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PM’s tweet: An end of Indian appeasement?

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Amid the inflammatory and threatening statement from Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Pakistan’s government, and Army offered a measured response against a belligerent neighbor. Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor quickly responded to Indian army chief’s provocative statement by saying that, “We [Pakistan Army] are ready for war but choose to walk the path of peace in the interest of the people of Pakistan, the neighbors, and the region”.

Indian Army Chief, provoked Pakistan when in a threatening language, he said India “needs to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that the terrorists and Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain.” Earlier, in response to India’s cancellation of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted that “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for the resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”

The inclusion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the CPEC and interest of Japan, turkey, and Russian in the project has apparently put Indian designs on the back front.

PM Khan’s statement triggered an angry response from Indian side and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and India’s media held Imran responsible for closing all the diplomatic doors with one tweet. In spite of a number of attempts from PM Khan to resume the dialogue, Indian’s not even backtracked, but, attempted to humiliate him. Khan played an instrumental role in persuading Indians through a series of cordial messages of dialogue. But, India called off the first high-level contact in three years abruptly after leveling grave allegations against Pakistan’s government.

Delhi’s foreign affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that India called off the meeting due to events in the past day that had exposed the “evil agenda of Pakistan”. He held Pakistan responsible for the death of three police officers in Kashmir and accused Pakistan of insurgency in IOK and of honoring slain militant leaders that Delhi regards as terrorists by issuing a series of 20 commemorative stamps. “The true face of the new prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has been revealed to the world,” Kumar added.

In a quick rebuttal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that India was using hate mongering against Pakistan to bail out PM Narendra Modi amid the calls for his resignation over corruption in French Rafale deal. Furthermore, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a statement that certain elements in New Delhi don’t want interaction with Pakistan as India has “priorities other than dialogue”.

Read more: “Feeling the Pain”: Indian Army Chief threatens Pakistan

On the contrary, Pakistan’s opposition parties including PPP and PML-N held PTI government responsible for this diplomatic debacle. PML-N termed the Khan’s decision to write a letter to Indian counterpart a “misstep”. Similarly, PPP Vice-President, Sherry Rehman accused the government of not doing enough homework before approaching India for a meeting, especially after the initial lukewarm response.

However, the opposition stood with the government in response to threats from India:

India has knowingly or unknowingly sabotaged Pakistan’s sincere efforts for the peace of the region. India apparently is apprehensive of Pakistan’s message of peace as it continues to improve its international image. The inclusion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the CPEC and interest of Japan, turkey, and Russian in the project has apparently put Indian designs on the back front. Meanwhile, the solidarity of civilian and military leadership and overall, efforts of the government to reintroduce Pakistan as a peaceful country is completely at odds with India’s strategy to prove Pakistan—a “failed rogue state”.

The recent escalation in clashes along the LoC including unprovoked attacks on civilians is a testimony to India’s mindset to many. Pakistan has long addressed the Indian concerns.

Indian has spent huge sums in Afghanistan and even within Pakistan to spark anarchy in the country. Fearing the success of Pakistan strategy to overcome the woes facing its “political economy” and in the wake of corruption scandals at home, Indian army backed up by the RSS and BJP has indulged in their country’s politics. BJP is eying the next elections and is playing politics by putting the burden of their failed domestic policies and gruesome killings of innocent Kashmiri’s on Pakistan’s shoulders. In the last two decades, India continues to brand Pakistan as a terrorist state, despite international condemnation over its treatment of the Kashmiri people.

Read more: India dumps peace again – Mustansar Hussain Tasir

Too many peace with India will remain a distant dream. The recent escalation in clashes along the LoC including unprovoked attacks on civilians is a testimony to India’s mindset to many. Pakistan has long addressed the Indian concerns. However, India has continuously backtracked and taken Pakistani steps for peace non seriously. While there are some who say that PM Khan should have used all diplomatic channels and international players to engage India. They also state that he should have refrained from the tweet he sent out. However, as many noted that it was a dignified response in reply to a “Nasty ” and “Trumpian North Korean style rhetoric”.

It seems that Pakistan is finally sending a message that despite its desire for peace, it will no longer continue to appease New Delhi. Islamabad desires peace but on an equal footing.


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