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How Securer is India than Pakistan?
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
The world recognizes Pakistan as potentially a failed state.
The ruling establishment in Pakistan is infiltrated by pro-terrorist elements. Civil society is struggling to establish democracy. Pakistan has become the hub of global terrorism. Pakistan itself has become the victim of deadly terrorist strikes. Pakistan’s economy is faltering. There are separatist movements in parts of Pakistan. Pakistan’s civilian government lacks authority over its army. Therefore the world believes that if Pakistan does not get its act together it could break.
The world Hails India as
a Potential Economic Giant Next to China.
Despite the global economic meltdown India has maintained a respectable economic growth rate. It has a growing class of global tycoons buying assets worldwide. India has soft power through a flourishing Bollywood industry, through its fashion industry, through an expanding class of technocrats, and through a world class information technology industry. The Indian middle class relishes world acclaim. And yet, it is conceivable that India is as vulnerable as Pakistan. Does this sound unbelievable? To recognize this truth step back and take a dispassionate overall view of the Indian situation.
India is recognized as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. The politicians are corrupt, the bureaucracy is corrupt, the judiciary according to senior most judges is corrupt, the media is corrupt, openly selling news space to anyone willing to pay, the police is corrupt unwilling to convict the most brazenly corrupt politicians, and astronomical amounts of money earned from corruption are stashed illegally in foreign banks which the government has failed to recover.
India is among the nations of the world with the widest disparity of wealth. India belongs to the bottom third of the global wealth distribution, comprising about 27 per cent of this group. By the World Bank definition of poverty that each individual should access at least 1 USD per day, an estimated 75 percent of India’s population lives below the internationally accepted poverty line. The current fuel price hike that will create a general inflationary spiral in the existing situation of unbearable economic hardship for most Indians has ignited calls for nationwide protests. The results of these impending protests might surprise the government and the TV-watching elite.
India continues to have foreign backed insurgencies in Kashmir and in the North East that have lasted for decades. India has devised no policy to defuse these movements or to resolve disputes. Right now protest in Kashmir has escalated as daily there are police firings and deaths. Almost one third of the districts in India are in control of the Maoists. There are recurring killings of innocents and police personnel by the Maoists. Maoists run a parallel system. They extort resources, dispense justice. Insurgents from the North East and from among the Maoists are known to have sought and obtained sanctuary in China. Our government continues to enhance trade with China. The insurgents in Kashmir are known to be coming from Pakistan. Home Ministry accuses Lashkar-e-Taiba (L-e-T). Although the Hurriyat welcomes Amarnath pilgrims it is irrelevant. It has no influence over L-e-T. Neither can half of Pakistan’s government influence L-e-T. Yet our government continues to pursue a peace dialogue with Pakistan along an arid beaten path without attempting any innovation or meaningful change in approach.
Our Home Minister can only articulate nice phrases to media. He is helpless. He has to operate by remote control. Law and order is a state subject. The central paramilitary forces and the state police very often do not cooperate effectively. The Home Minister can only proffer advice and encouragement to the state governments. Why is he helpless? He is helpless because the central government has no authority to conduct operations against nationwide insurgency. The country has no federal authority with unified command to fight foreign backed insurgency. The states disallowed the creation of such a federal agency because from experience the states knew that if established it would be misused to serve the partisan ends of the ruling party at the centre. The Prime Minister has no support from half the states in the country. He cannot intervene in the affairs of the states. Why is this so?
This has come about because our written Constitution has been distorted beyond recognition by denying our President, who is the only office holder with an elective mandate from parliament and all the state assemblies, to exercise the due responsibilities explicitly assigned to him by our written Constitution. By rendering the President into a rubber stamp the nation has paralyzed the only constitutional office empowered to enforce the rule of law and proper governance throughout the nation. By distorting the Constitution our nation practically has no effective executive to govern our multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-ethnic federal polity with requisite authority. The President’s nominees should become Governors to represent the centre in all the states. In fact they are pawns in the hands of the central cabinet that consists of politicians with vested interests but no mandate to interfere in the affairs of the states.
Judge for yourself, does India appear substantially more stable than Pakistan? Or is it so fragile that one major jolt and its system could collapse? India is surrounded by dangers. But the biggest danger is that India seems unaware that it is in danger. It is a common human mistake to imagine that accidents happen only to others. Until one day one is hit by an accident. By then of course it is too late to realize one’s mistake. Is India waiting for an accident? Or will it reform the working of the Constitution? Will it initiate change in Kashmir? Will it start retracing its relentless march towards an abyss before it becomes too late? Only closure of Kashmir dispute would facilitate Indo-Pak peace. It would enable India and Pakistan to eliminate terrorism. That is the starting point which India must recognize. Terrorists kill scores of innocents in Lahore’s Sufi shrine. Maoists kill scores of policemen in a Chhattisgarh ambush.
Are things really so different in Pakistan and India.
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07/03/2010 13:36 PM
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