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The Quake that could Crack LoC

02 November, 2005

By Farzana Shah


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While the world is calling recent devastating earthquake as a mountain of a Tsunami and terming it the deadliest, India is busy in point scoring at the expense of human tragedy. United Nation report has termed the disaster beyond the capacity of any government to deal with and is flashing appeals for more help but the Indian mindset has not spared the calamity to prove itself a regional power.

When India offered Pakistan relief for quake-victims world applauded it for the gesture and the world media termed it another CBM.  Although, amongst the comity of the nations there was nothing unusual in it as the world`s response to such disasters is quite natural and is always based upon the humanitarian grounds.

Such media attention encouraged her further to come up with some clever ideas - ostensibly helping us but in reality to gain more political mileage - such as offering the copters and troops to cross over to our side of the LoC for relief and rescue operations. India, fully aware of the security sensibilities in the highly militarized zone, knew that Pakistan will decline the offer thus providing her with yet another chance of exploiting the situation.

The Indian attempt to keep IHK isolated for geopolitical reasons by not allowing foreign NGOs to undertake any rescue and help operations there which was also badly hit by the October 8 quake, leaving thousands dead and wounded shelter less, has also drawn criticism at home. Eminent Indian journalist Praful Bidwai while commenting on the situation in the wake of the earthquake wrote in an article "In fact disaster management and relief has long been politicized in the sub-continent. This has been glaringly obvious with the tsunami last December, when India was more anxious to project its power in the neighbourhood by dispatching relief teams than bringing succour to its own citizens in the South Andamans.  (In keeping with power consideration, India also offered the United States $5 million assistance for Hurricane Katrina - a weird thing to do for a state that cannot look after its own poor people.")

Praful Bidwai rightly said that offering assistance to others when India can not take care of its own people is strange, especially when during the earthquake, as the world has seen, how it failed to cope up with the devastation caused in the occupied Kashmir, though comparatively much lesser than that of in Pakistan. In Uri, a town with 30,000 population and Tanghar area, 1300 people died and 32,000 were rendered homeless by the quake, but little relief was afforded by the Indian government to the victims.

India seemed to be more concerned to offer helicopters to Pakistan than starting any relief operation in the valley where even after three days of the holocaust no relief could be provided to the victims.

Yasin Malik - the President of the Jammu and Liberation Front speaking in the PTV `News Night` programme while stressing upon the  modus operandi of  distributing relief goods disclosed that in Kanwal Kot village of Uri which was hit by the quake, people did not have any water to drink as the Indian government had failed to reach them out even after the passage of three days of the quake.  He further said that they retrieved 162 dead bodies who had died because of thirst in Kanwal Kot.

The BBC correspondent when asked a boy from the same Kanwal Kot village about the relief to them and the Indian offer to Pakistan, the boy could only muse that despite Indian offers to Pakistan India had not come to their aid.

If the Indians were serious to help Pakistan they could have sent the relief goods immediately instead of making proposals and forwarding impossible ideas to implement. Their much publicized first consignment of relief goods included only 50 tents in it. There were hundreds of ways that India could  help Pakistan including sharing of the seismic data with Pakistan and opening the LoC as President Musharraf has proposed allowing Kashmiris on either sides to help each other. 

Praful Bidwai also wrote in his article, "India generously offered relief material to Pakistan but it has refused to share seismic data with Pakistan for the fear that the data could be used to detect the precise location of its any future nuclear experiment (including non explosive tests called hydro nuclear tests).  In reality such test sites are known to the entire international science establishments through thousands of seismographs placed all over the globe. The real reason for India`s refusal lies in its nuclear ambitions and its opposition to the comprehensive test ban treaty. Although this would still not allow earthquake prediction, it could substantially cut the response-time to earthquake and save lives."

Interestingly India emphasized on joint relief efforts along the LoC.  However,  when President Musharraf proposed opening of the LoC at five points India seems reluctant and insists upon the opening it at three points only and that too with many conditions. The Indian team arrived on Friday to discuss the modalities for the opening of these three points, but it is not known that how many days it will take to reach a final decision on the issue. One thing, however,  is clear that as the time passes there may not be any use for opening even these three points as the access to Nellam Valley from Indian side will be denied by the snows after 15 to 20 days leaving only the Jhelum valley road to reach the victims. Another disturbing aspect is the Indian decision of not allowing Kashmiris from Pakistani side to cross over to IHK. Surprisingly, all Indian assistance ranging from copters, to opening the LoC and monitory assistance are bound with one or the other condition. India would offer Pakistan $25 million for quake victims but Pakistan will buy the cement and other construction material from India with the money.
The Indian Defence Minister Parnab Mukherjee was quoted by reporters as saying "No romanticism could be attached to it." There are ground realities, which we have to recognize."  He further said that an "earthquake could not change the history of 50 years."

