Sultan M Hali
THE saying from the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns: ‘The best laid schemes of mouse and men turn awry’ is quite apt in the case of India trying to isolate Pakistan. On the eve of the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India orchestrated a false flag operation at its military camp of Uri in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed and tried to blame Pakistan for the attack. This heinous scheme had a couple of aims; firstly to divert international opinion from Indian atrocities in IOK, since Pakistan was going to raise it at UNGA, secondly, India wanted to isolate Pakistan and have it declared a terrorist state.
On both accounts India failed miserably. The fabricated evidence of the assailants using Pakistani weapons and sketch maps of Uri in Pashto language, were torn to shreds by Indian media itself and failed to convince the Occident. Two Congressmen from USA, reportedly on the payroll of India did table a mission in the US Parliament to have Pakistan declared a terrorist state but the motion is not likely to be carried through because of there being no takers for it. The US State Department did not find India’s evidence implicating Pakistan to be convincing. India concentrated on its erstwhile long standing ally Russia.
Pakistan and Russia were scheduled to conduct a joint military exercise to combat terrorism. India requested Russia to call off the war games with Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack. Indian media and government were so sure of Russia’s response that they prematurely announced the cancellation of the Russo-Pakistan joint exercise. Indian media and spin doctors had to eat a humble pie when Russia, oblivious to the Indian requests, proceeded with the scheduled war games. To rub salt in the wound, the military games are being held in the mountains of Gilgit Baltistan, which India calls its own integral part. Iran, another Indian ally, in which India has invested heavily by constructing the Port of Chah Bahar and connecting highway to Afghanistan, was approached to oppose Pakistan. Indian plans went awry, when the Iranian President approached the Pakistani Prime Minister on the sidelines of UNGA and requested permission for Iran to join the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the UNGA because Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not have the gall to do so. She tried to sidestep the issue of Indian atrocities in IHK by stating that Kashmir is an integral part of India. It was an irresponsible statement since Kashmir is very much on the UN agenda and UN Resolutions on Kashmir spell out a solution to the stalemate, which India has been ignoring to its peril. Since 1947, when India illegally occupied Kashmir, it has been wreaking havoc on the Kashmiris. Pakistan and India went to war in 1947-48 and it was India that approached the UN Security Council for a cease fire. UNSC Resolutions were passed, which stipulate that a UN sponsored plebiscite will enable the Kashmiris to decide whether they want to accede to Pakistan or India. Since Kashmir has a Muslim majority population, the result is a foregone conclusion in favour of Pakistan so India has reneged on the UN Resolutions for over six decades.
In 1989, having lost patience with UN Resolutions ever being enforced, the Kashmiris of IHK took up an armed struggle to get their rights of self determination. India retaliated by deploying over seven hundred thousand armed troops in the Kashmir Valley. Over the last twenty seven years, nearly a 1,00,000 innocent Kashmiris have been martyred, while a large number of women raped and thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in Indian jails. Whenever India wants to choreograph a false flag operation, it pulls out a few incarcerated Kashmiris, kills them and dumps their bodies at the scene of a fake terror attack and claims that the assailants were Pakistanis.
On July 8, 2016, Burhan Wani, a young and popular Kashmiri freedom fighter was ambushed and brutally murdered. In the wake of this heinous murder, over 110 Kashmiri youth have been martyred because they were protesting the extra judicial slaying of Wani. This time Indian forces are targeting the Kashmiri youth with pellet guns, which blind the victims. International community has taken notice of the inhuman practice. Pakistani Prime Minister brought this issue up in his address to UNGA but also invited India to the dialogue table to settle all disputes including that of the core issue of Kashmir. Sushma Swaraj lied through her teeth, when she claimed that situation in IHK was peaceful but it was Pakistan that was fomenting trouble. She also labeled Burhan Wani as a terrorist, which is contempt of court, since an Indian Court has declared that freedom fighters and separatists cannot be labeled as a terrorist. She also went on a tirade to blackball Pakistan, claiming that it was Pakistan that was maltreating Baloch and the residents of Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. This is not only contrary to the truth but is tantamount to interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, in her response, exposed the lies and falsehood enshrouding the Indian External affairs Minister’s speech.
India has threatened to unilaterally rescind the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of 1960 and block the flow of water to Pakistan. This move too has been countered by Pakistan, which has declared that abrogating the IWT and stopping Pakistan’s water would be an act of war and Pakistan would be constrained to respond aggressively. Moreover Indian legal experts have advised India not to repeal the IWT as it would be unlawful. Having failed to isolate Pakistan, Narendra Modi has pulled out yet another trick from his box of guile and deceit. India has boycotted the forthcoming SAARC Summit being hosted by Pakistan, in a bid to embarrass it. Only Indian surrogate like Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have responded. Once again Indian machination has not succeeded.
—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.