No to Musharraf!


Even though Musharraf was the man behind Kargil and whose popular hobby is making India a hostage by holding a gun to his head, we are shamelessly giving him a red carpet welcome. On April 17th, Kargil mastermind and Pakistani “cross-border-terrorism-expert” dictator is arriving in India in the pretext of watching a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
Indian bloggers are uniting to protest this visit. Please join by displaying the above graphic in your blog. Details here.
Participating Bloggers: The Acorn, India Defence, Secular Right, Nerve Endings Firing Away, Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings, Seriously Sandeep, Dancing with Dogs, Rojnamcha, Niket Kaisare, Communism Watch, vichaar.org, Quizfan, Marwadi, Suren, Transport Phenomena, Akash Mahajan, Blog of Parag , Null Pointer, Rajagopal, Idhar Udhar, Rediff.com’s Rajeev Srinivasan, Sathish Kumar, Parag, Saket Vaidya, wgaf, sen’s spot, sudeep jain, Atanu Dey, Mahesh Ganapaty
Related Links: We are so flexible, Did Nawaz Sharif Know ?

39 thoughts on “No to Musharraf!

  1. Iam not convinced that protesting against Musharaff’s visit is the right way to go. Its in the common good to try out all possible options in trying to get the two nations together. If a visit would increase the possibility of the two nations coming together, then why not??

  2. >>Its in the common good to try out all possible options in trying to get the two nations together.
    Whaaat??? How many MORE options do you want India to explore, Krishna? Can you remember a single instance where the offer for peace talks came from Pakistan? It was always unidirectional: from India, and India alone. It’s not called “peace talks.” Cowardice is the word. And I’m also surprised that you still think that it is possible for India to talk peace with a terrorist leader, the architect of Kargil! And that with the thug-president recently declaring that he doesn’t repent for Kargil.
    >>If a visit would increase the possibility of the two nations coming together, then why not??
    And how many such “visits” have we seen in the past 6+ years? And more importantly, why has nothing yielded out of it? When Mushy rudely walked away from the so-called Taj Summit, it only made Vajpayee look like a cowardly fool.
    Krishna, you don’t “bring two nations together” with the begging bowl of peace in your hand. The dictator will have more fun making you cringe more and more. I suggest you begin reading the history of Indo-Pak relations post-independence till now. It’ll probably change your perceptions.
    Whew!

  3. “Lesser of the Two Evils”, Go Home
    But he is not welcome in MY India. Cricket diplomacy gets a shot in the arm once again when Musharraf visits India, presumably for the final ODI between India and Pakistan. But does cricket and diplomacy go well together,

  4. So what other alternatives do we have other than try and talk sense with our neighbours? Go all out and bomb them? How else do we help our poor human beings dying everyday in Kashmir? How can we forget that the number of people dying everyday in Kashmir has come down since we started the latest round of ceasefire with Pak?

    We even have had two-three wars with Pak. Has it helped solve the problem? So as is evident, violent ways are never an answer, they just help fuel the hatred for India among the newer generations of Pakis as well. We may defeat one generation of people, but that doesn’t help us achieve ever lasting peace. Its Love that prevails in the end.

    Musharaff may be a dictator, but he is still THE head of his state. We should respect him as such, and continue talks with him, as we would have done with a Nawaz Sherif or a Benazir Bhutto.

    >>When Mushy rudely walked away from the so-called Taj Summit,
    >>it only made Vajpayee look like a cowardly fool.
    That was a PR disaster. That should have been handled in a much more shrewder way than what was done.
    That said, talks do fail when both parties do not agree on a common item. This should be taken to stride. See how talks between LTTE and the Lanka Government are progressing. What do you suggest to them? Just because the tigers boycotted some meeting, ask their government to go declare an all out war? That would be the most nonsensical thing to do.
    Now here’s my view. In any confrontation, there are two sides. For both sides, their stand looks highly genuine. And there are other political compulsions for both sides, which causes them to do stuff that may not be liked by the other side. For example, do you think Musharaff would be the head of Pak if there had not been a Kargil? As time passes, these things should be and will be forgotten and both sides will work again towards their final goal. One side may havemade some compromises, or may be have some bruised ego, but thats all part of the game.

