Home News Analysis UAE awards Modi: Time to revisit Pakistan foreign policy preferences?

UAE awards Modi: Time to revisit Pakistan foreign policy preferences?

Pakistan has taken a bold and strong decision by canceling the visit of the chairman senate to the UAE. It has conveyed a strong message not only to the UAE government but also to the people of Kashmir that Pakistan stands by them in this difficult hour.

Modi

News Analysis |

In a bold move, chairman senate, Sadiq Sanjrani, has cancelled his pre-scheduled visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Available reports suggest that the chairman senate has canceled his visit due to recent decision of the UAE’s government to award Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to details, Mr. Sanjrani was to depart on a four-day visit to the UAE with a parliamentary delegation yesterday but it was called off to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and protest the Gulf state’s decision to give Modi their highest civilian award.

According to a press release issued, the Chairman Senate said that Pakistan fully supported the freedom movement of Kashmiris. He said the Modi government has carried out unprecedented atrocities against Kashmiris and imposed a curfew in the occupied territory.

Muslims in Pakistan should focus on political stability, economic prosperity and cultural advancement since there is nothing beyond the borders for them to be owned or shared.

Any visit in such scenario would harm the sentiments of Pakistanis and the Kashmiri brethren. The Chairman has called off his and the parliamentary delegation’s visit to the UAE.

In Pakistan, not only the government but a large portion of the population is not happy over the decision of the UAE government. Modi-led government has been killing innocent Kashmiris, the entire world is condemning him and amidst such situations a Muslim states has conferred him with highest civilian award, Order of Zayed.

Read more: Modi tries to defend Kashmir move, uses “Terrorism” as an Excuse

International community’s response

The decision of the UAE’s government was not appreciated by the international community as well. The British parliamentarian urged the UAE not to award Modi. Labor Party parliamentarian Naz Shah has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is involved in crimes against humanity and does not deserve the highest civilian award that the United Arab Emirates government plans to give him.

Writing to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Force, the Labour MP from Bradford said that Prime Minister Modi was illegally removing the sovereignty of the Kashmiri people in Indian occupied Kashmir through the forced removal of article 370 and 35A.

Modi-led government has been killing innocent Kashmiris, the entire world is condemning him and amidst such situations a Muslim states has conferred him with highest civilian award, Order of Zayed.

She wrote: “I ask you to question this decision and reconsider giving such an award, not only because the majority of the Kashmiri people share the same faith as you, but because we have a duty as human beings to stand up against the disregard of human rights and evil.

If your trade deals prevent you from making a stand, or even speaking up on behalf of the Kashmiri people – at the very least, as a representative of the people of UAE, remain silent and condemn the actions of Prime Minister Modi within your heart. For the people of Kashmir, I ask that you at least show this recognition, rather than celebrating and endorsing an oppressor, while the cries of the oppressed are blocked out.”

Read more: French President Macron to discuss Kashmir with Modi

Muslim Ummah: A Utopia? 

In Pakistan, many people believe in the Islamic idea of Muslim Ummah as proposed by the 20th century Muslim scholars, Jamal-al-din Afghani and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, in the sub-continent. Theoretically, Muslim Ummah is an abstract idea which propagates unity among the Muslims of the world and encourages them to become ‘brothers’.

Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, also slammed those who have sympathies for the Arab states or Iran over Pakistan.

In other words, it’s an idea of global brotherhood among the believers of the same faith.  But the same got challenged when the UAE government made it decision to award Modi, despite witnessing the unprecedented human rights violations being committed by the Indian Prime Minister in the valley of Kashmir and that too against the innocent Muslims awarded Modi.

Read more: France is keeping an eye on Kashmir, Macron warns Modi

Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, also slammed those who have sympathies for the Arab states or Iran over Pakistan. He reminded them that it is our geography which makes us Pakistanis, and nobody is no longer interested to buy our idea of the Muslim Ummah.

It is now largely believed that the Muslims in Pakistan should focus on political stability, economic prosperity and cultural advancement since there is nothing beyond the borders for them to be owned or shared.

Expert opinion

Syeda Aminah Gilani, the Lahore-based academic and political commentator, believes that the relationship with Arab states has been beneficial for Pakistan but has its own cost. “The concept of Muslim brotherhood has guided the foreign policy narrative of Pakistan in most part of its history. On one hand, it has paved way for Pakistan to find economic stability in times of crumbling economy and uncertain budgetary conditions, it has equally landed the independent and much needed self-governing foreign policy stature into a doldrums. Kashmir is Pakistan’s most astounding dispute with India, and at a time when India is governed by Narendra Modi-led Hindu supremacist government, it faces a historical dilemma with the idea of Muslim brotherhood finding itself in despair with Arab world unapologetically bestowing laurels on Narendra Modi himself while there has been no official condemnation issued against India’s illegal annexation of Indian Occupied Kashmir by Gulf states, its further grave Human Rights violations against the Muslim population of Kashmir,” she said.

Syeda Aminah Gilani, Lahore-based academic and political commentator, believes that the relationship with Arab states has been beneficial for Pakistan but has its own cost.

However, the ongoing situation, argues Ms. Gilani, has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the country to remove all existing ideological confusions at the ground. She believes that “the situation has revealed itself as an eye-opener to many proponents of Muslim brotherhood. However, as disappointing as it may seem, it could be a much needed “necessary-evil” to break away from traditional foreign policy stance that has placed Pakistan in a position of stagnation in situations where it could play a more conducive role”.

Read more: Kashmir Protests send message to Modi: People’s resolve can’t be broken

On the question that what Pakistan needs to do at the moment in order to deal with challenges at home and abroad, Ms. Gilani offered to focus on the pragmatic approach. “Pakistan must,” argues Ms. Gilani, “redesign its foreign policy relations with much of Arab world, keeping in view its military and foreign policy stance that have traditionally supported the sanctity of Arab stance”.

Furthermore, she advises Pakistani policymakers to understand what exactly Arab states think of their so-called brother orally. Politics is, she maintains, at the heart of every move any state takes or otherwise. “Pakistan should seek its relations with countries like Israel and Iran without hyphenating them with their relations with the Arab world. Moreover, its military support to the causes of the Arab world should never supersede the causes of national sanctity. Some are of the view that Arab stance comes off neutral and to an extent pro-India because Pakistan has shown its neutrality in Arab war in Yemen. Or that it has not sided with Gulf against Qatar. Though it could be any of the two or else, it proves that Pakistan is seen more as a pawn rather an ally or a “brother” by some Arabs. The Arab betrayal on Kashmir cause is an opportunity in disguise for pundits of foreign policy in Pakistan to de-hyphenate Pakistan’s international relations with that of the Arab world,” she concluded while speaking to GVS.

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