The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified to reflect the dateline continuity.
Pakistan reacted on expected lines on India’s snub to the US on its offer to mediate between India and Pakistan. According to a recent Dunya News report, Pakistan Foreign Office reacted saying that the Indian stand once again proves India’s ‘weak’ position on the Kashmir issue.
According to the report, Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Office said that ‘the behaviour of the neighbourly state was disappointing, adding that the weak position of India compelled it to quit Kashmir talks’. “Whenever the United States or any other global power asked to mediate the talks, India backed away,” the report quoted him saying. He added to his statement the favourite Pakistani rant of India sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to it.
Nikki Haley, the Indian origin United States Ambassador the United Nations, had created a storm by saying that the Donald Trump administration was concerned about tension between India and Pakistan and would not wait for something to happen to intervene. She said that the US might offer to mediate between India and Pakistan to ‘de-escalate’ tension and that even President Donald Trump might come forward to play an active role.
India readily dismissed Nikki Haley’s offer saying it was India’s official position that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved through bilateral efforts and the ball was in Pakistan’s court to resume the dialogue process. It has been India’s demand, especially after the Pathankot airbase attack by Pakistan based JeM terrorists in January 2016, that terror and talks cannot go together and to resume the dialogue, Pakistan should stop sponsoring terror in India.
India’s official response was brief and specific, “Government’s position for bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues in an environment free of terror and violence hasn’t changed. We of course expect international community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond.”
Also, experts dismissed Nikki Haley’s offer saying it might not represent the official US position on the issue. Subsequent US administrations have kept the Indian sensitivity in mind and have desisted from offering direct mediation between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
In fact, during his campaign days, Trump had indicated that he would seek Indian help to keep ‘unstable Pakistan’s nukes’ in check. He had also said that Pakistan had double dealt the US in spite of receiving huge aid from the US. He reiterated his stand on Pakistan even after he won the US polls when he tweeted to slam Pakistan in December, “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend.”
Pakistan’s ruling establishment, in fact, survives on anti-India propaganda. Pakistan has no serious standing in the world. For many in the world community, it is just another country. For major global powers of the free world, it is a country with ‘unstable nukes’ as US President Donald Trump says or it is country with countless terror havens, as the world community generally believes.
So, there is immense international pressure, in spite of Pakistan’s big brother China’s backing, an autocratic economic and military giant. To counter this pressure, the Pakistani power elite does what it has been doing – drawing its sanctity back home from anti-India propaganda. The Pakistani power elite has created a fallacy in the country that India is Pakistan’s sworn enemy and they want its populace to remain trapped in that fallacy and this statement by Pakistan’s FS is just among those propaganda moments.