‘The Great Expectations’

Yet another fabulous summit-level session of a galaxy of political erudite n’ intellectuals, composed of seven states of South Asia-“titled as SAARC-“has ended, raying to the orb a pledge for peace, progress and prosperity-“in the region with a zest for affluence in diverse arenas-“most explicitly vis-à-vis the socio-economic vistas.

As a 43-point communiqué-“issued after its’ final session in Islamabad Tuesday-“depicts this moot-“overtly set targets for its significant objectives-“like back-up to regional cooperation in economic and social development, poverty alleviation, science and technology, information and communication and combating terrorism.

The member States-“simultaneously-“reaffirmed their pledge to promote good neighborly relations on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity and national independence. They also committed to the principle of non-use of force, non-interference and peaceful settlement of disputes.

At the same time, the two nuke-neighbors India and Pakistan-“with an apparent zest-“agreed to initiate ‘a composite dialogue’ to resolve all their bilateral issues-“including the perilous-one, the Kashmir dispute-“to the satisfaction of both the countries, mostly probably next month-“as an exact date for such a much-awaited course has not been listed so far.

No doubt, such a pledge can-“manifestly-“be evaluated both as atypical and momentous.

With this perception, one can view this scenario with optimism that history has been made and the concord, beamed all-over is not less than a big step and leap forward.

Prima facie, this agreement on a composite dialogue was reached between the two countries after Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee telephoned President of Pakistan, Gen Pervez Musharraf as a follow-up of their face-to-face interaction on Monday-“wherein both the leaders vowed to work-“hands-in-gloves-“for serenity in South Asia.

Going by the index of the history of this continent-“which has been facing frequent upheavals-“only due to India’s arrogant posture-“its’ certainly a significant advance.

Since India has persistently been repudiating such a milieu, wherein overtures for talks could be translated into a reality-“every peace-loving nation-“the world-over-“would phrase the new impel as a fragrant breakthrough as well as a dazzling icon of great expectations.

While, analyzing this resolve, it looks like a defining moment for the future of South Asia, which has paradoxically lingered with a volatile setting-“over the past half a century-“only due to Indian antagonism.

As every realistic historian stands witness the veracity that such apex-level contacts between India and Pakistan did take place-“even in the past, when the then President of Pakistan, Field Marshall Ayub Khan have had an in-depth dialogue with the Indian Premier, Lal Bhadur Shastri at Tashkent and the then Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto undertook an identical exercise with his Indian counterpart, Indira Gandhi at Simla-“and not very far off, President Pervez Musharaff had a reflective discourse with Premier Vajpayee at Agra-“only two years ago.

Yet no evocative result could be accrued to launch a process of amity-“to take South Asia onto the alleyway of progress, prosperity and top of all-“peace with equilibrium-“as its’ podium.

Its’ raison d’être is palpable. Its’ the Indian animosity. Once it gets fade away, the desired results are ought to surface-“as clear as a pure, chaste, virtuous and radiant-“crystal.

With this insight, every candid soul would wish the peace process to thrive in the best interest of harmony in the region and vitally for the well-being of the billion-plus populous, dwelling in this part of the earth.

Conversely, both India and Pakistan shall have to stay vigilant and watchful in view of the fact that extremists on both sides do not wish for tranquility, amity and development in South Asian region.

Pakistan is-“explicitly-“ought to keep itself predominantly alert and observant as the hawks around Vajpayee feel like opting to retain the risky settings intact-“with their orifice of ‘allure’ of perpetual confrontation between Islamabad and New Delhi go-on unabated.

As a matter of testimony, they incapacitate every upbeat move made by Vajpayee for normalization of relations between the two countries with one ploy or the other.

Indeed, it was rousing to gaze at that none of the visiting Indian leaders or their companions articulated their favorite phrase of ‘cross-border terrorism or infiltration’ in their discussions and speeches while on the soils of Pakistan.

It’s, thus anticipated that they will not revert to the slang-“as they now get back home-“nor will the hawks be permitted to pollute the environment with their grubby gambits.

Justifiably, Pakistan has already made many concessions to bring India to the table of negotiations.

To quote a few, unilateral ceasefire on the Line of Control-“LoC, recommencement of over-flights and proffer of a type of modification from the affirmed position on Kashmir for a genial resolution of the long-standing issue were all one-sided initiatives.

Yet, at the same time, one hopes that the government will be responsive to the nation’s sensitivities in dealing with India in view of its proverbial cunningness.

Vajpayee’s fascinating overtures may be motivated by BJP’s eye on the approaching general elections in India. So we have to be cautious and refrain from showing gratuitous excitement and exuberance over the upshot of the latest contacts.

As is conserved in the history, India and Pakistan have had several rounds of talks in the past, but-“each and every one of such contacts-“eventually proved abortive owing to India’s obstinacy and negation to recognize Kashmir as a disputed territory.

What is, thus, needed is that the talks-“as and when they take place-“should be inexorable, meaningful and result-oriented.

For this, sincerity is clearly the touchstone. We should also not be heedless of the fact that when-ever, ice starts melting between the two countries, some incident spoils the pie and both nations revert to conflict and fray.

As is evident, the Lahore Declaration was followed by the Kargil episode while Agra meeting heralded a terrorist act of firing in front of the Indian Parliament.

On both the occurrences the emotions of goodwill, shaped between the two countries as a result of leaders’ contact were, as a follow-up-“vitiated.

Virtually, such incidents did derail the peace
process and brought the two countries back to square one.

We wish that no repulsive condition will appear now that the two countries have-“once again agreed to set in motion a process of dialogue-“obviously to reach a consensus which could take them to a point-“where cologne and aroma, harbingers a mellow to resurrect love and adore-“with mutual esteem to open vistas for bilateral as well as multilateral good of the humans-“without any discrimination, chauvinism and bigotry.

Last but not the least, the communiqué-“which brought the SSARC Summit to a conclusion-“in Islamabad with a delight to meet in Dhaka next year-“astonishingly-“made no mention of the Kashmir dispute-“despite the fact, it did refer to ‘issues’.

Conceivably, it was a calculated shot-“as the SAARC charter-“maliciously forbids even a singular word about ‘bilateral or international issues’-“and in place lays utmost modulation on the socio-economic aspects.

Yet its’ ought to accept the realism that the dream-“which it envisions-“can not turn into a certainty sans the solution of the political issues-“with Kashmir on the top.

This set-up must accept that magnificence for such a wish [of socio-economic uplift] can be captivated solely via bountiful resources-“which, as India is even now squandering on billions-dollars armory-“compilation deals with multiple countries like Russia, UK and-“even from its scented cute darling Israel, in spite of the verity that New Delhi has no foe-“any-where around its terrain.

Can’t such a lavish spending be consumed on ameliorating the lot its’ own people-“a majority of whom lives below-poverty line, even in a epoch when civilization is close to step onto Mars-“after Moon?

Amid such a situation, isn’t it apposite-“that not only that realities are clinched with a laissez-faire style by not only amending the SAARC chapter to accommodate political topics-“but also the scope and size of this organization-“is got expanded by inducting leading realms of Asia-“like China to achieve its indispensable objectives?

Else, this forum of ‘great expectations’ shall prove nothing more than a prop of hegemony-“which no-one would like-“if at all it is sincere towards the SAARC objects.