This is the first interview of series Pakistan Times starts as an effort to promote peace rather than war. Pakistan Times has decided to involve as many as people from various walks of life both in India and Pakistan rather to have only Journalists. Sole cause behind these interviews is promotion of peace and not hurting anyone’s feelings and projection of neutral and unbiased perspectives. Team of Pakistan Times wishes to bring constructive change through these interviews.
Mr. Shad Zaman is an MBA in Marketing & International Business and is currently working with an American Telecom company in UAE as Brand Specialist. He takes care of Marcom for Middle East, North Africa and South East Asian Markets. He likes to read about Brands, Business Strategies, Human Relations and Consumers Behavior.
Here is exchange of questions between Editor of Pakistan Times and Shad Zaman.
Editor: Who do you think is behind Mumbai Terrorist Attacks? Who were the Dakkan Mujahideen and groups like them?
Shad: Those who are behind the Mumbai attacks are the anti-social elements, and people who do not have any religion or belief to follow on. 90% of Indians will say that “Pakistan is behind these attacks”. Well looking at the kind of proofs and evidence being submitted by various Indian authorities including the conclusions made my FBI sleuths, every Indian’s logic makes sense. However I would like to put it differently.
As there goes an old saying “one fish can spoil the whole pond”, that’s precisely what has happened with Pakistan. The terrorists attacks have initiated from the Pakistani land, the people behind the attacks have been found to be Pakistani nationals, but that doesn’t make the civilised people or the government of Pakistan responsible for the attacks. In every society, be it India, Pakistan or any other nation, there are always few meant to spoil the game, who don’t like peace who don’t like the secularist culture.
And these are the elements who are always ready to conduct some or the other mischievous acts.
In such trying times, the Indian community expected Pakistan to be supportive, and atleast for once believe on the proofs and evidence submitted by the Indian govt and try to act in that direction. The satellite phone carrying call list of Karachi numbers, various documents collected from the “Kuber” boat and Dawn News channel’s exploration of Ajmal’s Family in Faridkot, what else is required by the Pakistan govt to start thinking in the direction to take Ajmal as a national and take those evidence as steps to take more concrete actions, rather than continuously denying about his identity. If Pakistan accepts those evidence and then act accordingly, believe me it will be giving a much more positive image as well as belief that Pakistan does acts in what it says. At the most what will happen?, the evidence will not stand strong enough? That’s it? But atleast world will see that Pakistan did take steps on the facts given by India. Currently being in such a submissive mood and repeatedly denying without even going deeper into the facts and President Zardari coming up with statements like we will give our last drop of blood to protect Pakistan” is not leading to any ends. India never said we want WAR. If war was required it cudve been done longtime back.
Deccan Mujahideen issue was close very much in the beginning, as the one email which was originated from some foreign land probably Russia did not gave any conclusions, so no point talking about them.
Editor: How these attacks effected Indian Minorities particularly Muslims?
Shad: If we talk only about Mumbai attacks, it has done a lot positive for the minorities I would say. Since Mumbai attacks happened we saw that North Indian and Maharashtrian issue has not arised, we don’t see too many anti Muslim slogans being aired by any of the non-Muslim organisations nor any individuals. It has infact brought the people of India much closer than ever before.
Editor: Do the people of India and Pakistan want War?
Shad: If the people AT war think that this is the only solution left to counter terrorism and it will result in something positive for both the countries, then let’s have a war. The politicians and administrators of both the countries have to promise to their people that, neither any innocent life will be lost nor any family is going to loose its son, this war is going to bring peace amongst both countries, it will reduce the acts of terrorism in both the countries, it will help in making people more secure and safe to live in their city. If both governments can promise all this, then nobody is against the war and hence it should happen.
I really fail to understand, from where did the “IDEA OF WAR” arised? India had submitted proofs to Pakistan government against few people who unfortunately came out to be Pakistanis, and asked the government of Pakistan to take action against them.
Now why does Mr.Zardari and others started coming up with statements like “we are going to fight till last drop of our blood to protect Pakistan”? Who wants to attack Pakistan?, who is asking you to bleed, the Indian government has asked you to co-operate and search the people who have been spreading terrorism. Pakistan government as well as every individual in Pakistan knows that there are camps and workshops being organised by many groups in the background of madrassas and Non profit organisations, who are grooming young people to execute the acts of terrorism.
The same fact holds true for India too, there are agencies, political parties and unknown groups who are training and acting against the Muslims of India. But the point is when such open and clear facts have been presented to Pakistan, why Pakistan is still in the continual denial mode? Is it going to deliver any results by denying Ajmal Kasab as not a Pakistani national?. Lets accept that he is not Pakistani national, but if his family has been discovered in Faridkot, atleast initiate some enquiry from that end. But instead of doing that, the govt cordoned off the whole village, not let anyone speak out to media or even the family?