Now, if India has ground realities, could Pakistan be blamed for its security concerns to accept Indian offer of its army`s joint operation along the LoC and use of its copters with the Indian pilots flying them over the sensitive areas with all the modern imaging instruments onboard?

President Musharraf made a sincere offer that could have been used for strengthening the peace process between the arch rivals but unfortunately India has blown it away. Ironically, the catastrophe offered an opportunity when the Indians could have risen above the petty and viewed the opportunities it offered with a farsighted maturity for the future weal and progress of the region in particular and the sub continent in general. The calamitous earthquake could prove to be the harbinger of  a new change - a change for the better, a friendlier change - in the region and for both the countries to live in peace and prosperity for ever.

End.

Reader Comments:

Even the Indian media has shamed India

It is a excellent story unveiling Indian apathy towards its large neighbour ignoring what the rest of the world would also condemn it.

Sher Mohammad.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 03 November, 2005

no complaints

i have not seen any complaints from pakistan govt. to indian govt. why are you spreading hatred. with such articles.


, Pakistan - 04 November, 2005

quality of article

please farzana, try to improve the quality of your article...such article seems like from a high school student...not a professional...regards,
sunny

sunny, United Kingdom - 07 November, 2005

Dont spread hatred

Try to help victims do not spread hatred at this time.

ronaldo, United Kingdom - 07 November, 2005

We should look ourselves

I think we should do and manager ourselves instead of looking on the outside world for Aid or donation. Our ministers, and higher Govt officials are moving in Bullet proof cars and are living in huge banglows. Most of them have properties in USA and UK. Instead of spending precious money on these foolish things, they should focus on the people of Pakistan, esp. the rehablitation of Earth quake victims, our health structure and formation of Disaster Management teams / plans in all hospitals. '

Osama, Pakistan - 08 November, 2005

great article

abdol, Pakistan - 08 November, 2005

Indian Offer

Pakistan, should not concern with Indian playing politics with human life. They treat their own population as animals, so why should they worry about any one else. Pakistan has plenty of real freinds, and they matter as they have always stood by us. Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Iran, Afganistan, US, UK, Libya Azerbejan, Morocco, May Allah grant the peace and success for all time.

Sajad Ali Khan, United Arab Emirates - 08 November, 2005

Nothing new for Pak

I would say this is just the author's perception. Things that look good to others always looks bad to this author. The author forgot the past. Do you remember 9/11? Ask anyone from any part of the world that who was most benefited by US's anti-terror war? PAKISTAN... Musharraf did take advantage of that situation. Can the author say a "No", honestly? We sympathise for Paki's. We want them to recover from all these probs. But not with such apathy towards Indians.

john, United Kingdom - 09 November, 2005

dear miss farzana i am a regular reader of your articles.i need to write a thesis on the impact over pak after opening the loc crossing points.on this important issue i will be obliged to receive some guidelines from you.thanks in anticipation

obaid, Pakistan - 10 November, 2005

Get a grip

It never ceases to amaze me how obsessed Pakistan is about India. One quick look at the Indian Media websites will tell you how much India has moved on from Pakistan. It is at best viewed as an irritant. Like a fly that wont go away... but still keeps buzzing...

There is just one thing to get India and Pakistan out of the mess... íts the economy stupid... your rantings on kashmir are only going to slow it.... not stop it.. India has realised what it needs to do to get its people out of poverty... its high time Pakistan realises its own path... At this point of India's growth... it just couldnt be bothered with Pakistani Jingoism... pride is a funny thing.... its for people who're desperately searching for it... time to just get on with it and start fixing your own house... stop throwing stones at others..

Hussain, Hungary - 10 November, 2005

Prejiduce or Analysis?

Appears like an in appropriate analysis, which is out of synch with the situation. It is time to offer thanks rather than put blames at a time of national tragedy.

Rog, United Kingdom - 10 November, 2005

indian help

Farzana, do you mean we should not accept any help from india in this situation?Dont you think the tone of this article is "full of hatred"?
I thought it was a nice gesture from indian side, which could help to improve peace process with our country. Any help from india or any other country let it be 50 tents or 5 tents is very crucial at this time. Also, how "you' know that the 25 million $ (offered by india) will be used to buy cement from india? any reference?

Saif Ali, Pakistan - 10 November, 2005

How brainless!! How is it dat u ppl find things wrong even with the best things that India does!!!!
Have you nothing better to do? No serously...journalists like you are the ones that poisons paki hearts! India treats its citizens like animals hahahahaha!! dats the biggest joke i have ever heard!! ask any INDIAN if he is being treated like an animal! I dont think anyone will ever agree! After the tsunami...India landed back on its feet in no time..BBC reported that while other affected countries had even BEGUN clearing their rubble..india had finished off everything and business had started back! And as far as trhe quake is concerned..India has done its best...it did not need to go BEGGING other countries"...Musharaf went on to BEG the US while refusing Indian aid just so that "India does not prove to be the regional superpower"...In anycase nothing you do is of any use..coz india IS THE REGIONAL SUPERPOWER! whether or not u accept it...india is MUCH MUCH AHEAD OF U IN EVERY FIELD...u name it! Moreover it was ur country which in a bid to "protect its superficial pride" rejected indian aid in the beginning while people were still dying in the hills..
So yeah before u make comments please think twice!

