Dr Muhammad Khan
The post-colonial history of South Asia is driven by Indo Pak rivalry. There have been three full-fledged wars (1948, 1965 and 1971) between these two rivals besides the Kargil conflict-1999. As a successor state of British India, the post-colonial state of India refused to give Pakistan its due share from the assets of United India. Then, in collaboration with Lard Mountbatten, the Last Viceroy of united India, Hindu leadership of India manipulated the areas which otherwise were to become part of Pakistan, having Muslim majority. Stoppage of Pakistani water (water aggression) right in 1948, putting entire irrigation system of Pakistan at stake was the worst strategy, India used against Pakistan.
Thereafter, occupation of Kashmir and forceful accession of Hyderabad and Junagargh through military aggression was yet another aspect, demonstrated Indian designs of undoing Pakistan in those initial days. The subsequent Indo-Pak history (last 70 years) has witnessed a clear Indian anti Pakistan policy, which Pakistan has been responding proportionately, as a sovereign state. Nevertheless, the successive governments of Pakistan have made all out efforts for building bridges between two nuclear armed neighbouring countries. Pakistan considers resolution of issues through negations and talks, which India has been avoiding.
On November 23, 2017, a news item entitled, “Pak Army Disastrous Obsession with India” published in New Delhi based RAW front Organisation (A Publication of Bureau of Political Research and analysis) has revealed unfounded stories. This is beyond doubt that, India is a rival state of Pakistan and so is Pakistan for India. Had there been commonalities and love among the two people, there would not have been the division of India in 1947. Even the Muslims, residing in India today are being treated miserably by the Hindu majority. The Modi era is the worst example of this ill-treatment of Muslim and other minorities by RSS (the militant wing of BJP).
The article incorrectly projected that, Pakistan Army has hatred and antagonism towards India. The truth of the matter is that, India has been promoting the element of hatred and antagonism against Pakistan, particularly the Pakistan Army and its institutions like ISI. No one can deny that India is an existential threat for the state and society of Pakistan. Conspiring and then use of force to disintegrate Pakistan in 1971 is a very clear evidence besides many others as quoted above. The current Indian leadership is on record saying that India will disintegrate Pakistan in four pieces and some Indian minister say they will make sure that Pakistan is split into ten parts. Historically, the element of antagonism and hatred has always been from New Delhi to Islamabad.
There is yet another misperception, mostly raised by Indian media and Indian officials that, the civilian governments in Pakistan have been trying to improve relationship with India, but the military generals have sabotaged that. Through this write-up a misunderstanding is being created that, there are two streams of rule in Pakistan. This is again wrong and ridiculous, since Pak Army has clarified on a number of occasions that, it works as per the Government’s directive. A recent interaction of Army Chief with the Parliamentarian in the upper house of Pakistan (Senate) and answering the questions to the level of their satisfaction provides clear evidence. This interaction and the speech of Gen Qamar Bajwa, assuring the parliamentarian that Army would act as per Constitution of Pakistan and according to the orders of Chief Executive, the Prime Minister.
The enemies of Pakistan have also tried to create deep-distrust between ruling Muslim League and the armed forces by projecting that, ‘A judicial coup in Pakistan was orchestrated and backed by Army.’ Pakistani Army Chief has also rejected such assertions and blames. However, defaming the military by Indian think-tanks and Indian media under RAW is the worst form of antagonism/ hatred against Pakistan. Besides Indian, there is a global media networking, working against Pakistan, especially the armed forces. Indeed, Indian RAW through its media provide narratives against Pakistan and Pak Army to this global media network.
In this regards Denial S. Markey (a US professor) in his article has pointed out that civilian rulers in Pakistan had to negotiate a working relationship with Army, Generals. Army Chief has developed extensive commercial, financial interest and economic enterprises with thousands of employees. Mr Ashley J. Tellis (a US expert on South Asia) has said that Pakistan’s hostile and irrational behaviour is identified by its Army’s ambition to preserve its dominance in domestic policies. Indeed, these are misleading statements.
On one hand through threatening statements, US President Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence are trying to convince Pakistan that, it (Pakistan) should follow its (US) directives and on the other hand, a worldwide Indo-US media campaign has been launched to defame Pak Army. Both aspects are indeed aims a pressurising Pakistan. As a lure in, the Pence said, “As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the US, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists.” Between the lines, the US message is clear that, Pakistan has to be a US partner and do as US desires. Since Pakistan has refused to follow this US dictate, which it feels is at the cost of its sovereignty; therefore through two parallel channels Pakistani is being exploited. The first is done through political statements of Trump Administration and Modi government and the second is being done through media campaigning, to change the perception of intellectuals and the masses.
Putting Pakistan on notice is a derogatory term, which mature leadership does not use against any sovereign country. Pakistan does not provide safe haven to the ‘Taliban and many terrorist organisations, rather US and Afghanistan provide safe hideouts to TTP and other terrorists which target Pakistan from Afghan soil. There is a need that, Pakistani media, the FO, Pakistani intellectual class and political leadership must respond these misleading and derogatory statements. This is a clear victimisation.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.