Friday, October 30, 2009

Right Signals

Indian PM Dr. Singh is giving absolutely right signals to Pakistan and all S. Asian countries when he says that "we see our security and prosperity in their progress and stability". I wonder if any other Indian leader has been so categorical and emphatic in expressing these right sentiments in so clear words.

Sad part is Pakistan is in much weaker capacity to reciprocate these gestures because of it's fratricidal conflict. But may be, just may be, Hillary undertaking straight talk in her latest visit; Pakistani elite may make the necessary amendments. This is in addition to screw tightening via Karry-Lugar aid package. It was really refreshing for Hillary to say how hard it is to believe when Pakistani Government says that it does not know whereabouts about Al-Qeda Leadership and other terrorists. She meant at least some section of Pakistani establishment is quiet likely aware of these details. It was also music to ears when she alluded to the possibility of how peace with India can be a true harbinger of prosperity for Pakistani society. And finally, it was absolutely correct for Hillary to set the expectations right - that it is not USA which can dictate peace between India and Pakistan but it is for these two countries to address their own problems. Despite objects from some foreign policy 'formalists' one can understand how fantastic a job Hilliary is doing. There cannot be any more potent symbolism when Hillary was talking with Pakistani women about War and Peace with authority and composition. And she is daring to do all this when opinions about USA are totally inflamed in Pakistan. No wonder Andrew Sullivan is all praise for her.

With Kerry delivering in Afghanistan as well as with Pakistani aid package, Biden pounding the table against McChrystal and Hillary going in the lion's dean to deliver some tough love; these Democrats are doing remarkable 'fire fighting' and 'diplomacy' for the Commander-in-Chief President Obama. Hope is something concrete comes out of these efforts.

It is clearly synchronized for good that Dr. Singh extends this 'hand of peace' in this context. With all these wheels turning in right direction, indeed there is much less room for Pakistani establishment (Army Chief Kayani, ISI Chief Pasha, Punjab Chief Minister Sharif - brother of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani PM Gilani from PPP Party and the President Zardari) to complain about rest of the world. No doubt their political task is monumental - to turn population away from decades of nurtured views about 'good / acceptable terrorism versus terrorism against Pakistan' and to punish folks which are at the heart of such terrorism. That is not going to happen unless the Pakistani establishment:
- dares to define vision of Pakistan which is much more than simply correction of some historical grievances (like getting back certain land in Kashmir from India) and
- unequivocally denounces terrorism of any kind without worrying about whose wars Pakistan is fighting.

Truth is Pakistan is fighting 'its own war' for survival. It is not carrying water for USA or India whenever a terrorist in that land is wiped out. When it undertakes these right steps, it is only serving to the vision of it's founding father Jinha and people of Pakistan.

Update: It all started by Obama's Cairo Speech - campaign style politiciking in other country to achieve some diplomatic goals. Hillary's Pakistan tour is an exhibit A of such public diplomacy, an attempt to shape public opinions in a far way land. These are some 'high wire acts',quite impressive.

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