Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Relations with India had always been remained tense and unfriendly because we have considered India as the first and foremost enemy of Pakistan and it will miss no chance to destroy this country. It had never accepted the reality that Pakistan is a separate State curved out of India. Thus India was considered a hostile country and we were involved in propaganda against each other even on non issues. The main reason was the Kashmir dispute and India repudiated its old stand to hold a referendum ascertaining the will of the people of Kashmir that they want to remain in India or join Pakistan. To the Pakistani leaders and diplomats, Kashmir remained a core issue without its settlement, there could be no normalization of relations with India and even there will be no trade and no communication between the two peoples. It remained the policy of the past which continued for six decades and guided the relations between the two countries. On both sides, hot heads, fascists and fanatics put fuel to the fire by issuing statements against each other. Such elements were available in the Pakistani and Indian society or even in both the Governments guiding the state policies to pollute the atmosphere. When our relations become tense and almost unfriendly with the United States following the incident of Bin Laden and also the deliberate attack on Salala Check posts killing 24 soldiers, we reviewed our relations with India for strategic reasons and decided to normalize the relations to some extent keeping the Kashmir issue in the back burner, at least for the time being. In view of this policy, there were exchanges between leaders of Pakistan and India to normalize their relations and improve it to some extent providing some facilities and relief to their respective citizens. It included liberalize the visa regime, exempting journalists and businessmen from police reporting, issuing them multiple entry visa visiting more cities as in the past they were restricted to visit only three cities of India. The visa liberalization regime was signed and announced which had been welcomed by all right minded people and leaders of public opinion. However, the fanatics and fascist elements disliked the accord between the two countries to normalize relations and they wanted that the Kashmir issue should be settled first and later on India should be given concessions. Those elements are unaware about the radical change in the regional security situation US making India the non-NATO partner and also a strategic ally on the issue of Afghanistan assigning important role to India in Afghanistan to undermine the legitimate interests of Pakistan. In any case, the people of Sindh and Punjab, mainly Mohajirs and the Punjabis, will be the real beneficiaries of this liberalization of visa restrictions allowing them free movement between the two countries. Since Balochs had no interest in India, no relatives in that country, the visa regime issue is totally irrelevant for them. Balochs are least interested to visit India for any reason. Mere some people interested in tourism, they may try to visit India. Otherwise the real beneficiaries are the Punjabis and Mohajirs who have their relations on other side of the border. So that the wild charges of Rehman Malik against the Baloch people are agents of the Hindus are totally misplaced and ridiculous. It is surprising that similar views are shared by some State functionaries and they too are involved in wild propaganda against the Baloch people and their home grown movement for national rights within the framework of Pakistan. They had been agitating for the past six decades and it had not started on 2005, to say the least. Similar views were expressed on the floor of the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan in 1960s when Baloch stalwarts like Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, Sardar Ataullah Mengal and Nawab Marri represented Balochs in the National Assembly and Mir Ahmed Nawaz Bugti in the West Pakistan Assembly. They all said the same thing and made the same demand and there was no deviation from the past thus Mr. Rehman Malik’s stance in wrongly placed. It is nothing but to launch propaganda campaign against the political opponents.
The Express TribuneTwo politicians in central Punjab decided to abandon the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) last week. Both had joined the PTI only last year after leaving the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q). Gujranwala PTI President Waleed Akram Bhinder and his father, Shahid Akram Bhinder, on Tuesday joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Earlier, the Kasur PTI president Sardar Muhammad Tufail, a former MNA, and some other potential candidates had rejoined the PML-Q on Sunday. The elder Bhinder has been an MNA. His son, Waleed, had hosted Imran Khan whenever he visited the district. Shahid Bhinder told The Express Tribune he had committed a blunder in joining the PTI. He said Imran Khan had no plan to bring the change he promises. He said he preaches against corruption on one hand and joins his hands with the corrupt on the other side. He said, “Imran Khan asked the party to welcome Sheikh Rasheed before joining Rasheed’s public gathering in Rawalpindi. When pressure mounted from within the party, he disowned Rasheed.” He said he had been elected on a PML-N ticket before joining the PML-Q and was returning to the “parent party.” He said a PML-N candidate had won the NA-97 seat. He hoped he would again be the party’s candidate from the constituency in the next election. A PML-N handout on Tuesday said the two Bhinders had met with Nawaz Sharif and expressed trust in his leadership. A PML-Q handout on Sunday announced Sardar Muhammad Tufail from NA-138, Chaudhry Ilyas from PP-175 and Sardar Amjad Tufail from PP-176 in Kasur District would be their party’s candidates in the next elections. Tufail had joined the PTI along with Rana Imtiaz and Rana Sarfaraz, in Kasur. They are considered rivals of the Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan. Shafqat Mehmood, the PTI central information secretary, said “it was a good sign. The turncoats have started leaving the party.” He said the opportunists leaving the party could not hurt it. “The PTI values its 10 million registered voters, not particular politicians,” he said.