The Need for India to Engage in ‘Disaster Diplomacy’ with Pakistan

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ejazr, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/TheNeedforIndiatoEngageinDisasterDiplomacywithPakistan_mozkan_180810
    Mehmet Ozkan
    Pakistan is experiencing one of the worst disasters in history. Floods have devastated the country killing more than 1500 people and leaving many people homeless. The number of people suffering from this natural disaster could exceed 13 million, which is, according to UN officials, more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

    International media and international organizations are focusing on the issue and trying to develop a prompt response to handle the situation better. Since last week, it has been the major issue covered in the front pages of major international newspapers. However, if you live in India and do not have the habit of following the international media, you are unlikely to know the grave nature of the disaster. The Indian media have a strong tendency, wittingly or unwittingly, to ignore developments in the near neighbourhood and do not even bother to give the full account of the disaster. Why is that so? What makes India (and Indian media) ignore the unfolding disaster in Pakistan?

    It is true that India also has its own flood issue in Leh and trying to remedy the negative effects of it. However, considering the geographical area and the number of people affected in Leh, it does not get much coverage in the international media compared to Pakistan, because it is not a big issue. To indicate this point, even Indian media does not cover the disaster as much in Leh compared to the corruption in the Common Wealth Games.

    First of all, this indicates, again, the lack of a strategic framework in India when it comes to Pakistan. Any strategic framework that focuses only on war-time situation is not more than a war strategy in its essence. Strategic framework has the strategies of both war-time and peacetime in terms of how to handle the other side and in what terms. India has indicated a willingness to continue negotiations with Pakistan and is willing to pursue this process. If India is indeed serious about this, nothing may be more useful to underline this than flood disaster in Pakistan. It is a winning situation for India in any case. India should highly publicize its strong intention to send aid to Pakistan directly and indirectly; whether it is rejected or accepted is the issue of Pakistani elite. Pakistan needs millions in aid following the floods to reconstruct and rebuild all the destroyed lives. It will keep Pakistan busy for quite some time. If India is interested in seizing this opportunity, it is time to do so. If Pakistan accepts Indian help, it will be a moral advantage for India; if Pakistan rejects it, given the circumstances on the ground, India will win the hearts of Pakistani public and the only loser will be Pakistani authorities.

    There are two basic reasons why India should do so. First, India should understand that historical conflicts between nations can only be solved through society-to-society interaction. Governing elites are interested in solving such conflicts only if it serves another high interest of the state, which rarely happens. India has shown the signs of understanding this approach when it offered to trade with Pakistan directly. During the time of crises and disasters, people do not ask from whom the help is coming. What they care about is the help itself. In international conflict resolution, there is a term called ‘disaster diplomacy’, which explains how a disaster in one country may open new ways of interaction and how it brings a new perspective to the persisting issues. In 1999, when Turkey had the earthquake, one of the first to help was Greece – then the historical and immediate enemy of Turkey both in the eyes of public and governing elite. Greek help to Turkey and later Turkish help to Greece during its own earthquake in 2000 opened up a new way of seeing each other, and brought a new perspective and understanding between societies. After ten years, now Turkey and Greece enjoy the best relations ever in their history and those who write on Turkish-Greek relations do emphasise the role of disaster diplomacy. This is India’s time, if India is serious to push for a dialogue with Pakistan and to have better relations in future. Societies often have short memories. Historical wars and enmity can be forgotten, but a help to those in need is difficult to forget. In retrospect, one should also note here that India pushed for dialogue and negotiations with Pakistan when it was not a right time both for the other party and international community. But these floods may open new prospects.

    The second reason is that both the negative and positive results of these floods in Pakistan are likely to affect India much more than any other state. If Pakistan becomes a failed state or a totally militarily controlled state, it will have its repercussions first on India-Pakistan relations. Similarly, if extremists and radical elements emerge stronger in Pakistan in the wake of this disaster, that is also likely to hit India first. Indians should understand that the destiny of India and Pakistan is interlinked. It was the same before partition, and is the same even after partition. Those who write Indian history cannot do so properly without any reference to Pakistan; and those who write Pakistan’s history cannot do so without India.

    What is at stake in Pakistan today is also at stake for India. If India is willing to show its humanitarian and global power role, here is the opportunity. And this is a show in which India has nothing to lose. The decision is up to the Indian elite but those who miss historical opportunities usually have to wait several decades more, if not a century, to get a second chance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India should announce a billion dollars in aid to pakistan *.
     
