Monday June 17, 2024

Pakistan always friendly to India even in the face of her dualism

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
October 22, 2019

One of the principles of foreign policy of Pakistan is promotion of friendliness and goodwill towards all nations of the world, in general, and of South Asia, in particular. The country’s government and people have always been keen on fair play in national and international dealings, and never lagged behind in making their utmost contribution to peace, prosperity and harmony among the neighbouring countries.

The men and women who struggled for a new homeland in the sub-continent had great ideals based on brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man. They aspired for these ideals because of dual domination by foreign rulers and a caste-ridden social system. The majority of Pakistanis are Muslims and, as such, members of the Islamic brotherhood in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. As followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) they believe in tolerance of other creeds. The same message to the world was delivered by the architect of Pakistan through his addresses, broadcasts and interviews. Now every Pakistani carries with him the same feeling when he visits any part of the Republic of India, and interacts with common people there with human love reflected by an old couplet of philosopher-poet Iqbal: Hindu, Muslim, Sikh aur Eesai aapas mein hein bhai bhai.

Many freedom fighters like Pandat Jawahar Lal Nehru used to extol the revolutionary poetry of Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ustad Daman, but they did not back up their words with action. How badly Muslim Kashmiri men and women and their children are treated in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is an eye-opener to advocates of democracy and human rights. The Indian-held Kashmiris have been struggling for their right to self-determination since the partition of the sub-continent. How many innocent Pakistani nationals have been brutally beaten up and tortured to death by the Indian police in and outside jails over the years speaks of the ferocity which, for sure, an honest American lexicographer will describe as terror.

Unforgettable are many such events. Young Khalid Mahmood, who taught English at a school in Lahore border town Dera Abdul Hakim, went to India in November 2005 to watch a cricket match between Pakistan and India in Mohali through proper channel after obtaining a visa from the Indian embassy. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old teacher lost his passport. He was arrested by an Indian intelligence agency when he was on his way to the Pakistan High Commission to report the loss of his document. The teacher’s family learnt about his arrest in 2006 on receipt of a letter sent by Khalid Mahmood. The school teacher’s mother, sister and a brother went to India , and filed an appeal in a court of law for his release, but they had to return home disappointed within a week. They were harassed and terrorized by the Indian intelligence agencies. The hapless Pakistani citizen, rotting in jail, was subjected to constant physical and mental torture for exaction of information of choice by the special staff concerned, which the Indian government could use against Pakistan as and when needed for an anti-neighbour propaganda. But Khalid Mahmood was just a teacher also known as a good cricket player. He had gone to India as an ambassador of love with a spirit of brotherhood to promote friendship through sportsmanship.

Khalid Mahmood went to India alive but returned dead: India has been exposed once again. That reminds one how four Pakistanis were kidnapped and locked up in a first-floor ward of Amritsar Jail. They were traveling by train to India on proper documents. The Indian government, when contacted officially, told the Pakistani department concerned that “nothing of the sort has happened”, and “there are no Pakistanis of such and such names in our custody.” But soon the four Pakistanis were able to cross Wagah and return home safe and sound in April 1957. The great escape laid bare India ’s lie.

There is another case of breach of international law and morality. A Lahore college student on a visit to East Punjab to meet his former primary school fellows, Mohan, Roshan and Joseph, was taken into custody and imprisoned in the same jail. The college boy was forced to stand for hours on toes and cane-charged in violation of the UN Charter and human rights. An enlightened judge exonerated the student because the special police inspector failed to prove the allegation leveled against him. Khalid Mahmood, too, was charged with spying without any substantial proof, or material evidence. He was reportedly kept in Gurgaon Jail of Haryana state where he was tortured to death in February and his body handed over to Pakistan at Wagah after a month.

Rampant is the tale of Indian intelligence agencies. Ramdas, instead of demotion, was rewarded for an unsuccessful attempt to incarcerate an innocent Pakistani college boy. He was promoted to the rank of inspector. But, a year later, he was nabbed along with a bicycle near a picture-house in Gowalmandi area of Lahore while he was spying. The Indian spies have been active on the Kashmir front as well as in Swat, Waziristan and Balochistan. But they have cut a sorry figure despite covert Indian facilitation through her intelligence and diplomatic network in Afghanistan , particularly Kandahar . How can the American CIA officials be unaware of this fact? The Indian intelligence agencies, especially RAW, were fond of choosing Azad Jammu and Kashmir places like Bandi Abbaspur, Khui Ratta, Hajeera, and Chakar etc. for spying against Pakistan. But bad luck always blocked their way. Pakistani soldiers were alert all the time and the moment any Indian spy crossed into AJK territory he was caught.