DESPITE complex and intense issues with India, Pakistan continues to move on the path of peace
and opened up its territory for Sikh pilgrims. On Thursday, India and Pakistan signed an agreement to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor. Under the agreement, the pilgrims would come in the morning and return in the evening after visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. At least 5000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the holy site every day without a visa. The peace initiative of Kartarpur Corridor is based on religious perspective and any Sikh from any part of globe is welcomed to visit the shrine of Baba Nanak Saheb. Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid invited Sikhs from all over the world to attend the ceremony, and exhorted Pakistanis to extend a very warm welcome to them. Kartarpur Corridor opening is reflective of Pakistan’s respect for minority rights, whereas in India minorities are groaning under repression.
The world has witnessed Pakistan’s peace initiatives and understood Modi’s shenanigans. Iran’s Supreme Leader and a group of the country’s grand Ayatollahs have taken a rare position on Kashmir and condemned India’s government for withdrawing special status. US Assistant Secretary of State Alice G Wells informed a Congressional panel on Tuesday that India’s annexation of the occupied lands has not changed America’s position on occupied Kashmir, as it continues to consider it a disputed territory. Domestically, Narendra Modi has disappointed the people in general, as he failed to give a boost to the economy. Secondly, India has all along been claiming itself the largest democracy and a secular state, but under Narendra Modi it is neither a democracy nor a secular state. Showing utter disregard to India’s Constitution, Narendra Modi has given free hand to Hindu extremists who want to convert India into a Hindu State.
According to Afghanistan’s Tolo News, India’s Ambassador Vinay Kumar handed over two MI-24V gunship helicopters to Afghanistan’s Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid at a ceremony held in Kabul. Afghan Defence Minister said that Afghan forces would use these helicopters for bringing peace, preventing threats from enemies and for providing a better environment for the people of Afghanistan. India has pledged $3bn in aid to Afghanistan. Indian attempts to ingress Afghan military through training and material support is already on the line. This gesture at this time indicates Indian desire to retain sympathy in current Afghan setup and to showcase importance India gives to her relations with current Afghan setup even at the cost of Taliban. But the Taliban must not lose sight of the fact that all anti-Taliban elements have been befriended by India including TTP, NDS, ANA, etc.
‘World is One News’ (WION) – Indian news channel owned by Zee TV – quoted Turk Ambassador to India, Sakir Ozkan Torunlar having said: “I am not in a position to say what Indians said or what Indian Foreign Ministry released about this operation (Operation Peace Spring)”. Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar had said in a statement that Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. Its action also has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress.” India has felt the pinch of two important and strong countries like Turkey and Malaysia to have stood by Pakistan on issue of Kashmir. While India met Cyprian President announcing its support (which implies anti-Turkey stance), and is also exploring means to limit palm oil trade with Malaysia. This clearly exposes India as an unreliable ally which can ditch them for its strategic interests.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s stand with Pakistan is not only based on common view of Kashmir crisis but also on centuries’ old shared love, cultural and religious commonalities. These bonds are too strong for India to attempt any division. Meanwhile, ‘the Times Now’ stated that the Kashmir Truth Documentary was aired on “Doordarshan” to explore the real picture of Kashmir and to expose the propaganda videos on social media being used by Pakistan to create unrest in the valley. Indian media may target a few of social media posts; however it is unable to refute reports, documentaries and articles published in internationally acclaimed newspapers and media houses. Moreover, India should focus on refuting it is the Indian activists views, international media groups, human rights reports and voices in US Congress, EU and UN, who hold India responsible for the dismal situation in the IoK.
IoK has become a cauldron which would engulf India sooner or later, as all other Indian States especially North Eastern States enjoying special status through Constitution are in panic mode, and this is likely to trigger a wave of resentment and agitation and many issues for Indian Union. ‘India Today’ wrote under the caption ‘Supreme Court postpones Kashmir communication lockdown to 24 October, and directed Centre to put on record all detention orders. These are delaying tactics; and it is evident that Indian Supreme Court is a party to Modi’s regime and under no circumstances shall act as a neutral, unbiased and just forum to address brutality of Indian military in IoK. One can expect similar response of Indian judicial system when sooner or later such tactics would be applied to North Eastern states and other minorities. This suppression will fuel indigenous rising and India would not be able to blame foreign hand behind uprisings.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.