Casualty of Politics?

Casualty of Politics?

Check Point Charlie was the name or appellation given to a crossing on the Berlin War between Eastern and Western Germany during the Cold War. The closest parallel to Check Point Charlie in the precarious India and Pakistan relationship are the points along the Line of Control(LoC) where a degree of cross border trade takes place. The parallel, it may be pointed out , is inexact but given the Cold War between India and Pakistan (which sometimes morphs into a quasi “hot” war along the LoC), the stalling of the cross border trade is emblematic of the relationship between the two countries. The nature of the relationship is such that after ups and downs, it veers to a “ normal”- deep , mutual antagonism between India and Pakistan. The latest spurs for stopping cross LoC trade has been the alleged discovery of drugs in some trucks and the NIA’s allegation that this route is used for funding. On the face of it, these allegations do not appear to hold water and a more insidious agenda appears to be at work here. Even if, drugs were ferried across the LoC, then this does not constitute grounds for the closure of this trade route. (The notion of funds sounds like a stretch aimed to throw the trade into a tizzy). These “reasons” appear to be more in the nature of pretexts to close down cross Loc trade. The reasons for this appear to pertain to the broader drift of relations between India and Pakistan ( at a low, these days). In turn, the reason(s) for the new low in relations between the two countries pertains to the conflict in and over Kashmir, contending and competing territorial nationalisms and domestic politics in India. The far right party, the BJP’s version of nationalism is in the nature of an extreme variety where Pakistan is India’s implacable “Other”. (The same, in varying hues and complexions , holds true for Pakistan). In this zero sum matrix of competing nationalisms, Kashmir assumes centrality and prominence. The BJP appears, to attempt to draw a tough and a hardline toward Pakistan to connect and please its constituents and supporters. In the process, Kashmir’s politics is also attempted to be maneuvered into a direction palatable to powers that be. What accrues is in the nature of a stalemate wherein the cross border trade on the LoC becomes a casualty. If the closing down is a signaling mechanism to powers that be across the divide, then the drift and tenor of times to come can only be ominous. Prudence and sagacity would have entailed according primacy to far sighted statecraft wherein cross LoC trade could have been sought to be used as an opening with the larger and broader aim of resolving the conflict in and over Kashmir. But, yet again, wisdom appears to have been sacrificed at the altar of expediency.

One Response to "Casualty of Politics?"

  1. G. Din   August 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    “Check Point Charlie” was one point of crossing from West Berlin (not West Germany, because Berlin was surrounded by East Germany) to East Germany. Just for your information. Crossings at LOC are between two Kashmirs. So there is no comparison between the two.


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