Maleeha Hashmey |
Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant. The problem with the political jokes is that they often get “elected”. South Asia, of all, places on earth, is most familiar with appreciating the impact of these jokes. The two key players of the South Asian arena, Pakistan and India, have always been seen in an extremely bizarre love-hate relationship since their inception. Nothing symbolizes their inevitably crazy relationship as effectively as the Indian Saas-Bahu serials do.
The success of a country heavily depends upon its law and order situation and human development which happen to be the product of economic stability and financial independence. Unfortunately, our sub-continent has always had selfishly self-centered leadership, safeguarding their vested interests while keeping the nationalistic interests on the back-burner. This narcissistic behavior could never let the leadership of both nuclear-armed neighbors – Pakistan and India – take interest in winning a regional peace. Another major reason behind this ever lingering conflict never been resolved, were the elements whose bread and butter based on the sustainability of this conflict on both sides of the border.
Indian Government “chickened out” while coming up with the most illogical excuses brimming with hilarity and non-sense, squandering an excellent opportunity for a meaningful dialogue.
Ever since the new PTI-led Federal Government got hold of the reins of Pakistan’s power corridors, the first thing that one could feel was that the conventional political dynamics were going to be revamped. The mere fact that the perks and privileges enjoyed by the Parliamentarians, we’re going to be reduced and the nucleus of the system would now be the “system” itself and not the premier sitting on the royal chair, was good news for few and bad news for many.
In the first month of its rule, the nascent PTI Government tested waters on the international landscape and reconfigured Pakistan’s ties with its neighboring countries and rest of the world. The first office that the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, chose to visit on his first day at work, was the “Foreign Office” – which speaks volumes about how concerned the incumbent Government has been about how Pakistan is viewed on the international political landscape, since day one.
Upon being elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan received a congratulatory note from Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, responding to which Imran Khan expressed his earnest desire for Pakistan and India to develop progressive relations.
On September 14, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote his Indian counterpart a letter offering him an olive branch to resume the comprehensive bilateral peace dialogue between the two countries on all issues, including Kashmir issue and terrorism. This invitation was viewed as a first step to gain the much needed peace in the region as the decades-old tensions between the neighboring countries had only been escalating with the changing geostrategic environment where India’s tilt towards the US and Pakistan’s growing ties with China was being viewed as a key factor in widening the gap between them.
On Thursday, Indian External Affairs Ministry confirmed at a news briefing that India had “accepted” the invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister for a meeting between the two Foreign Ministers. It was not just a news. It was a breath of fresh air for all the peace-loving citizens of Pakistan and India. Having been in a strong conflicting state, both sides only lost and lost. Every sensible South Asian was eagerly waiting for Qureshi-Sushma meet-up for a resumption of the comprehensive bilateral peace dialogue in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly Session on the 27th of September, 2018.
These are the gems who kept advocating “Aman ki Aasha” and had a list of never-ending complaints regarding Pakistan not doing enough to engage India all these years.
It was going to happen after a three-year gap, so hopes were sky-high. Just when everything seemed to have been aligned to pave way for the peace talks seeking the political solution to the outstanding problems between the neighboring countries, our Foreign office received the worst of all news. Indian Government “chickened out” while coming up with the most illogical excuses brimming with hilarity and non-sense, squandering an excellent opportunity for a meaningful dialogue.
A simple “No” would have sufficed but face-saving attempts, if go wrong, turn into a mountain of embarrassment. The excuses that the Indian Government presented not only lacked substance and logic but were also absolutely contrary to what their Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, shared on India TV on September 15 in the following words; “We are beheading Pakistani soldiers but we are not displaying them”. I wonder where India’s commitment to its Geneva Convention Obligations stands after this horrendous confession on screen.
Pakistan, despite having had the miserable experience of finding the evidence of Indian involvement in the unrest prevalent in Balochistan, extended their hand to India for resolving all the issues through meaningful dialogue. The incumbent Indian Government, having accepted the invitation, dismissing it the very next day, raises serious questions on their intentions and decision-making skills. In my humble opinion, there could be four major reasons behind the exhibition of this immaturity.
- Indian Government is being held hostage to the extremist mindset prevalent in the country and they just can’t afford to weaken their voter-base in the upcoming 2019 polls, even if it takes them to miss out of an opportunity to win the peace in the region.
