Don’t Take Bush Policy Towards Dialogue

The Nation has called on Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary to reject the India-Pakistan talks scheduled for 25 February in New Delhi. Even though they usually like to put on a very anti-American costume, the truth is that The Nation promotes many of the same policies that the former American President Geroge Bush followed. Rejecting dialogue with nations that one does not trust – or even sees as an enemy – is the policy of George Bush. It did not work for America, and it will not work for Pakistan.

India and Pakistan will resume talks on 25 February, despite the recent Pune bombing and calls by some right wing elements to refuse to meet with India. This is good. Pakistan and India must continue to dialogue and work towards building trust and peace between the two powers. The alternative is to follow the George Bush policy of rejecting dialogue. Do we really want to go down this path again?

Obviously, the Hindu nationalist parties are calling for the talks to be closed also. This is the same wrong-thinking that is behind right-wing elements in our own country calling for the talks to be rejected. But we must not put the fate of our country in the hands of extremists.

The blast also comes just a day after India and Pakistan agreed to hold peace talks on February 25. While Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has condemned the atrocity, the Hindu nationalist opposition in India may have jumped the gun by calling for the cancellation of the proposed negotiations with Islamabad. That is what the extremists want; tensions between the two rivals work in their favour. In the interest of peace, it is crucial that the negotiations go ahead as scheduled.

It is funny how there is actually more in common between George Bush, The Nation, and Bharatiya Janata Party than there is difference. None of them wants to talk to anyone, and none of them can provide any solutions or ways forward for peace. Following their advice only leads to war and devastation. Let’s take a different path this time, please.

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