Sultan M Hali
INDIAN plans to bring Pakistan to its knees through its machinations of supporting terrorist groups attacking military and civilian targets, fomenting insurgency and instigating ethnic and sectarian strife have not brought out the desired results. Thus to supplement its nefarious agenda against Pakistan, India is now trying to influence international media to bring about the wrath of the west upon us. Various conspiracy theories are being hatched to hatch contingency plans lest some go awry.
Here are a few examples. A meeting between the Foreign Ministers of US, Japan and India was held at Palace Hotel, New York on 18 September 2017 on the sidelines of the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly. During the meeting, North Korean Nuclear Programme was deliberated upon. Indian Foreign Minister subsequently issued a statement on the meeting containing usual propaganda against Pakistan by hinting that the North Korean proliferation may be linked with Pakistan. This plays directly into President Trump’s verbal duels with the North Korean leadership over the latter’s obsession with nuclear weapons.
The Korean War (1950-1953), which came at the heels of WWII, during which the US brought Japan to its knees after targeting Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons, made North Korea wary of a nuclear threat from the US. Kim Il Sung and now his son Kim Jong-un have been attempting to acquire nuclear weapons of their own. North Korea tried its best to acquire nuclear weapons technology from its wartime ally China. Supreme Leader Kim II-Sung twice requested Chinese sovereign Mao Zedong for help but was declined. Having been denied an easy path to a nuclear bomb, North Korea started an indigenous nuclear weapons program immediately after the war in early 1950s. To blame Pakistan for North Korean nuclear proliferation is unfair. Pakistan’s nuclear programme started much later after the first Indian nuclear test at Pokhran in 1974. During the 1970’s Pakistan’s nuclear program was not even in its embryonic stage when North Korea had already networked with the West to achieve the capability.
In the decades of 70’s and 80’s, North Korea set about acquiring sensitive nuclear technologies from Europe, taking advantage of the lack of adequate nuclear information safeguards at that time. Reportedly it had made successful headway in Plutonium-based technology on which it based its nuclear programme. It stands to reason that Pakistan, which based its nuclear program on the enrichment of Uranium through the Centrifuge progress, could not have contributed to the North Korean nuclear programme, which is based on the extraction of Plutonium. The Soviets helped North Korea set up its first nuclear reactor in 1964, yet India under the current regime has made it a routine practice to blackball Pakistan for North Korean nuclear ambitions. In 2008, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Indian fiction writer Shyam Bhatia, in his dubious publication “Goodbye Shahzadi” tried to odiously surmise that Benazir Bhutto had contributed to nuclear proliferation by carrying two CDs with the nuclear program inscribed on them in her overcoat pocket, during her state visit to Pyongyang.
Narendra Modi’s government and his Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, adept in the Chanakyan art of guile and deceit, continue with their smear campaign against Pakistan but truth will prevail. Take the case of the human sufferings of the Rohingya, reportedly under Indian influence to link Pakistan with Myanmar’s alleged militants, on 11 September 2017, Deutsche Welle, the German Radio and TV Channel, on its website, published an article titled ‘Muslim Hypocrisy over the Rohingya’. It was furtively stated that Jihadi forces attacking Myanmar’s security forces on 25 August 2017, had links with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan and were being funded from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The facts are that Myanmar’s 1948 citizenship law, promulgated by the military regime, stripped Rohingya of Myanmar’s citizenship. Until recently, Rohingya were registered as temporary residents with an identification document, known as white card. Buddhist Myanmar government fears that the speedy population rise among Rohingya Muslims as compared to slow population growth among the Buddhists may turn Rohingya into a majority in the country.
In 2014, after holding the first UN-backed national census in thirty years, Rohingya could only be registered as Bengalis, while the Constitutional referendum of 2015 canceled even the temporary identity cards issued to this community. To make matters worse, the Myanmar government put restrictions on marriage, family planning (only two children permitted), employment, education, religious choice and freedom of movement. Events took a sharp twist when the Myanmar government started persecuting the Rohingya, forcing them to flee for their life to various destinations.
Ironically, India, which is itself wreaking havoc on Kashmiri Muslims and other minorities, has decided to support the repressive regime of Myanmar. Modi regime’s plan to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims is underway on the plea that it had evidence of terror links between India-based Rohingya and extremist groups allegedly from Pakistan and other Muslim states. The hapless Rohingya were not welcome in Bangladesh, crushed by poverty and hunger itself but while India was plotting and planning Pakistan-bashing, China stepped in to save the day. Thus India lost the opportunity of diplomatically enhancing its influence on both its close neighbours Myanmar and Bangladesh. Chinese decision to help rebuild Rohingya residential areas as well as provide them means of gaining livelihood as well as establish development projects in Bangladesh and Myanmar has made it a win-win situation for all. India continues to suffer itself owing to its narrow nationalism and hate propaganda.
—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.