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An Appeal to the Indians

05 July, 2005

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


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After more than half a century, three wars, Siachin and Kargil, innumerable border clashes, colossal loss of precious lives and resources on both sides, the clouds of animosity over the sub continent had started yielding to the silver lining of the peace in the region. Much wanted confidence building measures (CBMs) seemed to be well on their way to usher in an era of brotherly friendship and prosperity to the teeming millions on both sides of the great divide. But the prospects of peace and tranquillity in the region, which could result in bringing together the largest democracy in the world and the most powerful Islamic country, with a highly enterprising human resource of a billion and a quarter justifiably proud of their rich heritage, culture and enviable civilisation in a sub continent endowed by the Creator with a rich reservoir of natural resources must have sent shudders down the spine of many a western power who would have soon found themselves at the mercy of Indo-Pak in their worldly affairs. 'They must not get together' would have been the cry of all political Pundits of the West.  Uncle Sam, who already had a hold in Pakistan, took upon itself to move into India as well to shatter the peace prospects of the region. An incessant flow of visits by the highly placed US diplomats started to India, wooing her and offering her all she needed. Immediately F-16s, F-18s and Patriot ABMs were offered. As if this all was not enough last week Washington and Delhi signed a 'new framework for ! the US-India defence relationship' that envisages expanding two-way defence trade, increasing opportunities for the transfer of defence-related technology, co-producing and developing new armament and expanding collaboration on missile defence. Wow, what a master plan? Who will gain by it all?  India? No way.  USA? Yes certainly. Such a scheme of affairs will not only pull India out of the sphere of the influence of Russia but will also make her dependent upon the US for all time to come. Bharat Karnad of India in a recent article says," Indeed, military reach and clout have historically opened up markets for trade and commerce, been the engine for economic growth and for the dissemination of cultural values. Trade follows flag even in a globalized milieu." 

One really wonders that on the one hand we talk of peace, friendship, soft borders, complimentary trade and commerce all leading to the weal of the common man. Pakistan even offered curtailment of the forces on both sides proportionately to cut down the defence expenditure and divert such saved funds to the social sectors of education, healthcare, employment, industry to alleviate the poverty and combat the back breaking inflation.  On the other hand we find ourselves arming with the latest state of the art weaponry and weapon systems promising nothing but mutual self destruction. When we are talking of 'irreversible peace process', then against whom do we intend to use these weapons? Will not such acquisition of the defence technologies and weapon systems by India force Pakistan also to opt for some suitable counter measures to maintain a minimum deterrent level' to ensure her safety? Will it not give rise to the 'mistrust' once again and bring back the arms mad race between the two countries?  Will it not involve the huge HUGE useless, non-productive and wasteful defence expenditure which has been the main cause of the poverty in the region? Both countries are responsible nuclear powers and fully aware of the holocaust that a thermo nuclear engagement can cause to the both. Some advocate that in order to be world power it is essential for India to have regional superiority in the conventional weapons. However, in the event of a conventional war - God forbid - between the two, can any one say with certainty ! that the country at the verge of being vanquished will not use the ultimate weapon? After all what are the A bombs for? Just decoration pieces for a status symbol?  And if the use of nukes cannot be ruled out altogether then of what big deal is such superiority in the conventional weapons?


The Indian people have a much more say in the affairs of their country.  Their voice is heard and respected by the powers that be.  I would, therefore, ask them in the name of peace to prevail upon their government to desist from such defence arrangements with USA which are firstly entirely to the advantage of the USA, and secondly will make India dependent upon the USA for all time to come.  At the same time un-necessary and wasteful arms race will again raise its ugly head in the sub continent to the detriment of its masses languishing in abject poverty. Please save us also from becoming poorer in the process.

End.

Reader Comments:

indian defence

col riaz,india is attacked by both china and pakistan more than 4 times. that is the truth,being a military officer yorself know that is the truth.we have a responsiblity to protect our kasmiri muslim brothers and sisters form militants.we are protecting 160 million our muslim brothers and sisters all over india for 58 years.they are proud to be indians. we do not need any advise. piease advise your govt:to behave.

babu, United Arab Emirates - 05 July, 2005

Double Standards

Mr Riaz Jafri...

May i know the reason why pakistan is aquiring F-16's from USA?

GlobalEye, Hungary - 05 July, 2005

Nice Article....Some Clarifications

hi colonel,
Nice Article..i Should say .......But colonel there is a difference in the mindset of India and Pakistan.. Well there have been fears in Pakistan that these so called Advanced Weapons will be used against them...while the mindset in India is that it is not procuring the weapons keeping Pakistan in view but these weapons are a must for India to realize its dreams to move over from being a Major South Asia power to being a Global Power.... and pakistan can only benefit from Growing India.... It is both a standard to achieve(at least in some senses, my pakistani friends will agree)..and as a great friend.... who knows(and i sincerely hope) Paksitan and India will enjoy as warm relationship as US/Canada sometime in Future....If such a scene materialises, Pakistan will only gain from increasing Global influence of India..... Colonel you have to look at the larger picture..... you need to come out of India Lens and think that everything paksitan/India do is India/Paksitan centric.......

thats all i had to say.....I am hoping for a response from you......

