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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:

farzanas e mail

well i could see some requests for miss farzana from sobia as well.this is some thing to do with farzanas abilities and grasp over south asian affairs.i totally agree with miss sobia.i feel that farzana would read these mails some day and resopond.sobia if you need any assistance i am ready to share what i have.you can get my e mail from tribune guys.

obaid, Pakistan - 15 November, 2005

one sided story

Hi,
Wat ur telling is just one side of the story. Can u please tell me how may people in ur POK were reasched in time? The Valley is such that u just cant reach every one in a single day or rather a week also. U dont know the ground reality, u can sit in ur city and coment on any thign and everything. When u ask for the helicopeter that to defence helicopeter then without the pilots then i guess even USA would have not agreed leave alone India.
U tell about the the person who has commented on sunnami. I know how difficult it was when sunami happend. But to tell u Miss that India was far more quicker than US in disaster mamagment take the case of mumbai flood in which help was given within days. When u have mass scale distruction like earth quake and sunami u cant reach everyone within a day.
When pakistan talks about its own minimum ditreance in necular technology and all defence, then y dont it go all alone on technology front?? Y it wants Sesmi data from india??? This goes to show that how much ever u do u still need to be depened on India.
I will ask u one thing y did pakistan not ask the doctors and the aid working people to come to there country ( pakistan) and treat them??? U ask for the help the way u guys want. That just cant be said YES blindly.
So next time when u write article try to put both side of the story. Dont write only one side of it and make people think that only one person is correct and other is always wrong. Dont try to get the mass support by wrting such things, try and put both side fo things as honsetly as u do one side of it

Thanks

Jay, Hungary - 16 November, 2005

hum nahi sudrenge?

we will not learn lesson from india.even at this time of hour we are blaming india.abhi to sudhro!

mohsin, Pakistan - 16 November, 2005

see the ground reality and speak.we indains have noanimity towards you.also we know that there is number of pakis who like indian way of life. growing economically we are seeing change here ,if india wants to be a super power wats wrong with that?y u guys cry? common guys grow up...dont pinpoint for every problems of urs to india.

prashant, Hungary - 16 November, 2005

will u plz read carefully

i have been reading this article every time i see a new comment on this artilce and bleliev u me every time i shrug my head with disappointment that how all these indians without reading it carefully are commenting hatefully on pakistan and the author pitty on such peopel who blame others for spreading hatered while doing the same.secondly although im a Hindue but it gives me much pain that indians blame my country pakistan and use racial words like pakis for us so please look at ur own country's problems and yes nothing wromg with india to become supperpower but whts wrong is that not at the expense of others.look what u peopel are doing to Nepal, Sri Lanka and a smaller state like Bhutan. do you peopel take proude in bullying these smaller state?? pitty and i tell u when u peopel failed to malign pakistan you peopel start concocted blasts to gain media attention.so plz stop seeign things in one perspective and one more thing my request to all readers plz do comment after readign the artilce carefully.
Kuamr

Hemant Kumar, Reunion - 17 November, 2005

Indians are lost in their Bolly Land. It's quite amazing to see how fast their so called country is heading towards a meltdown. Wake up you Hindus, you are building a house of cards based on whoring yourselves to the West, particularly to the US. Indians have no culture/language tehzeeb etc. whatsoever, whatever the Muslim emperors left as far as traditions etc. are rapidly being done away with by their Bollywood machine, they can't even come to terms with respect to their language and it is hilarious to hear them speak English. Moreover, Indians are making short term decisions in regard to cozying up to the US. Folks, we all know that the US economy and it's current outlandish spending ways and their wars will eventually lead the US into a complete meltdown and the meltdown. Indians need to learn how to live with their neighbors, otherwise as we all know.

BK, Pakistan - 17 November, 2005

mr. bk

first of all u don represent whole pakistan or muslim community. secondly who has decided that u r better cultured than all others. every culture is beautiful. with ur hatered pops out all ur frustraion .i think u will be the first one to run to US embassy if they give free visas. u must have seen many bollywood movies too.

mark, Svalbard And Jan Mayen - 18 November, 2005

Wts d use of opening LoC

Although the five points at LoC had been opened but i failed to understand what is the use of opening these points as the Kashmiries are not being allowed to cross over on both sides. i had seen and read in the media that Kashmiries were not allowed to see their relatives and the main problem is on Indian side as India is not prepared to allow the crossing of Kashmiries.
Now will someone tell me that what the use of exchanging goods on both sides as if goods were the soul aim than why not both the sides had distibute these on their side instead of sending to the other side. how mindless is the excersise appology for the comments but i think as a keen observer of events i think its no more than a media show instead both the government especially India should take practicle steps to facilitate Kashmiris to cross over on both sides to give solace of their bretherns in this hour or trail.
Michle Gleen

Michle Gleen, Aruba - 18 November, 2005

Grow Up Guys

To all pakis, India is economically 1000 times stronger than Paki economy, as per BK frm Pakistan, I want to comment that, pakistan is begging for money from US n other nations (Not India). So from next time try to see ground reality. Try to talk like grown up. If you are so annoyed by Bollywood then please dont watch Bolly movies and also tell Pakistani websites not to give information related toindian movies. And also dont talk about Tehazeeb/ language , by the way your mother tongue (Urdu is fusion language originated in Bharat (india), so read history first). Also one thing India never invaded any country or place (if you want to say Hindus then its ok). Also hindus never say they want to kill people who dont believe in our religion as some religions say. There are lot issues, so dont try to include these things here. From next time try to give convincing comments and try to stick to subject.

