GOOD THAT IT IS ONLY PAKISTAN’S INDIA OBSESSION NOW!

After the recent developments, tension between India-Pakistan is again all time high, so much so, that we are opening talking military solutions or even a full blown war.

What happens we will see later if we see the Twitter trends from India and Pakistan, it will look like every Pakistani has become so obsessed with India that it has mopped up his cortex and diverted away his grey matter to think anything else.

While a look at India says our people are moving away from Pakistan obsession. None of the tags in top trends, at 8:30 PM and 10 PM, were Pakistan centric while Pakistan had three India-centric tags in its top 10 at 8:30 PM which went up to four by 10 PM, after Sushma Swaraj’s strong rebuttal to Nawaz Sharif by her UNGA speech.

#UNGA is trending at top, both at 8:30 PM and 10 PM, in India trends and it is understandable. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was scheduled to address the UNGA today and everyone was expecting a strong rebuttal of Nawaz Sharif’s diatribe delivered from the UNGA podium where he spoke bunch of lies.

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And Sushma Swaraj delivered a marvellous speech today – balances, dignified and tough on Pakistan. And she had to trend and she is trending. In case of India, it is natural, but she was on number 2 in Pakistan at 8:30 PM and at number 3 at 10 PM, while by 10 PM, Sushma Swaraj had slipped back to 4th place.

That is good for us, the Indian society. We have normal trends in the top rung, a look at these trends shows, even if rhetoric between both countries is at an all time high. It shows that we are finally shedding our Pakistan obsession. And it is in sync with the aspirations of a society that is going to become the market of the largest middle class in the world, that the whole world needs, even China.

But it is bad for Pakistan. The trending topics show Pakistani politicians enjoy a jolly good time because many in its society still believe excelling in India bashing, these Twitter trends, at least show this. The trends show how tense Pakistani would be – they are blabbering Burhan Wani, his father, Sushma Swaraj and Indus Water Treaty.

At 10 PM, it gets another dose of hallucination when #BanBollywoodBecause starts trending at top. Now we all know that who needs Bollywood – it is the Pakistani film industry and Pakistani artists. India produces maximum number of films globally and has become lifeline and permanent home for many Pakistani artists and filmstars.

It is indicative of a sick mentality and the Pakistani society can never progress while being on this track. They have to realize that India is a much bigger global power and their future will become more stable and prosperous if they try to align their policies to establish friendly ties with India.

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA TALKS TOUGH ON INDUS WATER TREATY: BUT WAHT ABOUT CHINA?

Prime minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of concerned ministries and departments to review the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 between India and Pakistan. The meeting will ponder over the treaty post Uri attack circumstances to see if India can continue with it or the 56 years old treaty now needs changes.

Which way the government is thinking can be gauged from the reaction of Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of India’s External Affairs Ministry. He said that such treaties require ‘mutual trust and cooperation and can never be one-sided’.

But can the Modi government take some tough decision?

It is well known that the Indus Water Treat is one-sided, heavily skewed in favour of Pakistan. Rivers of the Indus Basin originate in India but according to the treaty, 80% of the Indus water is reserved for Pakistan and 90% of Pakistan’s irrigated area is dependent on it. When we talk of the catchment area of the Indus river, if Pakistan has its 47% area, India is not far behind with 39% of the land falling under its territory.

In India, especially in Jammu & Kashmir, the state that is directly affected from the arrangements made under any such treaty, demands have been consistently raised on abrogating the treaty. And now after the Uri attack, that demand is back again, this time now to correct this historical anomaly to use it as a potent tool to encircle and give a befitting reply to Pakistan. Now, if India, indeed, raises this demand tomorrow, Pakistan will be in deep trouble. If India stops the Indus flow to Pakistan or starts controlling and regulating it on a fair share basis, it will left a big area of Pakistan barren.

But India will have to face tough international pressure in doing so. The Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank and India and Pakistan have been approaching international arbitration tribunals in case of disputes. But even if we assume that India will get everyone onboard, what about China, especially when China is fully capable of doing something similar with us.

Brahmaputra river water has been a source of consistent discord between India and China. China can pose a big threat if it decides to divert the Brahmaputra water away from India to its arid north and north-western parts where 37% of its population has just 7% of water resources available. Brahmaputra originates in China and flows for quite long before entering India and then to Bangladesh. If China does so, it will create a grave existential threat for the north-eastern states of India as Brahmaputra river is like a lifeline here and for a big part of Bangladesh.

Going by the past precedents and China’s traditional anti-India stand, which can go to any extent to see India in trouble, especially when it concerns its so-called all-weather friend and ally Pakistan, China can certainly do something like this.

