Monday, September 08, 2008

Establishing peace between enemy countries

In 1989 elections, BJP had spectacular performance with 86 seats from 2 seats in 1984. Soon after, Sir Nicholas Barrington, Britain's High Commissioner in Islamabad met L.K.Advani in New Delhi. The discussion between them in the words of L.K.Advani. (Taken from My Country My Life)

Sir Nicholas Said, "In the British foreign office, I am regarded as an expert on South Asia. For a long time, I have thought about what is needed for establishing peace and good-neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan. And I have come to the conclusion that this is possible only when there is a strong pro-Hindu party in power in New Delhi and a strong military regime in Islamabad.'

Since this argument sounded curious to me, I asked him: 'Why do you say so?" Sir Nicholas Barrington replied: 'Let me draw a parallel between the hostile India-Pakistan relations and similarity hostile relations that earlier obtained between the United States and China. Before 1972, the two countries were sworn enemies of each other. And yet, the Bamboo Wall came crashing down when President Nixon visited China and shook hands with Chairman Mao in that year. This was possible because there was a strong Republican President in Washington DC, and given the Republicans' traditional antipathy towards China, American people did not feel that Nixon was "Selling out". Similarly there was a strong Communist ruler in China, whose strident tirade against American imperialism in the past was well known. If he took the initiative in normalizing China's ties with the US, he would not be suspected by his people of betraying their country's interests.'

'Similarly,' the British Diplomat added, "if a BJP government in India and a well-entrenched military ruler in Pakistan decided to resolve all outstanding issues and make peace between the two countries, they would not be under domestic pressure to look over their shoulders to see if they are being accused of a sell-out.'

When BJP formed the government, it took many initiatives to establish peace between India and Pakistan. In February 1999, Vajpayee undertook his historic bus journey to Lahore. Eventhough Pakistan started war against us in the same year, still Vajpayee invited Musharraf for Agra summit meeting in July 2001. It was not very successful, but, Vajpayee's continued efforts gave happy result in Jan 2004. During SAARC summit in Islamabad in Jan 2004, Vajpayee-Musharraf issued a historic Joint Statement. Through this, Pakistan committed itself, for the first time ever, not to allow any part of its territory, or territory under its control, to be used for terrorist acts aimed against India. Since then, India had good relationship with Pakistan.

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