Muhammad Latif |
After gaining simple majority in the National Assembly in General Elections 2018, Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaaf and the to be Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan during his maiden media interaction to share his vision and priorities of his government minced no words in expressing his desire to promote peaceful relations with all our neighbours specially so with India by extending invitation to Indian leadership to resume the process of dialogue for resolution of all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir; the bone of contention between the two arch-rivals. He also generously offered to take two steps towards the peace process if India takes one.
Navjot Singh Sidhu who was invited as a personal guest by Imran Khan on his oath-taking ceremony was welcomed by all segments of Pakistani society and even by the Chief of Army Staff who offered for the opening of Kartarpur crossing to facilitate Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib without a visa as a goodwill gesture. Sidhu’s poetic expression for love and peace between the two nations and his statements on the conclusion of his visit that he was carrying the unambiguous message of peace both for the people and government of India actually did generate a ray of hope.
India cunningly negotiated Sindh Taas Agreement under the umbrella of World Bank to have water rights on three out of six rivers flowing to Pakistan.
Perhaps the better sense had finally prevailed and in response to the exchange of diplomatic correspondence for the resumption of peace talks, India agreed and confirmed that the two Foreign Ministers will have a formal meeting on the sidelines of forthcoming United Nations General Assembly session in New York. The stage was all set for the peace process to resume; even the time and place of meeting between the two foreign ministers had been finalized and confirmed by India. The optimists on both sides had set high hopes on the positive outcome of this meeting, they had even started planning Indian trade to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics through Pakistan, and some had even prophesied inclusion of India in CPEC.
But alas! It was not to be true, there comes from out of nowhere the issue of mutilation of an Indian Border Security Force soldier’s dead body and India as usual wastes no time in blaming Pakistan for this inhuman act. The Indian government also suddenly takes notice of Pakistan issuing Dak tickets portraying Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and thus India unilaterally announces to cancel the peace talks in New York followed by threatening statement by the Indian Chief of Army staff for a need to conduct another “Surgical Strike” across the LOC.
Why India always shies away from peace talks is a million dollars question, the answer to which perhaps lies in the history of India backing away from United Nations resolutions and international accords since the partition of Indian Sub-Continent. Hindu hatred for the Muslims/ Pakistan is rooted deep in the ideology of Mahabharat, who never wanted political division of the Sub Continent and never accepted the creation of an independent Muslim state. Right during the process of partition, India displayed its hegemonic designs by forcefully occupying Muslim majority states of Junagarh, Hyderabad Deccan, and Kashmir.
When people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan Army reacted to illegal occupation and started regaining part of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, India shrewdly took the case to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) where both the parties agreed to a ceasefire, establish Line of Control (LOC) and make arrangements to conduct a free and fair plebiscite for people of Jammu & Kashmir to express their desire to either join India or Pakistan. Despite a number of subsequent UNSC resolutions India not only backed away from its commitment of plebiscite but also further occupied a demilitarized area of Siachen Glacier in 1984.
The current Indian Leadership is under a lot of pressure due to the corruption scandal in Rafael Fighter Jets deal with France and upcoming elections which are usually based on anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans.
After a humiliating defeat in 1965 War, India raised, trained and funded Mukti Bahini to divide Pakistan by creating Bangladesh followed by Simla Accord which states that both countries would resolve all their outstanding issues through bilateral talks; regrettably, India always shies away from bilateral talks and denies any third party to even facilitate bilateral talks. India cunningly negotiated Sindh Taas Agreement under the umbrella of World Bank to have water rights on three out of six rivers flowing to Pakistan.
Now, in utter violation to the agreement and the international law on rights of lower riparian India has waged water war on Pakistan by storing and diverting its share of water and shies away from talks on the very spirit of Sindh Taas Agreement at all forums. At times India also resorts to water terrorism by flooding Pakistan unannounced destroying standing crops and loss to property astride waterways. Based on superiority in conventional forces and weaponry India kept on coercing Pakistan through Cold Start Strategy in the 80s and 90s to accept Indian hegemony in the region and budge to her stance on Kashmir issue by making The LOC, Working Boundary and Line of Actual Contact in Siachen as an international border.