©SantoshChaubey

A SHARIF TAKES AWAY SHARAFAT (DECENCY) OF ANOTHER SHARIF!

Nawaz Sharif became Pakistan’s prime minister for the third term in June 2013. His party had emerged as the largest one the national general elections held in May 2013 but fell short of six seats from the House majority threshold. Later, 19 independents joined his party and he formed the government with a simple majority. It was a historical first for Pakistan – power transition from a civilian government to the next – after a democratically elected government from the 2008 elections completed its term.

Since Nawaz Sharif was seen as an influential and strong leader in Pakistan’s politics and since Pakistan was going to have a democratically elected government for possibly another five years, the world had expected that Nawaz Sharif would take forward the democratic transformation process and would be successful in reducing the political influence of the army.

Something that was going to be the biggest challenge for next chief of the Pakistan Army – General Raheel Sharif – that how to clip Nawaz Sharif’s wings. Raheel Sharif took charge of the Pakistani army in November 2013.

It means Nawaz Sharif had the early mover advantage and a window of six months to make his moves, to fix his equations and to repeat the history of 2008 and 2013.

The world knows that creating and maintaining India’s terror in the mindset of Pakistan’s population has become its army’s lifeline. For this, it goes to any level of propaganda, fear pyschosis and war mongering. Irrespective of what was in Nawaz Sharif’s heart, he chose to target this lifeline to consolidate his grip on power. Narendra Modi invited Nawaz Sharif and other SAARC leaders for his government’s oath-taking ceremony and it looked as if a new chapter in India-Pakistan ties was about to be written. It came with positive vibes. Nawaz didn’t meet the Kashmiri separatists during his visit, a clear departure from the past tradition which saw every visiting Pakistani dignitary meeting the separatist factions from J&K. it was further extended and we saw mangoes and sarees exchanged. Moreover, the Ufa joint statement, released by India and Pakistan in July 2015, had no mention of Kashmir, again a clear departure from the policy adopted by Pakistan in the past.

Though some small incidents and war of words did happen during this period, on a whole, the message that went to the world was that a personal chemistry was developing between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif and this would take care of such small skirmishes. If the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was the privileged guest of Nawaz Sharif’s family, Narendra Modi took a sudden detour to wish Nawaz Sharif personally on his birthday on December 25 last year while returning from Afghanistan. Such incidents were indicative of that developing personal chemistry.

But then we should not assume that, in the meantime, the other Sharif (Raheel Sharif) was not doing anything. Not at all!

Raheel Sharif knew that he was behind Nawaz Sharif by six months and he needed to move swiftly – but with meticulousness and detailing. And though he was always busy making his moves, as indicated from time to time by ceasefire violation, terrorism and infiltration incidents in Kashmir, Ufa joint statement and corruption allegations on Nawaz Sharif, especially after his name figured in the leaked Panama Papers, gave him the opportunity he was looking for – to make his final move – to deal the final blow – that would again tell the people that Pakistan is still the real dominion of its army. Equations changed rapidly after it.

Raheel Sharif prepared such a concoction of Ufa, corruption and Kashmir that Nawaz Sharif had no option but to swallow. And to help Nawaz Sharif, there was popular opinion swing in army’s favor owing to incessant terror attacks in almost every part of Pakistan. Add to it the anti-corruption appeal, on which even many political parties openly advocated the clean-up required by the army, Nawaz Sharif suddenly had an adversary who was efficiently crushing him. But Raheel Sharif did it systematically – from 2014 to 2015 – from 2015 to 2016 – no jumps. It is only that Nawaz Sharif realized it too late.

Raheel Sharif first got the India-Pakistan national security advisors level talks cancelled in August 2015. Then got Pathankot terror strike stage managed by Pakistani terrorists and left Nawaz Sharif to bear its cost. Next he fuelled unrest in Kashmir and left names like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, who are in India’s most wanted list, to run amok and openly spew venom against India.

How long India and Narendra Modi could have taken it?

Narendra Modi gave Nawaz Sharif more than enough chances but it was Nawaz Sharif who left Modi midway and abandoned the aura of decency he was trying to put on ever since Narendra Modi had invited him to his government’s inaugural. If Nawaz Sharif had his political compulsions and political survival to finally plunge in anti-India politics to appease his domestic audience and army in order to save his corruption ridden government, Narendra Modi, too, had compulsions of answering to India’s people who were increasingly growing uncomfortable of Pakistani designs. Raheel Sharif had half succeeded when he had co-opted Nawaz Sharif. He was fully in the game when India said enough was enough and no more talks with Pakistan till the guns went silent.

