Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Asian Union a la European Union? Where do they get these ideas from?

The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Sharm el Sheikh revisited
Former Foreign Secretary, Salman Haidar, revisits Sharm el Sheikh.
But there is no sound basis for such criticism.
He is quite dismissive of the sharm at Sharm el Sheik without offering any new explanations.
In a spirited address to Parliament, the Prime Minister explained his aim: Pakistan has made a frequent grievance of India’s supposed involvement in Baluchistan, and as this is entirely untrue, there is no need for India to look as if it must avoid talking about it.
It doesn't occur to our former foreign secretary that by including Baluchistan in an official statement, we are giving legitimacy to Pakistan's hallucinations and paranoia. Now, Pakistan can go around witch-hunting for evidence. If it can't find evidence, it can create it. Why even get to evidence, it can be content with propaganda. We all know how propaganda and allegations were enough to justify American invasion of Iraq. Mentioning Baluchistan in the statement is important for its symbolism. For the first time, PM Manmohan Singh has given an opportunity to Pakistan to legitimize a baseless allegation. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of foreign relations knows the importance of this symbolism. I am sure it is not lost on our former foreign secretary, Salman Haidar. But like most authors writing for Chindu, he is indulging in distortions and misinterpretations to suit the agenda of self-destructive liberalism.
The only available modality is dialogue, which can now usefully be resumed, for to remain indefinitely disengaged would yield little and could mean that opportunity would be lost.
This is such a poor justification for dialogue and a gross display of dis-ingenuity. Why wouldn't a little posturing work better than greasing up and bending over? The urgency to rush to the discussion table is foolish. Is it hard for the former foreign secretary, Salman Haidar, to see that India and Pakistan are moving along different trajectories, which will only push India into a better bargaining position? Once again, this turns out to be a rhetorical question. It only points to a case of arguing against national interests by the esteemed former foreign secretary.
Looking further ahead, India needs now to view its neighbourhood relations, especially with Pakistan, in the context of its ever expanding international role.
Talking of looking at our neighbours, it might help the former diplomat to consider how China behaves with India. In case Salman Haidar forgot, China happens to be our neighbour after its occupation of Tibet and China also has an ever expanding international role. Makes me wonder if Mr. Haider thinks foreign relations implies relationship with Pakistan. If he had others in his view, he would have considered that China does not make any sort of conciliatory gestures towards India, leave alone concessions. I am in no position to tell this former Foreign Secretary, but surely he could learn a thing or two from China's foreign relations, especially against India.

We have so many people getting onto the chindu bandwagon and telling us how to behave with Pakistan. Why don't these guys demand from China the same kind of treatment that they expect India to give to Pakistan. Surely, foreign relations is not a one-way street.
Within the Asian region, the demands of a new security architecture have come under serious consideration. Some strategists have envisaged an Asian Union that would eclipse in size and significance the EU and be a dominant global entity for the 21st century.
Our eminent diplomat must have heard of partition and the reason behind it? Seriously, where do these strategists get these ideas from. The term "shadowy" he used earlier to describe strategists applies to those who come up with such ideas. How could some one who has been in foreign policy even do anything but be forthrightly dismissive of it. With the collapse of USSR, EU gained some form in a unipolar world. However, the unifying factor between all the small states within EU is the cultural similarity. That is the reason why the admission of Turkey, which is culturally different from the rest of EU, is being opposed. Cultural difference is also the reason why muslims seceded to form Pakistan.

(No matter what we think of cultural nationalism, it is true that our nation is held together, and may be even defined, by the extraordinarily tolerant culture of Hinduism. Islamic countries have hardly been at peace with themselves, leave
alone their neighbours. Muslim majority areas in Kashmir and, more recently, North
Kerala talk of seceding from India.)

For a foreign secretary to talk of Asian union is a sorry state of affairs for our country. It shows that our system is generating individuals who have a dysfunctional and idiotic view of the world. With writers like these, chindu is now turning into a free speech asylum for the lunatics.

1 comment:

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Nice summary, especially where you mention the elementary difference of culture variation in "AU" as opposed to EU. Merely dishing out rhetoric might sound fanciful for the retired diplomat, but the readers are happily taken for a ride.

What precisely is the "ever expanding role of India" in international affairs"? To condemn in new words, in tandem with the US, everytime something it doesn't like happens in the world? Leave the world, our role is still limited in our own Sub-Continent (Indian Union ;-), if you can excuse the poor joke :) ). We don't have strong enough words to condem attrocities in Mynammar, Bangladesh etc, what will we do "expanding our role" in international affairs?

Like I was mentioning in the other post, The Hindu is the only institution that thinks Sharm-el Sheikh was not a failure. Even the government thinks it is a failure, but not Hindu!

- Sudhir