Islamabad, June 12 (IANS) Pakistan should deal with India in “a mature, well considered, cool manner” since that is likely to get more traction in the world today than even the most apoplectic indignation, a daily said on Friday.
Daily Times said in an editorial “Dangerous escalation” that Pakistan and India seem to have descended once again into one of their periodic bouts of provocative statements met by equally fierce responses.
“The current round of tit-for-tat statements and actions seems to have started with the Indian defence minister’s statement of countering terrorism with terrorism.
“Then Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a visit to Bangladesh freshened old wounds by boasting in Dhaka about his personal role in helping the Mukti Bahini fighting for the liberation of Bangladesh.”
The daily said that an Indian minister made reference to a “claimed Indian military raid into Myanmar to inflict significant casualties on rebels…as retaliation for an ambush last week that inflicted the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, as a message to Pakistan and other countries that India would retaliate at a time and place of its own choosing against terrorism directed against it”.
It noted that Pakistani civilian and military leadership has come out “all guns blazing and warned India against any misadventure, which in the words of our leadership across the board, would be met with an adequate response”.
The editorial went on to say that from former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari “Vajpayee and India’s perspective, the Kargil war that followed his outreach to then prime minister Nawaz Sharif was seen as a stab in the back and may have soured opinion in India against any rapprochement with Pakistan”.
“Certainly, since Vajpayee’s day, the Mumbai attacks did not help matters and still rankle in New Delhi because there has been no satisfactory closure of the case.”
The daily said that the kind of response that Islamabad has mounted to “India’s provocations can only be described as meeting belligerence with even more belligerence. Whether this is the wisest or most statesmanlike way to respond to obvious provocation can be questioned”.
“Perhaps the most appropriate response would have been a considered, cool riposte to India’s provocations, setting out Pakistan’s position that it desires peace but would not be bullied by threats or belligerence.”
Sounding a note of caution for Pakistan, the editorial said: “While we wax indignant about Modi’s crowing in Dhaka about his and his country’s role in the separation of East Pakistan, it may be salutary to reflect before we contemplate going to international forums such as the UN or the International Court of Justice (!) that our own culpability in the crisis of 1971 is likely to be raked up during such attempts.”
“If now we take up the gauntlet on the basis of perceived hurt, we could well end up getting hurt even more on the touchstone of international opinion regarding the events of 1971.”
The daily said that right now, the lack of information among current generations and even “self-serving disinformation may cloud our vision with the fog of time, distance, and enmity for a neighbouring country that under Modi seems determined to roll back all the hopes for peace and normalisation while continuing a dialogue on the issues that divide us”.
“Let us rise above, not fall into Modi’s trap in a mature, well considered, cool manner. That is likely to get more traction in the world today than even the most apoplectic indignation.”