This blog has been critical of The Nation for promoting pro-Taliban narratives recently, but I think we must also look at other statements of Majid Nizami who is the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief to really understand the problem with The Nation‘s world view.
The Nation reported about a speech given by Majid Nizami earlier this month during which Nizami made the most outlandish and uninformed statements.
According to the report, Majid Nizami made statements about Kashmir that border on insane.
Majid Nizami appealed to the present government not to take initiative for friendship with India unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved. India is not willing to solve the Kashmir issue and if we forget this dispute on her advice what would be left to solve with India, he said. He further said we consider Kashmir as jugular vein of Pakistan and India is building dams in Kashmir on our rivers by which, God forbid, Pakistan can become a desert within the next 10 to 15 years. We should say Lala Ji to show upright posture or otherwise prepare for a nuclear war”, he added. He said Dr A Q Khan made Pakistan invincible.
What kind of fool makes such a statement as “prepare for a nuclear war”? It is beyond reckless and irresponsible to the point of almost criminal behavior for a member of the media to make such statements. Dr A Q Khan did not make Pakistan invincible. Does Majid Nizami even know the definition of this word? Pakistan can respond to a nuclear attack, but India can also attack Pakistan with nuclear weapons. Our nuclear weapons do not make India’s stop working.
Mahir Ali describes another nuclear superpower rivalry in Dawn today – the USA-USSR Cold War.
Yet this seemingly frivolous reminder of the Cold War has evoked a degree of nostalgia in some quarters. Sure, the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation wasn’t imaginary, but it generally hovered in the background and turned acute only for brief periods of time, such as the terrifying fortnight during which the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded. Beyond that, the Soviets and the Americans were reasonably well-acquainted with each other’s antics. Sure their rivalry sometimes entailed copious bloodshed — never on American or Soviet soil — but both sides broadly knew what they were up against.
Ths USA and USSR never really were in much danger of nuclear war because both nations understood the idea of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’. Nuclear war is ‘M.A.D.’ war because both sides lose. There can be no winner. Pakistan and India both know what we are up against, but unlike the USA and USSR of the Cold War Era, our two nations have shared histories and shared borders. We should be striving for the objectives of Quaid-e-Azam:
Our object should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large.
– Lahore, 15 August 1947
Writing for OutlookIndia.com, Aparna Pande makes a much better, much saner recommendation: work out our differences ourselves in a way that meets the needs of both nations. In fact, contrary to the fears that Majid Nizami tries to state about turning Pakistan into a desert, Aparna Pande points out that India has never done such a thing.
India has always abided by the Indus Water Treaty and has never cut off the supply of water to Pakistan even during times of war, in 1965, 1971 or 1999. However, Pakistan’s policy makers continue to believe that with India controlling Kashmir, and the upper reaches of the Indus water system, India has Pakistan ‘by the jugular.’ This ties in with the belief of Pakistan’s leaders that Indian leaders have not accepted partition and the creation of Pakistan. Despite the fact that Pakistan’s fear has never been proven historically, Pakistani policy makers have never been able to fully trust Indians to keep their part of the Indus bargain.
Obviously it is not a good idea to have India fully in control of the water valves, but why is the fool Majid Nizami trying to force it to be so? Rather than escalating a conflict, we should be working to change the ‘Status Quo’ so that there is shared control of water resources, peace and stability.
Writing for The Express Tribune, Raza Rumi also makes the point that the best interests of Pakistan are to build trust and peace with our neighbors.
To facilitate the peace process, Pakistan should demonstrate its resolve to pursue proper investigation into the alleged Mumbai conspiracy hatchers. The Indian home minister left Pakistan in June somewhat assured of the efforts being made here. Our foreign minister should also reassure his Indian counterpart.
It is clear that regional stability is a foremost priority for India given its focus on achieving a 10 per cent growth rate. Pakistan should benefit from this dynamic by expanding trade with India. Mutual trade will be a win-win situation and give a much-needed boost to our economy.
Public opinion in Pakistan has to be strengthened against militancy and extremism. The out-of-control militant groups are a nightmare for Pakistan and cast a dark shadow over its future. Furthermore, media and telecommunication restrictions need to be lifted on both sides. It is fashionable to deride the vigil brigade for being unrealistic but there is no alternative to people-to-people contacts. Indians, thanks to the global media, view Pakistan as a country full of ‘terrorists’. We must change this and not let the hawks on the Indian side to misrepresent us.
Just as we must not let the hawks on the Indian side to misrepresent us, we must not let the fools on our own side to misrepresent us also.
That is what is so infuriating about fools like Majid Nizami who go around saying things like “prepare for nuclear war”. What is the point of this? To sell more copies of his second-rate newspaper?
The status of Kashmir must be resolved. But making such threats do not help move towards a solution, rather it only threatens the lives of more innocents. Making such reckless statements as “prepare for nuclear war” exposes the utter foolishness of Majid Nizami. Maybe it is time that the companies that advertise in The Nation think about whether or not this is the sort of non sense that they want to support!