In the ancient past when the human race was still in dark ages, there used to be sacrificial killings of human beings to propitiate the Gods. There were also revenge killings of the prisoners taken in battles between two warring tribes. One would have thought that in the present so called civilised world there would not be such revenge killings. However, it appears that the modernisation and the progress of the human race have not been able to change the basic animal instinct in a man and he quite often indulges in such gross violations of the supposed civilised human behaviour. The two prisoners have clearly been used as sacrificial lambs by the extremist elements of the two countries.
The most disturbing sidelight of these gruesome episodes has been the unbridled usage of these unfortunate happenings by the media to drum up the war hysteria. The media now does not stop at anything to generate frenzy even if it means abandoning the delicate process of reconciliation. One fails to understand why this frenzy stops only at Pakistan? The Chinese deep incursions violating Indian sovereignty make them eat a humble pie. The most humiliating has been the brazen Chinese attitude of first entering 19 kilometres deep into what is claimed to be the Indian territory and then ostensibly withdrawing on their own after some secret understanding involving some give away on the Indian part. The media too has eaten a humble pie on this episode.
It is now fully established that the two unfortunate victims of the extremist wrath were the operatives of the intelligence agencies of the two countries. Both had been arrested after they had indulged in sabotage. While Sarabjit was arrested in Lahore after he had set off some explosives in Lahore and Faisalabad, Sannaullah had been arrested in Jammu after setting off a series of explosions. Sarabjit’s action had allegedly killed 14 bystanders and he had been convicted by the supreme court of Pakistan. Sarabjit was on the death row and Sannaullah had been serving twin life sentences and was also involved in a number of other cases. His actions too had killed a number of people. The use of spies for gathering intelligence has always been there since the earliest times. There is always tacit understanding between the intelligence agencies of rival countries about the use of spies. Quite often these people are exchanged clandestinely without any fanfare when caught in the act of spying. There is a tacit gentleman’s agreement even between these agencies in regard to their operatives. They say even rogues have a tacit understanding on certain issues! But not in the case of India and Pakistan. Sometimes these operatives have also been used to indulge in sabotage but that usually happens when the countries are at war with each other. Normally, the so called civilised countries do not undertake sabotage in peace time.
India and Pakistan do not ever appear to be experiencing a peace time. They seem to be in a perpetual state of war with each other. Sometimes it is open war and at other times it is war by proxy. This unnatural state of continuous conflict has resulted from the extreme mistrust which these countries have right from their creation in 1947. The partition as well as the sowing of the seeds of mistrust was done by the departing British colonialist to allow them to keep their hands in the pie of the sub-continent. However, we, instead of reconciling the differences, have taken these to the extreme not only by indulging in three major wars but by a continuous proxy war. ISI sends operatives to India for sabotage and RAW sends similar people to other side. Interestingly, these operatives are paid heavily and are sometimes given reverse roles by respective intelligence agencies by increasing the size of payments. This state of psychological and the physical clandestine conflict have pushed these countries far back in regard to the well-being of the teeming millions. They are utilising their precious resources to upgrade and polish their war machines instead of caring for the basic needs of the common people. What is most disturbing is the infiltration and penetration of the intelligence and security agencies of the two sides by the extremist elements. The philosophies of Hindutva and Jihad are getting ingrained in the mind-set of the security apparatuses including internal and external intelligence agencies on both the sides. The so called political rulers seem to be totally powerless in front of these extremists embedded deeply in these security apparatuses who manipulate things as they like.
The tit for tat revenge and other extremist activities will not end unless the basic mistrust is removed. Aman ki Aasha and other high profile cocktail circuits in five star hotels will not remove the hatred and the mistrust. The only way to remove it is to arrange the meeting of the grass roots level people on both the sides. The sub-continent’s Berlin Wall has to be breached. This cannot happen unless the extremist elements embedded in the security apparatuses on both sides are overruled by a strong and honest political leadership. Will we ever have an honest and strong political leadership in the sub-continent? It seems a tall order keeping in view the innumerable scams on this side and the mindless violence on the other side. Could the new generations in the two countries rise to the occasion to remove the mistrust and usher in a new dawn? It is something to hope for. Till that hopefully happens, we will continue to sacrifice people as the proverbial sacrificial lambs!