotypes that refuse to fade. India thinks Pakistan is an aging terrorism addict that keeps hitting up the world for loose change so it can get its next fix. Pakistan thinks India is an old uncle who has come into some money late in life but still doesn’t know how to dress. India says Pakistan is the pesky kid who is always picking a fight in the neighborhood. Pakistan says India is the real bully — and if you don’t believe it, go ask the other kids on the block: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal. Still don’t believe it? Go ask the Kashmiris. India says no one should ask the Kashmiris anything because Pakistan has poisoned their minds.
The net result is a tragic bottom-line: "Three generations have lived either with war or the imminent threat of war."  Nothing else to show for these 68 years!
Are these two nuclear powers talking to each other, or are they two teenagers playing a game of dare?
Maybe it’s time India and Pakistan did away with the pretense that they want peace. Hundreds of miles of barbed wires on the border, countless searchlights and mile-long visa forms haven’t made us feel secure about each other.
What a waste of time, resources, and lives!  If only the leaders and the people of both the countries had instead spent their precious resources on human development.  If only!


Anne in Salem said...

Had to check the globe twice while reading the post so thank you for the lessons.

Is there a solution? Is it possible they will ever trust each other? Seems unlikely, even after 268 years. Until someone is strong enough to stand up and demand everyone act like grown ups, there will be no end.

Sriram Khé said...

If not for the fact that the retired guy has gone back to work, we would have heard from him by now ... I doubt that he would disagree with me on this post, though he does not like it when I dump on his favorite darling China ;)

If Kashmir is such a problem that cannot be solved, then we can easily see why Palestine and Jerusalem are so complicated. We humans are, to use the mildest of terms, utterly stupid!

Anne in Salem said...

I miss the daily comments as well. He adds so much, and the dialogue between you two is most amusing to the rest of us. Perhaps the remote travel will reduce soon so he can resume commenting more than once a week.

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