Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: World

Peace with Pakistan

On 18/4/2012 Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called for resolution of Siachen and other issues. He said the two countries cannot keep spending on defence alone and forget about development. This came after Pakistan’s 127 soldiers and 11 civilians were buried alive by an avalanche on 7/4/2012 and searches are on for them.

Kayani’s statement is welcome but India should not throw caution to the wind. India should not vacate Siachen in a hurry. We know what happened in Kargil. After Kayani’s retirement next General may have different ideas about peace with India. Nawaz Sharif wanted peace with India. Atal Behari Vajpayee took bus to Lahore. A few months later Kargil War happened. Then Pervez Musharraf deposed Nawaz Sharif and sent him to jail.

Pakistan’s relationship with USA has been hostile for some years. Now China is also not happy with Pakistan due to terrorism in Sinkiang. Pakistan does not have many friends. After American helicopters entered Abbottabad, killed Osama Bin Laden and dumped his body into the sea, Pakistanis have questioned their army’s usefulness. After the death of some Pakistani soldiers in an American air raid Pakistan stopped NATO supply routes in Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have made progress in recent years. Asif Ali Zardari’s private visit on 8/4/2012 helped to move things forward. Sometimes USA has played a spoiler in Indo-Pak relations. USA opposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. Days before Zardari’s visit USA announce 10 million dollars bounty on Hafiz Sayeed. Hafiz Sayeed appeared on TV channels and said he was not hiding and if USA gives him 10 million dollars he will tell them of his whereabouts. USA said they knew about his whereabouts, the bounty was for evidence to prosecute him. Strange that USA declares bounty without evidence.

On 15/4/2012 there were attacks on American, British, German and Russian embassies and many other buildings in Afghanistan. Indians were not attacked. The attackers whether Taliban or Haqqani network, operated from Pakistan. They also freed around 380 prisoners in Pakistan.

Will Pakistan agree to vacate Kashmir? It gave some territory to China in 1967. China is in illegal occupation of Indian territory. Gen. J. J. Singh (Retd), Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, said India should give and take to solve border dispute with China. What does he mean? Does he mean India should give up Aksai Chin because it is in Chinese occupation? What will India take from China? China has nothing to give to India. If China claims two parts of India as its own and occupies illegally one part that does not mean India should accept China’s claim in return for China’s recognition of other part that was and is India’s. China claims whole of Arunachal Pradesh and calls it South Tibet. There are some Chinese sympathizers in India who say cartography was not correct when the maps were drawn. India did not have border with China. India had border with Tibet. China annexed Tibet. India should tell China to get out of Tibet. If India accepts Chinese claim on Aksai Chin because China occupies Aksai Chin, India will have to give up its claim on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Trade between India and Pakistan can increase and that can cement peace between two countries. Solving some issues can take a long time.

Rupee as global currency

Iran has agreed to accept 45% of payment to oil export to India in rupees. BRICS members have agreed to accept each other’s currencies. India has an opportunity to make rupee a global currency.

India can ask Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and other countries to accept rupee payments for oil exports. If they refuse India can say we will stop importing oil from you and import more oil from Iran. Similarly India can have negotiations with various countries for acceptance of rupee. India can begin with SAARC and ASEAN countries. Since Russia accepts rupee payment other former USSR countries can also accept rupee payment. Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, UK and South Korea are some of the major countries India will have to persuade. If Germany accepts rupee payment other euro zone countries will also accept rupee payment. After that it should not be difficult to persuade USA to accept rupee payments. USA gave up gold standard in 1971. In recent years it has printed additional notes valued at around one trillion dollars every year.

The government of India wants to sell bonds abroad. There is a suggestion that the sale should be in rupees because if the sale is in dollars if the rupee depreciates India will have to pay more in rupees. It is better if India does not borrow either at home or abroad. Whatever is borrowed has to be returned and not to return is immoral. Governments issue bonds and print notes to repay them and that leads to inflation.

India votes against Sri Lanka

On 22/3/2012 India voted against Sri Lanka in UNHRC, Geneva. Out of the 47 countries, 24 voted for the resolution, 15 against and 8 abstained. The resolution was moved by USA which has committed more war crimes than any other country in recent times. India was the only Asian country to vote against Sri Lanka. Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines, Cuba and some other countries voted against the resolution. India gave up its position of not voting in favour of any country specific resolution.

India’s human rights record is not good. AFSPA is in force in Kashmir and Manipur. Pakistan or some other country can move a resolution against India. When Benazir Bhutto was PM of Pakistan and P. V. Narasimha Rao was PM of India, Pakistan had moved a resolution against India.

USA and its allies have committed war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. NATO countries have killed 40,000 civilians in Libya. Robert Bales murdered 16 people, including 9 children, in Afghanistan. What about a resolution against USA for its war crimes? What about a resolution against NATO countries for their war crimes in Libya? It is time for some countries to move resolutions against USA and its allies and NATO countries.

Sarath Fonseka was the general who led the war against LTTE. There is no talk of prosecuting him.

LTTE had fought against IPKF. More than a thousand Indian soldiers died fighting LTTE.

Tamil politics as practiced by DMK and AIADMK triumphed. The government would not have fallen if DMK had walked out of UPA. BSP could have joined.

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