Quote of the Week: “Peace: A good idea that nobody wants”

As tensions along the Line of Control continue, Badar Iqbal Chaudhary writes in Dawn on Pakistan-India peace: a good idea that nobody wants:”

“Unfortunately, [peace] is a good idea that nobody wants. There are few buyers and even fewer sellers of it… The politicians of the two countries appear to not want it because war is a good rallying point… The degree of the desire for peace in the two armies is also hard to assess what with their bread and butter linked to an ever-present enemy… The people are the victim of propaganda; the media, a hostage to popular public opinion. It is a never-ending rut where the second suckles off the first and then feeds it right back to the first. War and strife are a selling story, which brings ratings… How do we ever achieve peace in the region then, especially when no stakeholders want it? Where do we start?”

What’s your take? Weigh in below.


Image: Asit Kumar-AFP, Getty

Posted in , India, India-Pakistan Relations, Pakistan, Peace, Quotes

Julia Thompson

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4 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: “Peace: A good idea that nobody wants”

  1. Makes perfect sense. As long as war yields significant dividends to military industrial complexes and is used as a tool to muster up domestic support as the BJP so often does, it will always be a never-ending rut. The only peacemakers are the ‘ doves’ who are labeled as ‘ idealists’ who fail to understand that Pakistan or India could easily ‘ gobble’ each other up, as is the case with the MI’s frustration over Nawaz Sharif’s constant urge to foster amiable ties with the NM government or nefarious designs such as the CSD come to suggest. Ironically, Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and India’s NFU policy, puts the stability instability paradox into perspective, which many war mongers either fail to understand or plan to capitalize on.

  2. I agree with My Chaudhary’s thoughts on the issue.
    The powers that be do not seem interested in peace. Greater people to people contacts are the building blocks for a peaceful and stable relationship. The unfortunate reality is that given visa and other kinds of hurdles, such contacts are few and far between. Thinking of the entire situation, recall a popular saying, Pehle kya aaya, anda ya murgi… What comes first, P2P contact or change in leaders’ mindsets…

  3. While India is more comfortable with the status quo over the LoC, as established by the Simla agreement, while it is not facing a domestic political unrest, in so far as the centre is concerned, while it is engaging with the world to open up avenues for trade and investment, I would hardly think that the Indian government or the Army would want war. To earn bread and butter, Indian Army has much to catch vis-a-vis China. I do not see how war or just the cross-border shellings would benefit India.

    On the other hand, Pakistan is going through a delicate phase of transition. The centre faces terrible domestic unrest. Would it not make sense for Pakistan government to keep the Kashmir issue alive and divert the masses’ frustration. When young educated (I presume he is) politicians like Bilawal Bhutto shout and roar to call to take the entire Kashmir back, I wonder how the hardliners would approach the issue. There I ofcourse assume the young and educated ones to not be hardliners.

    If peace were to be established, nations and their political leaders will have to stop relying on territorial disputes to ensure survival of their governments. These territorial disputes and the purpose behind war have much to do with the stability at the centre of the two nations. If there is ever a situation when Pakistan will have a stable government and a booming economy, even if it does not agree to resolve the Kashmir issue immediately, it would still not be bothered to either engage in war or internationalize the issue.

  4. Though it is a very thought-provoking and truth-telling piece by Badar Iqbal Chaudhary, but I tend to differ when he says that ““Unfortunately, [peace] is a good idea that nobody wants. There are few buyers and even fewer sellers of it… .” I would argue that there are many buyers and even many sellers of the idea of peace between the two countries. Unfortunately, only few from both sides, who are in power corridors, have hijacked the narratives–thus playing the roles of spoilers. it seems that powerful bureaucracy in India is the major spoiler as it is causing inertia in Indian foreign policy especially vis-a-via Pakistan and China.

    Spoilers in Pakistan are more strong who have very cleverly depoliticized the society and injected their concocted narrative into the blood of poor masses. Dr Wassem, a noted Pakistani social scientist, writes about these spoilers: “A cumulative effect of the growing divide between the establishment and society at large is that various sections of the latter are considered less patriotic than others. If you belong to a religious minority — Hindu, Christian or Ahmadi — or to an ethnic minority, such as the Baloch, your credentials as a true Pakistani are far from enviable. If you are a pro-democracy liberal, you are a security threat. If you are an independent journalist, you must prove your muscle in the media war with India. Any exercise in a dispassionate analysis about the official policy raises eyebrows.” (http://tribune.com.pk/story/774757/can-the-establishment-change-its-mind/)

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