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Sunday, July 7, 2024

What inevitable regional developments are in the offing? (Part 1)

Lockdown of 8 million Kashmiris for 11 months, their inhuman persecution and torture exposed the ugly face of fascist India, evoking strong censure from the world.

India reluctantly accepted the Partition plan as a stopgap arrangement under the fond hope that it will not survive beyond six months. To make it happen, Bengal and Punjab were bifurcated, Pakistan’s share of finances and other assets withheld, nine million of destitute refugees forced to migrate from East Punjab and Central India.

Soon after the creation of Pakistan in August 1947, while Pakistan’s leaders grappled with umpteen problems to build Pakistan from a scratch, India forcibly annexed Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which resulted in a war in Kashmir.

Plethora of problems loaded by India

In 1948, India stopped water in the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. In 1950 and 1951, India mobilized its forces and deployed them along its border with Pakistan and next enforced trade war with Pakistan. India launched the 1965 war with the intention to decimate Pak armed forces.

East Pakistan, located 1000 miles away from West Pakistan without any land access was marked as the first target by Nehru in 1948 for subversion and detachment from Pakistan to disprove two-nation theory.

With this motive in mind, the educated and prosperous 19% Hindu community in East Bengal was asked to stay on and play its role in subverting the youth. In a matter of 23 years, the Hindu teachers, lecturers and professors brainwashed the students so thoroughly that they viewed West Pakistanis as their enemies and India as their friends.

Read More: How an Indian sees Pakistan

Amputation of eastern limb and thereafter

After amputating eastern limb of Pakistan in 1971 with the help of its chief patron USSR, India shifted its focus on Sindh to fuel Jeeay Sindh movement and Baloch insurgency in Baluchistan in 1973. RAW was employed to carryout sabotage and subversion in the selected regions. KGB and KHAD were fully involved in Baloch insurgency in the 1970s; Pakhtunistan movement was also backed. Moscow had reasons to settle scores with Pakistan since the latter was instrumental in bringing a thaw in China-USA relationship in 1971.

Pakistan took its sweet revenge by playing a key role in the Afghan Jihad which culminated in defeat of Soviet forces, fall of Berlin wall and eventual disintegration of Soviet Empire. When the time ripened to remove the blot of 1971 tragedy, Gen Ziaul Haq who had made plans to liberate Kashmir and also assist the Khalsas in establishing Khalistan, died in a mysterious air crash.

After his departure, Pakistan economy fell behind Indian economy and Pakistan adopted defensive and apologetic foreign policy. India on the other hand became assertive and aggressive under the patronage of its new paramour USA, particularly when BJP took over power and carried out nuclear tests in 1998. Advani threatened to annex Azad Kashmir (AJK).

Read More: Pakistan condemns India’s treatment of Kashmiris

Another international conspiracy woven after 9/11

After 9/11, India in collusion with its strategic partners USA, Israel, NATO and Afghanistan, launched biggest ever covert war from Afghan soil to denuclearize and fragment Pakistan into four parts. For this purpose, India relentlessly expanded and modernized its armed forces and nuclear/missile/cyber power with a view to undertake a military offensive under the Cold Start Doctrine at an opportune time. The grand strategy included destabilization, strategic encirclement, defamation and isolation of Pakistan.

For this purpose, Indian military presence in Siachin Glacier and occupied Kashmir was beefed up, water terrorism was employed as a coercive tool, influence in Afghanistan was enlarged, defence & strategic agreements with Iran were signed, Arab Gulf States were won over, FATF used as a weapon to blacklist Pakistan and hybrid war unleashed to tarnish the image of Pakistan.

FATA/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Baluchistan were made restive by triggering Pashtun/Baloch separatist movements. Balwaristan movement was fueled in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Pakistan’s economic hub-centre Karachi was made lawless with the help of MQM. PPP added fuel to urban terrorism in the port city. Apart from the nationalist parties that had played a major role in preventing construction of Kalabagh Dam, PPP and PML-N were also cultivated by India to keep the Kashmir cause on backburner and to disrepute Pak Army.

Some TV channels and English newspapers were heavily funded by foreign agencies for selling tutored themes, building perceptions, stimulating liberalism, undermining Islam, discrediting state institutions and fomenting divisions in society.

India used its diplomatic clout and military power to keep SAARC under shadows. It tried hard to change this forum into South Asian Economic Union dominated by Delhi. Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Burma were turned into Indian satellites. Hasina Wajid was forced to pursue anti-Pakistan policies.

