Jan 31, 2009

Columnists - Khushwant Singh;Sabre-rattlers,shut up

Let me repeat for the umpteenth time: there must never be another Indo-Pak war. If, god forbid, there is one, there will be no winners. Both India and Pakistan have long-range missiles that can ruin both countries. So let us tell the sabre-rattlers in clear terms, be they Pakistanis or Indians, that war is too serious a matter to be left to soldiers or politicians. Only common men, women and children who will be most affected by its impact have the right to take this decision.

If necessary, make human chains extending from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea, one on the Pakistani side, the other on the Indian. And let the tanks and armoured cars run over the chains before they start firing their guns. There are people of peace and goodwill who will gladly volunteer to stake their lives for their countries.

We have our Kuldip Nayyars and Swami Agniveshs to lead them; they have their Asma Jehangirs, Najam Sethis and Jugnu Mohsins to lead them. This is what Gandhi would have done. This is what Ghaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi, would have done. This is what you and I should be doing.

So what are the options when our relations come close to breaking point, as they did after the attack in Mumbai on 26/11?
We proved to the world that the perpetrators were Pakistanis. Since the crime was committed with military precision, we proved to the world that the criminals were trained by professionals on Pakistani soil. Pakistan’s rulers were reluctant to admit that because it would reflect on their inability to control subversive elements. I’m convinced that in their hearts
they know our charges to be true and in due course will concede it.

We have also proved to the world that Pakistan is ruled by important men whose writ does not run beyond a few miles around Islamabad, and that its social norms are dictated by demented mullahs who close down girls schools, force women to wear burqas and impose medieval codes of conduct on the masses. They also preach hatred against Indians. We have to jointly wage a relentless war against them till they are stamped out of existence. If we succeed, we can live in peace as good neighbours.

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