NATIONAL days are used across the world to exchange greetings and good wishes and keeping in view the sanctity of the occasion, messages of felicitation are normally couched in a highly civilized diplomatic language to ensure these create and promote mutual goodwill between the two countries.
We also observed this in messages that President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan received from their counterparts from across the globe on the occasion of Pakistan Day but the one sent by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an exception as he chose to use discourteous language, in stark contrast to an olive branch extended by the top civilian and military leadership of Pakistan to India in recent days.
No doubt, the Indian PM expressed the desire for cordial relations with people of Pakistan but diluted the impact of this desire by adding “for this, an environment of trust, devoid of terrorism and hostility, is imperative”.
Apart from expression of disrespect to diplomatic niceties, the crude and provocative remarks made by Modi amounted to pot calling the kettle black or thief threatening the constable.
While repeating baseless allegations against Pakistan, Modi forgot what he has been doing to Kashmiris all along his tenure especially since August 2019 and trampling of rights of minorities by his Government.
India has been using the ‘terror card’ against Pakistan just to malign the country and portray it negative light before the world community but Islamabad presented documented evidence of New Delhi’s sponsoring of terrorism in Pakistan.
It was because of what India did in Occupied Kashmir and to its minorities as well as the dossiers presented by Pakistan that India, for the first time, came under intensive diplomatic pressure.
It is also regrettable that Narendra Modi made such provocative remarks in response to peace overtures by Pakistani leadership.
This is despite the fact that peace moves by Pakistan are being interpreted in the country as ill-timed because there is no change in ground situation in Occupied Kashmir and an impression is gaining ground that it is Pakistan that is changing its position (on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir) and not India, which is on the wrong side.
Peace moves and resumption of any type of dialogue are going to benefit the Modi Government as attention of both Pakistan and the international community would obviously be diverted away from the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir and flagrant violations of human rights there.
Pakistani leaders, envoys and representatives have forcefully been raising the issue of Kashmir, the need for its peaceful resolution, illegal actions of the Modi Government and crimes against humanity in the occupied territory.
However, they are unlikely to do so with the same spirit in order not to vitiate the environment for talks between the two countries.
This would amount to giving a breather to the Modi Government that was finding it increasingly hard to ignore increased awakening of the conscience of the international community over human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir, which even resulted in debates of the UN Security Council and highlighting of the issue by relevant UN agencies and human rights bodies of the world.
The remarks made by Narendra Modi should serve as an eye opener for all those who might have pinned wrong hopes on India, for whatever reasons.
This shows there is no change in the attitude and position of India as far as its relations with Pakistan are concerned.
India has always been trying to bully and dictate Pakistan and put it under pressure through different tactics so that it goes into a defensive position.
There is, therefore, hardly any expectation that India would engage in a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a just and fair manner.
How can we hope for a good from India on Kashmir issue when New Delhi, in clear violation of a World Bank-brokered agreement, is continuing with construction of water reservoirs to deny Pakistan of its rightful share of water? The delegations of the two countries are meeting after two and a half years to discuss water issues and who knows to what extent the ground situation has changed on different rivers.
Leaving discussion of bilateral issues and differences apart, India has not allowed even hosting of the SAARC summit in Pakistan and the attitude of New Delhi is knelling death blow to the already fragile platform for regional cooperation.
Under these circumstances, the ‘false’ impression of engagement of the two countries would once again benefit India alone and therefore, a careful review of our position is needed.