  5. Krishna,
    We even have had two-three wars with Pak. Has it helped solve the problem?
    Haven’t been talking with our neighbor for the past 50 odd years ? That obviously did not help either. It is not talks that has bought down the cross border terrorism, but the fencing in the border, excellent work by the Indian Army and pressure from other nations.

  6. I don’t think I agree with you guys here! It’s not that I am a fan of Musharaff. But I’d like to see a closure of the Kashmir issue – and it’s in the interest of the Indian subcontinent to find a solution. And for that it is necessary that the leaders of the two countries meet up and discuss and finalise some solution. Whatever it is we cannot wish away the fact that Musharaff is the leader of Pakistan. And hence it is essential that we have dialogue with him.
    War is not a solution for anything nor harping along that Kashmir belongs to us. We have to draw a line somewhere and move on. And cricket diplomacy if I may call this so – is a good step – in that it is another step in the direction of having a meaningful dialogue.
    Despite the Kargill misadventure, I think that Musharaff is perhaps the first politician from Pakistan who could perhaps talk some realpolitik.
    In our interest – we need a closure on the Kashmir issue at the earliest – we are wasting too much of our energy and resources because of this issue. We have lots of other key things to do – esp. since we do look like – by design or by default – will be key players in the global economic scene much earlier than we really would be ready for.
    Cheers,
    A proud Indian!

  7. “Even though Musharraf was the man behind Kargil and whose popular hobby is making India a hostage by holding a gun to his head, we are shamelessly giving him a red carpet welcome.”
    It is this kind of attitude as well as the cross border terrorism that is keeping Kashmir issue alive. In the interest of peace in the region, we have to continue to hold talks. That is the ONLY way around it – the alternative is an all out war, which hasn’t gotten us anything and in view of the prevailing situation, an all out war would pretty much have nuclear warheads – and no sane person would want that. The people who are supporting this ‘No to Musharaf’ campaign do not know the ABCD of diplomacy. boy!
    Anyways, in my view, the only hope is that we imporve relations by other means including trade partnership and you will see that both countries are dependent on eachother, which would make both countries think twice before doing foolish things. We just HAVE TO resolve this issue, but that is not by continuing the status-quo.

  8. Will Kashmir issue resolve if we conduct talks ? No. Because both countries have positions from which they cannot back off. So we will talk and talk and we have been talking even before I was born and nothing has happened.
    Should we give trade more peference. Yes. How about giving an MFN status to India ? It is always Pakistan that wants to resolve the Kashmir issue first and then only deal with trade while India thinks that with trade the situation in the region can improve and a solution to Kashmir can be found later. So if India agrees not to talk about Kashmir for 10 years will Pakistan agree. No.
    The people who are supporting this ‘No to Musharaf’ campaign do not know the ABCD of diplomacy.
    Ariel Sharon stopped talking to Arafat ? Did the sky fall down ? No. Arafat was silent while Palestinians were murdering Israelis and it was only right that the world shut him out. Now there is a new leader who can supresses the extremists the talks are back on.
    India should talk to elected officials of Pakistan, not to some dictator who threatens us with terrorists if Kashmir is not handed to him in a plate.

  9. You have got the facts wrong. Only recently India backed off from the position that Kashmir first & no cross border terrorism before the talks. Musharraf is no saint, but he is the leader of Pakistan – and you deal with whoever is in power and that is the basis of diplomacy. The failure of Agra was due to hardline positions on both sides about Kashmir being the frontline issue. And if you find a role model in Ariel Sharon, there isn’t much to say. By the way, the sky didn’t fall down when he refused to deal wiht Arafat, but things didn’t improve either. It actually got bloodier. I will sign off saying this – Youcan wait for democracy to dawn in Pakistan for the next 50 years, or you can talk to whoever is heading the country. I’d believe you have better luck with the latter.

  10. >>India should talk to elected officials of Pakistan, not to some dictator who threatens us with terrorists if Kashmir is not handed to him in a plate.
    Haven’t we talked to elected officials too before? They too had the same poltical compulsions as Musharaff. No Pakistani leader can survive in Pak if he opts out of the Kashmir issue. Its their survival thats at stake. And what difference would a elected official make? Will he be able to offer more concesions, with the military pointing a gun at his head? Hell, No.
    Given of the history of elected officials in Pak, i would assume we are better off talking with Musharaff, who atleast weilds a better control over the Pak military. which more often than not, dictates that country’s foriegn policy.

