Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal
THE probability of the conflict escalation between India and Pakistan has multiplied in the recent months due to Prime Minister Narendra Singh Modi’s despicable agenda. In reality, his jingoistic attitude has been haunting the peace and prosperity of the entire region. Ironically, international community seems reluctant to reprimand the irresponsible behaviour of the Prime Minister of India. Since his oath taking as a Prime Minister of India, the people of Indian occupied Kashmir and minorities, especially Muslims, in entire India have been suffering from the Hindu Fundamentalist brutalities. He has been punishing Kashmiris because they did not support his party in the state elections in 2014 and thereby BJP had failed to secure 44 plus seats in the state assembly to make first Hindu Government in Srinagar.
Premier Modi’s cunning tactics to decisive Islamabad, especially in the realm of dialogue process have negative impact on both states relationship. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did his best to engage him for the prosperity of the region. Regrettably, he failed to convince him that nuclear alarmed states could only resolve their disputes through dialogue instead of war. Islamabad is adamant to not cave in to the Modi’s unrealistic despicable coercive diplomacy and threat of the use of force including surgical strikes. Moreover, the Indian hawkish ruling elite’s irrational arrogance and overbearing demands on Kashmir dispute are equally unacceptable. Certainly, the firm stance of Islamabad annoyed the Hindu fundamentalists in New Delhi.
The prevailing tension between the belligerent neighbours triggered due to the sudden upsurge in Kashmiris freedom movement in the Indian occupied Kashmir. The extrajudicial killing of Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old pro-freedom leader on July 8, 2016 amplified Kashmiris frustration and resentment. The Indian law enforcement agencies’ atrocities augmented the resilience of the insurgent. Prime Minister Nerandra Modi is desperate as well as frustrated. His government’s internal and external policies have exposed his Hindu Fundamentalist agenda. The continuing suffering of the minorities in India have shaken many Indians conscious and therefore they have been questioning the Modi’s governance style.Perhaps, they are not comfortable with the ruling BJP government sanctioning of RSS agenda. Whereas; without RSS, the BJP is a politically inert entity in India.
The Indian Army’s atrocities, especially targeting the Kashmiris youth resulted in the attack on Indian Army Brigade Headquarter in Uri, Baramulla District, Indian Held Kashmir on September 18, 2016. The attackers killed 19 Indian soldiers. The killing of the Indian soldiers at the protected Brigade headquarter not only exposed the Indian security agencies vulnerability to the freedom fighters but also amplified Premier Modi’s anger. He immediately announced to take punitive measures against Pakistan. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also unnerved Premier Modi and his associates. They cannot accept prospering Pakistan. He made many attempts to scuttle CPEC project. After realizing that Chinese leadership is not paying attention to his irrational demands, he articulated threats of water wars, surgical strikes and above all announced to isolate Pakistan internationally and economically. Precisely, he is determined to undo Pakistan through his vertical and horizontal escalation strategy.
The alarming issue is that Premier Modi has been employing warmongering tactics to attract the attention of common man within India or to sustain his popularity among the Indian voters. He seemed convinced that increasing tension at the India-Pakistan border would assist BJP in winning the elections in Utter Pradesh province. Ironically, Premier Modi and his advisors have been failing to realize that increasing bellicosity between the nuclear-armed nations and jingoism could spiral out of control and likely turn into full-blown military confrontation entailing nuclear annihilation. Its an open secret that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) have been patronizing terrorists groups to attack soft targets in Pakistan. For instance, the terrorists who were involved in attack on the police training college, Quetta were constantly in contact with their leadership and handlers in Afghanistan. They killed 61 trainees in the college and wounding at least 117 people.
The apathetic attitude of the international community on the Indians atrocities in the Indian held Kashmir and New Delhi’s aggressive approach towards Pakistan encourage Modi government to further deteriorate the situation in the sub-continent. Delhi Police illegally detained Pakistani High Commission’s official for a few hours on the suspicion of espionage. The detention and manhandling of a diplomat contravened the 1961 Vienna Convention. Notwithstanding, the Indian police violated Vienna Convention;the Indian foreign secretary summoned Pakistani High Commissioner, Abdul Basit on October 27, 2016. He was conveyed that his Commission’s visa officer Mehmood Akhtar was involved in espionage activities and therefore declared persona non grata.
The foreign secretary also demanded that Mr. Akhtar should leave the country within 48 hours. Conversely, Pakistani Foreign Office has rejected the Indian allegations as “false and unsubstantiated.” In a tit for tat response the government of Pakistan declared Surjeet Singh, an official of the Indian High Commission, as persona non grata on October 28, 2016.To conclude, Premier Modi instead of addressing the Kashmiris legitimate demands; has been accusing and intimidating Pakistanis without realizing that latter are capable to defend their country. Thus, Modi’s despicable agenda is equally perilous for the Indians.
— The writer is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.