Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pakistan, distrust and India

First of all, it’s impossible to convince a Pakistani diplomat to officially offer a quote. Secondly, meeting a Pakistani diplomat is more interesting than can be explained in words. During our meeting with the diplomat at the Pakistan Embassy in India, when we asked him to state 5 issues Pakistan dislikes about India (we had two hours), he mentioned 10 in 15 minutes. And when we asked him to mention 5 things that Pakistan appreciates about India, he took an hour and 45 minutes! Some excerpts: “5 things we appreciate about India...”

PEOPLE TO PEOPLE CONTACT: The relationship between India and Pakistan is unique in itself. While there is tension at the top level, both the countries are enjoying good people-to-people contact. There is less hatred among common people, which is a good sign for the future relationship.

NEW LEADERSHIP: With Dr. Manmohan Singh, the soft, polite gentleman as the Prime Minister, and emergence of Congress leadership, Pakistan hoped that the new leadership would bring change in the already troubled and vulnerable Indo-Pak relationship. But although he has been elected twice, not much has been achieved. Still, we hope that he can bring some change.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: Not only Pakistan, it is in fact the entire world today that acknowledges the economic growth that India is witnessing. Such high economic growth would definitely help neighbours in the long run. At the same time, bilateral trade relationship has also seen a tectonic shift.

EXCHANGE OF DELEGATION: Another important area of improvement is in the area of exchange of high level delegates between both nations. A number of high level delegates visited Pakistan from India, and vice-versa too. This is undoubtedly helping to reshape the image of each other.

PEACE CONSTITUENCY: There have also been many peace constituencies created, organised and managed. Peace is the only thing both the countries are looking at; these constituencies have enough scope to bring development.

“And the 5 things we dislike...” TAKE-N-TAKE POLICY: Perhaps the biggest problem with India is its take-&-take policy. India thinks of itself as the Big Brother. It’s very important to change that attitude and to come forward with a give-&-take policy rather than a take-&-take one.

MEDIA: Indian media is also to be blamed for its very old tendency of over-hyping sensitive issues. Pinpointing someone regularly for every issue creates a very wrong impression in the minds of people. Media often hypothetically blames Pakistan for internal instability without any ground reality. Sometime, it also unnecessarily promotes hawkish elements to misdirect people.

BLAMING EACH OTHER: Sadly, both India and Pakistan are developing a habit of blaming each other. The 26/11 attack was very unfortunate; Pakistan equally felt the pain as a neighbour, but India can’t blame common Pakistanis and the government. India has the world’s best coast guard, navy force, army – and ten Pakistanis entered into its territory, and bombed it and it remained a mute spectator. It is a matter of shame.

NEIGHBOURING POLICY: India doesn’t seem to have a clear neighbouring policy. There will always be non-State elements to destroy relationships. We have to be very cautious about that. We shouldn’t be influenced by their act. In fact, we should unitedly fight against them. For mere reasons, we should not inculcate unfavourable neighbouring policies.

SEPARATIST GROUPS: There will remain many separatist groups. They need to be tackled effectively. They might create unnecessary hindrances and misconception in the relationship.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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