'Fashion shows, qawwalis and comedy fests can only be included in a much more meaningful menu of dialogue which occurs when the guns are silent, infiltration is a thing of the past and the people's mood permits such extravaganzas, feels Tarun Vijay, MP.
At a time when parts of India and Pakistan are ravaged by devastating floods and the mood in both countries is sad and somber, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry has joined the Pakistan high commission to stage a fashion show in New Delhi, 'Aalishan Pakistan.'
By doing so, both FICCI and the Pakistan high commission are negating their respective nations and the brief they have.
Forgetting all that Pakistan has done to hurt our feelings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered help to a neighbour in distress, setting the mood for a mature and somber relationship. That reflects the leadership of a statesman.
And here, a business organisation has invited guests on September 10 with these lines: 'Immerse yourself in an evening of luxury.'
Pakistan's activist High Commissioner Abdul Basit should have been more visible collecting relief material for the flood victims in his country. By associating himself with an untimely and bizarre fashion show, he must surely have hurt the sentiments of his people.
Nobody would have bothered about 'Aalishan Pakistan' if bilateral ties had improved and it was limited to showcasing fashion.
And pray, what kind of 'Aalishan Pakistan' will be showcased? With all our best wishes, we would be eager to know why this 'Aalishan Pakistan' is struggling to keep its government afloat and why a visiting head of State (Chinese President Xi Jinping) had to cancel his Pakistan trip at the 11th hour?
Sincerity and honesty of purpose brings threads of friendship together. While the barbarism of the neighbour's army shows its ugly face in a routine manner, such fashion shows contribute towards upsetting people.
The qawwalis, fashion shows and comedy fests can only be included in a much more meaningful menu of dialogue which occurs when the guns are silent, infiltration is a thing of the past and the people's mood permits such extravaganzas.
Disconnected czars of five star peace shows harm the genuine process of rebuilding the bruised and weakened peace-process and friendship.
The Pakistan army's brazen violations on the border and the State-protected terrorist outfits are an essential part of today's Pakistan.
Business and trade apart, there should be some concern for the army jawans who have laid their lives.
The Pakistan high commissioner showed little respect for India's willingness to talk peace and invited those who are sustained by India but yet demand separatism singing their Islamabad master's songs. This was a brazen affront to Indian sensitivities. I am sure the intelligent FICCI secretariat must know that the Indian government had cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in protest.
Is the Pakistan high commissioner a different entity than the one which now finds suitable hospitality by FICCI?
How far can we distance ourselves from our Indian-ness in search of better business opportunities?
Tarun Vijay is a Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Rajya Sabha.
Image: Riot police drive away demonstrators outside Pakistan's parliament in Islamabad, August 30, 2014. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters