Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a two days visit to Bangladesh and one of his statement there he said that “every now and then Pakistan keeps disturbing India, creates nuisance, promotes terrorism and such incidents keep recurring.” This came in the midst of when Islamabad was planning to handover yet another set of evidence of the involvement of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in creating instability in Pakistan to the Indian government.
Islamabad has gathered evidence of the involvement of RAW in recent incidents of terrorism in different parts of Pakistan. It is ironic that Modi was blaming Pakistan for internal problems of India. Such hawkish attitude will further discourage the peace efforts in the region. Analysts believe that Modi is trying to compensate for the unfulfilled promises he made during his election campaign. Anti-Pakistanism is a reality in India; relations with Islamabad play their role in Indian domestic politics. Politicians cash on anti-Pakistanism to seek votes during election campaigns, so did Modi.
The important thing is to understand that, where the region is going with such a mindset? The region is witnessing two opposing mindsets and this stalemate is hindering region’s growth and development. Pakistan is pressing hard to improve its ties with India, while New Delhi is determined to accuse Islamabad every now and then and close all the channels which are aimed at making the two countries sit and talk about their bilateral disputes and regional integration.
In Modi’s initial days, when he invited PM Nawaz Sharief to his oath taking ceremony, hopes jumped to a new height that bilateral ties are about to improve. Pakistan accepted Modi’s invitation without any delay and with an open heart PM Nawaz Sharief reached India. Whatever followed further sadden already gloomy environment of South Asia. India cancelled CBM talks; Modi started accusing Pakistan for creating instability in India and now for promoting terrorism.
Times have changed, Pakistan is on the path of development; it has improved its ties with all its neighbouring states. Afghanistan is on the path of stability and central Asian states are offering their riches to the external world. In such an environment where there are several opportunities for growth, development and prosperity it is imperative for the South Asian states to join hands and move towards a prosper destiny. On the contrary India, led by Modi; is moving in an opposite direction.
The analyses of facts reveal that Pakistan can do without India’s support but New Delhi needs Islamabad for its growth. The road to India’s prosperity passes through Islamabad. Everything that India needs for its growth including gas, electricity, and a market for trade and commerce is located in Central Asia. India does not have any future in its east, the future lies in its west. Hence, it should be understood by the policy makers in New Delhi that promoting conflict and creating instability in Pakistan will have sever backlash for India itself. Only a stable and prosper Pakistan guarantees a peaceful and prosper India.
Pakistan has been looking forward to seek the settlement of all disputes with India though peaceful means by dialogue. Islamabad still hopes that Indian leadership will comprehend the ground realities and extend a hand of friendship towards Pakistan. Mature leadership is, to be open to all forms of dialogue. Statesmanship requires that a leader must have the courage to discuss about everything, closing the doors for dialogue will never result in anything positive. Therefore, it is time that India leadership stops accusing Pakistan of its internal failures and start behaving like the regional big brother which it claims to be.
Aggressive Modi & Peace in S Asia | Aftab Hussain
— The writer is Research Officer in Islamabad Policy Research Institute.