Friday, January 02, 2009

War Reboot

India and Pakistan are on the verge of a war, or so the media and unnamed sources from the Foreign offices will have us believe. This teetering system, nuclear precipice and all, gets much attention the world over. A top Chinese diplomat is flown in to de-escalate the tension. No, the regular Chinese diplomats won't do, it has to be a top one.

India is carrying out troop movements that look ominous. Satellites see this and then do a tell-all to the world. India denounces this as a routine winter exercise. Presumably to keep the blood pumping through the jawans' legs.

Pakistan wants peace not war, but if pressed, they will relocate their troops from the Northwest to the Southeast. The US and the UK like having the Pakistani troops in the Northwest, alongside their own. Twiddlethumbs is a popular game there, and they need three to play. So the U(S+K) will shell out many moneys and the Pakistanis will stay.

This won't sit well with India. She'll raise the hourly rates of her call-centre agents if things continue this way. That will pinch the U(S+K). So the west peremptorily sends their best talkers to sort out the situation - Brown, Rice (apologies, but it's good for you). A month passes and the posturing continues. The Indians waterboard Kasab, and he talks of Faridkot and his father, of his training and his cell-phone. He writes letters to the Pakistani Government pleading for legal aid. Pakistan rejects all of this and demands concrete evidence from India. Nothing is provided for more than a month. This is understandable because India has
(a) little else to go on or
(b) is busy manufacturing said evidence or
(c) is worried that the evidence, which may be circumstantial once presented, will be dismantled by Pakistan before an independent body agrees that Pakistan is culpable.

In the meantime, Zardari, who is grieving for his wife ("she was killed by the same terrorists that blew up Mumbai") more now than ever before, even more than when he was Pallin' around with the U.S. has denounced these non-state actors (NSA) that carried out the heinous attacks in Mumbai. One supposes that he has no clue why the NSA chose his virgin country to incubate the cancer. In any case, he'd resolved to take swift action and so promised to send the chief of the ISI over to India. In keeping with the resolution to remain swift, this promise was recanted within hours.

Pakistan then placed various citizens rumoured to have been involved in the planning of the attacks under house-arrest. This form of punishment, extreme to say the least, was later degraded to non-strict house arrest.

Thankfully though, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charitable organisation that planned the attacks was banned by Pakistan. Banning, as we know, is almost as horrific a punishment as house-arrest. However, using chicanery of the highest order, the organisation has moved back to the unbanned list by using an alias, 'Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool'. Clever as ever.

As unjust as the Mumbai attacks (or other terrorist attacks, in India or in Pakistan) were, we know war isn't the answer. I'm glad, for all their posturing, the two governments also seem to have realised the fact. The enemies are elsewhere - in the minds of people, in biased accounts of history, in the policies of 4 year eat-and-leave governments. So really, the eradication process shouldn't involve soldiers dying, fighting each other, while the real puppeteers kick back in their caves or drug mansions and watch. We're coming full-circle again. We need to be the change.

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