Free Will, Hungary - 06 July, 2005

respect

i agree that both india and pakistan should stop buying new weapons. if they wants to develop weapons they should do with thier own capabilty not to fight but for moving ahead in technology, to meet the western standard . how long are we going to depend on them.we ind/pak should compete with rest of the world .we should make ourself prosper countries.we have brain but we are not using right.we have to make over countries developed conutries.so that all ind/pak can walk in the world with high heads.than noone can take advantage of us . it can only happen when we will start respecting each other. so stop putting each other dawn.dont mention each others faults .like in any healthy relation,respect brings respect back.
nameste/aslama lakem

riky, Hungary - 06 July, 2005

Pakistan shall respond

Whilst I understand the aspirations the Indians hold to become a major global power. When that comes at the cost of regional peace, then there really isn't anything Pakistan can do, other than to increase defence expenditure until minimum credible deterence is achieved.
This really should be a wake up call to all those peaceniks (especially in Pakistan) that a 'leapard may change its spots but it will always remain a hunter'. For those of you of Indian despora who didn't quiete understand, it means that you have never accepted Pakistan as a nation state. Indeed many of your politicians hark on about 'akand bharat' (united india). This is ultimately the reason for the trust deficit. So any attempt at becoming a rising regional power, is seen through the prism as at the cost of regional peace. Sort out the Kashmir mess with genuine vigour. You will see automatic dividends.
I'm afraid until then, Pakistan will respond in kind. It will enhance its defence needs. This may take some vital development expenditure, but its citizens do understand that its not Pakistan who continues to make the region unstable.
Remember no missile defence system can guarantee a 100% security, impossible when the adversary is right next door. People (of Pakistan and India) should not be under any false sense of security. As long as the trust deficit exists, any moves in defence will be seen with suspicion and any appropriate response not too distant in the future.
Tony,
PS. The maggot from the UK, need not respond. Clearly, hasn't yet shed his dipers.

Tony, United Arab Emirates - 06 July, 2005

i really appreciate your concern. We all can come do our bit by taking small steps to gain each others trust .One good step which is beneficial to both countries is convicting Dawood Ibrahim who is wanted by Interpol and FBI but referred as Businessman in pakistani press .Trade can be developed .Why is it that Pakistan is in forefront in oppossing Indian candidature to UNSC.This hatred will destroy pakistan,s image whatever is left.SAARC and oter such groups are rendered useless becuse of our confrontation.What is the problem in Films and television collaboration. Isnt it of a closer cultural values than aloowing western movies.People to people exchange should be maximised to let people on both sides see each other.The Indo-Chinese treaty is best example to solve the disputes .IF a huge powerful nation like China can accomadate and US take a U- turn from NIxon days ,then why cant Pakistan for the better . I think there is lot to plan for the future by Pakistan and india which will be very beneficial; to them if they join each others,
For eg Oil .
80% of worlds oil is in control of US (in the form of SaudiArabia,Kuwait,and Iraq).The rest in Russia and Iran .
India and Pakistan should fight together against Asian premium in oil(ie Asian countries pay 1 dollar extra that europe and Americansfor a barrel of oil from middle east)

vinit, Pakistan - 07 July, 2005

Response

The problem with the whole system is that the people might not be as hostile (unless the spark is ignited on both sides by the policy makers or corrupt leaders), the leaders on both sides have internal motives from the war and the trouble between the two nations. I am a Pakistani, so I am aware of how a Pakistani feels towards an Indian; an average Pakistani thinks that you can trust anyone in the world but never trust an Indian. It might be the history or might be individual cases or what ever, but this is how it is. I think the credit also goes to the events as India supporting Bangladesh in 1971, India constantly sending RAW operatives in Pakistan, India blaming everything on Pakistan, fanatic hindus destroying Babri mosque, constant Hindu/Muslim clashes (on large scale and small), Kargil and countless other events in which Pakistanis felt that they have seen how much hatred Indians hold against Pakistanis. That is why Pakistanis think that Indians are planning yet another attack on Pakistan. I am sure Indians would have their own reasons other than believing that Islam was spread by sword in South Asia and Muslims in the South Asia were Hindus of lower caste, and now they enjoy equal rights since Islam does not discriminate based on caste.

