–Photo illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan/Dawn.com

India and Pakistan have a long and complicated history with each other. Well, at least that’s what their individual relationship status says on Facebook: ‘It’s complicated.’   These two countries simultaneously became independent from Britain after insisting that there was nothing called chicken tikka mesala, you idiots!   When British India became independent, it was supposed to be divided into two parts (leg piece and breast piece).   Areas consisting of 75 per cent or more Muslims were to become Pakistan and the rest of the territory India. It’s another thing that for long there were more Muslims in the Indian territory than in Pakistan, until the Indian government banned beef and the Pakistani government banned vegetarians.    This arrangement did not include the ‘Princely States,’ mainly because the princes thought they were living in Constantinople in the 12th Century AD.   The Princely States were at liberty to determine their own future - they could join Pakistan, join India, or remain as a separate state. Of course, this was quite a hoax, but the princes of the Princely States fell for it because their princesses had had enough of the princes’ harems and their badly composed odes to life in Constantinople.   The Maharaja of Kashmir, Curry Singh Dogra, decided to preserve the state of Kashmir so he decided to join neither India nor Pakistan - instead he decided to join a local polo club that also held invigorating bingo nights every weekend.   However, Pakistan sent tribal lashkars to talk to Kashmir about their decision of autonomy and persuade them (at gunpoint) to join Pakistan. It’s remarkable that such a meeting took place because the lashkar men spoke Pushtu and the maharaja spoke Hindi, Kashmiri and a bit of Japanese. The talks took place without an interpreter on either side.   The Indian government saw Pakistan's action as a sign of invasion and sent troops to help defend the state of Kashmir. The result of the first war between India and Pakistan involving Kashmir was Pakistan controlling 37 per cent while India controlled 63 per cent of the territory. However, the Kashmiris controlled none. 0 per cent. Zilch.   The Maharaja protested, but to no avail. The dimwit decided to word his protest in Japanese - so much so that at one point even Japan began claiming sovereignty over Kashmir. It only backed out when some Kashmiris began calling Sushi, Sushi Mesala. The Japanese were livid.     Three more wars occurred between Pakistan and India. One of the wars was in 1965, when fighting broke out in the Rann of Kach, a sparsely inhabited region along the Pakistan–India border. The British had called this area Leg of Lamb.   In August fighting spread from Leg of Lamb to Kashmir and to the Punjab and then all the way to Honolulu in Hawaii and in September Pakistani and Indian troops crossed the partition line between the two countries and launched air assaults (bird droppings) on each other's cities (and heads).     After threats of intervention by Japan (posing as China) had been successfully opposed by the United States and Britain, Pakistan and India agreed to a UN-sponsored cease-fire and withdrew their pigeons and crows from the sky and mice on the ground. It was quite a funny war, really.    Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Shri Shri Bang Bang of India and President Field Air Water Marshal Kublai Kebab Khan of Pakistan met at a Russian Vodka outlet in Tashkent in the former Soviet Union in January 1966.   Both men after enjoying a drink or two and a game of ludo, signed an agreement pledging continued negotiations and respect for the cease-fire conditions. After the ‘Tashkent Declaration’ (also called the Vodka Hustle) another period of relative peace ensued.   Indo-Pakistan relations deteriorated again when civil war erupted in Pakistan, pitting the beef-munching West Pakistan army against the fish-eating East Pakistanis demanding greater autonomy and more gravy.

The fighting forced 10 million East Pakistani Bengalis to flee to India, mostly on handmade gliders made from dried fish skin and baby shark fins.

When Pakistan attacked Indian airfields (and Japanese restaurants) in Kashmir, India attacked both East and West Pakistan (after it could not figure out where on earth North and South Pakistan were).

India occupied East Pakistan which declared its independence as the United Fish Loving Republic of Bangladesh, on Dec. 6, 1971.

Under great pressure from US, USSR and Dilip Kumar, a UN cease-fire was arranged in mid-December, after Pakistan's defeat – mainly due to Zionist, Hindu and Zoroastrian agents operating within Pakistan’s gallant, unbeatable, glorious, enterprising, fit, super-duper, very muscular army.

An army of 100,000 heroic, invincible, magnificent, innovative, robust and very muscular soldiers was thrown into political turmoil. Chairman Zulfikar Tse Tung emerged as leader of Pakistan, and Mujibur Rahman Machli as prime minister of Bangladesh.

Tensions were alleviated by the historic Bogotá Accord of 1972 and by Pakistan's recognition of Bangladesh (and fish mesala) in 1974.

But tensions between India (now called the Republic of Indira Gandhi) and whatever left of Pakistan (now called the Islamic Republic of Whatever Left of Pakistan) periodically recurred.

