New policeman in South Asia!


Sikandar Noorani

RECENT weeks of past month proved much tougher for India in diplomatic arena on many accounts. First, it was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who gave a jolt to Modi Sarkar at Islamabad by expressing whole hearted support to Pakistan over Kashmir issue. He also offered mediation over Kashmir which was promptly rejected by New Delhi by repeating the old rotten stance that Kashmir happens to be internal matter of India. Rejection was followed by immediate summoning of Turkish envoy at New Delhi where a formal protest was registered over Erdogan’s statements about Kashmir. After this arrogant display of rigidity ‘Modi Sarkar’ repeated the performance once UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over worsening state of human rights in the IoK. Against the universally acknowledged diplomatic norms, India started lecturing the UN Secretary General by pressing upon the self-styled interpretation of Kashmir issue.
These two episodes sufficiently exposed the real arrogant, non- flexible and extremist side of India to the world. Indian negative response to strong mediation offers, made by two credible persons, was a mixture of arrogance and irritation. It was hard for New Delhi decision-makers to digest the appreciative endorsements of UN Secretary General and Turkish President Erdogan for Pakistan. It was nothing but a failure of all those Indian diplomatic assaults which were aimed at isolation of Pakistan at international canvas. UN Secretary General came to Islamabad to participate in a conference about refugees where he reminded the world about 40 years long sacrifices made by Pakistan in hosting the war affected Afghan brethren. Antonio Guterres was justified in appreciating Pak contribution in the UN peace keeping missions, refugee hosting and unprecedented exemplary successes in war against terror. Emergence of this graceful image of Pakistan at international level is in fact a reversal of Indian venomous designs. Decision makers executing covert coercive moves to destabilize the Pakistan were expecting fulfilment of an entirely different wish list.
Their plans about Pakistan are turning into failure, one by one. Pawns created by Delhi are being exposed and neutralized! There is news that MQM founder Altaf Hussain has put his party secretariat office on sale to meet the financial crunch. Release of urban Sindh from the deadly grip of RAW-sponsored elements eventually sunken heavy Indian investment. Indian- sponsored terrorists were either eliminated or compelled to join their masters in Afghan safe havens. Rise of Pakistan against terrorism is being widely acknowledged. The UK and US issued comprehensive travel advisories to their citizens acknowledging the significant improvement of security situation in Pakistan. Return of international cricket and conduct of PSL in Pak stadiums are enough of evidence that the country is more than ever peaceful, stable and radiating all signals of normalcy. Indian dreams of coercion, gradual destabilization and comprehensive diplomatic isolation of Pakistan could not become true! Modi Sarkar, irked by the visits of Erdogan and Guterres, committed a new blunder by denying entry to UK parliamentarian Debbie Abraham at Delhi airport merely for heading a parliamentary delegation formulated to monitor the worsening situation in the IoK.
After being denied an entry in the IoK, same delegation of UK parliamentarians was warmly welcomed at Islamabad and AJK. Debbi Abraham appreciated the openness displayed by Pakistan which enabled the group members to freely move around and interact with anybody in AJK. UK parliamentarians criticized Indian restricted approach and meaningful closure of occupied Kashmir. India openly threw its weight to blacklist Pakistan at FATF forum but miserably failed to do so. Though, Modi-led Indian government remained unmoved over repeated worldwide embarrassments by sticking to its arrogant stance on Kashmir but beneath the surface irritation is too obvious to hide. Irritations caused by flawed policies got multiplied due to country-wide Muslim dominated protests against controversial citizenship law. Then came the much awaited and highly celebrated tour of US President Trump for which Modi created Bollywood style fanfare and overdoing. Though, US’ tilt is in favour of India but Trump, while addressing Ahmadabad rally, surprisingly praised Pakistan for positive acceleration against terrorism and undeniable contribution in Afghan peace process. Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace process has been widely acknowledged at all credible forums. Outbreak of anti-Muslim riots in Delhi overshadowed the high-profile visit of Trump for which Modi Sarkar was preparing hard.
Trump’s silence over riots and atrocities in Kashmir applied a little ointment to irritated India as it reflected true policy line of US. A big defence deal further stamped the Indo-US relations which are being strengthened with the most modern weaponry. Trump remained successful in selling the destructive arms to India and Modi feels satisfied for being assigned job of US’ Policeman in South Asia. Balance of power in the region is shaken with this new Indo-US affair. While the role of New Delhi seems apparently diminishing in Afghanistan in post-Doha Deal scenario but recent whispering of Indian diplomat in Ashraf Ghani’s ears proves it an efficient spoiler. After failing in isolating Pakistan, instead of reconciling on flawed policies, India seems to be turning more arrogant and aggressive as a newly appointed US’ Policeman in South Asia.
—The writer is a free lancer who often contributes in national newspapers.