New Delhi: Those in this country that speak of peace with Pakistan (the flag-bearers of Aman ki Asha) have not the faintest notion of Pakistan’s founding ideology, the Two-Nation Theory of Hindus and Muslims being never able to co-exist, which has put Pakistan forever in violent competition and confrontation mode with India, whose by-products are terrorist leaders such as Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed. Rehman Malik, who controversially visited India last week, is merely a buffoonish sample of Establishment Pakistan’s dyed-in-the-wool India baiters.

Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, is at bottom not very different from the jihadi mass-murderer, Hafiz Sayeed, except for one being a believer and the other not, not to speak of the ostentatious Westernism of the Oxford-educated barrister. Jinnah is entirely unselfconscious in an infamous photograph with his feet up facing a Friday congregation kneeling in prayer. As a lawyer, Jinnah gave himself a brief to win Pakistan, and so he commenced on the objective course of hatred for the idea of India. For an atheist, he was quick to grasp the merits of a jihadi campaign in 1947-48 to wrest Kashmir, and his rightful heirs, the generals of Pakistan, Sandhurst-trained, Scotch-guzzling, dog-loving pucca sahibs, pursued his policies of implacable hatred towards India, using the ideology of jihad when it suited them.

In that respect, jihad was an accepted instrument of Pakistan state policy long before Zia-ul-Haq hoisted the national flag of Islamism. Although the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan gave jihad new prominence, salience and Western acceptability in the late 1970s, it had been the motor force of Pakistan’s inimicality towards India since their common independence. From Zia to Hafiz Sayeed is but a small jump, but the primordial springboard was provided by Jinnah’s founding ideology for Pakistan.

Which is why, decade upon decade, generation after generation, India-bashing never goes out of fashion in Pakistan. America maybe number 1 on the Pakistani jihadi hitlist for reasons connected with Afghanistan and the drone bombings in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, but India is loathed by the jihadis and the Establishment together, and appears clueless and powerless to contain their joint terror attacks such as 26/11. The crisis is worsened when a nostalgic Punjabi leadership comes to prominence in India, such as with Inder Kumar Gujral/ Manmohan Singh as prime minister, when Pakistan is sought to be appeased. Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler killed any chance of early success of the anti-Nazis in the Wehrmacht for which the world paid a price.

This writer has long argued to keep Pakistan at arm’s length to stew in its own juice. India’s true strategic competitor and long-term enemy is China, which is using Pakistan, whose blind hatred for India makes it a willing and eager pawn. India must aim to separate the Chinese and Pakistani threats, and contain them one after another. As the smaller but more unpredictable of the two foes, Pakistan must be bottled up within its own state failure to perish, and this is only possible by taking effective, proven and credible countermeasures against its nuclear-first-use threat against India, and the threat of employment of battlefield nukes against an Indian armoured attack. Progress is being made in these two directions, but they must be prioritized and hastened. Once Pakistan is incapable of nuclear blackmail, India would gain the upper hand. As for the Chinese threat, that needs separate treatment, which is outside the scope of this analysis.

In sum, getting hysterical about Rehman Malik is pointless. He should never have been invited. If the secret idea of inviting Malik was to influence the Gujarat elections (the venality of UPA-2 is boundless), it has boomeranged on the Manmohan Singh government. The prime minister must give up his fancy ideas of expanding the peace process with Pakistan. For the rest of his term, he should entertain no idea of visiting Pakistan. Pakistan is not ready for peace with India. It does not want peace. Peace with India militates against its founding ideology. Even Jinnah from his grave, the original sinner, cannot turn back the clock.