In the early 1980s, threat of yet another useless war between the two poverty-stricken countries began looming again when the Republic of Indira Gandhi accused the Islamic Republic of Whatever Left of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the IMM (I, Me, Myself), of funding the Buddhist insurgency in Indian Punjab.

To defuse the tension, Pakistan’s greatest leader ever ever ever and after ever forever after ever (and then some), General Zia Bin Qasim, indulged in some ‘cricket diplomacy’ by sending Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, a gift of some of the finest crickets found in the bushes of Rann of Kach. Rajiv reciprocated the gesture by sending Zia – a well known beef lover – a video of fat cows roaming aimlessly in the streets of New Delhi.

Tensions between the two countries remained defused throughout the 1990s even when both the skinny poverty-stricken countries tested their respective nuclear bombs in 1998.  In fact, Pakistani prime minster and ameerul momineen wannabe, Mian Nawaz Brief, actually invited his Indian counterpart, Utter Bihari Vajpayee to visit Lahore for lunch.

Utter Bihari accepted the invitation but Pakistan’s largest, greatest, bravest and most popular political party and the bestest, most amazing Islamic party in the whole wide world (and imaginary caliphate), the Jamat-i-Islami, criticised Nawaz for trying to befriend Hindus (and thus give up beef). 

Jamat chief, Qazi Saladin, said: “Today we have sold out the Islamic Disputed Territory of Kashmir to Hindu vegetarians and American imperialists. By God, had my sons not been performing jihad by running their retail stores in the United States, they would have gone to Kashmir and liberated it. That’ll be $4.75, please. Bing!”

But the Nawaz-led peace initiative turned out to be short-lived. In July 1999, Pakistan and India went to war again. Called the Kargil War, there were three major phases to the conflict. First, Pakistan infiltrated forces into the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir and occupied strategic locations, such as tree tops, the insides of mail boxes and the back seats of the area’s main cinemas.

The next stage consisted of India discovering the infiltration (with the help of a Japanese spy posing as a Sushi mesala expert and embedded in the gallant Pakistan army). India then began mobilizing forces to respond to the infiltration.

The final stage involved major battles involving all kinds of kitchen sinks between Indian and Pakistani forces. This resulted in India recapturing some territory held by Pakistani forces and the subsequent withdrawal of Pakistani forces back across the so-called ‘Line of Control’ (also called Control ki Lakeer). This came about due to international pressure from United States, Britain and especially Uganda who threatened to ban the smuggling of illegal elephant tusks into both India and Pakistan.

Pakistan soon sought American help in de-escalating the conflict. Pakistan’s brave army chief, General Papa Musharraf, wanted to fight on, but as usual, it was Pakistan’s sissy civilian leadership that chickened out. However, US President and renowned saxophonist, Bill Groovy Clinton, refused to intervene until Pakistan had removed all forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control.

Talking on phone to Pakistani prime mister, Nawaz Brief, he said: “I am sorry, Nawaz, but we will not be able to intervene unless you ask your general to withdraw back to the Control ki Lakeer.” 

Following the Washington accord on July 4, where Nawaz Brief agreed to withdraw Pakistani troops, most of the fighting came to a gradual halt, but some Pakistani forces remained on treetops on the Indian side of the Line of Control.

In addition, the United Jihad Council (an umbrella organization of jihad groups who were also available for children’s birthday parties) rejected Pakistan's plan for a climb-down, instead deciding to fight on and die on those pine treetops. 

Unfairly, it was Pakistan that was criticized by other countries (especially Somalia) for instigating the war.

The country’s prime minister, Nawaz Brief, was livid when he found out that his army chief, General Papa Musharraf, had kept him in the dark about the war. Papa blamed Nawaz for Pakistan’s defeat that was explained as a victory to the people but a defeat to Nawaz but a victory to the media but a draw to the army but a victory to the jihadis but a defeat to the Americans but a something-or-the-other to Somalia.

The world suddenly came alive to the possibility of the two poverty-stricken low-on-vitamins nuclear nations going to war with their nuclear weapons. Scandinavian countries even suggested to the UN that both India and Pakistan be shifted to the North Pole. Uganda agreed.

The nature of the Indo-Pak relations has somewhat changed ever since the 9/11 episode in which Mossad and CIA agents staged a devastating attack on the Twin Towers in New York and blamed it on a couple of pious Muslims preaching peace through Ali Azmat songs and old Pepsi posters of Imran Khan in Afghanistan.

Many believe India does not pose a threat to Pakistan and vise versa, but whereas this has left some Indian generals feeling kinda bored and all, some Pakistani generals, officers and TV anchors think this is yet another Mossad and CIA conspiracy.

They think those preaching peace between India and Pakistan are trying to sell-out the Kashmir cause and should be labeled as traitors. Uganda agrees.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.



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