Ex Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Husain Haqqani was interviewed on October 22, 2016 by Talk4Pak team's host Faraz Darvesh on his views on India-Pakistan relations.
This week, regular Talk4Pak panelist Riaz Haq has offered his rebuttal to a number of statements made by Ambassador Haqqani during his interview. Here's a brief summary of Mr. Haqqani's views and Riaz Haq's responses.
Husain Haqqani: Pakistan needs to treat all "terrorists" alike and crack down on all of them.
Riaz Haq: Most nations differentiate between "good" militants and "bad" militants.
For example, Indians see Bhagat Singh as "shaheed" (martyr) and Burhan Wani a "terrorist" even though both were fighting for freedom from foreign rule.
Also, Haqqanis were called freedom fighters (Mujahedeen) against Soviets but now called terrorists by Americans.
US and Israel founding fathers are accepted as freedom fighters, not terrorists.
Like others, Pakistan, too, has to differentiate among militants as a practical matter because, as President Clinton has said, "you can not kill or jail all the terrorists".
Pakistan security forces are already stretched in their fight against Indian-backed terrorists like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (See Doval Doctrine), the Baloch militants openly supported by Indian Prime Minister Modi and MQM militants who, according to sworn testimony of Mohammad Anwar and Tariq Mir, receive funding to launch attacks in Karachi. Opening up additional fronts against more groups in response to Indian and US demands can potentially lead to the defeat of Pakistani security forces followed by a civil war.
HH: Indian economy is 20X Pakistan's
RH: According to World Bank data for 2015, Indian GDP $2,073,543 Pakistan $269,971 Actual Ratio is India's GDP is 7.68X Pakistan's, not 20X
Mr. Haqqani is known for exaggerating India's size, strength and importance while diminishing Pakistan's. Is this intended to demoralize and discourage Pakistanis and tell them they are insignificant relative to India? Is it meant to please Mr. Haqqani's Hindu Nationalist fans in India?
HH: Kashmir Unresolvable
RH: Kashmir is eminently resolvable as demonstrated by Musharraf formula agreed between India and Pakistan in 2007. Formula: LoC becomes soft border with easy movement of goods and people, Total internal autonomy of each region, overseen by a committee with reps from both regions, India and Pakistan, phased withdrawal of all troops. It is absolutely resolvable.
What has Changed since 2007? The players have changed in both India and Pakistan since Musharraf-Manmohan deal....especially in India where PM Modi thinks he can intimidate Pakistan with rhetoric like "chhapan inch ki chhati" (56-in chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) and use of proxies like TTP, BLA and MQM to terrorize Pakistan and kill Pakistanis
Stephen Cohen has said this about India-Pakistan situation: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."
I expect PM Modi will soon realize that only workable option is to use the diplomatic route of dialog with Pakistan.
HH: Put aside Kashmir like China put aside Taiwan.
RH: Unlike Indian occupied Kashmir, there are no mass protests, ubiquitous checkpoints and extended curfews in Taiwan. No 700,000 troops there. There's no Burhan Wanis in Taiwan to resist occupation. It's not possible to ignore Indian occupied Kashmir with daily killings and atrocities against innocent people.
HH: There is consensus Pakistan did not win 1965 war.
RH: Both governments claim victory in 1965. Many Indians, including insiders like RD Pradhan and Gen Harbkash Singh believe India did not win the 1965 war. Indian journalists like Shivan Vij say it was at best a stalemate. If India was winning in 1965, it wouldn't be the first to agree to ceasefire as it did.
HH: His diplomacy as ambassador in Washington was effective.
RH: Every product has features and benefits but also flaws. Ambassadors are expected to be a pitchmen at least in public.
Pitchmen highlight features and benefits, not flaws. Ambassadors do not denigrate the countries they represent as Mr. Haqqani did.
New York Times said this when Haqqani was forced out. As ambassador, Mr. Husain Haqqani behaved like "One Man Think Tank" who was "eager to share his own views, which often dovetailed American criticisms of Pakistan’s military". “There were questions about his influence at home and whether he could be trusted to accurately convey what his principals were thinking,” said one of the American officials.
HH: India's GDP growth rate 2.5X Pakistan's
RH; Not true. India's GDP growth rate is 7.6% and Pakistan 5%.
So the ratio is 1.52X not 2.5X
Growth rates are not permanently sustainable.
Pakistan economy grew much faster than India's in 1960s-1980s and India's economy has grown faster since 1990s.
CPECis expected to add 2.5-3% growth on top of the current 5%, something India is strongly opposed to and trying to disrupt and sabotage.
As of 2012, India has achieved 75% literacy rate while Pakistan is at 60%.
Pakistan literacy is up 4X while India's is up 3.5X
HH: 1947-1958 was a good period for Pakistan, then Army messed it up.
RH: Economists call this period the Flat Fifties when there was very little economic growth. Pakistan economy grew very rapidly in 1960s, much faster than India's "Hindu growth rate" under Nehru's democracy.
Pakistan had major development of agriculture with the Green Revolution that included several large dams and word's largest contiguous irrigation. Without it, Pakistanis would have starved to death.
Bangladesh happened because elected Pakistani politicians, particular Bhutto and Mujib, failed to work out difference after the elections.
Pakistan is neither a delusion nor owned by mullahs or military as claimed by Husain Haqqani in his books "Pakistan: Between the Mosque and the Military" and "Magnificent Delusions".
Pakistan is not one or two dimensional...it's much more complex as explained by Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience".
Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular, conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971.
Pakistan continues to defy pessimist pundits like Husain Haqqani and Tarek Fatah.
Bill Clinton once said "Follow the trend-lines, not the headlines".
There are many sensational negative headlines about Pakistan that are misleading.
But look at the trends that are all positive in terms of economy, security, democracy, life expectancy. per capita incomes, education, etc etc.
If you look at Pakistan's socioeconomic indicators, they are all up over 5,10, 15 years in spite of all the difficulties.
Swedish Professor Hans Rosling compiles these for all of the countries. His website is gapminder.org. Go take a look at it, especially health and wealth of nations.
Pakistan has lower levels of income poverty than India. It also lower levels of multi-dimensional poverty as measured by MPI index that looks at not just income but also other dimensions like education, healthcare, hygiene, etc.
November 9, 2019 will go down in South Asian history as a day of sharp contrasts: While Pakistan restored and opened Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur for Sikh pilgrims, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the construction of a Hindu temple on the site where Babri Masjid stood for centuries. Can India and its western apologists still claim to have shared values?…