Indian EAM’s derisive invective against Pakistan | By M Fazal Elahi


Indian EAM’s derisive invective against Pakistan

AT the culmination of the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers Conference held in Goa-India, from 4-5 May 2023, the Indian External Affairs Minister (IEAM), addressed a presser on 5 May. A Vlog of the referenced presser was uploaded on Twitter on the same day by Asian News International (ANI), an Indian television news agency headquartered in New Delhi. All and sundry across the globe who has had the opportunity to watch the referenced Vlog, and listen to the scornful remarks of the Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar against Pakistan, would agree with the scribe that the intent of the presser was clearly Pakistan-bashing, nothing else.

What a shame! The emotionally-charged Indian External Affairs Minister, who happens to be a seasoned Indian diplomat and politician, could certainly have taken a more diplomatic and professional stance towards the profoundly grave issue of terrorism that indiscriminately confronts not only India and Pakistan but the entire world today. Instead, being carried away by his emotions, he chose to go on the issue head-on and label Pakistan as a terrorism industry, adding that this industry is Pakistan’s mainstay. What, however, the honourable IEAM Mr. Jaishankar forgot while lambasting Pakistan on the issue of terrorism is the popular quote: ‘if you point a finger in scorn at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you’. Advertently or inadvertently, he chose to remain oblivious of the fact that India’s blatant state terrorism in Pakistan, elsewhere, and in India itself is known to the entire world like an open book. Episodes of state terrorism of India are countless. They are utterly brazen and heart-wrenching. Some of these are being adduced in this column for the information of the honourable External Affairs Minister of India and his cohorts.

The Pulwama terrorist attack is a glaring example of India’s blatant state terrorism, and its skillful manipulation of such gruesome acts for its own benefit. One shouldn’t get shocked. Yes, the Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) terror attack that took place on February 14, 2019, in which approximately 44 CRPF jawans travelling in a bus, part of a convoy of over a thousand security personnel, got killed when an explosive-laden SUV rammed into the bus and exploded, was an act of state terrorism brazenly conducted by India itself. But India manipulated this barbaric and heart-wrenching incident to its advantage by putting the blame out and out on Pakistan. Despite Pakistan’s outright denial vis-à-vis its involvement in this gruesome act of terrorism, India kept on harping a false propaganda against Pakistan at all world forums. India’s malevolent intent to tarnish the image of Pakistan in the comity of civilized nations continued unabatedly until recently, when a former close associate of the incumbent Indian Premier Narendra Modi, and former Modi-appointed Governor of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK), Satya Pal Malik (SPM) finally let the cat out of the bag on this extremely vital issue lately.

In a recent video interview with Karan Thapar, an eminent Indian journalist, news presenter and interviewer working with The Wire, Satya Pal Malik responding to a query of the interviewer, vis-à-vis the tragic Pulwama happening, without mincing his words unfolded the facts and said: quote “The Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) solicited aircrafts to carry its PP, because such a large convoy never moves by road. It requested the Home Ministry to provide it the requisite aircrafts, but the Home Ministry refused to grant its request. He further said, he told Premier Modi that this tragedy occurred due to their own fault, had CRPF’s request for aircraft been granted this tragic incident wouldn’t have taken place. He said, he was asked by the Prime Minister to remain silent on the issue and not let people know that it was their (India’s) own mistake. SPM maintained, he then realized that the entire onus of the tragic Pulwama incident would now soon be placed on Pakistan”, unquote. This makes it quite evident that those at the helm in the government in India shamelessly blamed Pakistan for an offence it never committed. It also vindicates Pakistan of all the charges levelled against it by India vis-à-vis the Pulwama happening.

Yet another equally serious case of India’s blatant act of espionage/terrorism against Pakistan, is the popular Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy official and a spy of the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was found involved in subversive activities in Pakistan. On being apprehended on 3 March 2016 during a counter-intelligence operation in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. In a comprehensive video statement, available on YouTube, Zadhav openly admitted that his assignment was to destabilize Pakistan by strengthening a separatist movement in Balochistan and Karachi. According to Pakistani authorities, Jadhav, during his cross-examination, unfolded details regarding his funding, and plans to destabilize Pakistan. Not only this, he also disclosed the presence of other Indian intelligence operatives in the southern metropolis. The Vlog of his recorded statement amply testifies his involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan.

Seventy-five years of unparalleled brutalities and human rights abuses being brazenly committed by close to 900,000 occupied forces of India is a graphic example of India’s state terrorism. The barbarous Indian army is ceaselessly involved in extra judicial killings, rapes, torture and abuse in the occupied territory. According to some rights groups more than 100,000 innocent people have lost their precious lives in the occupied territory since 1989. The reign of terror that India continues to unleash in occupied Kashmir has no parallel in recent history.

The cited high profile episodes speak volumes about India’s deep involvement in such heinous acts of terrorism not only in Pakistan and IoJK, but also in India itself. The belligerence demonstrated by the Indian EAM, Dr. Subrahmanyamat the presser held after the culmination of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers Conference in Goa – India, on May 5, left everyone in a state of shock and awe. No one could have ever imagined that a seasoned diplomat of his stature could become so vindictive and personal vis-à-vis highly sensitive issues of international significance. To be specific, his rhetoric was profoundly inept and totally devoid of diplomatic sensitivity. One hoped, Dr. Jaishankar had done some soul-searching before lambasting Pakistan on the issue of terrorism. Had he taken stock of his own country’s standing on the issue, prior to the presser, he could have saved his country and himself from the diplomatic faux pas that occurred on the occasion.

On the contrary,in an interview with India Today Television Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari rationally responded to profoundly piercing questions of consulting editor and anchor of India Today Television, with high level of diplomatic skill and exposed the stubbornness of Indian approach to bilateral issues. The poise and confidence demonstrated by him during the course of his interview was unparalleled. Unambiguously, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto presented Pakistan’s viewpoint on all the issues raised with utmost courage and dexterity. He couldn’t have been more forthright on the burning issue of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK). Indeed, he was absolutely right in saying, in categorical terms, that improvement in bilateral relations or a meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan would remain a distant dream until the long-pending issue of IoJK was resolved.

—The writer is a columnist and analyst based in Islamabad.

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