The public goodwill in India is just fiction that is chanted liltingly in Indo-Pak seminars
Since Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has been at the helm, the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary has deteriorated, and the Indian establishment appears to have started a psy-war. On Saturday, Pakistan expressed serious concern over Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s remarks that “terrorists have to be neutralised only through terrorists”. A statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) quoted the advisor to the PM for Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, as having said: “It must be the first time that a minister of an elected government openly advocates use of terrorism in another country on the pretext of preventing terrorism from that country or its non-state actors.” A day before starting his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, India’s defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, said: “We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can’t we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?”
However, the statement of the defence minister evoked sharp criticism also from former the CM of Indian Held Kashmir Omar Abdullah and others. Parrikar should keep in mind that in the event of war between two nuclear states, the people of both countries will face large scale death and destruction. This is what security experts, perceptive observers and political pundits all over the world have been saying: a fourth war between India and Pakistan could break out over the Kashmir dispute, if not amicably resolved. There is a perception that India is unhappy over the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will be a game changer so far as Pakistan’s economy is concerned.
Secondly, India sees improved relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially the intelligence-sharing agreements between the intelligence agencies of both the countries as a setback to Indian diplomacy. Thirdly, his statement could be due to frustration over pro-Pakistani sentiment in Indian Held Kashmir, as the Indian military has not been able to bend Kashmiris. Over the last four decades, India has deployed 500,000 to 700,000 troops to hound out ubiquitous freedom sentiment but it has failed to cow them down or subdue them. The wholesale orgy of death and destruction that its military is indulging in so freely in Occupied Kashmir has left not a single home there without a family tragedy. Yet the Kashmiris have not bent and they stand tall, and no amount of repression can break their will and determination.
Of course, there will be many an apologist in the political class, intelligentsia, media and civil society who would gloss over Indian arrogance with their familiar spurious reasoning. The public goodwill in India is just fiction that is chanted liltingly in Indo-Pak seminars organised by Aman Ki Asha in five star hotels. On the ground in India, it exists not. It is just antipathy for Pakistan that pervades the Indian streets, public halls, political offices, media compounds and official corridors. This must be clear at the first sight to any honest observer of the Indian scene. As regards the Kashmir dispute, Congress leaders often expressed willingness to discuss all issues, including Kashmir, but when pressed for meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute, they said Kashmir was an integral part of India.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vowed to act tough with Pakistan and would not discuss the Kashmir issue with Pakistan. Today, Kashmir stands as a potential nuclear flashpoint that could consume the lives of millions of people in an instant. To avert a major disaster, there must be a serious, result-oriented and time-bound process of dialogue between the leadership of India and Pakistan, and of Jammu and Kashmir. There is another bone of contention. India accuses Pakistan of not cooperating in handing over terrorists mentioned in the list of most wanted terrorists. Contradicting the statement given by the Indian minister of state for home affairs, Haribhai Chaudhry, on the floor of parliament, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently claimed that Dawood was still in Pakistan and pledged to bring him back to India “no matter what”.
The Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi, Abdul Basit, refuted Indian allegations saying that “Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan”. Two weeks ago, responding to a BJP MP’s question regarding the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim, Haribhai Chaudhry said: “The subject has not been located so far. The extradition process with regard to Dawood Ibrahim will be initiated once the subject is located.” Nine days after US special forces’ operation on May 2, 2011 in Abbottabad killing Osama bin Laden, India released a list of 50 ‘most wanted persons’ on May 11, 2011, with a view to turning up more heat on Pakistan. But, according to a Times of India report, investigations revealed that one of the two dreaded terrorists the list claimed were hiding in Pakistan was dead and the other lodged in the city’s Cherlapalli prison.
Dawood Ibrahim’s elder brother, Noora, who died of kidney failure in Karachi in 2010, continued to show up as a wanted accused in the red corner notice against his name. Chota Rajan, involved in the 1993 serial blasts, died in 2008 at Arthur Road jail after a heart attack. The red corner notice against him showed him as wanted. Pakistan says that it has incontrovertible evidence of India’s support to the terrorists; as four terrorists arrested in connection with the Safoora terror attack also admitted having killed Sabeen Mahmud, who allowed holding a seminar on the missing persons of Balochistan. Pakistan took the position that it was planned by an alien agency to kill her to convey an impression that it was done by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as the latter was not happy over the holding of the seminar.