- Indian Government is scared of the fact that bilateral peace dialogues might just actually bring peace to the region and they will have to be accountable for their atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
- There has been a recent uproar in their quarters regarding the “Hollande bombshell” that has literally tied Modi and Ambani into the dodgy Rafale deal, Bharati Janta Party badly desired another “Breaking News” that could act as a substitute to divert the attention of the masses from the alleged corruption charges on Narendra Modi. In an attempt to hide their corruption scams and failure of economic agenda, this attempt would have been made to push them all under the wraps and project themselves as warriors to win their conservative hatred-driven voter base.
- Last but not the least, India has never really been genuinely interested in putting an end to this decades-prolonged fiasco. They might not have chickened out of the peace dialogue, had Pakistan assured them to not discuss Kashmir issue. The recent UN report has also noticed the atrocious Indian behavior towards Kashmir for the first time ever and India will soon be taken to task for all the mess they have created in Kashmir. The offense is not always the best defense!
In response to this disappointing behavior exhibited by Indian Government for any of the above-mentioned or a grosser reason, the Prime Minister Pakistan rightly shared his dismay by indicating as to how low one feels to see small “incapacitated” people, lacking the vision to look at the larger picture, holding big offices.
No matter what his naysayers may say, I know for a fact that he only got punished for being in love with the Founding Father, Quaid-e-Azam. His ONLY crime was to have accumulated HEAPS of currency notes in every corner of the world so that he could find his picture wherever he went, be it his heavy wallet or his over-loaded bank accounts.
This statement not only hit Modi, his foreign office holders and the relevant authorities in India but also the handful of Indian sympathizers positioned in media and other arenas. These are the gems who kept advocating “Aman ki Aasha” and had a list of never-ending complaints regarding Pakistan not doing enough to engage India all these years. Interestingly, having seen Pakistan run an extra mile to befriend India and India dismissing it like anything, they couldn’t have afforded to admit that their narrative was wrong all along and it was India that was never interesting in normalizing the political temperature in the region.
In an attempt to cover up for the embarrassment, they shamelessly started accusing their own Government of choosing the wrong timing. They probably felt that they had been talked about, when Imran Khan referred to small minds holding big offices or the research-based results that the PM shared in his maiden address to the nation, revealing 45% of the kids prone to “stunted growth”. Most of them are interestingly Nawaz sympathizers too. The disqualified and convicted Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, (Mujhe Kyun Nikaala Guy) also happens to be his own biggest sympathizer.
He had a great affinity for growing Pakistan’s, oh pardon, his OWN ties with rest of the world, which is why he didn’t really feel the need to appoint any Foreign Minister throughout his last regime. No matter what his naysayers may say, I know for a fact that he only got punished for being in love with the Founding Father, Quaid-e-Azam. His only crime was to have accumulated heaps of currency notes in every corner of the world so that he could find his picture wherever he went, be it his heavy wallet or his over-loaded bank accounts.
I’d like to conclude while requesting the Indian Government to please come out of the illusion of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister’s position being vacant. Pakistan’s foreign policies are now formulated in Islamabad and not elsewhere. Winning peace in South Asia will make the pie all the more big to be shared by all the stakeholders. Wars yield nothing but destruction. About time we started thinking along peaceful lines. Destruction breeds destruction. Love should never be misconstrued as a weakness. It’s the most powerful emotion that has the potential to move mountains.
Let’s design our love-hate relationship in a fashion that everything we do and say garners love. Let the love for our mutual gains move the mountain of hatred that we have been dealing with for decades. Let the “hate” in our “Love-Hate” relationship play its role in our cricket matches only I just can’t seem to love you when it comes to cricket. Good luck with your upcoming 2019 polls. Hope you vote out all the manipulative elements just like we did it here in Pakistan. Let’s give peace a chance!
Maleeha Hashmey is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker, socio-political enthusiast and human resource development consultant by profession. She has been working with the telecommunication sector as a corporate trainer. She has been working with the Ministry of Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as a Human Resource Development Consultant & Teacher Trainer. Her dream is to make Pakistan a stronger economic state that the whole world views as a force to reckon with. She can be followed on Twitter via her Twitter handle @MaleehaHashmey. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.