I was surfing and this caught my eye...wanna share with you guys.
July 20, 2009,Diptosh Majumdar - CNN-IBN
Occasionally, foreign policy commentators view Indo-Pak relations through the prism of the diplomatic environment prevailing in the early Nineties. Those days the Indo-Pak hyphen was a key aspect of the dialogue process. The universal assumption was that with the US and Western Europe backing Pakistan, India was a socialist relic, yet to snip its umbilical cord with Russia. Americans thought of India as an impoverished republic practicing some kind of fake democracy with excessive state control. It was in American interests to look at a bracketed Indo-Pak relationship and be committed to Pakistan at a time when Russian forces had invaded Afghanistan. India was nowhere near being a strategic or a market ally of the US.
That is why I ask the disappointed commentators, depressed after the recent Indo-Pak negotiations at Sharm-al-Sheikh in Egypt not to worry too much about what many insist is an inexplicable Indian capitulation. Let me explain what I am suggesting here. There's no doubt that whatever be the ingenuous spin, which the Indian foreign policy establishment tried to give to our Egyptian blunder, the fact is we have given hell of a lot more than we should have. Like the befuddled rest of the world, I have not been able to figure out how on earth we have suddenly become geographically enmeshed in a godforsaken Balochistan. It required fantastic imagination on the part of those who drafted the joint statement on India's behalf to meekly surrender to the Balochistani pressure from Pakistan.
Yes, we have given more. Yes, we have given them some reason for diplomatic glee. But my humble and somewhat cynical question is: does it matter? How do you define Pakistan now? It is a nation run by an apparently democratically elected politicians whose spines are held together by its unchallenged army, the mischief-making intelligence establishment, the controlled ****** groups, the uncontrolled Taliban and above all by everybody carrying a star-spangled banner. Its sovereignty is as purchasable as the pride of a man who's declared himself bankrupt. Pakistan's only hope is that the Taliban melt away, the Army swears to pay its obeisance to the political establishment and its American donors continue to be smiling -- a wish-list that's impossible to meet. Pakistan is a nation desperately fighting disintegration. It doesn't have a proud middle class. The country's poor has nothing but religion to feed on.
So, does it matter what we give away in pledges and on paper? I think the Delhi establishment tends to suffer from a hypersensitive Pakistan-phobia. True, the country has a nuclear arsenal. And geographical misfortune, which can never be changed, has made large swathes of India sitting ducks. But then in a globally connected world, it's not India alone, which is frightened of Pakistan's unstable democracy giving way to chaos and the nuclear bombs falling in the hands of insane clerics or genocidal maniacs guided by fundamentalist zeal. In such unpredictable times, you don't negotiate with such a country with seriousness. The negotiating table is to be cleverly used only to impress upon the world that you are being kind and noble enough in entering into a dialogue with a nation harboring criminal intent towards you. After all, Mumbai is still fresh in popular memory the world over.
Diplomacy, even bilateral diplomacy with Pakistan, has to be used to convince the world how a potentially dangerous nation Pakistan has become. That is how the crafty Chanakya would have gone about his business. Pakistan is to be carefully portrayed as a failed state, as an almost rogue state, a description - which we are all aware - is precise and not an inch away from the truth. Sharm-al-Sheikh was to be used as a platform to subtly keep the world informed of India's status as a world power and that of Pakistan as a pariah. To some extent, we achieved that. At least in the eyes of the selfish American and the West as a whole, the perception of India is being altered with every passing day. We are no longer wannabes. We have arrived and occupying the global center-stage. The Americans will be happy with Sharm-al-Sheikh but we must not be seen to be too eager and greedy for that endearing but condescending pat from Washington. We need Washington; everybody needs Washington in a uni-polar world. That's reality and pragmatism. But there's a difference between rushing in and treading with one's head held high. It's about time Manmohan Singh realizes there's no diplomacy in begging for an autograph from a fellow chief executive.
Yes, we should have been firm with Pakistan and we should have been equally firm with the Americans. Prime Minister Singh occasionally appears to be going out of the way to convince the Americans that India should replace Pakistan as the US's strategic partner. For geographical reasons and for the militarily significant location of Pakistan, that won't be possible. India must rise above the narrow confines of these petty bilateral exchanges and let Washington know that we are on equal footing not with Pakistan but with the principal superpower of the world. We must convince the Americans we have long walked away from that stifling Indo-Pak hyphen. We must acquire the art of mingling in the world stage as an proud, sovereign nation --- not a country looking for acceptance and respectability. We must look the part we want to play, that of a nation on the threshold of greatness.