Steps to be Taken Towards Pakistan – an extract from the book A Vision of United India

Steps to be Taken Towards Pakistan

Our policy should base itself on the following planks:

As seen in the earlier chapters, the biggest obstacle to unity in the subcontinent is the Pakistan Army and its sister establishments in Pakistan. The first step would be, therefore, to weaken the military. This has to be done by supporting the return of democracy in Pakistan. For in a democracy, the governments are obliged to respond to the basic needs of the people, and that will put pressure on large military budgets. At a later stage, one can even envisage the unification of the two Armies.

Second, constituencies in Pakistan whose livelihood and prosperity depend upon good relations with India should be nurtured. That will mean that we have to develop the growing trade relations between India and Pakistan. In this, India should take the initiative. The example of West Germany is a living testimony of this approach. We should not allow the initiative to rest with Pakistan. A probable step in this direction could be by declaring unilateral freeing of trade.

Third, we should help the secular minded people in Pakistan to come closer to us — through people to people and professional contacts, by throwing open opportunities for education and training, and cultural activities. The disillusionment of the middle class with the failure of Pakistan can play an important role in turning the tide in favour of India.

Fourth, on the political plane we must deepen our relations and understanding with the United States, Russia, China, and other neighbouring countries that see Islamic fundamentalism as a threat to the stability of their societies. Obviously, this is a large agenda and it requires a steady purpose, and time to fructify. But above all, it needs a national consensus covering all parties, with secularism, economic success, and a strong national defence as the underpinnings of our future.

Finally, and most important, we must reinterpret all the religions practised in India – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and all other religions, which are practised in the country –– at a deeper level. The time has come when we have to begin to seriously consider what they all really mean and are in their soul, that is to say, in their very reality and essence. Once that is done, we shall realize that there are no real differences.


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