India Pakistan Ringa-ringa-rosy....

Oh, sure. They would l-o-v-e to discuss all - repeat, all - issues in a fair, frank, honest, straightforward, decent, upright, righteous, moral, correct, upfront candid manner, We all know that. Oh, how well we know that! They are in fact quite keen to take forward their Indo-Pak agenda with unprecedented vigour. I can even surmise the to-do list of the visitors:

  1. Eat Parathas in Paratha Galli; enquire recipe. Threaten if not made available
  2. Eat Rossogullas from Calcutta; they already have recipes - so they think. So no recipe required
  3. Discuss what the story of Dabang - 2 will be
  4. Make fun of Indian Cricket Team in good humour, offer Coaching Expertise in a Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winning initiative
  5. Offer the honour of a cricket tour to India
  6. Visit Fatehpur Sikri
  7. Visit Malls in New Delhi
Eh? What's that you say? 26/11? Dont remember. Now be a sport-  give a hint to us visitors will you? No, no, no, no, wait. I got it! 26/11 we had asked India to send us some Strawberries, which we hadnt received. Never mind, we will forgive India for that. Send them over now, will you? Thanks a bunch, mate. 

I know the above sounds sarcastic, but I think I have genuinely put forward what the common people think of Pakistani sincerity in doing anything concrete about the real problems afflicting the relationship. Sad part is that both countries are paying for it. Worse still, strident calls from moderates are in danger of dwindling; and that would be a sad day for India. Cynicism is the order of the day among the normal people of India towards Pakistani overtures, and the Government is not unaware of this reality. It speaks volumes for the Indian Governments strategy and courage that they are still keeping tongue in check, and looking for diplomatic solutions. For the alternative does not bear thinking about; it is in Indian interests to ensure a stable Pakistan. And thus it is that yet again, we open our land and our hearts to the visitors from across the border. Welcome, sir - welcome. But we, the people of India, dont have much in the way of hope from this visit, In fact, most of us have precisely none. Previous experience with you is a very effective barrier to trust, sorry...

Luckily, our Media is not going gaga over this visit. Full marks to Indian Media for that! And as far as the initiative is concerned, it is welcome - my sarcasm notwithstanding. Dialogue is anyday better than Bullets. My only point is that let us not hype this visit - let it be low-key; and let us expect nothing out of it. They have to act on our grievances for our negativity to change into positivity - I mean the Indian People's negative view of our neighbour. Perhaps downplaying the hype will create the needed atmosphere in due course of time, as the nay-sayers will not be under public pressure. Worth a thought, that. Lets forget that this guy is coming over, and expect nothing. For nothing is what will be achieved over the short term. But one can only hope that keeping the door open will lead to results in the time-honoured Indian peaceful tradition...


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