Nabila Anwar, Pakistan - 07 July, 2005

An Appeal to the Indians

It does not make a great sense to spend huge sums of your money on defense to protect when there is no protection at all. Why buy F-16s and other defense equipment when you have no desire to fight. India and Pakistan are two nuclear rivals and both the government are playing with time and words but public is suffering all the time who are very willing to live in peace with each other. India is trying to become a power in Asia though that is still far away to catch up with other great players in the region. Pakistan though smaller more than 8 times than India but its not the size but quality and expertise got to be considered. Britain being a very small Island ruled almost the whole world. How? It was a desire to expand and conquer. Today world is changed and with nuclear warfare that will never be repeated whether its India or anyother country. Peace must be given the chance. Let the people of both countries live a life where they have amenities of life not the sounds of guns and bombs on their ears. What is Kashmir, a state with mountains, though there is water which is a necessity for both the countries for their irrigation and other use. There are ways to compromise and seek peace. India should be more sincere and must accept the formation and existence of Pakistan a country of world repute at the moment who is sharing the responsibility to fight terrorism with US and others. Pakistan got more friends in the world today whereas India being a larger market just for exporter of high tech opportunity. Surely PM of India understands well before entering into huge arms buying contracts at the cost of his poor nation who don't have enough food to live on in this 21st Century. Think first about feeding your people rather than buying arms from US and Russia. Be friendly and resolve your outstanding disputes with Pakistan that will enable you cut down on your defense spending. I hope everyone do realises what is important?

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 07 July, 2005

Energy need

Nowadays, much is talked about energy required by both, Pakistan and India, after 2010.
It is for sure that Indian industry is expanding rapidly and same is for Pakistan, and they need uninterupted energy for constant growth.
In such cases India has to rely on Pakistan, as all the pipelines, whether from Iran or central Asia, will be passing through Pakistan, and Pakistan can cash these pipelines. So it is time for Pakistan to play her cards rightly and so is India. Reslove each others issues and there will be win-win situation for both the countries.

Haroon, Pakistan - 08 July, 2005

I don't understand why Pakistan is thinking on behalf on India. Pakistan has to change herself then asking India to change. Indian Policy is not Pakistan centric. We have our own designs and goals which must not suit pakistani perception and fear.
We have millions of hungry people and it is our concern to provide food to those who give birth to 10 children or let them die.
We have one enemy the communists in India, they are the moral criminals of India, whom we have to finally defeat and remove. We have room for communists in India. Of course they have followings, we have to win that segment to main stream of Indian politics. USA will help there. We have good working relation with and we are willing to replace them to a balance with USA. We have nothing to worry if that money goes to American pockets. We have more cash flow from USA then USA, they why should we bother for Russia, who we don't share democratic tradition.
USA was good country till they were on your side, all of sudden you realized they are bad. We want to have relation with them: military, economic,cultural and what not. It should not be matter of concern.
We don't consider Pakistan as most powerful Islamic nation, we feel it is failing nation, we don't see brotherhood in action, we are interested in business. We have a brotherly bloody division, we don't believe in emotional appeals.
We are not afraid of Nukes. The possesion of nukes by Pakistan only helps us better heard, we can not forget 56 years of betryal. We fully sympathize with miniscule section population what are good individual, but pakistan is not run by such good Individuals but fanatic mad people, One don't treat mad people equally with good people.
Your appeal is actaully going to help the saging moral of criminal elements of your country who run it. India can not forget past, such appeals are responded prvately but at diplomatic level it has no meaning.
Arms are not just for destruction, they involve technology, we need technology. If Pakistan thinks we are brother, forget that we are piling up arms. But the question is "Trust". India does not trust Pakistan, we don't mind if Pakistan does not trust India.The confidence building measure is Indo_american game to contain Pakistani army and terrorists. Otherwise we three know what the truth is. Your Infomation minister is involved in promoting and supporting terrorism in India. President is involved in Kargil invasion, Pakistan is opposing in every way India in UNSC, still you think we are brother?
Indians are idiot of other kind but not that idiot who can not understand Pakistani move in different time!
USA is handling the Nuke issue with pakistan, we are secure that first danger it is for USA then USA. USA can not trust Pakistan now, so we are not worried about nukes. USA will take care of it.

I sympathize, fellow feeling with tiny educated section of Pakistan, rest are our enemy.

vimal germany

, Pakistan - 08 July, 2005

Requested Response

Dear Free Will:

Normally I do not indulge in responses as these tends to become rejoinders. However, since you have specifically asked me for it, I am obliged to say the following:

Superiority in weapons does not necessarily make one a Global Power. Please look at Japan and Germany. They are not military powers. Switzerland till today enjoys a no-military status but is an economic power to be reckoned with. Most of the Scandanavian countries are hot military powers but have one of the highest percapita income.

Sir, we would certainly feel proud of being a neighbour of a Global Power, but which does not create awe in the heart of its neighbours.

