Last week saw the launch in New Delhi of 'Warriors after War: Indian and Pakistani Retired Military Leaders Reflect on Relations between the Two Countries, Past, Present and Future', published by the international publishing house Peter Lang (2011) and co-edited by Pakistani journalist Tahir Malik, Indian academic Trividesh Singh Maini, and British writer and academic Richard Bonney.
Speakers at the launch event at the India Habitat Centre included Jaswant Singh, member of Parliament; Major-General (retd) Dipankar Banerjee; Mentor, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Major-General (retd) Gagandeep Bakshi; executive editor, Defence and Security Alert magazine, Dr Wael Awwad; and Hartosh Bal, political editor, Open magazine.
The book contains brief accounts of partition and narratives of Indian and Pakistani officers who actually experienced and were involved in the wars that happened over Kashmir. The officers represent several generations of experience of pre-independent and post-independent India.
The book also includes an extensive bibliography and a chronology of the timeline of conflict between India and Pakistan that researchers will find useful.
"Most of the 26 retired military figures from India and Pakistan interviewed in the book accept that with both the countries possessing nuclear weapons, choosing war to resolve the outstanding disputes is no longer a sensible or realistic option," said Maini. He also stated that the book is "important as it records the views of officers who served pre-partition and who are in a good position to talk about the transformations in both armies and societies".
"This is a book that will make you repeatedly dip into the experiences of the past 63 years of life in India and Pakistan," said Jaswant Singh, while inaugurating the book.
"India and Pakistan have been in conflict for 63 years. We need to reflect on the problems facing the two countries. There is no resolution in war," he said. "We need to find an answer to the problems that confront us outside the war".
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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