Editor: How do you see the role played by media in both the countries? Has media also made an impact on thought process of people of both the countries? What role should media play in such circumstances?
Shad: I would say, 50% of the hype, and tension is created by media only. The Indian media brain washing the Indians and saying WAR will happen, WAR likely to happen, etc etc. On the other hand, Pakistani media continuously broadcasting Anti-India slogans and news on the Army actions.
While India media had been repeatedly talking about the evidence and proofs submitted by the government of India, Pakistani media started propaganda that Indian army is planning to attack Pakistan!
And the result is, the Indian media also took up the same clue and now , both the sides have forgotten the actual cause of concern and both broadcasting instigative messages, and telling everyone left and right that the other side is preparing itself more than their side for a WAR. In India the media went to the extent of saying that villages on Rajasthan borders have been evacuated by the Army. Whereas the chief of BSF in Rajasthan division said, nothing of that sort has happened! The army is surely on alert, but no such instructions have been given to civil population in that area.
Now at the same time, Pakistan media spreading news about built up of extra Indian force across the border.
Nobody in today’s world can ever know the truth behind all these incidences and what’s the real story going behind.
Editor: Few people in India believe that these attacks were planned to kill people like Hament Karkary who exposed the involvement of Indian high ups in Samjhota incident; how do you see this?
Shad: Everyone in democracy has right to pitch their opinion, if someone thinks 10 people attacked 3 major locations in a city like Mumbai to kill one individual, then such people need to get their brain checked.
I was again courtesy media, that such a story was evolved. And like brainless four legged animals, few people actually started giving it a thought too.
If Hemant Karkare was the only agenda, why did 10 terrorist had to put Taj on Fire, kill Israeli hostages blew off one taxi, and take so many people hostage at Oberoi?
Instead of taking positive and concretes steps to co-operate, the Pakistan administration has taken pledge not to support the cause of India and give serious co-operation but just keep diverting mind of everyone from one direction to another.
Hemant Karkare came into light mainly because of Malegaon blast case and not Samjhauta Express. Samjhauta Express case came to be more incidental in nature, as the security agencies found some kind of links in both the incidences.
There is no denying the fact that there are some people who have brought differences between Hindu and Muslim communities of India and it is quite evident from few recent incidences which have happened. But the Mumbai attack is not related to any Hindu or Muslim or targeted at any particular group or individual. It’s a case of global terrorism, something which we can see happening in other parts of the world, and not creating ground for itself in India and Pakistan too.
India and Pakistan both have suffered for more than 100 years the policy of Divide and Rule of Britishers and now the same strategy is being adopted by many non-social people of both the countries. We have to show them and act in a more responsible manner and prove that Unity is in Diversity.
Editor: Do you think India and Pakistan can go for War; how do you perceive two Nuclear powers fighting? How can it affect the world peace?
Shad: If the war happens, it will be worst think to happen in such trying times, when the world is suffering under depressing economic scenario.
Not a single country today is at peace. In these times when common man is struggling to maintain his livelihood, the incidence of WAR is only going to worsen the situation.
And what’s the logic of WAR?
We are talking about terrorist activities being evolved in 2 countries. We are looking for a solution for how to solve this menace. In this situation why to put life of soldiers of both countries who are there to save our countries. A WAR will be more of a punishment to our soldiers for wrong doings of the anti-social elements.
Editor: How do you see Kashmir issue should be resolve? Do you find any connection with current situation?
Shad: Kashmir issue is a never ending love affair, and it will continue for many more years. I don’t think we can relate Kashmir with Mumbai incident.
Editor: What Indian and Pakistani government should do on diplomatic levels?
Shad: In current, scenario, its better to break all diplomatic ties, between the 2 countries, be it trade, transport, cricket or any other such activity which can lead to common people of two countries coming in touch. Give limited access to people of both sides to interact.
First let both the governments to work together, find a solution to these terrorist acts, give some positive result, and then re start the diplomatic activities.
Editor: What do you think should be done to resolve the tensions between India and Pakistan? What should be the role of Media in defusing tensions in South Asia?
Shad: Media has become almost the 4th pillar of democracy today. It should realise its image and the power it holds. Media can make or break any individual, any city or a nation.
It’s next to impossible for media to remain neutral to any cause, because after all media is also run by human beings who do have emotions and sentiments. But still it should act more responsibly and try to put the correct facts forward. If some facts or issues are there for which journalists or reports etc are not sure off, avoid such half cooked information to be shared with common people. And in such cases where it’s a matter of nation’s integrity and security the media needs to keep its commercial benefit on the side and think what impact their reporting can leave on common people not only of own country but outside world also.
Editor: What are you doing to promote peace?
Shad:I have also been trying to interact with my friends and relatives from Pakistan as well as India sharing each other’s views and trying to understand, how, where and what points can we identify, where we can find out a solution for atleast this one problem of terrorism, with which both the nations are suffering for decades