  11. Krishna, Najeeb and Proud Indian,
    Like you, I too desire to live in a peaceful manner with Pakistan. Doing this through negotiations is also the most desirable option.
    But if you ever think that capitulation or surrender has brought peace, you will be very, very wrong. Britain was mistaken when it thought that allowing Hitler to take Sudetenland would appease him. So are we wrong when we think striking compromises with Musharraf will somehow lead to peace.
    Pakistan is famous for rejecting and repudiation agreements made by its previous rulers. Every generation of Indians thinks that an ‘agreement’ with Pakistan’s rulers will buy peace. Tashkent, Simla, Rajeev-Benazir, and Lahore – all went down the drain, because, and only because, Pakistan refused to honour them.
    That suggests that as long as Pakistan lacks constitutional democratic institutions, any deal you make with them is not worth the paper it is printed on. The same goes for Musharraf — as soon as the tide turns, he (or his successors) are likely to tear up the documents. Not even the United States can guarantee good behaviour on the part of the Pakistanis.
    So while the sincerity in your desire for peace stands out, the unfortunate truth is Musharraf & Co are not the answers to your prayers.
    The pragmatic thing for India to do is to bring about the those conditions that will make Pakistan a proper state, with institutions. That’s a tall order, but you cannot even take the first step in that direction as long as the Army controls the reins of power.

  12. Krishna,
    You leave me confused. Let’s see if this makes sense…
    >>So what other alternatives do we have other than try and talk sense with our neighbours? Go all out and bomb them?
    Diplomatic pressure via the US is one solution that comes to my mind. But if push comes to shove, we shouldn’t hesitate to bomb them. Take a well-known analogy. If say a leg is diseased beyond repair, would you rather wait for the infection to spread throughout your body or would you rather amputate it? India is primarily scared of a (probably military) confrontation with Pakistan.
    >>How can we forget that the number of people dying everyday in Kashmir has come down since we started the latest round of ceasefire with Pak?
    I believe JK has already answered this question.
    >>We may defeat one generation of people, but that doesn’t help us achieve ever lasting peace. Its Love that prevails in the end.
    Like I said earlier, you don’t buy peace with a nation/person who’s vowed to destroy you. Pakistan defines itself as an enemy of India. The conception of Pakistan is rooted in negation. Other than its hatred towards India, it has no raison d’etre. Love? Aren’t you being idealistic here? Let’s take China for instance. Chacha Nehru proclaimed everlasting love for it and lobbied hard and got it a seat in the UNSC. What happened in return?
    >>See how talks between LTTE and the Lanka Government are progressing.
    I’m surprised again. That the LTTE has agreed to negotiate with the SL govt shows that it is slowly losing its teeth. Prabhakaran isn’t anymore the “fiery leader” he used to be. It no longer commands the support it did a few years ago. And haven’t you heard the news that factionalism has crept into LTTE in a big way? And how long do you think a group of armed rebels will continue to blow up people/places? They will tire out eventually. This is what has happened now. And you’re mixing two different issues here: the issue of SL and LTTE isn’t the same as the Indo-Pak rivalry.
    >>That was a PR disaster. That should have been handled in a much more shrewder way than what was done.
    PR disaster? That’s putting it too simplistically. That smacked of the same idealism–love etc–that you advocate. Maybe you’d spend a few words clarifying how it was a “PR disaster.” The dictator walked out openly in full view of the world. How can you call it a PR disaster? Pray tell me how it should’ve been “handled better?”
    >>And there are other political compulsions for both sides, which causes them to do stuff that may not be liked by the other side. For example, do you think Musharaff would be the head of Pak if there had not been a Kargil?
    Wow! Political compulsions? That’s a neat phrase for escapism. There’s only ONE political compulsion on the side of Pak: give us Kashmir or we’ll continue to bleed you dry. The example you quote is a logical fallacy. You talk about political compulsion and give Kargil as an example for it. How do these two relate? Musharaff like all army-bred fanatics in Pakistan hated Nawaz Sharif for what he perceived as his “soft approach” towards India. And remember, he architected Kargil without Nawaz’s knowledge.
    Finally, you talk so much about love and peace and all those nice things. Just imagine a situation if Kargil would’ve been wrested from India. Would you still advocate love? Or wait for more and more territories to be wrested from India?

