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PM Khan believes settlement in Kashmir possible if Modi wins


News Analysis |

Prime Minister Imran Khan believes that prospects of peace between India and Pakistan would be strengthened if current ruling party of India, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), wins the upcoming election and forms government yet another time. He believes that Congress might not be as forthcoming as it is being stigmatized in the national politics by right-wing Hindu nationalist parties as too lenient toward Pakistan.

“Perhaps if the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” Khan told a small group of foreign journalists in an interview. However, he went on to take a jibe at Indian premier for electioneering on the issues which are sensitive in nature such as the current precarious situation of Indian Muslims and tempering with the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

It seems that PM Imran Khan has been unable to read the current Indian politics meticulously enough to understand the ideological stand of both BJP and Congress regarding Pakistan.

Narendra Modi comes from a party which has always advocated India being a Hindu nationalist state due to the predominant and overwhelming majority of Hindus in its 1.3 billion population. During the last 5 years of BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, hate crimes have gone up significantly as per the statistics of Government of India itself.

In the last couple of months, Narendra Modi has upped the ante against Pakistan to once again win the support of right-wing Hindus who are disgruntled due to issues such as unemployment, believed to be highest in the last 45 years and nearly as many as 17% of youth believed to be unemployed.

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Is Congress Really Scared of Public Pressure Regarding Pakistan?

Incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan thinks that if Congress makes its way into the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament, it would try to shun the tag of “Pakistan friendly” because the air has been created in such a way, but is it really the case? Well, not really.

In recent state elections of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, Congress announced its revival at a time when BJP was aiming at “Congress Mukt Bharat” or “Congress Free India” due to the declining popularity of the party and its leader Rahul Gandhi. Winning these three states by overwhelming majority gave Congress a real hope of making a significant impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. But even then, Congress decided not to play the jingoistic politics like its rival Bhartiya Janata Party and announced cooperating with Pakistan, in its election Manifesto 2019, as one of the policy decisions if the party came into power.

Political pundits keeping an eye on the environment in India, in the context of 2019 general elections, have predicted that recent standoff with Pakistan has actually boasted Narendra Modi’s chance of winning the majority once again.

It is a courageous move knowing how it would be used as an electioneering tool by BJP during its campaign, and may even be counterproductively costing it the election, Congress still went ahead with the announcement that it would seek cooperation rather confrontation with Pakistan if it came to power. It seems that PM Imran Khan has been unable to read the current Indian politics meticulously enough to understand the ideological stand of both BJP and Congress regarding Pakistan.

BJP Taking the Majority in 2019 Elections

Political pundits keeping an eye on the environment in India, in the context of 2019 general elections, have predicted that recent standoff with Pakistan has actually boasted Narendra Modi’s chance of winning the majority once again, irrespective of the fact that Pakistan came out victorious at the end. BJP was successful in selling the particular narrative depicting Narendra Modi as can give a befitting response to Pakistan.

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Although his assessment about Congress is factually wrong, it might be possible that Prime Minister Imran Khan also gave the above statement under the same impression that BJP is going to form the government once again. But given the current scenario, where India is not even cooperating vis-à-vis Kartarpur Corridor initiative of Pakistan, it seems that BJP is not the ideal stakeholder to place the bet on, compared to Congress.

What Makes PM Khan Optimistic about BJP?

Surprisingly, just a day before, PM Khan himself had regretted that Indian leaders have defied international laws and their own constitution while occupying Kashmir and how could the Indian voters not feel outraged about that.

“When ldrs in Israel & India show a moral bankruptcy in their readiness to annex occupied West Bank & IOK in defiance of int law, UNSC resolutions & their own Constitution for votes, don’t their ppl feel a sense of outrage & wonder how far they will go simply to win an election?,” Khan tweeted.

However, in the interview to a foreign journalist, Prime Minister Khan contradicted himself as he said BJP’s win could help to reach a solution to Kashmir issue. His statement is probably reflective of near-success Agra Summit which was thought to be the most practical way out to resolve Kashmir dispute but couldn’t be materialized.

Under Modi, BJP has transformed into a hyper-national party, thriving on Hindu sentiments. A political party that has run its campaign on anti-Pakistan rhetoric can never be the one that would want a peace dialogue with Pakistan.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one among the founding members of BJP, the then Prime Minister of India and then President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf had in 2001, reached to a comprehensive solution to the Kashmir conflict but it collapsed as the agreement couldn’t be signed.

Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Chief AS Dulat said in a 2015 interview to Rediff that it was then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani (BJP) who derailed the Agra Summit. “He raked up the issue of Dawood Ibrahim at a dinner hosted for visiting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the eve of the Agra Summit. Musharraf was taken aback,” said Dulat.

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PM Khan probably thought BJP with that reference of Agra Summit, but what he failed to realize is BJP couldn’t go against RAW back then and the situation has worsened now. Under Modi, BJP has transformed into a hyper-national party, thriving on Hindu sentiments. A political party that has run its campaign on anti-Pakistan rhetoric can never be the one that would want a peace dialogue with Pakistan.

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