After nuclearization of the Sub Continent and the incidence of 9/11, India changed her strategy and resorted to 4th/ 5th Generation Warfare with the aim to ignite unrest and wage civil war in Pakistan specially in Baluchistan, Karachi and KPK by funding and training miscreants and at the same time maligning Pakistan of abetting and harboring terrorist groups on his soil; Kulbushan Jadhav’s confessional statements bear testimony to India’s 5th Generation War being waged against Pakistan. After the failed drama of attack on Indian constituent assembly which resulted into a prolonged escalation along the LOC and international border, the then President of Pakistan took the initiative of confidence-building measures (CBMs) by opening up crossing points along the LOC and international borders to facilitate trade and people to people contact between the two countries.
When CBMs were getting matured and in Agra Summit an agreement and a roadmap between the two belligerents was negotiated, drafts vetted and was finally ready for signatures, India shamelessly shied away and refused to sign. Then comes another drama staged by India in the form of Bombay Attacks, a boat carrying “Pakistani terrorists”, killing of people in the hotel, capturing of Ajmal Qasab, maligning Pakistan at all international forums, resultant escalation and threatening Pakistan of ProActive Operations to embarrass Pakistan Army by capturing shallow objectives.
Pakistan should make it clear to India that any misadventure or incursion inside Pakistan through land, air or sea will be considered as an act of war and will be retaliated with full military might with all resources at its disposal.
In his book “ The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence,” German Author Elias Davidsson claims that “2008 Mumbai attacks were pre-planned and executed by India itself while the United States and Israel were also complicit in conceiving, planning, directing and executing the attacks”. Chuck Hagel, The ex-Secretary of the State of the USA during a lecture informed the audience that “India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border and you can carry that in many dimensions (including funding TTP).”
Any violent activity in India may it be the attack on Pathankot Airbase or any other minor incidence all are instantly attributed to Pakistan and India media spares no time and effort to malign Pakistan for days in a row. Making these incidents as an excuse Indian Governments have been refusing to go ahead with the peace process gaining time to create another Casus Belli. After the resurgence of an indigenous independence movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir, India with its 7-8 lacs Regular and Para Military Forces is engaged in a virtual genocide of Kashmiri people.
Read more: Bilateralism between India and Pakistan
Having failed to control the insurgency India has resorted to targeting civilian population on our side of the LOC. To malign Pakistan, Indian Army claimed that it had conducted a surgical strike across the LOC on 29 September 2016, to destroy a launch pad being used by the terrorists however it could not produce any evidence to prove its claim neither on media nor in their Parliament; however, Indian Army has foolishly decided to commemorate 29 September as their Victory and Surgical Strike Day.
Now India is in a dilemma, it is a member of the prestigious nuclear suppliers group, it claims to be biggest secular democracy in the world seeking a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations and aspires to be a regional power as a core US ally in the region to counter China but its record of human rights violation with regards to minorities and separatist movements is very poor may it be Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Lower Class Hindus or the states seeking independence to include, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and Tripura. Sikh massacre in Golden Temple, destruction of Babri Masjid by Hindu fanatics, brutal anti-Muslims riots in Indian Gujrat and ongoing atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir are only a few examples portraying the true face of Hindu India.
Pakistani leadership has again clarified that offer for peace talks to India is based on the desire to promote trade and bring millions of people in both the countries out of poverty and it should not be taken as a sign of weakness.
In fact, India is in a process of disintegration which it can’t stop ad withstand for long. India is afraid of discussing Kashmir and Siachen issues with Pakistan because any settlement on this long outstanding issue will act as a chain reaction for the other states to claim independence. The current Indian Leadership is under a lot of pressure due to the corruption scandal in Rafael Fighter Jets deal with France and upcoming elections which are usually based on anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Simultaneously, its economy is on the decline, poverty is on the rise and a general unrest is prevailing in the masses. In this scenario, backing away from peace talks with Pakistan and threatening statements by Indian political and military leadership will jeopardize the peace and stability in the whole region. Pakistani leadership has again clarified that offer for peace talks to India is based on the desire to promote trade and bring millions of people in both the countries out of poverty and it should not be taken as a sign of weakness.
India should stop making threatening statements based on their numbers and superiority in the conventional forces and should not forget that Pakistan is a declared nuclear power with second strike capability and also possessing tactical nuclear weapons to neutralize the large-scale Indian armored and mechanized forces. Pakistan should make it clear to India that any misadventure or incursion inside Pakistan through land, air or sea will be considered as an act of war and will be retaliated with full military might with all resources at its disposal.
Muhammad Latif is a defense and security analyst based in Islamabad. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.