Ahmed Iqbal, Seychelles - 11 November, 2005

the bottom line is india helped pakistan..if u guys dont like the help return it back. as far as i know people who got the relief they wont be unhappy with the help we provided. you are accusing india to give money when we are not self sufficient.



pankaj, Aruba - 11 November, 2005

Never spread hatred

I don't think, even if India considers herself superpower, she is duty bound to help Pakistan just because Pak has considered India as enemy. Whatever small thing India did to her neighbor is enough to show her generosity. People like Farzana want both nations to foes forever. I hope Pakistani brothers and sisters will understand the reality and ignore this kind of poisonous articles.

someone, Hungary - 11 November, 2005

Give ur email address Farzana

Salam to tribune team i want to request for the email address of this author farazana as i also need guidlines from her on LoC opening topic just as Mr obaid asked. i am a stdudent of International Relations and need some guidlines on the topic. So i also request you miss farzana to help me. Mr obaid also asked for your help, but unfortunatly depsite much search icould not find the email address of farazna so please it is my request to your team to publish her email address with her profile or atleast along with her article so that we can conatct her directly and for MR Obaid please you should also request for farzana email address or if u have please informe. And this is request to you peopele that please publish my this request and comments this time as i had send u some comments before but those were not publish and iam feeling that you people only publish comments from indians so this time iwill look for this message on tribune once again please publish farzana email address.
regards
Sobia
Pakistan

Sobia, Pakistan - 12 November, 2005

LOC cracked

The author calls herself a journalist. There was no reaserch done. It appears she might be on Musharraf's payroll.

Religious parties were happy when Katrina & Rita hit US, calling wrath of Allah. Now allah has hit Pakistan at srategic place & time (Ramzan). What Maullana Faz Rul Rehman has to say about that?
Quake, floods are natural calamities has nothing to with Allah, Mohammad or Islam.

Pakistan's military GOVT was well prepared for national defence , but no provisions for civil defence. Instead of stock piling on missiles, Nuclear weapons they should have stock piled on Tents. blankets,water, food, medicines. There was no srategic planing for natural disaster.

President & PM have joined frequent flyer's club traveling all over the world with a big entrouge at the tax payer's expence to promote Pakistan" soft image.

Now Musharraf is begging for international money, and comlaining the money is not enough. It's not their resposibility foot Pakistan's bill, Besides what did Pakistan give to Katrina victims. Did Pakistan compensate 7/7 victms & their familes, When attacks were carried out by Pakistani terrorists.

Musharraf's suuden offer of opening of LOC & demilitarization was not out of sincerity but baecause severe military losses due to quake. Pakistan lost 2500 jawans, 3 Brigadiers, several officers & about 25 bridges. Musharraf was so afraid India might attack, that he dispatched heavy military contigent to front than immediatly helpng the quake victims. It will take about 2 to 3yrs to repair damage to bridges. That's why his sudden demand to demilitarization.

In any natural disaster there are casulties, but here there were substantially more deaths ( more than nuclear bomb). This was because of poor planing, poor response. Musharraf should tried for murders of so many innocent people.


as ahmed, Pakistan - 12 November, 2005

Kashmiris under India's bondage

History is the witness, no occupier how strong Like India would be able to keep Kashmiris under bondage. All what Kashmiris on both sides need to do is to extensively pursue on diplomatic grounds. In major metropolises like London, New York, LA, Chicago, and other major cities link the Kashmiri intellectuals and invite westerners to those seminars and wrld Kashmir congrsses. India normally gives the reason Kashmir merger with India based on Princely states accession with either countries without taking into account that India then will have to vacate Hyderabad that was annexed. Kashmiris need to remain cool allover the World and set a good example by adopting to diplomatic means to propagate the views on Westerners that will mount pressure on India to bow before the will of World community. But, they should never give up armed struggle, as no nation has ever broken the bondage without the armed struggle. Keep it up Bravo Kashmiris.

Probono Public, Pakistan - 13 November, 2005

earthquake relief

As the UN has termed this earthquake beyond the capacity of any government to cope with. I may remind Mrs.Farzana Shah that the leader of a islamic political party of Pakistan said that his party and the mujahids can take care of the whole thing and they don't need infidels to help them.This tragedy,according to him has been visited upon Pakistan because the government has been too cosy with the kafirs and this has brought the wrath of Allah.
Any comments?

Berjees Taaj, Pakistan - 13 November, 2005

FYI

For your information, Kashmiri pandit were native of Kashmir(pre 1100 AD) , occupiers are Muslims who are killing the very people who accomodated them.

Sanjay, Pakistan - 14 November, 2005

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