ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Besieged Neighbours

However much India and Pakistan deny it, their destinies are tied to each other.

India and Pakistan observed their recent anniversaries of independence from colonialism in a distinctly sombre mood. Despite the hard times, if there was room for make-believe in India, the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe that had Pakistan in a vice-like grip left that country with no such luxury. Few expect the corrupt and internally riven Pakistan state apparatus to live up to any norms of accountability in a moment of mass distress. And if nature’s cruelty was not sufficient, Pakistan’s Independence Day witnessed two lethal militant attacks in the Balochistan province and a United States drone missile strike in the northern areas that may have killed a number of civilians. India faced its own national security anxieties, as mass protests raged in Kashmir and the Maoist insurgency in the country’s forested heartland kept up an insistent pressure on security forces deployed in all their coercive might. Preparations for the pageantry of the Commonwealth Games, primed as the equivalent of a debutante ball marking India’s emergence on the world stage, were meanwhile drawn into a morass of corruption and mutual recrimination.

Pakistan’s flood misery was a zone of silence for the Indian media, though that country’s singular failure to secure pledges of aid to tide through the humanitarian catastrophe earned a number of mentions. The aid deficit was put down quite categorically to squandered trust, a consequence of the Pakistan state’s unsavoury global image.

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