Relations between India and Pakistan Continue to Improve

By Ali, M. M. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 2005 | Go to article overview

Relations between India and Pakistan Continue to Improve


Ali, M. M., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Donning what is popularly known as the Jinnah cap, named after the founder of Pakistan, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with his Pakistani counterpart, Mahmoud Qasuri, Feb. 18 in Islamabad. Per the agreements, Delhi and Islamabad will open up bus routes between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, Amritsar and Lahore, and work on establishing a route between Manabao, India, and Khokrapar, Pakistan. The MOUs also call for the reopening of diplomatic missions in Mumbai and Karachi, in addition to facilitating a gas pipeline that will originate in Iran and travel via Pakistan to India.

Commenting prior to Singh's visit to the Pakistani capital, Indian journalist M.J. Akbar had reported that the foreign minister was not willing to make any advance comments because "he was going to walk on several land mines" before reaching any final agreements. Regardless of however many projects ultimately see the light of day, however, Singh's visit and meetings with Qasuri, Pakistani Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz and President Pervez Musharraf may be described as high points between the two countries.

The vexing problem of Kashmir apparently was not addressed in the MOUs. Perhaps that needs to wait. Concerning the dispute over India's planned construction of the Baghlihar dam, which could decrease the supply of water to Pakistan in violation of 1960s Indus Water's Treaty, Islamabad has decided to seek World Bank arbitration.

The United States, United Kingdom and China rushed to congratulate the South Asian states on reaching the agreements. It is no secret that Washington has been urging the subcontinent's nuclear neighbors to keep the lines of communication open between them and maintain peace.

Post-BJP India

The rather unexpected victory of the Indian National Congress in the country's May 2004 elections has led to the exposure of numerous inequities and high handedness under BJP rule in the past decade. Without being vengeful, the new government nevertheless has appointed commissions and committees to investigate the misdeeds committed by its predecessor. The most severe damage appears to have been shortcircuiting human rights and fomenting enmity between India's Hindus and Muslims. For instance, reports are now coming out accusing BJP stalwarts such as Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Bal Thackrey and others of spearheading a campaign of hatred. Even Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been implicated in the Dec. 6, 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid. Sadly, the BJP-particularly Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena-is being held responsible for the killing of Muslims in Gujarat in 2001. To no one's surprise, these cases remain in limbo in India's courts of law.

Current provincial elections in states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have brought out a volley of charges between BJP leaders and their opponents. This includes the Hindu religious Mutts (retreats), which had become dens of criminal activity where murders were committed and sexual misconduct was widespread. Videos showing the latter activity are presently being broadcast on family television.

However, the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been preoccupied with providing justice to BJP victims. In the course of delivering the LaI Bahadur Shastri Memorial Lecture in Delhi on Feb. 4, Foreign Minister Singh gave a discourse on the history of India, in particular the last hundred years, maintaining that, while India is a diverse entity, it nevertheless possesses an inherent unity. He dismissed the argument that India's Muslims are intruders, describing them instead as equal contributors with Hindus to the Indian culture. Taking strong exception to BJP hard-liners who question the loyalty of India's Muslims, Natwar Singh saw a greater problem with the Hindu caste system that has kept the country divided and artificially created layers. He urged Indian intellectuals to help remove caste barriers and assist the country in finding unity among diversity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Relations between India and Pakistan Continue to Improve
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.