The Indian leadership has always been hostile to Pakistan; however, historical events indicate that India’s hardliners, in their fanatical hatred for Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular, have unwittingly aided Pakistan’s cause – even in its creation.
Starting from 1857, all segments of Indian society, regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation, have worked together to end British colonial rule. The uncompromising attitude of Hindu hardliners in not granting Muslims some degree of autonomy created the conditions for them to demand a separate Muslim state. If these hardline Hindus had not denied Indian Muslims’ rights, they would not have sought an independent homeland, but they would have been part of the minority that has endured torment and religious persecution in the ‘shining’ India.
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India compelled Pakistan to do nuclear tests
Pakistan never had any plans to develop a nuclear weapons program. Bangladesh was created as a result of Indian conspiracy and state terrorism, as Modi has shamefully boasted, and Indian nuclear tests in 1974 compelled Pakistan to acquire nuclear capability. Even after successfully developing nuclear weapons, Pakistan had no desire to demonstrate them. In 1998, the revisionist BJP government forced Pakistan to respond by conducting nuclear tests and openly threatening it, forcing the country to become an overt nuclear power. In some ways, the start and success of Pakistan’s nuclear program can be attributed to war-hawk India.
While Pakistan has been exposed to Indian-sponsored terrorism and hybrid warfare for decades, India has successfully misled international opinion against Pakistan by cleverly manipulating an illusionary soft image through swirling Bollywood damsels and centuries-old yogic mendacity. Relations between Pakistan and Iran were also strained as a result of Iran’s mistaken belief that Pakistan supported militancy along the Pak-Iran border.
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case
Another hardline Hindutva supporter, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, sent his clansman, Commander Kalbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian navy officer, to foment militancy in Baluchistan from Iran. The capture of the latter not only validated Pakistan’s claims of Indian-sponsored cross-border terrorism within Pakistan but also made the international community aware of India’s role in supporting terrorism in the region.
Iran understandably felt betrayed by the use of its territory for such subversive activities against a neighbor. There is no country in the region that has not suffered at the hands of Indian criminality, and Afghanistan appears to be next.
PAF had demonstrated its professional competence in combat against three of the world’s leading air forces. In February 2019, the BJP-led government pushed the IAF to launch a non-surgical strike across the LOC. The failed surgical strike not only exposed the IAF’s flaws and low standards of professionalism but also gave the PAF the opportunity to demonstrate its professional competence by shooting down two IAF aircraft, causing chaos in the IAF ranks, which led to the IAF’s air defense downing its own helicopter, killing six people on board. Once again, Hindutva hardliners brought shame to the Indian armed forces while providing an opportunity for the PAF to demonstrate its professional competence.
Despite an increase in intensity, the indigenous freedom struggle in Kashmir had almost faded from the international spotlight. Despite the outstanding UNSC resolutions attesting to it as an unresolved international issue, India had failed to persuade the world that the conflict was an internal one and that resolution was a bilateral matter between Pakistan and India.
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The repeal of Articles 370 and 35A, the unilateral division of IOK into three separate territories, and the state’s nine-month curfew, combined with the failed surgical strike, have once again internationalized the issue and given new impetus to the struggle. Hindu hardliners have exposed Indian human rights violations like never before, and the Kashmir dispute has been internationalized with renewed vigor.
Citizen Amendment Act – CAA
The extremist BJP government’s imposition of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) has not only exposed the phony Indian secularism and tolerance slogans but has also created serious fissures in the Indian polity, particularly alienating minorities, resulting in widespread protests across India. The racist acts and hatred did not stop there. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals refused to treat Muslim patients, while hardliners campaigned for boycotting Muslim traders and engaged in social media hate-mongering. All of these acts exposed the false claims of secularism in Indian society and drew criticism from the OIC and many Gulf-region countries, leading to the dismissal of many hardline Hindus for their hate-inciting remarks.
To cover up its governance failures, divert attention away from human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir, and mitigate the fallout from the infamous CAA bill and NRC, the BJP government has recently deceived the Indian public by instilling anti-Pakistan sentiments. On this path, it is likely to reach a point of no return and be forced to launch military action.
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Because the use of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, and Navy has historically been disastrous, the Indian government may opt for some novel gamesmanship and provide Pakistan with an opportunity to test its indigenously developed weapons. Only time will tell how the hardliners in India will once again unwittingly benefit Pakistan, and what the BJP government’s humiliation threshold if any, is.
The writer has done graduation in Strategic & Nuclear Studies from National Defence University, Isd and Post-Grad in International Relations from Istanbul University, Turkey. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.