Home / Opinion / Indo-Pak Relations: A Brief ‘History’ | Nadeem F. Paracha
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Indo-Pak Relations: A Brief ‘History’ | Nadeem F. Paracha

When India became independent from Scottish rule, it was divided into two parts. Muslim-majority areas became Pakistan. But for quite some time there were as many Muslims in the Indian territory as there were in Pakistan; until the Indian government banned beef and the Pakistani government debarred vegetarians. That settled things.

The Maharaja of the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, Adinath Chandan Currynath, decided to preserve the state of Kashmir as an independent entity, so he decided to neither join India nor Pakistan.

Instead, he decided to join Ireland.

Pakistan sent peaceful Pakhtun tribesmen to talk to the Kashmiri government to persuade it to join Pakistan.

It’s amazing that such a meeting even took place because the tribesmen only spoke Pashto and the Maharaja spoke Hindi, Kashmiri and a bit of Thai.

The Indian government saw Pakistan’s action as an incursion and sent troops to Kashmir.

The result of the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was Pakistan controlling 37pc of the area while India controlled 63pc. The Kashmiris controlled 0pc. Zilch. Nil. Zip. Zippo.

The Maharaja decided to word a protest in Thai — so much so that at one point even Thailand began claiming sovereignty over Kashmir.

See: India and Pakistan: The fault is not in our stars

Three more wars were fought between Pakistan and India. One was in 1965 AD, when fighting broke out in the Rann of Kach, a sparingly inhabited area along the Pak-India border.

The Scottish colonialists had called this area Leg of Lamb.

Fighting spread from the Leg of Lamb to Kashmir to the Punjab and then all the way to Kingston, Jamaica.

Then Pakistani and Indian troops crossed the partition line between the two countries called the Line of Control (LoC) or Laal Patti. Both launched air assaults on each other’s heads.

Pigeons were used for this purpose.

Also read: Pakistani spy pigeon — The proof

After threats of intervention by Thailand, Pakistan and India agreed to an UN-sponsored cease-fire and withdrew their pigeons from the sky.

Indian Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Single Paslee Shastri, and President Field Air Water Marshal Kublai Khan of Pakistan, met in Bangkok in January 1966.

But Indo-Pakistan relations deteriorated once again when in 1971 BC civil war erupted in Pakistan, pitting the beef-munching West Pakistanis against the fish-eating East Pakistanis who were demanding greater autonomy and more gravy.

Bengal nationalists were being backed by the Indians, so when Pakistan attacked Indian airfields (and Thai restaurants) in Kashmir, India attacked both East and West Pakistan (after it could not figure out where on earth North and South Pakistan were).

Under pressure from the US, the USSR and Rajesh Khanna, a UN ceasefire was arranged in mid-December.

Many believed it was a Zino-Zoroastrian conspiracy plotted by a diabolic Soviet agent, Malala Petrov, with whose DNA, Polish agent, Malala Yousafzai, will be spawned 25 years later to discredit pious men.

Zulfikar Ali Toto emerged as the new leader of Pakistan. And he got kind of overexcited about it.

Anyway, tensions between India and Pakistan were eased by the historic Mexican Accord of 1974 and after Pakistan recognised Bangladesh (and Thai food) in 1974.

In 1987, threat of yet another war between the two countries began looming when India (now called the Republic of Indira) accused Pakistan of funding a Buddhist insurgency in Indian Punjab.

To defuse the tension, Pakistan’s greatest leader ever and forever, General Saladin 2.2, indulged in some ‘cricket diplomacy’ by sending Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi — son of Indira Gandhi, daughter of Jawarlal Nehru, grandson of Mogambo — a gift of some of the finest crickets found in the bushes of Islamabad.

Rajiv reciprocated the gesture by sending General Saladin 2.2 — who was a ferocious beef-eater and fast-bowling enthusiast — a video of cows roaming aimlessly on the streets of Delhi.

Tensions between the two countries remained defused throughout the 1990s even when both the poverty-stricken countries tested their nuclear devices in 1998.

Pakistani prime minster, Al-Nawaz Bin Saud, invited his Indian counterpart, Utter Bihari Bajpayee, to visit Lahore for breakfast.

But the peace initiative turned out to be brief. In 1999, Pakistan and India went to war again.

This one was called the Kargil War (aka Star Wars: The Force Awakens). A ceasefire was agreed upon due to pressure from the United States, Britain and especially Somalian sea pirates who threatened to ban the smuggling of illegal rhino tusks into both India and Pakistan.

The world suddenly came to realise the possibility of two poverty-stricken nuclear nations going to war: Eeeeeek … ! Scandinavian countries suggested to the UN that both India and Pakistan be shifted to the North Pole. Even Mars. Somalia approved.

*Take a look: Crossing borders: Why every Indian should visit Pakistan*

But the nature of Indo-Pak relations has changed ever since the 9/11 episode in which the CIA agents staged a devastating attack on the Twin Towers in New York and blamed it on a couple of pious men learning to fly.

Experts suggest that India does not pose a threat to Pakistan anymore, nor does Pakistan pose a threat to India. However, many believe India poses a threat to itself and Pakistan poses a threat to itself as well.

That sounded grammatically awkward.

Anyway, Nobel-Prize winning Pakistani dentist and talk show host, Dr Daantist, believes that those preaching peace between India and Pakistan are trying to sell-out the Kashmir cause and dissuade Pakistani fast bowlers from eating beef. Somalia approved.

Have a look: 7 things that make a Pakistani feel at home in India

Meanwhile, perturbed by the peace processes; the dangerous anti-India musings of Aamir Khan; and Naxalite sympathies of authors such as Reena Roy, India elected a pious man, Narendra Mojo Modi, as India’s new Prime Minister.

He reprimanded the former Indian PM, Om Puri, for accepting boring peace overtures of the Pakistanis and not being paranoid enough.

He promised his generals at least three more wars against Pakistan, two against China, and one each against Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Rwanda.

To demonstrate this, he arrested a dangerous Pakistani spy (a pigeon) and handed it over to the head of the Indian intelligence agency (a parrot).

Relations have once again deteriorated between the two countries. Somalia feels kind of left out.


Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, February 14th, 2016

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1239257/indo-pak-relations-a-brief-history

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