Merwah Qureshi |
Pakistan and India since their inception share an antagonistic relation. India has always tried to make Pakistan the victim of her regional hegemony. Despite the historical animosity of India towards Pakistan, Pakistan has always tried to de-escalate the tension for a better and a peaceful regional environment, sometimes by inviting Indian Military attaché to attend Pakistan Day parade and at other times by inviting Indian celebrities to the media programs. Moreover, Pakistan ritually allows the Sikh pilgrimages to visit Pakistan for their religious duties.
In addition to this, she has always noted to extend the hand of friendship in the form of invitation for comprehensive dialogue. Another positive development is the recently concluded track 2 dialogue in Kathmandu. However, India owing to her Hindutva posture has always made the situation worse –most of the time- by barring Pakistan based intellectuals and academicians from entering India. The AAS-in-Asia 2018 controversy – in which the only Pakistani scholar was barred from participating in the conference- is a practical manifestation of this far-right approach being pursued by Indian government.
In its letter to the co-organizers from Ashoka University, Indian Ministry of External Affairs explicitly mentioned in Point#4 that this ministry doesn’t recommend participation of Pakistan in the proposed event.
AAS is a US based Association for Asian studies. It is the largest academic organization of Asians. Every year AAS organizes conferences and welcomes the scholarly contribution of intellectuals and experts from all across the world. AAS has been involved in organizing conferences in Asian region for last four years for the participants who somehow cannot go to North America for participation. It has organized conferences in Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
In 2014, AAS signed MOU with Delhi based private liberal arts Indian University – Ashoka University- for the AAS-in-Asia 2018 conference which is to be held in July. However, tension erupted when Indian government explicitly banned any participation from Pakistan. The organizers and the association’s panel selected Qurratulain (Annie) Zaman -liberal activist/ co-editor of Global Voice- from Pakistan to participate in the 5th AAS-in-Asia conference.
Read more: India’s hybrid warfare: Options for Pakistan
She was to speak on Baloch sub-nationalists, but, as expected her appeal for visa got rejected. She has been barred from participation owing to the instructions of Indian Ministry of External Affairs to the organizers of AAS-in-Asia. In its letter to the co-organizers from Ashoka University, Indian Ministry of External Affairs explicitly mentioned in Point#4 that this ministry doesn’t recommend participation of Pakistan in the proposed event. Furthermore, the name of Pakistan was even scratched out from the list of 57 invited countries.
India’s Acrimony Towards Pakistan is no more a Hidden Story
In response to this acrimonious behavior of Indian government towards Pakistani participant, AAS and Ashoka University have uploaded a joint statement on the official website in which they have highlighted their helplessness in all this issue. They have distanced themselves from the far-right approach of Indian government by giving the statement that it’s solely the prerogative of state to decide about the refusal or acceptance of visa appeal.
In addition, AAS has made its position clear with the help of the fact that the decision to host conference in Delhi was made prior to this letter. They have even planned to help Miss Zaman virtually participate through Skype. Not only this but, Indian government didn’t allow Muneeza Hashmi – a liberal activist and the daughter of poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz- to participate in 15th Asia Media Summit in Delhi in May.
This ban on Pakistani scholars and activists from participating in ASS-in-Asia 2018 conference or 15th Asia Media Summit is clear evidence of India’s accelerating animosity towards Pakistan. The letter by Indian Ministry of External Affairs has further strengthened the fact that no matter how hard Pakistan may try, India would never extend her hand of friendship towards Pakistan rather she would always try to foster hatred and enmity in every field of life be it cultural or educational.
It has become incumbent on regional and extra-regional powers to check India’s ascending extremism and ask her to shun the militant Hindutva approach or else her anti-Pakistan radical posture would make the whole region suffer.
Contrarily, on one hand India bars the entry of Pakistani intellectuals and scholars in international or regional summits and conferences, while, on the other hand India has observed to be involved in the brain washing of pseudo-liberals by using notions of common history and culture. Recently, Pallavi Raghavan -Assistant professor of history at OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India- through social media networking lured in Ali Usman Qasmi -Assistant professor of history at the Lahore University of Management Sciences- with the aim of creating a group of liberal students to make them have a different look on the history.
On the same note, India with the aspirations of maligning the prestigious institutions of Pakistan has kept on trying to access educational institutes to inculcate their version of distorted and prejudiced history in the minds of Pakistani youth. All these afore mentioned facts unveil the reality that India is trying to launch a theological war against Pakistan by fostering a faction of radical liberals to criticize the ideology of Pakistan which will shake the foundation of the country.
Conclusively, India’s acrimony towards Pakistan is no more a hidden story. The recent events of Indian hatred towards Pakistan should be sufficient enough to open the eyes of international and domestic media. Moreover, India -banning scholars from participating in an international or a regional conference or summit- is not following the democratic way but the path of radicalism which only breeds contempt and hatred.
So, it has become incumbent on regional and extra-regional powers to check India’s ascending extremism and ask her to shun the militant Hindutva approach or else her anti-Pakistan radical posture would make the whole region suffer. In addition to this, it is now the utmost responsibility of domestic media to expose the pseudo-liberals who are explicitly or implicitly abetting India to nurture pro-India and anti-Pakistan narratives just for the sake of a little fame.
Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree in Biochemistry from QAU, Islamabad and is also a visiting lecturer for International Relations at National Officers Academy (NOA), Rawalpindi. She is a freelance content writer for online portals like Amazon. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.