(The only meeting ground between the two Asian countries of India and Pakistan is the extreme poverty of the masses on the two sides of the divide!)
It has been reported that the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan met in Thailand on December 27, secretly! The meeting is reported to have been useful and it is claimed that it might help in restarting some sort of engagement at the diplomatic level as well. Well, there is always a continuous refrain from every quarter that leaders of India and Pakistan should have a dialogue and sort out all the differences to usher in peace and prosperity in the sub-continent. Both the countries are poor and the bulk of the population needs means for improvement in their living standards rather than to fight each other. Unfortunately, there appears to be nothing common between these two Asian countries except extreme poverty of the majority of the people living there! Normally, they should have been helping each other to usher in prosperity to the teeming millions living below the poverty line but on the contrary they are looking for newer avenues to get at each other’s throats!
In contrastto the abject poverty of the majority of their population, the rulers on both the sides have something else in common, their wealth! They have amassed wealth not only in their own countries but in foreign banks and even invested it in some “safe havens” abroad even though these havens are no longer safe as revealed by Panama and Paradise papers! While on the other side the few “dirty rich” families have gobbled up everything, on this side the “Corporates” have digested entire resources leaving the poor to fend for themselves. The bulk of the population on both sides is living in what is come to be known as the “below the poverty line”. In other words by global standards especially in the western countries, they are not even “poor” but something much worse than that!
But a question arises, why are these countries so poor in spite of so many resources? Well, the answer is the new type of colonialism faced by them. It is the economic colonialism or what is known as the neo-colonialism. For 200 years, the British robbed the sub-continent of all its resources to develop their own country. With the masses awakening all over the world, all the colonial powers had to end their physical possession of these under-developed countries but they came in with this new type of colonialism. They applied a dual strategy. On one side they ensured that the economies of these countries remained tied to their multi-national corporations and on the other, they created “disputes” to make these poor people fight each other. For this fighting they sold these countries weapons, the sale of which amounting to billions of dollars, ensured jobs for their own people back home!
The largest portions of the budgets of these two countries go in for purchasing armaments from western countries especially USA. India is the largest importer of armaments in the world while USA is the largest manufacturer and exporter! For the sale of their weapons these neo-colonialists create disputes and bickering all over the world. The partition of the sub-continent was their subtle and clandestine creation. After their departure they ensured that these two countries were always at logger heads! Well, Americans are basically violent people. They exterminated Red Indians to completely take over the country even though they were outside settlers. In fact, that country was born out of the blood of Red Indians and developed through the black slaves imported by them from Africa. The violence of their birth often manifests itself in shootings and killings in many parts of USA off and on!
To keep hold on the energy resources of the Middle East (the oil) they put the dagger of Israel in the heart of the Arabs! All the Middle Eastern wars have been fought for control over cheap oil while they kept their own oil fields reserved for future use! Iraq, Libya and other countries were virtually destroyed for oil. The Arabs who once almost controlled the whole Europe, Middle East and parts of Asia have been reduced to total vassals finally dependent on their good will!
The only country they are scared of is China. Its rise is a nightmare for the Americans as is evident from the Steven Bannon’s book about Trump presidency where he has compared China to Nazi Germany. It has virtually beaten them in economic progress and welfare of their own people. Their aim is now to surround it and halt their progress especially the economic progress. Unfortunately, India has fallen in their trap due its present leadership’s obsession with religious fanaticism. The Americans have now turned their heat on Pakistan which has developed very close relations with China. They want to use Afghanistan as a foothold to control China and Central Asia but the way things are going it may prove their graveyard!
If these three Asian countries, China, India and Pakistan join together, they will rule economically the entire world! The basic requirement for these two Asian neighbours, India and Pakistan, is to realise that the only meeting ground between them is the abject poverty of their masses. If they do so, the poverty of their teeming millions will totally disappear! They will become the future leaders of the entire world! Let us hope and pray that they do so sooner than later for the welfare of us all!
Mohammad Ashraf,I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir