Go to rural India you find good neighbours. They have cordial relations and helpful when need arises. Not so in the case of India. Two of the neighbours were rather created after the partition of India. Basically the divided countries were Bharat (India) and Pakistan. Pakistan had five provinces Sind, Punjab, Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province and East Bengal. Later in 1971 East Bengal revolted against Pakistan. With the help of India East Bengal won the war of independence and became Bangladesh. 90,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken as war prisoners and lodged in Central Jail, Agra. Sheikh Mujiburrahman became the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Later he became President in January 1975. But on 15th of August whole of his family was assassinated. Major General Ziaur Rahman took over power in November. Assassinations and coups continued in the new formed country till February 1991 when Begum Khaleda Zia became the Prime Minister. In 1996 elections Sheikh Hasina Wazed the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won with 146 seats and became Prime Minister. She was again replaced by Khaleda Zia in 2001 elections.
The history of Pakistan too is not less chequered. For nine years after 1947 it remained a dominion and was declared an Islamic republic on 23rd March 1956. Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan seized power in a coup in 1958. In 1962 he was deposed by Gen. Yahya Khan who handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in December 1971. He ruled till 1977 and was replaced by General Ziaul Haque. Bhutto was tried for a murder and was executed. After Zia was killed in a plane crash Benazir terrorists from many Islamic Countries come to be travel – attack on WTO – India Parliament attacked on 13.12.2001 changed. Pakistan attacked India thrice – always defeated.
Bhutto became the Prime Minister. In August 1990 Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister. Benazir again replaced Nawaz Sharif and was again replaced by Sharif in 1997. The end of the century saw Pervez Musharraf the Commander in Chief of Pakistan taking power in his hands. Sharif was sentenced for 25 years on the charges of hijacking and terrorism. But he was released and entered from Pakistan.
Both of these countries have declared themselves as Islamic republics. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh has 2000 mosques – is known as the city of mosques. The country has 2 lakhs mosques. One recollects the incident when during partition Suhrawardy the Muslim Chief Minister of Bengal advised Mahatma Gandhi not to go beyond Noakhali. Gandhi had to come back. One also remembers hundreds of temples in Bangladesh razed to ground when Babri Masjid was demolished. Muslim fanaticism in our eastern neighbour is so strong that it has now become difficult for the 2 crore Hindus to live peacefully in this second largest Muslim populated state in the world. Jasleema, a Muslim lady doctor who wrote a novel depicting the atrocities on the Hindu men and women in Bangladesh had to leave her country to take shelter in USA and European countries. The country has become a problem for the 12 lakhs Hindu and Baudha tribal’s who mostly live in Chittagong Hill tracts. The Hindus have to suffer as the different government and a large number of Muslim fanatics have anti Indian sentiments.
In Pakistan it is difficult for a government to remain in power if it does not make Jammu and Kashmir the main issue between India and Pakistan. While Hari Singh the King of Jammu and Kashmir decided to remain in India the Pakistani army attacked the state and occupied one third of the state. As Jawahar Lal Nehru took the case to the UNO Indian army had to stop defending the state beyond the line of control. Since Partition Jammu and Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries. Pakistan insists that as Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state it is a part of Pakistan. If this argument holds water then, many cities in India which have Muslim majority should go to Pakistan. The Jammu and Kashmir problem is responsible for keeping armed forces in Siachen glacier, the highest war zone in the world. It is just wastage of billions of rupees on both the sides. Pakistan would create one problem or the other for India in that region. The Cargill conflict arranged by General Pervez Musharraf was one of these. The same gentleman has become the President of Pakistan.
Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) have a large number of camps for the training of terrorists. India has been facing these terrorists since the beginning of the eighties. The terrorists belong not simply to Pakistan but to Arab countries, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Sudan and some other African Muslim countries too. But their training centre is Pakistan. Osama-bin-Laden arranged a suicide attack on World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon in Washington on September 11, 2001 in which about 7000 people were killed within minutes. USA President George Bush decided to finish the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He also decided to finish terrorism in the world. Indian Parliament was attacked by five Pakistani terrorists on 13th of December 2001. Before this there was an attack on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly. It was just a chance that no political leader was killed in the two suicide attacks. After the defeat of Taliban’s in Afghanistan a large number of Taliban soldiers and other mercenaries too have taken shelter in Pakistan. The terrorist activities on Indian borders have increased.
General Pervez Musharraf has been under great pressure of USA. On 12th of January 2002 he made an hour long speech on Pakistan Television. Formerly he used to call terrorists attacking Indian villages in Jammu and Kashmir as freedom fighters and not terrorists. In this speech he avoided the phrase ‘freedom fighters’ and declared to crush terrorism. Many terrorist organizations in Pakistan were declared unlawful and hundreds of their offices were sealed. Thousands of members belonging to these organizations were arrested. L. K. Advani, the Home Minister was on a tour of USA when Pervez delivered the speech. George Fernandez the Defence Minister and Advani both said that in the past there has been a lot of difference in what he says and what he has said and stops trans border terrorism which has taken more than thirty five thousand lives India would have a dialogue with Pakistan. All political parties in India welcomed the speech of Pakistan President. But they too were of the opinion that it should be a ground reality. Pakistan should hand over 20 terrorists to India whose list has been given to Pakistan
High Commissioner. Moreover India rejected Musharrafs plea that a third country should intervene in the India Pakistan problem. India believes it is a bilateral problem and a third party has no part to player a mediator. Even the UN resolutions have become meaningless. The dictum of Chanakya seems correct that our neighbouring countries are our enemy while our neighbour’s neighbour is our friend. Let us see when does
Pakistan reconsider to the situation. It has attacked India thrice and has been defeated. Since it has become a nuclear power it has the airs of being a big force. It spends 50 per cent of its budget on arms, ammunitions and the army. Let us wish and pray that it realizes that the progress of a country depends not on army establishment but on economic development and friendly relations with its neighbours.