Amol, Netherlands - 18 November, 2005

Hi People

how is India supposed to open its borders to Pakistan when every other day Pakistani terrorists cross over and kill innocent civilians...Its just a favour being done by the Indian Govt....dont be delusional and get real!!!

amit, Hungary - 20 November, 2005

Compare yourself

www.worldbank.org/data/databytopic/databytopic.html
World bank 2004- per capita income India US$ 3100, Pakistan-2100
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pk.html
People below poverty line-
Pakistan--32%
India 25%
Not to mention India's education & women education, technology, trade surplus, roads, world highest trains, etc. I think even many journalists in Pakistan do not know the truth. In my hometown Lucknow, it seems that no Muslim girl wears Burka anymore and all of them go to school or university.

Dayal, Hungary - 23 November, 2005

Hope for the best :)

The earthquack has damaged lot of lives, and properties too, on the other side it gives a chance to both Pakistan and India to see the problem from a different perspective. Its duty of the both Leadeship to judge the time, and seek the anvantage. A positive approach and Sincerety is required.


MISBAH, Pakistan - 25 November, 2005

Stop the State Terrorism in Kashmir

It is people like Amit from India who spread hatred by calling the kashmiri struggle against the Indian occupation and state terrorism as terrorism.

Tarek Masud, Bahrain - 27 November, 2005

Don't Take Advantage

Whenever the cunningness of the militarily and economically strong nations is exposed there are some who immediately start singing the song "Don't spread hatred". It is a wicked attempt to prevent others from exposing the villains of this world. It is not too hard to tell between a sincere and insincere gesture. I say to those militarily and economically strong countries, don't take advantage of the miseries of others.

Tarek Masud, Bahrain - 27 November, 2005

What Amol Wanted to Say

Let's see, India's foreign currency reserve is approximately $100 billion and Pakistan's is approximately $10 billion, therefore, we can say India's economy is ten times bigger than Pakistan's economy. In other words, Amol got his maths wrong. What I think Amol really wanted to say is that since India's economy is ten times bigger, its population is approximately six and a half times larger and its size approximately three and half times bigger; therefore, India has the right to occupy Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris, it has the right to threaten its neighbours based on lies and propaganda, it has the right to oppress its own minorities and then lecture others on minority rights, it has the right to tell its neighbours what their foreign policy and domestic policies should be or what kind of constitution they should have, it has the right to install puppet governments in the neighbouring countries whenever there is an opportunity, it has the right to interfere in the domestic politics of its neighbours, it has the right to have an elite status like the five super powers in the UN, it has the right to provide training and shelter to the terrorists from neighbouring countries and then accuse others of being terrorists. I suppose bigger countries with strong economy and military, all have these rights and they should be given extra votes in the UN, all kinds of immunity and privileges possible. Wouldn't that be nice for world stability and peace ? These are the people who publicly preach that all human beings are equal, all countries are equal! These are the people who claim that they want a peaceful world. These countries want peace with their neighbours and the world in general, but they want it on their terms, terms based on injustice and inequality.

Tarek Masud, Bahrain - 27 November, 2005

Kashmiris under India bondage

Kashmiri freedom fight is since 1930's against the Dogra Raj and sooner or later Kashmiris will have their independence. No excuses are going to stop the process bt the catch is they need to be united as one. There are several factions which represent each group and then all such group are consolidated into a leaership that should determine the worldwide campaign. Every religion would be able to practice freely in future independent Kashmir.

Probono Public, Pakistan - 27 November, 2005

Come on Tarek, how naive do you sound. As far as I know, India gave independence to Bangladesh from Pakistans opression. Also, I googled a bit and found that India donates millions of dollars to Bangladesh Govt. to improve the Bangladesh economy may be saving lives of many poor people in ?Bangladesh.

daniel, Norway - 29 November, 2005

Kashmir everywhere

The trouble or freedom struggle is in the central valley from the Sunni Muslims and it does not include 40% non-Muslims of Kashmir, ousted Kashmiri Pandits, Buddhits region as well as Shia regions(like Kargil region). Are only Sunni Muslims in central Kashmir valley Kashmir? Do they have the right to fight a war of independence on behalf of all of Kashmir when others do not agree to it? Why do we talk about Kashmir everywhere where it does not belong also?

Dayal, Hungary - 30 November, 2005

I got to this newspaper link through google news and was very interested in just knowing more about Pakistan media and general situation. AFter reading just few lines I realized that the only merit this author possess, is India-bashing!!! It says in the evry beginning that "India offered help but that was natural as whole world would do it" com'n..be bit realistic! Just remember what Pakistan has been doing with India all along and then write anything else.

Sensible, Hungary - 01 December, 2005

It's heartening

Not the article, of course. It continues in the stupid tradition of intense hate propaganda against India.
What's heartening is that people from both sides of the border are willing to look beyond the smokescreen and smell the coffee.
I congratulate those brothers from Pakistan who have actually come out to point that this article is indeed filled with and intended to spread unabashed hatred.
People, wake up. The world is moving ahead fast and we have the choice. We can keep pulling each other down like crabs in a pit or help each other in moving ahead.
People, do realize that the curren times are a great opportunity to move ahead, grow our economies and ensure better life for our people.
I pray to Lord Almighty that sense prevails, we see the futility of continuos hatred and move ahead with progress.
No God would want its people to be forever doomed to a life of squalor and poverty and He'll be happy, wherever He is, if we grow, prosper and help each other in building up.
Amen.

Prashant, Hungary - 01 December, 2005

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