Reqards
Col. Jafri (Retd)

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Pakistan - 08 July, 2005

Just for its defence needs and to maintain a MINIMUM deterrent level. Apart from the fact that Pakistan had paid long time ago for 40 x F-16 aircraft which were not only not handed over to Pakistan but at one stage Pakistan was also being asked to pay for their warehousing charges!! Pakistan will still not have any offensive capability against India even after the receipt of F-16s.
But, the million dollar question is, why does india need them and the F-18s and the Patriot and Arrowhead ABMs and what not?

Regards
Jafri

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Pakistan - 08 July, 2005

It was not an advise, but an appeal - of course to the saner elements of India.

Regards
Jafri

Col. Jafri (Retde), Pakistan - 08 July, 2005

INDIAN DEFENCE POLICIES NOT PAK CENTERED

It is an established fact that sevre disagreements exists in indian &pak philosophy & also that in this friendship era I feel that such indian militry policies are not pakistan centered morover it may be to counter to the countries which are powerful than india.
The hate with pakistan is reuced to a large extent so dont worry about this,indians
always feel that pakistanis are nearer to them psychologically and traditionally all hatrate is spread through politicians only, so keep good relations with the neighbour.



S.A.Kahalekar, Hungary - 08 July, 2005

I think what Ms. Nabila wrote was very precise. These feelings are very common in Pakistan. Many Indians think that we have betrayed them by establishing Pakistan, they fail to recognize the reason Pakistan was even dreamed. If they wouldn't have betrayed us and coupled with the British, the rights denied Muslims of the sub-continent would have never fought or sacrficed for Pakistan. As far as CBMs (confidence building measures) are concerened, how can Pakistan trust India with all the reasons Ms. Nabila Anwar described, plus the recent hospitality India showed to Pakistan on the cricket tournament.

Dr. Gulzar Baloch, Pakistan - 11 July, 2005

Well Said, Vinit !!!

In India, Democracy is our strength. Public can make deicisions and it very much evident in our elections.

Of course, India, Pak can be friends. Who doesn't want to be ? But, tell me how can we forget
Bombay Blasts or Kargil war. One thing we Indians can do is "not blame Pakistan as a whole" for it. But punish ppl responsible for it. Is this bad ? Why can't Pakistan release Dawood to Interpol ? As you already know Interpol is not an Indian agency. Then Why not ? He has to be punished. Today, your cricket hero Miandad is relating himself with Dawood.
Can't Pak sacrifice Dawood alone for its brother, India. You just try it and see how India responds. Else, try not objecting to India's UNSC permanent seat. Don't support... but atleast don't object. We do things like for our brothers, Can you ???

Karim, Hungary - 11 July, 2005

F16-s

Do you really think India needs them to have it against Pak ? Definitely no...
Also, Pakistan could have always said a "no" to United states for the F-16's. Instead, they could have asked US S/W giants to supply S/W's to Pak schools or something on behalf. As well known to the world, US had to allow the sale of F-16s after numerous vists by Pak diplomats to United States.
It is always easy to say why can't they do it ? But we always forget to see why can't we do this ? Right, Sir ??
Again, I agree with your basic intention. I would love to see India and Pak as brothers or Friends. But it's slightly difficult in India as our country reflects minds of many ppl.

Karim, Hungary - 11 July, 2005

To Tony

", it means that you have never accepted Pakistan as a nation state"
We accepted it very easily when it was under an elected leader. Even under the current President, we do understand that they are a "NATION". We can understand them better than anyone else.
I wouldn't mind someone in Pak calling Kashmir a mess because we know we created it. But no... not from anyone... That too someone from UK... You know who was behind all these ? Have you ever heard a policy "Divide and Rule"...
UK always has USA to stand behind... But for India, we need to build our defence. It might not be against Pak but against China...
I heard very similar trust, freedom stuffs from my scottish friend. He says his country wants to be out of UK? Should Indians and Pak ppl discuss about this ? So, please...

Karim, Hungary - 11 July, 2005

Pak policy keeps on changing with changing govt

Paks policy toward india keep on changing with changing government and India cannot have short term policy on its defence.

Sanjay, Hungary - 12 July, 2005

To Nabila Anwar

There is truth in your saying that there are deep rooted thoughts in the minds of ppl of India and Pak.
But I am really stunned to hear that Pak ppl think that India is planning an attack on them. This is utter nonsense... We have better things to do.. Politics in India is far better than it was in 1970's. We regret being part of the Pak-Bangla Split. But can you say that Pak is not attempting to reply back India through Kashmir ? We think that way for sure...
We are ashamed of the Babri Masjid incidents too. Yes, we are...
Please don't bring religion into this. In India, at least in the places where I grew up Muslims, Hindus and Christians share the same feeling against Pak.
Islam doesn't belong only to Pak.

Karim, Hungary - 12 July, 2005

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