Dr Muhammad Khan
EVER since Prime Minister Narindra Modi led Government came into power in India, there has been no substantive dialogue between India and Pakistan. The Indian policy of avoiding the dialogue is part of its strategy to safeguard its own national interests and desires to dictate the agenda of any dialogue process. As observed since last few years, India wants to talk on all issues except Kashmir dispute. On its part, Pakistan considered Kashmir as the root cause of all other issues, since it gave birth to many more issues in last almost seven decades, owing to its unresolved nature. In a recent statement, Indian Prime Minister, Narindra Modi said that, India is unclear as to whom should it talk with in Pakistan, as “different types of forces operating in Pakistan” and should India talk “with the elected government or other actors?”
This is a very irrational statement by the Prime Minister of country that claims to be the biggest democracy, as there is a democratically elected Government in Pakistan like India. This Government has been constantly stressing on dialogue and negotiated settlement of all issues including the core dispute of Kashmir. In the past, the BJP led Government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been engaged in a dialogue process with a military ruler, President General Pervaiz Musharif and they were very close to a solution over Kashmir dispute and other issues. If previous Indian governments have been talking and negotiating with military governments in Pakistan, why cannot the incumbent Modi Government talk with a democratically elected Government of Pakistan.
If Prime Minister Modi could pay a surprise visit to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his residence in Lahore, why cannot he or his cabinet ministers meet their counterparts in Pakistan at official level. It was Premier Modi, who opted to meet his Pakistani counterpart at Ufa, Russia on the sidelines of SCO meeting in July 2015. Again, Modi personally came to meet Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of Paris meet on Climate Change in December 2015. So, should there be a doubt as to whom Modi talk with or negotiate with about the unresolved issues?
In fact, all is being done by Modi Government to run-away from the negotiations. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Satraj Aziz, highlighted this fact. Mr Aziz said that, “India was avoiding dialogue with Pakistan because that meant issues such as Kashmir will have to be negotiated.” India found itself on the weaker wicket if Kashmir issue is negotiated on legal terms. Since the people of Indian occupied Kashmir have rejected the Indian rule, there is no justification for continued Indian occupation of the state forcefully.
It is worth mentioning that, since 1990, India has unleashed a reign of terror on the innocent people of IHK Kashmir. There have been massive human rights violations in IHK at the hands of Indian security forces. At the global level, the Amnesty International, EU, UN and other human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the Indian atrocities in IHK.
In the garb of settlement of the Hindu migrants, especially Hindu Pandits the Modi Government is trying to make major demographic changes in the Vale of Kashmir. India has already made demographic changes in the Jammu province of the IHK. Indian reluctance to talk with Pakistan on Kashmir is part of its covert policy of gradually paving the way for integrating the State with Indian Union. Through deployment of 700,000 troops, India is trying to keep the people under suppression and oppression. However, there is a massive resistance of the people for making any demographic change in the IHK. The recent statement of Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi, as to whom should India talk in Pakistan is a direct outcome of the frustration and its defeat at the global level on the issue of its membership of Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). India tried its best to convince the NSG member states for its admission into this elite club, however during the two meets of NSG, Indian opposition increased, rather decreasing. It was mainly because of the Pakistani diplomatic overture supported by concrete reasoning of violating the NSG regulations, which forced India to backtrack. Pakistani position on NSG membership is based on principles and to safeguard the international norms and to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
A frustrated India finds it hard to digest its defeat at the NSG forum, where its membership was not even on the agenda despite US pledge and pressure to include India into it. In the denial of NSG membership to India, Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division and Nuclear Command and Control Authority played a very significant role, thus India feel let down. This statement of Prime Minister Modi seems to be a direct response to Pakistani triumph.
As per Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan always emphasized India to begin the dialogue process on issues like; “Siachen, Sir Creek, economic cooperation, trade, visas and the detainment of fishermen.” Kashmir dispute surely is at the core of all other issues and it has to be resolved in order to move forward. On the Siachen issue, despite political consensus, India Army is reluctant to go for a solution for years now. On the issue of Sir Creek Indian political leadership seems less determine besides lacking a political will.
Indian spying network RAW is constantly promoting terrorism in various parts of Pakistan even by using the soil of our neighbours to bleed Pakistan. The Indian excuses for not getting into the dialogue process with Pakistan and blaming Pakistan too meant to mislead the world. Since India seems lacking the solid reasoning on the negotiating table, therefore it avoids that through adolescent interpretation and statements like, whom to talk. Pakistani Government must expose the true face of India to international community.
— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.