New Delhi: There is little gainsay in comparing and contrasting two nations created in August 1947. But yet, it is safe to conclude assertively that India is what Pakistan has never been.
Pakistan lost its Eastern wing, and a new nation called Bangladesh emerged; though following Islamic tenets, Dhaka, the capital of the ‘new creation’ of 1971, maintains warm and hospitable mutual relations. But in the context of the India-Pakistan relationship, Kashmir is the real issue that is speaking out at times, even out of context.
Well, for India, the G20 Summit later this year will provide a fantastic opportunity to tell the world that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has acceded to India, despite having a majority Muslim population.
Pakistan has been uncomfortable with this ‘historical fact’ because, for Islamabad, the basic ‘idea of Muslim nationhood’ has been a cause of the Kashmir problem. In contrast, the G20 mega event should be made used
to tell the world that the Indian Prime Minister in 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee went out of the way trying to establish communication with the people of Pakistan. Late Vajpayee had conveyed rather powerfully that Partition in 1947 was also a ‘fact of history’.
How did he do it? Vajpayee even visited the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, a monument erected at a place where the Muslim League adopted the first ‘Pakistan Resolution’. But India’s gestures have never made the right impact in that country. One primary reason is ‘India bashing’ works as vital political oxygen, and the common masses have always been misled by the elites, both Pakistan’s civilian and military regime.
It is also another matter of fact that all successive Indian governments, including the present one led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last 76 years, have tried to push ‘positivity’ in the bilateral ties. But Pakistan sustained its India phobia for reasons known and unknown. Even Modi’s unique gesture of visiting that country on the birthday of PM Nawaz Sharif was hardly allowed to have its desired results.
Worse, Islamabad power players reciprocated the gestures by Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama.
In 2019, India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, made a powerful speech during his interaction with Us intelligentsia and experts. “For many years India sought a solution (on Kashmir) while Pakistan was comfortable with continuing cross-border terrorism. The choice as this comment came back to power was clear. We had more of past policies and the prospect of further radicalization or we had a decisive change in the landscape and a change of direction towards de-radicalization,” Dr Jaishankar said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington.
Hence, it will be prudent to presume that Indian diplomats, political leaders and even intellectuals will do well to tell the G20 nations and the world that Pakistan, over the decades, has remained strictly “antagonistic” to India.
In fact, most of the world could be knowing this fact, but some of them, including the G20 members and some powerful nations in the region, need to be told that this is essential because Pakistan has “internatised” the Muslim League argument that Hindus and Muslims could not live together.
Of course, while pushing this argument, no one is suggesting that G20 should be used for finding faults with India’s western neighbour. But it has to be underlined that until and unless ‘effective’ pressure has been built on the ground, Pakistan will not take any corrective step in improving regular ties with India and will not stop its cross-border terrorism policy.
The global community is aware of this, yet it is still necessary to suggest that the ‘hydra-headed’ terror monster created by Pakistan is today threatening its own problems. Its economy is in shambles. But Pakistan’s challenges remain in the form of politicisation of the Army, rise in fundamentalism, the growing tentacles of ISI and growth in the narcotics trade.
Trying to build up our argument on this backdrop, it must be relevant here to recall what Ikram Saigol had said, “Explode the bomb (nuke), and be prepared to eat grass. Or decide against it and eat humble pie”.
The theory about ‘humble pie’ is almost there for Pakistan. The international community needs to understand that the fall of Pakistan as a nation economically and otherwise will have serious ramifications globally. Many of Pakistan’s woes remain a facet of Kashmir, and the terror angle as “easy availability” of small arms to hordes of unemployed youths has only patronised Jihadi terrorism.
In 2019 again, Dr Jaishankar diagnosed some of the problems vis-a-vis challenges in Kashmir.
“There are local vested interests, there are vested interests across the border. I mean if we actually managed to get development going in Kashmir, do understand that everything that the Pakistanis have planned for, for the last 70 years have come to naught. And therefore that’s not something they are going to let happen easily”.
So many are things deliberately misinterpreted by Pakistan. Even for Afghanistan, a wrong narrative was pushed. Pakistan falsely tried to argue that India’s development assistance did not contribute to peace in Afghanistan. But the US had caught the tricks during the stint of Donald Trump as the US President.
The US had also de-hyphenated India and Pakistan from Washington’s Afghanistan policy. Some other countries also need to do so.
In the ultimate, New Delhi will have to push the world to do the real walk the talk and take firm measures against the mischiefs of Pakistan. In 2016 the internet and social media were used to radicalize and to mobilize support for terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir. So, the Indian government’s argument is, if this is the case and one is walking into this situation, it would not be wise to allow the internet to be used by people whose intentions are “malevolent”.
Hence, while communicating with G20 partners and others, India’s case will be to make sure that there are enough changes on the ground so that Pakistan understands the need to change accordingly.