The External Affairs Mess

Democracy stands as the single most sweet fruit of our independence and brings with it innumerable benefits. But along with great power comes great responsibility. The people of the state are reaping the fruits of our freedom struggle; the keepers of the state and law are shouldering the responsibilities of maintaining that.


To realize the sovereignty of India in full bloom, it calls in for stability in the realms of politics, economy and society and many other daily life parameters. Sufficiency within ensures independence from external influences. But a nation can’t thrive on the laurels of self-achievement, without striking a balance between other nations with cordiality. There comes the steepest task of the government and it has replicated itself stronger than ever before.


India today stands at a precarious foothold, inches away from a government shift, possibly, and surrounded by global issues of biblical significance. The decisions to be taken will dictate the future of our nation and hence cannot be trivial or spontaneous. They have to be debatably resolved with maximum contentions favoring the choices that will help our nation’s cause to stand strong in the long run. The daunting task is definitely not made easy in the present circumstances where the encounters with a few countries seems imminent, be it tactical or political or pertaining to war.


The ties with the ever-changing Pakistan are themselves at a risk of upsurge. The relations have always been delicate and today it is actually worsening, both on the surface as well as deep within. Much to be blamed is the Pakistan government and its methodologies. The SAARC summit saw the heads of the two nations strive for the establishment of peace wherein Pakistan Prime promised our P.M. that the agreements of the ceasefire on the LOC would be respected and violence would be avoided to maximum ends. Huge promises were made on the lines of joint endeavors to fight terrorism and to stop it. Just like many previous summits, oaths and pledges were honored with equal sincerity from both ends.


The fact-book says that on the very same day that the Pakistan PM announced oblivion to the ceasefire requirements violation and ensured that the deserved respect for the truce would be offered in Sri Lanka, back home Pakistani forces were into the third day of firing at the LOC. Sudden and intense rounds obtrusively ignored Gilani’s comments which angled towards a Pakistani initiative to restore peace and cut down on these unfortunate confrontations. How can a nation come to even think of firing rounds across border when the government is preaching a policy of non-violence and cooperation? If politics can also include such blatant hypocrisy, then the world must be on the watch out for serious trouble. How can Indians safely have faith on Pakistan measures and extend an ever-willing hand of friendship and support?


Also, on the same day as the Pakistan PM expressed serious concerns to battle terrorism in the wake of a new era of global convergence, the case of the suicide bomber causing mishap at the Indian Embassy in Kabul exposed fresh wounds. The Afghan intelligence after one month of research finally concluded that the bomber was a Pakistani national who had trained with the Lashkar-e-Toiba. A day later, tabloids were brimming with reports stating him being the son of a Pakistan government officer in the department of defense and security. When government officials can harbor such rebellious off springs and school of thoughts, the danger is lurking around. May be the father-son involvement was purely coincidental, the son having been consumed by the terrorist ideas. But that is not sufficient for the outsiders. What guarantee does the Pakistan populace have to offer, with almost every terrorist attack tracing its origin from among the common people? How can an Indian cooperation expect a popular support reiterating from across the borders when so many people still possibly harbor hatred and revenge? The state of Indo-Pak relation is at a more perishable stage than ever before and demands sincere addressal from the other side, if the relations are not to be estranged.


Another thorn in the rose today is the India-US affair which has been controversial since its inception. While an eager US is pressing hard on a nuke-deal, the actual realization may spell disasters for India if not properly handled. The biggest concern is towards the ends of sovereignty and independence of the nation being taken care of by the US after the deal. India must make sure that the deal does not take away from us the ability to decide on our choices. Any extra limitation on our nuclear power and its exercise must be avoided, as the US is known for its heinous political obligations that it can enforce. Although the government has won the trust vote to go ahead with the deal, it shouldn’t be complacent and give away the fruits our struggles to foreign control.


The problem is that the talks have gone too far for them to rollback. Backing out now may turn US against us, having serious implications on our global image. The chances of any future cooperation will be progressively negligible. Also, the government of India as well as the US is about to change in the next year. There is absolutely no assurance of how the new power will respond and take these issues. The Obama/McCain government out there might as well adopt a stiff stance that can come in the way. Even our new government might be less interested in extending the tie-ups. The future beholds uncertainties that can range from pleasing to bizarre.


The terms today must be resolved soon and firm to avoid tomorrow hamper the progress. The government has the onus to set things straight across the national borders.


Arindham Chakroborty

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