XMAG

Give Peace a Chance

Fahad Lakhwera (2012-Civil)

To shake hands or not to shake hands, to talk or not to talk, the Indo-Pak Prime Ministers and National Security Advisors have miserably failed to launch a billionaire-viewership episode of the Jaw-Jaw diplomacy. Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi, Sartaj Aziz and Ajit Doval may not talk to each other- at each other or not at all, but the folks living on either side share a long history of culture, traditions, customs, mentality, attitude and school of thoughts.

Even when upper-level talks fail, there are huge chances of lower-level folk talks to just oxygen the process and reinforce it enough to break the ice and build the trust. A recent viral music video “Aisi Tesi Democracy” and its counter “Aisi Tesi Hypocrisy” suggest that both countries have far more in common than their politicians admit. Instead of terrorism and blame games, both sides’ citizens have a lot of issues to get resolved.

Is Imran Khan a better all-rounder than Kapil Dev? Is Atif Aslam’s voice more soulful than that of Arjit Singh? Is Lata Mangeshkar a better singer than Noor Jahan? Are Pakistani Sindhri Mangoes more juicy than Indian Chaunsa? Does the food street of Delhi offer more taste than Lahore’s food street? Is Faiz a far better lyricist than Gulzar? Who hosts more fat-extravagant marriages, Pakistan or India?

Are Jalandhri and Amritsari sweets more mouthful than Lahori and Lyalpuri sweets? Are the people of Pakistan more religious and dutiful than their rival Indians? If India has Kumbh Mela attracting a multitude of followers to purify their hearts, Pakistan has Raiwand Ijtemah inviting millions for redeeming the sins and following the right teachings. If India has Laal-Qilaa in Delhi, Pakistan has Shahi-Qilaa in Lahore, both depicting the grandeur and majesty of Mughal Emperors. If India has Independence Gate, Pakistan has Minar-e-Pakistan.

It becomes hard to resist the waves of patriotism and chauvinism goosebumping us whenever there is a high-voltage Cricket Match between the rivals. Who can forget Shahid Afridi bashing Lakhsmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan during the 2005 Indo-Pak series and Sachin Tendulkar hammering Shoaib Akhter and Wasim Akram during the 2003 World Cup?

Both the sides have two big governing families currently in demise- the Bhuttos and Gandhis- amazingly captained by youngster Bilawal Bhutto and Rahul Gandhi. While there is RSS in Bombay, Karachi has MQM. If Pakistan has morality enforcing Mullahs, India has moral-caretaker police imposing bans on personal freedom and cracking the handholding couples.

When it comes to entertainment, people of both sides seem addicted to it. How can the Pakistanis’ love for Bollywood actors hide and the Indians’ affinity for Pakistani dramas conceal? And how the Shoaib-Sania marriage could be forgotten that sparked the hope of peace on both sides?

Though both the countries share same trees, crops, land, clouds, storms, sky, stars, mountains, rivers, birds and animals, they share same enmity, animosity, hostility, hatred and deterrence too. Because, for 67 years, hate has been preached on both sides; insanity has prevailed over sanity. Hate has been sold cheaply, but love has been denounced and rejected.

The greater purpose of peace, progress and prosperity for which both countries got independence, have not got a chance up till now because neither of the side has been willing to listen to the other with patience and tolerance, with which Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru used to sit together to discuss and solve the issues.

Problems occur, conflicts take place, disputes exist, but all are discussed and solved on the table talks. Without Jaw-Jaw diplomacy, if the problems, conflicts and disputes become severe, clouds of war float and surround the nations and the deadly aftereffects are injured, crippled and an orphan society lamenting and repenting on the past, that could not be undone.

Instead of Nuclear deterrence, both countries should have a positive and healthy competition in the field of democracy, economy, education, life-standards, cricket, entertainment, and the preservation of minority rights. Moreover, peace, progress and prosperity should be seen prevailing on both sides with the issues and disputes solved, because only then will the true purpose of freedom be accomplished.

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