Merwah Qureshi |
Pakistan and India do not share the warmth of friendship and good neighborhood owing to the mutual mistrust inherited since inception. Whenever, Pakistan has extended the hand of friendship to put an end to this Pak-India rivalry, India -in the long run- has not only rejected the peace proposal radically but has always threatened Pakistan of an unbearable loss as well. From the blame games to the cancellation of talks and from the terror-sponsoring acts to the threat of limited war, the Indian government has observed to be relentlessly involved in hurting Pakistan’s vital national interest.
Even after bearing the brunt of the anti-Pakistan approach of Indian regime the newly elected government of Pakistan has still shown the aspiration for regional peace and proposed the option of Pak-India bilateral dialogue. However, once again India has not only refrained from responding to the proposal but has also cancelled the ministerial dialogue on the sidelines of UNGA just a day before the due date; thus, preferring politics over peace.
“Dialogue is the only way to address long-standing issues that have long bedeviled South Asia, and prevented the region from realizing its true potential.” (Shah Mehmood Qureshi)
The Indian hegemonic and inimical posture towards Pakistan has been rightly highlighted by Shah Mehmood Qureshi -Foreign Minister of Pakistan- in the recent -73rd- session of UNGA. While delivering his speech in his national language with the national pride, Mr.Qureshi has excellently lifted a veil from the actual realities of the South Asian region.
He emphasized the importance of the unresolved Kashmir issue for the long-term stability of the region and said that in the presence of a bleeding Kashmir the peace in the South Asian region is nothing but a far-fetched dream. He further said, “For seventy years the people of occupied Jammu & Kashmir have struggled for their rights of self-determination in the face of overwhelming oppression and gross violations of their fundamental human rights by the Indian occupation forces.”
So, if we want to see a peaceful South Asia, we have to solve this bubbling issue. While citing the UN report on human rights abuses in IHK, he mentioned the human rights violation in Indian Held Kashmir by the Indian authorities and welcomed the UN inquiry commission to the Pakistan Administered region with the hope of the same positive response from Indian side as well.
Pakistan’s F.M also shed light on the terrorist approach adopted by India against Pakistan by efficiently presenting the examples of Samjhuta express, APS attack, Mastung attack, and the Khulbhushan Yadav – serving Indian Naval officer- episode. All these events testify Pakistan’s claim of the Indian involvement in disrupting the security environment of Pakistan. Not only this, but it is India which has always been involved in the LOC ceasefire violation. Moreover, the evidence of Indian sponsored terrorism against Pakistan from the eastern side of the border further highlights the Indian terrorist mindset.
In response to the Indian threats of ‘Limited War’, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan made it clear in UNGA that Pakistan wouldn’t bear any attack on her sovereignty and if such an attack happens she will respond back with the equal zeal.
The Pakistani spokesperson also stated that Pakistan seeks peace and that peace only comes from dialogue. But India this time too has done what she has been doing for many years. He lamented the cancellation of ministerial talks by the Indian government and regretted the blockage of future hope of regional peace by the BJP government.
While sharing his government’s domestic and foreign policy dedicated to peace and prosperity, he also said that Pakistan yearns for peace to speed up the regional development and growth. He emphasized the importance of dialogue based approach for the conflict resolution and said, “Dialogue is the only way to address long-standing issues that have long bedeviled South Asia, and prevented the region from realizing its true potential.”
He even brought in light the issue of strategic stability in the south Asian region and criticized the dubious role of few states pertaining to the nuclear issue in this region, thus leaving Pakistan with no other option but to maintain her minimum credible deterrence for her survival.
He mentioned the defensive strategic posture of Pakistan in response to the offensive militaristic approach adopted by her eastern neighbor. Most importantly, in response to the Indian threats of ‘Limited War’, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan made it clear in UNGA that Pakistan wouldn’t bear any attack on her sovereignty and if such an attack happens she will respond back with the equal zeal.
Pakistan desires for a peaceful South Asia, she wants SAARC to be cohesive like EU and she wants this region to grow and develop as the European region is touching the pinnacles of success. However, the intransigence of only one state -India- makes this dream of regional peace impossible to be actualized.
The speech of Pakistan’s foreign minister is a testament to the fact that Pakistan wants to pursue a friendly and cooperative relation even with its adversary for the sake of regional peace. Pakistan knows that without solving Kashmir issue and cleaning off the dust from the Pak-India relation the peace in this region can never be attained. Furthermore, Pakistan also wants to reverse the arms race sped up by the malign intentions of few states in the pursuit of regional hegemony and economic benefit.
Pakistan desires for a peaceful South Asia, she wants SAARC to be cohesive like EU and she wants this region to grow and develop as the European region is touching the pinnacles of success.
However, the intransigence of only one state -India- makes this dream of regional peace impossible to be actualized. It sometimes uses the means of economic blockade against Nepal and sometimes threatens Bangladesh for not taking dictations from the Indian government. Not only this but Indian aggression has caused a major setback to the regional forum of SAARC as well.
It is high time for India to shun the approach of coercive diplomacy because it will yield nothing but more hatred which may lead towards a confrontation whose spill-over effect will wreak havoc in the entire region.
Consequently, Pakistan’s aspiration for peace shouldn’t be misperceived as her weakness for she knows both -how to cooperate for the greater regional cause and how to retaliate in order to secure her vital national interests. Therefore, it is high time for India to shun the approach of coercive diplomacy because it will yield nothing but more hatred which may lead towards a confrontation whose spill-over effect will wreak havoc in the entire region.
Additionally, if the international community is ardent to bring peace into the South Asian region; it shall analyze the Pak-India issue in a neutral way instead of viewing this adversarial situation with a prejudicial pro-Indian lens or else it would be considered equally responsible for nurturing the regional instability in South Asia.
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.