Relations between Pakistan and our hostile neighbour India have since the very start of play been strained and in dire need of a strong commitment on both sides of the border of a reciprocated quest for peace and prosperity. The history, be that as it may, is a bystander of the exact opposite, one to elucidate which is a task too herculean to undertake. Exceptions do, however, succeed in finding home.
But it is what has happened lately that has caught the eyes of a tidy sum of folks worldwide. The Pulwama attack, leaving 45 dead and 38 wounded, in what is being considered the ‘worst-ever’ terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir (as per Indian reports); the subsequent extraction of Pakistan as India’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) by the Modi government; and threats put forth by it of isolating Pakistan have reasons to be unearthed and paid heed to.
The fast-approaching general elections in India have left the BJP doubting its future in office. The backdrop of Indian elections makes things astoundingly all the more easily comprehensible.
Notorious for his lack of aptitude and turning a blind eye to the racist incidents that take place in his country, Modi has taken to using war tactics to increase his vote bank. But is this how a democracy is won over? Certainly not. Vowing for amity appeals more than vowing for enmity but Modi thinks otherwise.
His decision to give the Indian army a ‘free hand’ is tantamount to a declaration of war — and as per a retired Indian general, wholly intolerable.
Modi vowed to isolate Pakistan, but has by and large failed to bring on the same page the intellectuals for the opposition — the Indian National Congress (INC). Shashi Tharoor, MP for Thiruvananthapuram, said in one of his recent tweets, ‘Empty rhetoric didn’t work at home and it doesn’t work abroad.’ He also advised the BJP ministers to halt ‘fatuous’ talks about ‘isolating’ Pakistan.
With peace come compromises, political accommodation and flexibility; not warning diplomatic isolation; nor housing terrorists to worsen your neighbour’s domestic situation.
But there’s far more to it than a layperson can wrap his head around. In the midst of Pakistan’s improving relations with China, Saudi Arabia and Russia, India has only one path left to motor its vehicle on — the U.S. Modi pledges to use his genial relations with Donald Trump and his administration to put pressure on Pakistan, and given the latter’s worsening relations with the U.S. feels that he has a golden opportunity on offer not to be missed. But owing to the geostrategic importance that Pakistan enjoys but hasn’t been able to take full advantage of, Modi again is left with no friends on his side to help him do well in his war tactics. He’s the one being ‘isolated’.
One reason why the BJP has attracted the masses’ attention and a battalion of votes, notwithstanding it being a right-wing political party, is largely due to its ‘use of digital tools’ and a ‘shiny economic agenda’. Pakistan for the BJP always remains a red-hot issue to deliberate. The Pulwama attack has furthered one of BJP’s main tactics to gain publicity.
An environment of pessimism has been created as a result of war talks. And in times like these, raising voice of peace is dubbed as synonymous with being unpatriotic. What needs to be comprehended rather promptly is that talk of war will further depreciate the bilateral relations between Pakistan and India, benefiting those that gain out of such circumstances, and push peace-loving people out of the picture.
Navjot Singh Sidhu — a cricketer-turned-politician — has been sacked from the recently resumed The Kapil Sharma Show for the reason that he publicly mouthed that terrorism knows no boundaries and has no religion, and to blame and hold responsible one nation for all acts of terrorism is erroneous. His services with Sony Entertainment Channel have also been terminated.
Imran Khan’s riposte has been one of mutual finding of a/the solution. He asked the Indian government to provide ‘actionable intelligence’ concerning the attack. He also instructed the military to ‘respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure’ by neighbouring India. India, on the other hand, blatantly rejected Khan’s offer, and purported at seeking prompt action against the perpetrators.
The Modi government has thus far swept the concerns and questions raised by the INC under the rug. The fact that the attack was carried out and left so many dead and injured depicts the inadequate security preparations and raises the question as to ‘why there was such a large convoy [present] at a highway with public access to it’. The possibility of someone smuggling in 350 kilograms of RDX across the border and bringing it into the Indian territory should have been made impossible in the first place.
But then again, the BJP can’t help but not accept the flaws of its administration and put the whole onus on Pakistan. It — as has been said already — fears losing its voters.
Working out a solution by way of an accommodation is the need of the hour. War is no solution. Acceptance of mistakes will only help build an environment of diplomacy and dialogue.
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