And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
…………………..H W Longfellow
Gimmicks can’t untie the complex knots. Very serious thinking, homework and often sacrifices are to be made to solve the complications created by history, geography, demography, false egos and vanity. Navjot Singh Sidhu has tried to enter into a territory where angels fear to tread.
However, for him, there is no way to retreat. He has made a silly mistake of embracing Bajwa. I still believe it was an innocent mistake of judgement that has harmed to no one and would harm to no one.
My feelings have been echoed in the article in ‘Hindustan Times’ by the well-known sport journalist Ayaz Memon.
He says: “Brouhaha over former cricketer and current politician Navjot Singh Sidhu hugging Pakistan’s army chief at Imran Khan’s swearing in ceremony as Prime Minister is not just manufactured and funny but senseless. The rancorous coverage that has followed shows immense silliness in section of media (and even more on social media) about foreign affairs and human interaction.”…..End of the quote.
Nobody is talking about the fine sensibility the Government of India has shown in directing its High Commissioner in Islamabad to present Imran a bat signed by the current Indian cricket players. There is so much between optics and politics of this gesture.
It should be taken with more sincerity and realism on both sides of the border. It is in the background of what Imran had said about “Taking two steps if India takes one.”
As the famous Eric Margolis, the American journalist has once described:
“A full century after World War I we still cannot understand how generals sent so many soldiers to be slaughtered. Ten million soldiers died on all sides; millions more were left maimed or shell shocked. Seven million civilians died. 20 million horses died.
The image we have of hapless soldiers being forced to climb out of their sodden trenches and attack across a hellish no-man’s land pock-marked by water-filled shell holes, deep mud, thickets of barbed wire and rotten bodies is quite accurate for the Western Front. Waiting for them were quick-firing guns, heavy artillery, the greatest killer or all – machine guns – and, later, poison or burning gases, and flamethrowers.
Ironically, though this big war was covered by very experienced war correspondents and military attachés from many nations, the dire message of the war was ignored by Western military establishments.”
In August 2006, Dr Manmohan Singh had said that peace talks between India and Pakistan can’t proceed unless the latter shows its commitment to dismantle terrorist camps on its soil.
On a question whether he would meet Pakistan president Perverz Musharraf at coming Havana summit, the ex-PM had said, “We can choose our friends but not our neighbours. ‘Batchit karne ke liye kisiko koi itraj nahin hona chaiye.’ (There should be no problem in talking with someone). But if Pakistan does not take effective steps to ‘control’ terrorist activities, peace process cannot simply progress”.
There is no such thing as bad peace and good war. Peace begins with a smile, so said Mother Teresa. This may seem overly sentimental but it is actually a pragmatic and powerful piece of advice.