  13. Nitin=>”But if you ever think that capitulation or surrender has brought peace, you will be very, very wrong. Britain was mistaken when it thought that allowing Hitler to take Sudetenland would appease him. So are we wrong when we think striking compromises with Musharraf will somehow lead to peace.”
    Oh.. puhleeeez.. who are you trying to fool? Musharraf is no Hitler and Pakistan is not the third Reich. I am sick and tired of people bringing up Hitler’s example at the whim of a hat – it is a stupid comparison which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.. Nobody is talking about giving Kashmir to Pak. in a plate, we are just talking about negotiations – talks, a possibility to have peace – if you are not willing to take that first step, there will never be peace.
    Nitin=>”The pragmatic thing for India to do is to bring about the those conditions that will make Pakistan a proper state, with institutions.”
    woh.. we are talking nation building here – yeah right. If you think, you will establish an institution there and then have talks with them – you can wait till the cows go home – Pakistan has tried in vain for 50 years to make that happen, it ain’t happening!!
    Peace!

  14. Najeeb,
    You are right – Musharraf is not Hitler yet. But he’ll become one the moment you make territorial concessions. That’s how Hitler became Hitler.
    As for that argument about nation-building, I fail to see how getting repudiated repeatedly by dictators is better than waiting for an institutional one to keep its promise. Even if I were to agree that we’ll have to wait very long to see a democratic government, you still haven’t shown that (a) this dictator will keep his promises and (b) his successors will keep them too.

  15. Nitin, I am not even talking about territorial concessions here. Read my original posts. I am only talking about this hateful campaign of saying ‘No to Musharraf and talks’. In any case, a comparison with Hitler is ridiculous –
    Btw, I don’t understand – what are we going to lose here by having this guy over? You are happy with continuing the status-quo? and what if they don’t keep the promise, then, we aren’t obligated to keep our promises either – That is how diplomacy works. Alright, I have made my point, all those who want to continue the status-quo can join this hateful campaign. I can understand if you are saying there has to be a tougher stance when India talks to Musharraf, but if you are saying that we can’t even talk to him or have him over until they have democratic institutions, Kashmir will stay as is forever. Oh well.

  16. Vajpayee invited Musharraf to India after the coup; thus legitimizing his ascendence to power! And this even though he had attacked us in Kargil, presumably without the knowledge of Nawaz Sharif. What a way to screw ourselves! Now probably it is too late to deligitimize this man!

  17. And at the same time when King Gyanendra dismisses the Govt. we go hammer and tongs on him, cut of military aid and put pressure to restore democracy.

  18. To Najeeb:
    Your sentiment for peace is commendable; all the protesting bloggers are saying is that talking to unreformed representatives of an illegitimate government of a near-failed state is hardly the way to achieve peace.
    Because Pakistan initiated the war, and sustains it, for peace, all Pakistani dictators have to do is to unilaterally turn off the terror-tap and stop waging the war. They surely don’t need to talk to India for this.
    You say, we should talk albeit with a tougher stance, but that assumes there is a negotiation going on. This is a mistake. India has nothing to negotiate with Pakistan — its not clear, therefore, what the discussion is all about.
    Your ire is misdirected at us, the protesting bloggers. We aren’t hateful; it’s the killers of Nadimarg and Kaluchak who are hateful. Please direct your ire at them — and their controllers in Islamabad.
    Regards

  19. I have made my point clear in my earlier posts. The gist is that you got to talk to whoever is in power. It has better chance of working than keeping the status-quo without engaging in talks.
    “Your ire is misdirected at us, the protesting bloggers. We aren’t hateful; it’s the killers of Nadimarg and Kaluchak who are hateful. Please direct your ire at them — and their controllers in Islamabad.”
    Oh. I have enough ire for the killers in Kashmir, but that has nothing to do with the frustration I have with people like you who will protest any steps taken by either governments to negotiate. (btw, why do you assume that I have no ire towards the killers of kashmir?) Do you think the people in Kashmir care about your lofty ideals? Look around the world – you would see that countries striking deals all the time with their neighbours – often dictators – so they could live in peace. Btw, what the heck are you gaining by not having negotiations, while the worst possible result is status-quo?

