REFERENCE the articles, ‘Pakistan and India-China war’ (Oct 21); ‘India chafes over defeat 50 years after war with China’ by Rupam J. Nair (Oct. 20) and ‘India must seek honourable reconciliation with China’ by Praful Bidwai (Oct 16), the last two being Indian commentators.
The Dawn article has done a good job by showing how not only Pakistan but China has also benefited from their ties. Mr Bidwai has admirably tried to foster détente between New Delhi and Beijing by saying: “The real lesson from 1962 is that India must seek honourable reconciliation with China. The way forward lies in the Chinese-proposed ‘package deal’ on the border, not hubristic claims about whether India could have won the war or can still avenge its defeat.
In contrast, Mr Nair has quoted an Indian academic as saying that a sense of insecurity dominates the (Sino-India) equation.
Further, that “India will never forget the war nor can it forgive China for advancing so far into its territory”.
India should consider realistically the ground realities. China is ethnically and socially far more cohesive, whereas India is riddled by internal problems. There are about a dozen insurgencies going on for decades and at least the Naxalite one could prove its undoing. It ought to heed the Chinese proverb: “When the heron and the oyster seize each other, the fisherman reaps the benefit’. The lesson for the US, which had hastened to help India in 1962, is it couldn’t keep China from growing economically, displomatically or militarily during its cold war policies. Add to this the interdependence they now have on each other, and it’s clear Washington would be wise to forge good ties with Beijing also.
America must avoid getting militarily involved overseas. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan should be lessons enough. “Let everyone sweep away the snow from his own door, and not meddle with the hoarfrost on his neighbour’s tiles” (Chinese saying).
As far as our Chinese friends are concerned, that, too, will gain from working collectively with countries far and near. All nations whether, big or small, who are involved in disputes will profit from heeding the Scottish adage: “He is wise who can make a friend of a foe.”
KHALID CHAUDHRY Karachi