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Shekhar Kapur, Karan Thapar & Pakistan - varnamvarnam
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Shekhar Kapur, Karan Thapar & Pakistan

Pakistan is a major ally in the war on terror since most of the terror originates from Pakistan. Billions of dollars are pumped into Pakistan to improve the Army to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Seeing  little ROI on the money, Americans are planning to conduct aggressive covert operations within Pakistan to strike the terrorists and capture or kill Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. Shekhar Kapur is upset with this news

It will take a lot of will and hard thinking from the Pakistani people to stop this and not allow their nation to become the next battle ground between terrorism and the US. And neither can India now stand by and watch.

…. It is time for India to go out and actively extend our help to the people of Pakistan to move to a more stable democracy. It is time to forget the past and help Pakistan develop economically. [Bush expands his ‘war on terror’ to inlude all of Pakistan]

A similar surge in sympathy towards Pakistan was seen when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. While the news was tragic, some Indians were commenting that Benazir was India’s best hope and Karan Thapar wrote a warm and personal article in which she manifested as Saint Bhutto. According to Mr. Thapar she was a warm, understanding and caring person, which might be true, but  secondary if you care about India’s national interests.

She was also the prime minister who gave the ISI the go-ahead to wage jihad on India. She was the one who exhorted the Pakistan trained and financed terrorists to ‘jag-jag mo-mo han-han’ Jagmohan the then governor of Jammu and Kashmir with an explicit chopping motion of the right hand across the open left palm. She was the one who shrieked ‘Azadi-azadi’ from across the LOC and extended Zia-ul-Haq’s doctrine of death by a thousand cuts to Kashmir[Remembering the truth about Benazir]

Zulfikar Bhutto proudly announced, “Pakistanis would eat grass”, referring to their nuclear program.  Pakistan is facing a shortage of wheat, sugar and cooking oil and the ongoing energy shortages and hoarding of wheat have worsened the wheat flour crisis.  Still the American money contributed for the war on terror has been used for developing weapon systems to counter India. Even if Benazir, who Henry Kissinger thought was more intimidating than Zulfikar is dead, the anti-India stand espoused by her is alive under the baleful influence of  Musharraf, ISI and the Pakistani Army.

Also, we have bitten many times before. On February 20, 1999 around 4:10 PM, Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee crossed to Pakistan in the Delhi-Lahore bus and he was  greeted by the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They pledged to “open the gates of friendship and demolish the wall of hatred.” Few months later,  in May 1999, the the elite Special Services Group as well as four to seven battalions of Pakistan Army backed by Kashmiri guerrillas and Afghan mercenaries covertly occupied vantage points in Kargil inside India. Finally Indian Army with Israeli and American support regained the territory. Who is going to guarantee that such state sponsored tourism won’t happen again?

Unless there is an attitude change across the border (which will happen when David Dhawan starts making Pather Panchali type movies), any talk about forgetting the pasting is a stultifying discussion.

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