  20. Najeeb:
    You’re right, we shouldn’t be staisfied with the status-quo; rather, even if our reach exceeds our grasp, we should reach for absolute victory. Settling for a bogus agreement with an untrustworthy dictator to cement the status-quo (i.e. a fresh partition along the LOC) is simply not worth it.
    Also, we strongly dispute this notion that we must roll over and accept whoever happens to own the guns in our neighboring capitals. Who made that rule? In our judgement, we should only engage with neighborhood leaders who have a legitimate basis for being heads of state — i.e. democracy; in all other cases, India should engineer via persuasion, and where this fails via imposition, political modernity consistent with the 21st century.
    It’s a rather defeatist notion to simply accept our bombed-out and tattered neighborhood; as the most powerful nation around, our responsibility is to clean up our neighbors’ act. Engaging with vicious dictators does not help in this.
    Regards.

  21. My, my, my, – absolute victory!!
    Guys in which world are you living in? There is no such thing as absolute victory!
    One of the reasons there has not been any closure on the situation is that we just don’t have to guts to accept reality. We still live want to live with that image of India – with the “majestic” head – when half of that head has been with Pakistan and China. Comeon guys, its no use living in a make believe world. In fact the only ones living in that make believe world are us Indians and Pakistanis. Rest of the world don’t give a damn about it.
    Yes someone does – as long as its in their interest. Gift F-16s to Pak (of course this gift also comes with the invoices) and then to “pacify” the angry neighbour – let him buy billions worth of F-18s. Money that should have been used to improve the life of millions who cant even afford a proper meal a day.
    Who benefits – not you and me. There is nothing defeatist in accepting reality and moving on. It is defeatist to live in a fancy world.

  22. A very common comment made during Operation Parakram was, “India is no Israel, and Pakistan is no Palestine”, or “India is not the US..”.
    The subliminal confession was, things would be different if the relative disparities in power were the same as Israel/Palestine, or US/Pakistan. The tacit threat was, the conflict would continue as long as India did not become an Israel or US to Pakistan.
    What benefit does India have in inviting Busharraf over ? None. According to the pattern of behaviour he has displayed so far:
    1) He becomes bolder, thinks India is acting out of fear.
    2) He consolidates his position as the head of a feudal and stratified Pakistani society. The frustated people become just so much more cannon fodder for the Kafir enemy.
    3) Gets war machines from the US.
    As in Agra, he is repeating his statement about “Tangible progress” ad nauseum. Hence, as after Agra, expect terrorist attacks from random front organizations of LeT (Al Nasreen/Afreen whatever) to begin in rest of India, again. This is the stupidest thing GoI could have done at this point in time.
    Like one of my peacenik friend says, Give Peace a Chance, Destroy Pakistan. 😛

  23. Najeeb and the commenter-who-calls-himself-“Me”,
    Going by your arguments, it was quite unnecessary and pointless for India to have waged a struggle for independence.
    For if there is nothing defeatist in accepting reality and moving on, why did we even bother to fight for freedom? If living in “peace” were everything, then surely, living as second class citizens under British rule was the way to go. Would colonialism been quite all right as long as the colonial rulers spared you physical harm?

  24. “Going by your arguments, it was quite unnecessary and pointless for India to have waged a struggle for independence.”
    Stupid dumb analogy! Think about it – you will figure it out yourself (It might take a while for you *LOL*) I have no time or inclination to explain this to you.

  25. Najeeb,
    If you notice JK, Secular-Right and I, who have taken the ‘No to Musharraf’ stand have been civil and rational about arguments.
    You may have noticed that we have not been sarcastic about your views; to have a meaningful debate, you should reciprocate.

  26. India wants peace. Musharraf wants Kashmir
    And there’s a big difference between the two
    Even the strongest Indian supporters of Musharraf’s cross-border cricket excursion hold that inviting the General for a cricket match helps keep the scoreboard of the peace process ticking. In many of the…

  27. I am so bored/irritated to see this guy’s picture everyday on this website. Is it worth it?. plz remove it NOW. Peace Vs Kashmir is a no-brainer. US, Russia, China, Europeans are always match-fixing selfish referrees.

  28. I may be repeating what a lot of guys have already said. But I have to say this that we as a nation should not welcome a dictator who led to the murder of so many Indian soldiers due to a misadventure in Kargil. Come on, how can we take this man seriously. Pakistan is a struggling economy where the majority Punjabi’s rule the roost. Why should they want to upset the applecart by becoming friends with India and furthering trade relations?
    Peace is good, but it has cost us dear in the past.

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