Thursday, April 14, 2016

Resolving communication issues between India and Pakistan.

We all know that there are differences of opinion between India and Pakistan. We all know that these differences need to be communicated properly to avoid misunderstandings.

In the age of the internet - communications are not limited to diplomatic channels alone. Everyone in India can communicate with everyone in Pakistan and vice versa. So whatever discretion is normally exercised in diplomatic contacts, needs to be internalized in communications between private parties in India and Pakistan.

We live in a world of glass, and people need to be very careful about what they say. Cleaning up the internet discourse may hold the key to a lasting peace.

I am laying what is helpful when it comes to communication issues between India and Pakistan.

1) No talk of open-ended conflicts - People in India and Pakistan talk about open ended conflicts. Whether it is "aar-paar ki ladhai" or "a thousand year Jihad", that kind of talk simply serves to increase tension and creates distrust. For there to be progress, this needs to stop asap.

2) Do not say the first thing that comes to you mouth - A lot of people in India and Pakistan seem to shoot their mouths off on platforms like Twitter. It is especially damaging when Tweetias (i.e. chootiyas who tweet) say things they have no business saying. The thing is both the ISI and RAW are smart enough to have AIs that mine twitter feed from each other's country and there is at least one trend analysis unit that keeps a steady record of the kinds of linguistic patterns that appear in the tweets. The tweetias simply add noise to that measurement and it makes it impossible for ISI or RAW to do their job properly. So the tweetias need to go away and find something else to bullshit about.

3) Do respect the "internal" v/s "external" divide - It is never a good idea to comment on what a country does inside it's borders. Bloggers, tweeters, and forumites need to respect that. A certain element of interest in each other's internal affairs and curiosity is understandable, especially in the India Pakistan context, but there is no need for this curiosity to become hostile. It is perfectly okay for Indians to talk about Balochistan or Shias or Gilgit Baltistan, and it is perfectly fine for Pakistanis to talk about Kashmir, Dalits etc... there is no need for Indians and Pakistanis to attack each other on the internet for such comments. Commenting on external relations between nation is also perfectly acceptable. It is okay for Pakistanis and Indians to agree to disagree.

4) Never speak about sponsoring terrorism in each other's lands - Terrorism is increasingly seen as an unacceptable form of national expression. If people insist on talking about sponsoring violence in each other's lands - there can be no hope for peace. There is always a criminal incentive - some trans-border narco traffickers will see an opportunity to broaden/diversify their operations and what is idle talk on the internet will translate into a terrible carnage. No sensible person will want to be a part of that - it is best if people realize that and avoid discussing terrorism sponsorship as tool of national security policy.

5) NO WMD/NUCLEAR THREATS EVER - People in India and Pakistan see a lot of violence. It is very common after an act of violence people feel anger. This anger is compounded by the slow pace of judicial retribution and the weak nature of rule of law in these countries. However angry you may feel, and however tough you think you are  - you do not have the capacity to withstand nuclear warfare. Talk of nuclear warfare is not an acceptable reaction to violence. Anyone doing this on the Internet needs to stop right now.

All the stuff discussed above should help clean up the cesspool of bad information parading through the Internet and make it easier for national intelligence systems to create relatively noise-free public opinion and trend analysis codes. This kind of opinion trend analysis is key to providing a lasting sense of security in a region where the threat of accidental nuclear escalation is now extremely high.


At 4:56 AM, Blogger Nanana said...

For your archives Mav

At 10:55 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Interesting. I really don't know where Mr. Trump is going or where he intends to the take the US.


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