Moorthy Muthuswamy PhD
February 02, 2004
It has become quite
clear that the United States is playing a leading role in both the
initiation and to some extent, in setting up the agenda for the ongoing
Indo-Pak peace talks and eventual rapprochement between these two nations.
The US State
Department, the sponsor of these developments is dependent on policy
advice from several scholars based in American Think Tanks. I would like
to make an independent evaluation of the outlook of these scholars
specializing in South Asia. Such an assessment is badly lacking at the
moment and is much needed.
Among the Think
Tanks, the South Asia program headed by Ambassador Teresita Schaffer at
“The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)” has the
largest program of its kind and has produced volumes of work on conflict
resolution in South Asia. Looking at the statements related to Indo-Pak
peace talks released from the US State Department, it appears that Amb.
Schaffer has played a major role in setting up the agenda it follows.
The general approach
suggested by various South Asian scholars, including Amb. Schaffer is
along these lines: increased confidence building measures between India
and Pakistan, much increased/free trade and soft borders. It is hoped that
as the economic links increase, the possibility of a conflict decreases
between the two nations. In addition, at least on paper, the economic
opportunities increase for both by diverting resources away from defense
towards investment as well as by the new trade opportunities created.
Feels good – or is it?
In reality, this
is a half-baked vision because these proposals ignore the long-term impact
I am enclosing below
the contents of my exchanges with Amb. Schaffer on January 28, 2004.
Dr. Muthuswamy to Amb. Schaffer:
“If Indo-Pak relations
normalize and increased trade happens (you are among the proponents of
this idea) between these two nations, the western India is likely to be
flooded with Pakistani Muslims.
Question: Did you or your colleagues consider its implications for India
and for the rest of South Asia?
I went to through several of your past work and I didn't see any evidence
Amb. Schaffer to Dr.
“I simply don't
believe that western India, or any other part, will be flooded with
Pakistani Muslims. At most, a few thousand, as visitors who will
cheerfully go home.”
I am not enclosing
further correspondence with Amb. Schaffer as they do not add anything more
to this analysis.
1) This is a very
disappointing misstep by Amb. Schaffer, considering that there are already
several tens of thousands of Pakistanis in India illegally despite very
restrictive contacts between the two nations. This leads one to seriously
question her “vision” for South Asia.
contend that these “conflict resolution” proposals would definitely lead
to a massive influx of Muslims from Pakistan into India. Their
implications have not at all been adequately discussed by any of these
with its normalized relations with Islamic Bangladesh has seen its eastern
borders, and beyond, flooded with huge influx of Bangladeshis -- at least
10 million of them. Due to this India is facing a serious threat on the
eastern borders and beyond.
divergence between Indian and Pakistan likely to increase in near future
and with Pakistani population growth rates likely to remain high,
normalization of the relations between India and Pakistan in conjunction
with increased trade will invariable lead to one-way transfer of Muslims
from Pakistan to India. Pakistanis have been illegally migrating to
countries around the world, from Canada – Africa – Turkey – Malaysia to
Japan. What is stopping their exodus to India is an adversarial Indian
army. If Pakistan’s relations with India were to normalize, India could
easily become their favorite destination - given the common culture,
language and the presence of their religious compatriots. There will be
jihadis too visiting India from Pakistan -- to setup shop.
For an India
already struggling from a fast growing indigenous Muslim population that
has fallen behind in every measure of progress and is under the grip of
fascist Muslim clerics, -- this would be a death sentence.
It is highly
unlikely that even Pakistan will be reformed through increased interaction
with India, given India’s experience with its own Muslims and the
observations that even within the multiethnic, secular and democratic
India, there exists no reformed version of Islam.
These ideas are
discussed at a greater detail in my previous analysis:
Soft Borders with Pakistan: A
2) Almost none of
these scholars appear to have adequately understood the dynamics of Islam
that is very intolerant in South Asia -- the massive non-Muslim ethnic
cleansing conducted in every Muslim majority area of South Asia.
I was among the
first to point this out and study the implications of this tragic dynamics
of Islamization of South Asia (India
needs a national security vision: An Opinion,
NEW IDEAS FOR A NEW WAR). However, from what I can
tell, almost all American scholars specializing in this area are yet to
realize this or yet to understand its implications.
By missing out on
this crucial pattern of behavioral dynamics of Islam in South Asia, it
seems these scholars have undermined their ability to provide solid policy
making advice to the US government and others.
Then there is Dr.
Stephen Cohen of the Brookings, who published recently a book titled
“Rising India”, while barely discussing the dynamics of a growing Islamic
fundamentalism among the Indian Muslim population in determining India’s
Another proposal to
resolve the Kashmir conflict put forward by Frank Wisner, Nicholas Platt
and Dennis Kux calls for free movement of people between the two Kashmir
regions and its joint administering by India and Pakistan. This too
ignores the dynamics of Islam in South Asia and the impact of soft-borders
between India and Pakistan.
advice on South Asia is in need of fresh minds and ideas. Most of the
established American scholars whose formative years were spent at the
height of Cold War do not seem to have grasped adequately that India and
Pakistan have recently taken to very diverging outlooks toward their
appears that the US State Department’s current long-term vision/proposals
for diffusing the Indo-Pak conflict, including Kashmir or even reforming
Pakistan are not particularly well-advised. Going ahead with these
proposals at this time without an immediate review will be catastrophic
for the entire region, India’s future, to the American interests in the
region and finally, -- the war on terror.
I would like to
present an alternate vision of achieving peace and prosperity in South
Soft Borders with Pakistan: A
One should view
Pakistan and even sections of Indian population as being inflicted with a
social disease called Islamic extremism. The right approach here is to
quarantine India with respect to Pakistan - the worldwide sponsor of this
infection, and eradicate the disease within India and then work to
eradicate it in Pakistan and Bangladesh. This should be a win-win
situation. However, the act of opening India to Pakistan will lead to this
disease further consolidating and expanding into India and eventually
destroying it, -- just like the way it is destroying Pakistan and
expressed here are author’s own. The writer is a nuclear physicist based
in America. He is also a director of Indian American Intellectuals Forum,
a New York-based non-profit organization. His contact address:
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