  4. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    apne karmo ki saja bhugat raha hai pakistan

    allah ka kaha tuth raha hai un par
     
  5. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    the fine print has progressed from advertising to diplomacy, good
    personally against exploiting natural calamities for our interests but as they say everything's fair in war, so hope our politicians take note
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  6. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Are you serious or being sarcastic? You should be worried about resettling the people of Leh in Ladakh rather than show sympathy with the country that has always conspired against us and attacked us. I am shocked you say this despite the kind of terrible acts Pakistan has committed against us.

    An individual can be a great spiritual being and can forgive his enemy but when a nation tries to imitate this individual, it only brings about its own suicide. That 1 billion should be given to the Leh's victims rather than even consider offering money to Pakistan.

    That country is reaping the fruits of its actions against its entire neighbourhood whether it is us or terrorism in Afghanistan. How long do you think we should continue to act noble? Everytime we are the ones who take the first step of diplomacy. Buddy, our doctors have treated hundreds of Pakistani people for free from life-threatening diseases. It makes India a hero in their hearts who are poor people and don't hold any power to change Pakistan's official policy.

    An aid to them is only that much loss to us. If we were like USA economy and living standards wise, I would also encourage this. We have got money but we haven't got so much to waste it on an enemy country.
     
  7. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    Yusuf, seems like you got the barrage of mouthfull you were expecting
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    The Turkish author of this article indeed with show softness towards the victims of Pakistan. Turk-Pakistani relationships are amazingly high and are at par with India-Israel relations, almost like a counterweight. How much has Turkey contributed to the floods? Even if it has, why should we Indians contribute? A country that contributed in hundreds of terrorist attacks against innocent Indians throughout its existence needs to suffer its own karma at the hands of nature. Imagine the curses each innocent Indian would have uttered from their hearts against Pakistan just before his or her life went away in the face of bullets and bombs; all these curses have materialized.

    If Turkey and fanatic Saudi Arabians are interested in donating to their puppet the Pakistanis, let them donate. We Indians are barely having enoough for ourselves
     
  9. hungo

    hungo Regular Member

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    India offered aid they refused, then only accepted after white house arm twisting.Seriously it takes real arrogance to blindly refuse aid when begging the world over and millions of their people are suffering.
    At best this episode turned away a few more willing donors.
     
  10. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    The simple reason aid was refused was because they were seriously embarassed taking the aid from "evil Zionist India" as the famous quote goes around. :emot15:

    I even wonder why USA has to meddle into everything that is related to sub-continent. Obama should mind his own business rather than meddle in our affairs. And whatever respect I had for the CON-gress as a Sikkimese Vajrayana Buddhist, that also has vanished after their string of lies and treacheries that has already been an integral part in ruining our beautiful east. This will be kept in mind when I vote next time. India is perhaps the only country in the world who offers so much love to its sworn enemies.
    :angry_10:
     
  11. hungo

    hungo Regular Member

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    Thanks to floods aid is flowing in and all that sweet lovely western cash is being lovingly accepted.It's just that no matter what ever has befallen Pakistan they won't accept low grade Indian-zionist money cause it is no good.
    Seriously if in such crisis a country can be this selective makes me wonder where all the AID will end up.

    LoL congress will feel your wrath come election time my sikkimese friend :happy_2:
     
  12. ganesh177

    ganesh177 Regular Member

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    I dont know what point is author trying to make.
    As if donating loads of indian rupee we are supposed to win some strategic victory. I dont believe that is going to change anything between india and pakistan, and neither world will start bothering for india. Instead that will keep us mourning for coming years why did we shell out so much money from our pockets when our own poor class is in need of that.

    5mn is enough to make a neighbourhood gesture, nuff said.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Lol Shash Dengzongpa fell for it.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Actually as far fetched as it sounds this is not a bad idea as long as all the terms that go along with it are accepted and it should be done in installments and the amount need not start out so high 10 million should be ok
    (compared to what China gave).
     
  15. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Does anyone has any article or link for talkshow of Pakistaini reaction for such a big contribution from China ?
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    LF see the star in my post mate. I am a bitter opponent of aid to pak.
     
  17. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Looks like you watched that Talk show where a Pakistani officer mentioned about 1 billion for Bangladesh and 1.6 Billion AID for Afganistan.
    :emot15:
     
  18. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    better send 50% of army doctors and other medical staff to Pakistan, that will help them and will cool them off...........:emot0:
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Yes mate I did where that stupid colonel from there was showing he is a nut.
     
  20. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Beggars with Attitude . Only one sentence came to my mind.
     
  21. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Brotherhood never fails, they will give weapons for free :emot180:
     

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