Read More: Pakistan vs India in escalating diplomatic feud

In order to spoil Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan and Iran, and to keep Iran away from BRI, India signed strategic partnership agreement with both, built a highway from Zaranj to Delaram in Afghanistan to connect it with Chahbahar Port, invested money for upgradation of Chahbahar Port, started building North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) connecting Mumbai Port with Bandar Abbas Port in cooperation with Russia. India also undertook 628 km long railway project to connect Chahbahar with Zahedan and finally to Zaranj. These projects were undertaken with the sole objective of creating an alternative trade route to Afghanistan-Central Asia, reduce Kabul’s dependence on Islamabad, and undermine upcoming Gwadar Port as well as China’s BRI initiative.

While Russia has been tacitly supporting NSTC, USA has been implicitly favoring upgradation of Chahbahar with Indian effort to undercut Gwadar. Chahbahar-Gwadar rivalry suits both US and India.

While using terrorism as a stick to lambast and browbeat Pakistan, India built a false narrative that Pakistan was an abettor and India a victim of terrorism. The world accepted the fake narrative since it was backed by USA and the West.

Pakistan made no effort to build a counter narrative to put the record straight since successive regimes followed policy of appeasement of USA and India. Consequently India managed to hide its massive crimes against Kashmiris and Indian minorities.

BJP regime under extremist Modi, a product of RSS, broke all records of state terrorism and human rights violations during its six-year inglorious rule and has maintained a highly aggressive posture against Pakistan. In the books of Indian leaders, Pakistan can exist if it accepts Indian hegemony and agree to become a compliant state.

Inclusion of India into Asia-Pacific quad to contain China and naming India as the bulwark against China, and policeman of Indo-Pacific region made Modi and his Hindutva loving team of fascists ecstatic and they began to imagine India a super power of South Asia. Accordingly they carved out a muscular policy.

The happy tidings for intolerant Modi regime soured in the aftermath of its false flag operation enacted at Pulwama on February 14, 2019, which was aimed at preparing grounds for conducting a surgical air strike against Pakistan so as to boost its Hindu vote bank for elections in May that year, and next to abrogate the special status of J&K followed by limited attacks in GB-Azad Kashmir (AJK). All the offensive acts of India backfired and it has suffered one humiliation after another.

Setbacks/fallouts effects suffered by India

The setbacks and the fallout effects suffered by India, together with some connected regional developments are tabulated hereunder:

Abortive airstrike in Balakot on February 24th, 2019 which was chased out by PAF; Pakistan’s counteraction on the night of February 26, followed by an air duel on February 27th in which two Indian jets were downed and two pilots (Indian and Israeli) captured. One Indian helicopter was shot down in panic by own troops;

India snatched the special status of disputed J&K on August 5 which created an uproar in the international arena and once again brought the oldest unresolved dispute of Kashmir in limelight;

Lockdown of 8 million Kashmiris for 11 months, their inhuman persecution, torture and rapes exposed the ugly face of fascist India, evoking strong censure from the world. India’s grave violations of human rights are widely censured by international media and notables in Europe and USA;

Imposition of anti-Muslim discriminatory citizenship amendment act in India in December 2019, sparked nationwide protests of all the minorities, and led to bloodshed of Muslims in Delhi in February 2020 by Hindu fanatics duly protected by the police. It resulted in 53 deaths, injuries to over 200 and destruction of Muslims properties. Paradoxically, Muslims were blamed for the carnage;

Promulgation of new domicile act in J&K to change the Muslim majority into minority. It has given added fillip to the resolve of Kashmiri freedom fighters to resist the occupying forces;

Among the dozens of insurgencies and separatist movements raging in India, Khalistan movement is assuming dangerous proportions and preparations for a referendum in coming December are being made enthusiastically.

Other regional developments in 2020

Afghanistan

  1. Historic peace agreement signed between USA and Taliban on February 29, 2020 consternated India and Ghani regime in Kabul. For all practical purposes, Afghanistan has slipped out of the hands of India and USA, but spoilers are trying their best to derail peace process.
  2. Delay in the prisoners swap is the major hindrance in the start of intra-Afghan dialogue.
  3. Taliban are keeping up the momentum of attacks and exit of bulk of US troops this year is a foregone conclusion.
  4. India is averse to the Taliban and so are the Taliban to Indian presence in their country. Conversely, China, Pakistan have a happy understanding with Taliban and with Kabul regime. After the exit of US troops, Indian political, economic and intelligence influence would drop to lowest ebb thereby enabling China to take Afghanistan in the loop of BRI.

Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman of the Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank, Pakistan ex Servicemen Society, and member Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. He can be reached at asifharoonraja@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.