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October 9, 2016

The old Indian rhetoric, once again


October 9, 2016

The jingoism recently displayed by the Indian leadership has once again led one to conclude that New Delhi is in no mood to let peace prevail in South Asia that witnessed three wars between the two nuclear rival neighbouring states. History is replete with the overtures and offers of dialogues by Pakistan’s successive governments to the Indian leaderships to resolve their outstanding thorny issues amicably through talks. However, the response these initiatives have received from the other side is now no more a surprise for the world at large.

More recently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was quite blunt in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York pleading for the Kashmir issue that has again become a flashpoint in the region. He was vocal about unabated human rights violations by the Indian security forces, over 100 killings of innocent Kashmiris in recent state aggression besides injuries to 12,000 including 800 eye injuries as a result of pellet guns usage, India’s constant denial of UN resolutions by not giving the right of self-determination to Kashmiris, Indian spy agency RAW’s anti-Pakistan activities especially in Balochistan and Karachi.

While on the other side, the Indian leadership’s old mantra on Kashmir is not a new story. In her recent address to UN General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s claim that Kashmir is the integral part of India and Pakistan should stop dreaming of it, has once again not only exposed India’s hegemonic designs in the region but also dampened the hopes for regional peace.

As a matter of fact, New Delhi’s repeated failure to crush Kashmiris struggle for their self-determination right has sent the Modi government into deep desperation. Whether it is the Pathankot attack, Samjhota train explosion, parliament terror activity, Kashmir violence or the attack on Indian army camp in Uri, the Indian junta has always blamed Pakistan. No matter, they have failed to prove their allegations despite the fact that the Pakistan government has always offered cooperation for investigation in all incidents. In his recent address at the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not only rejected his country’s role in the Uri attack but also called for international investigation in this incident.

On the other hand, the Indian government had to bite the dust when its own parliamentarians exposed their army’s claim of conducting surgical attacks inside Pakistan while crossing the Line of Control and going back unscathed. In fact, the news of so-called surgical strike was nothing but to gauge the level of professional skills of Pakistan army to handle any surgical operations. The Modi government and Indian Director General Military Operations tried to portray the artillery fire across the Line of Control as surgical strikes. The DG operations is suggested to repeat his staff course for better understanding of what is and what is not a surgical strike. Even the United Nations has announced that it hasn’t received any evidence of surgical strike.

Though PM Sharif had called for international investigation into the so-called surgical strikes, the Modi government has neither conducted any probe nor has it allowed access to any foreign team to visit the site.

However, apart from this, the Indian drama of surgical strikes has proved to be a blessing for Pakistan as it now has legal cover to carry out pre-emptive strikes if the enemy plans any such misadventure in future. Also Pakistan may approach the UN Security Council to take Indian claim of surgical strike as confession of committing an act of aggression and make it part of the UN record.

India’s repeated attempts to isolate Pakistan in the world have received a pathetic response as no saner state especially China, Russia and peace-loving countries did not give weight to what the Hindu leadership is portraying.

Pakistan's engagements on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, China's massive investment in Pakistan, increased cooperation between Russia and Pakistan particularly joint military exercises, visit of Iranian naval ship and signing of mega projects with Central Asian states have made India’s claims a “laughing stock” in the world.

The array of failures on almost all fronts, the Modi government, out of desperation, has started hurling threats of scrapping the Indus Water Treaty, 1960, under which Pakistan is getting water of three rivers of Jhelum, Indus and Chenab. Such water suspension threat by India is not surprising as stopping or releasing flood water in these three rivers has always damaged Pakistan in terms of drought, water shortage, floods, and dilapidated agriculture. However, suspending the Indus Water Treaty, as India is considering, cannot be possible unilaterally. International experts say that there is no provision in the Indus Water Treaty to scrap the agreement unilaterally. If India does so, it will violate the international law.

Same is the case with Saarc as India has refused to attend this organisation’s meeting that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on October 3. Most of the times, it is India that postponed the Saarc meetings in the past and created hurdles in its smooth functioning. Saarc is the only platform that binds all states in South Asia and it should not become prey to regional prejudices.

The Pakistan government and army have taken a strong stand that any attempt to use water as a weapon would be considered a war against their country and that they are full prepared to give a matching response to any misadventure on the part of India. The same message has also emerged out of the last week’s All Parties Conference called by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on the issue of Kashmir and India’s threatening posture.

It is the Modi government that should hold sense and realise that its hawkish attitude is once again risking the South Asia peace. Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of the partition of the subcontinent and peace in region is possible only after the Kashmir resolution by giving the right of self-determination to Kashmiris.

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