News & Views
India had another setback when White House rejected an online petition by Indian Congressmen/lobbyists seeking to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. White House rejected the petition as it contained too many fake signatures, and thus was closed, media reports said. It should be noted that a similar petition seeking to declare India a terrorist state over atrocities in Kashmir have also been submitted to the United States, which is open for signatures. On Sept 27, the US State Department spokesman said Pakistan was fighting a sustained campaign against terrorists and had made progress. Of course, Pakistan is committed to give moral diplomatic support to Kashmiris in their struggle for inalienable right of self-determination. Pakistani and American Kashmiris had held a protest rally outside the UN Headquarters as the Indian Foreign Minister was making a speech in the General Assembly, in which she accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism.
India is spending a fortune on hiring the lobbyists and is more active than Pakistan. Months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to joint session of US congress in June 2016, Indian-American groups had launched a campaign to win more lawmakers’ support for a move to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint session of US Congress. The ball was set rolling with Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and a fellow House member George Holding writing to House Speaker John Boehner with the suggestion. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a briefing that “the long-standing position of the United States is that India and Pakistan really stand to benefit from the normalisation of relation and practical cooperation between them. And we encourage both India and Pakistan to pursue and engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at reducing tensions.”
After Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the UN General Assembly and asked India to stop committing atrocities on the Kashmiries in the held valley – the root cause of tension in the region – India had increased its vile acts and launched propaganda blitz against Pakistan. However, it stood exposed after the concocted story of surgical strike across the LoC. Pakistan asserted that India flagrantly misrepresented cross-border firing as raids across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had made statements raising doubts about the strikes. India’s Congress party disowned its leader Sanjay Nirupam’s suggestion that surgical strikes across the Line of Control were fake. Yet the party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the evidence should be made public. Quoting Indian army, media reports stated that seven terror launch pads or staging areas were targeted.
The problem is that India wants to extend hegemony in the region especially the smaller neighbors, and sponsors terror acts to terrorise them. Last month, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that local supporters of some fringe political parties in South India may be involved in the attack on the Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia. Though the government is still awaiting the results of the Malaysian police’s investigation into the assault on Ibrahim Ansar, de Silva said that he was confident that the situation had been handled properly. The Ambassador was attacked when he was returning after dropping several Sri Lankan parliamentarians at the Airport after attending a conference in Kuala Lumpur. Later several individuals were arrested in connection with the incident by the Malaysian Police. The above mentioned news report clearly shows the way India want to control the whole region.
Its hegemonic designs and suppression ways to achieve its targets show its rigidness. The report predicted that with this attack India wants to send a strong message to all small neighbouring states that it is mighty and can do whatever it wants and anyone who opposes will have to face the wrath. India created a situation whereby Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan followed Indian’s decision to stay away from the November summit, which was to be held in Islamabad.
New Delhi had cancelled the Pakistan-India foreign secretary-level talks in August 2014 on the pretext of invitation to Kashmiri leaders by High commissioner Abdul Basit, whereas it has been a practice for years to which India showed reservations but never stalled the dialogue. Cancellation of secretary level talks was reflective of lack of understanding of the issue and short-sightedness of Narendra Modi’s government. India had called off engagement with Pakistan many times in the past on flimsy grounds, only to realise later that there was no other alternative to the dialogue. Pakistan has always been keen to resolve all outstanding disputes with India through dialogue, but India has either baulked at dialogue or stalled dialogue on one pretext or another.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.