SINCE 1947, Pakistan-India relations have generally remained tense due to India’s unfair policies towards Pakistan, including Indian leaders’ statements against the creation of Pakistan, delays in and unfair distribution of assets and illegal occupation of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir that resulted into 1947/48 Pakistan-India war. The war ended only when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) brokered a ceasefire through its 1948/49 resolutions. Indian policies had created a perception that India was working to weaken Pakistan to endanger its existence. Pakistan further felt insecure when India did not cooperate with the UNSC to hold the plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir as per its resolutions of 1948/49 so that the Kashmiris could decide through a vote whether they wanted to join Pakistan or India. India’s unjust policies towards Pakistan and its hegemony driven ambitions had led to the 1965 war over Kashmir and India’s military aggression in 1971 in East Pakistan that dismembered Pakistan.
Then in May 1998, both countries became declared nuclear powers. Thus a strategic balance was created and Pakistan felt much secure from India’s any future military intervention to further harm its territorial integrity. Pakistan became confident that after nuclear parity the mutual issues will be resolved through negotiations and peace will prevail in the region. But, instead of seeking a negotiated peace, India is still bent upon establishing its hegemony by pursuing an indirect strategy to undermine Pakistan’s nuclear status, and harm its integrity by destabilizing it internally and weakening its economy. This Indian strategy comprises: tarnishing the Pakistan’s image, isolating it diplomatically, sponsoring instability in Afghanistan and blaming Pakistan to breed US hostility towards it; sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to create a perception that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were unsafe; and impeding Pakistan’s economic progress by sponsoring terrorist acts along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route.
To implement this strategy, India is using all means at its disposal, including its diplomacy, media houses, intelligence agencies and its geopolitical and economic clout. To isolate Pakistan diplomatically, Indian Prime Minister Modi has been himself spearheading India’s diplomatic effort of blaming Pakistan for supporting terrorism in the region. In his speeches and diplomatic interactions at international forums and with the world leaders, Modi invariably blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorism and manoeuvred around to ensure that the name of Pakistan, in the context of terrorism, was included in the joint statements.
Equally part of its anti-Pakistan, terrorism branded diplomacy, India also refused to attend SAARC Summit 2016 to be held in Pakistan, which pressured other regional countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan to also attract out. India is likely to do the same to scuttle the next SAARC summit scheduled in Pakistan during 2018. This is meant to distort the Pakistan’s image and disturb its relations with the SAARC member countries. Indian writers and think-tanks are extensively writing against Pakistan and blaming it for sponsoring terrorism. In the international conferences also, Indian think-tanks openly propagate without any evidence that Pakistan supports terrorism in the region. And, now they are doing it in collaboration with the US think-tanks to lobby against Pakistan in the US.
Indian media also continues to carry out propaganda against Pakistan. For illustration, ‘India Today’ had aired the programme, “India First” on 09 May 2018, in which a conspiracy theory was propagated that Pakistan’s ISI is now roping in Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists to stick out from Pakistani jails and in return, wage Jihad in J&K. Conversely, Indian media hardly talks about India’s state terrorism in Kashmir. Indian RAW is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. This was evident when the RAW operative Kulbhushan Yadav, who was arrested from Balochistan, confessed to his involvement in creating unrest and sponsoring terrorism to destabilise Pakistan. Kulboshan Yadav said he was tasked to destabilise Pakistan, create unrest, sponsor terrorism and separatism in Balochistan (The Nation dated 30 March 2016).
Through its sponsored publication titled “A Publication of Bureau of political Research and Analysis”, RAW keeps on propagating against Pakistan. Some of the recent negative published articles project following themes: The Pakistan terrorists are awaiting near Loc to be launched from Lepa valley; ISI is providing protection to the co-founding father of the Indian Mujahideen terrorist organization, Riaz Bhatkal and Pakistan gets Chinese missile tracking system. To counter India’s above-mentioned anti-Pakistan designs in the same coin, so far Pakistan’s strategy has been muted, as at international level, its government functionaries and media showed reluctance in fully exposing India’s destabilizing activities in the region. In this context, it is suggested that while focusing on building economy, internal cohesion and establishing a negotiated peace in the region, Pakistan should also resolutely expose and fail India’s Pakistan-specific evil designs using all diplomatic and other means.
—The writer, retired Lt Col, is a freelance columnist based in Islamabad.