Now that India has unleashed a diplomatic offensive on a tit-for-tat scale to raise Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan human rights violations to counteract Pakistan’s Kashmir rant, it has started unnerving the Pakistani political establishment. Nawaz Sharif is finding it increasingly difficult to convince the world leaders about his Kashmir rant. All this has weakened Nawaz Sharif’s position compared to 2013 and everyone knows that it can be the beginning of his end and the initiation of a full-fledged political role for the Pakistani army.

And whatever little decency Nawaz Sharif was left with, that also was taken away when Raheel Sharif made him deliver that rubbish speech with a flat, expressionless face to a UN audience during his UN General Assembly address on September 21.

Nawaz Sharif looked like some poor chap that day who was ejaculating words stuffed in his mouth by Raheel Sharif who used him as a pawn to convey the viewpoint of the Pakistani army. Nawaz Sharif totally looked and sounded spellbound by the dictation that Raheel Sharif had given him prior to his speech. Sharif gave 8 minutes of his 19 minutes UNGA address to Kashmir saying how disturbed the whole Pakistan is and how disturbed the humanity should be on the plight of the Kashmiri people. While explaining all this, an emotional stuff, not even a single emotion crossed from his face. Also, he didn’t mention the Uri attack that had killed 18 Indian soldiers, most of them sleeping, even though it has become clear that the terrorists had come from Pakistan. And to add more to his growing list of miseries (it doesn’t matter anymore if he did it himself or Raheel Sharif again used the pawn in him), Nawaz Sharif, from an official global platform, and that too the biggest one, the United Nations, chose to endorse someone who was self-proclaimed terrorist commander of a declared terrorist outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen. Now only both of these Sharifs can tell who gave them this wisdom, but it was certainly a bravado that is going to cost Pakistan dear and will haunt the nation for years.

And the writing has started appearing on the wall. Pakistan’s duplicity has not gone unnoticed.

Those who matter globally, no one has taken Pakistan seriously – be it Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, or John Kerry, the US Secretary of State or Shinzo Abe, the Japanese PM or leaders of the European countries including France and Germany. Russia, which is currently conducting a joint military drill in Pakistan, has strongly condemned the Uri attack and reportedly refused the Pakistani offer to carry out drill in PoK. Poor Mr. Sharif is screaming Kashmir-Kashmir but no one is taking him seriously.

The Pakistani army has been notorious for promoting and sponsoring terrorism and history tells us that it firmly believes in the saying that notoriety also makes one known. And as the days are passing, the prevailing geopolitical and sociopolitical equations suggest that Raheel Sharif may repeat the history. He has found success in the first phase of his mission. He has effectively made Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif chemistry a history and has effectively crushed the ambitions of Nawaz Sharif of emerging as an icon of democratic supremacy in Pakistan. If he was Pakistan’s democratic hope in 2013, in 2016, he is no more than a corrupt, weak and army-dependent prime minister.

It can be said here that a Sharif of Pakistan has taken away the rights of being Sharif (noble) from another Sharif of Pakistan.

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Featured Image Courtesy: Collage prepared from images taken from Pakistan PMO’s Facebook page and Pakistan Army’s website

©SantoshChaubey 

THIS TWEET IS INDICATIVE OF HEIGHT OF ANTI-INDIA PROPAGANDA IN PAKISTAN

Ever since Narendra Modi has asserted that India would raise and support the Balochistan issue and Pak-Occupied-Kashmir is legitimately India’s and Pakistan is illegally occupying it and future India-Pakistan talks will revolve around it, Pakistan has scaled new heights of anti-India propaganda back home and across the world where ever it can reach.

And it is reflecting in every level of Pakistani establishment and society. Be it leaders, its communication channels or its social media chatter, one look, and it looks they squeeze even the last drop of blood out of Indian existence. Anything that is good, is firmly censored and banned in Pakistan.

As this tweet from Radio Pakistan shows.

During his last address to the UNGA as the US President, Barack Obama said that ” China and India remain on a path of remarkable growth”. In fact, India was one of the few rare mentions in his speech which had nothing negative about it.

But see how Radio Pakistan, Pakistan’s national radio presented it.

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If you think it is a human error in tweet only, then here is the complete Radio Pakistan copy.

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Here is the portion of Barack Obama’s speech mentioning India and China.

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Anything and everything may be debatable but it shows one thing that mere mention of India in a positive light starts giving sleepless nights to Pakistan.

©SantoshChaubey

CAN MODI GOVERNMENT DO THIS COURSE CORRECTION?

Today’s is the third day after the attack on army base camp in Uri that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Terrorists attacked the camp early in the morning when most of the soldiers were deep in sleep. While saluting the soldiers and paying homage on their supreme sacrifice, the whole nation is understandably deeply disturbed and angry and wants Pakistan aptly punished this time. If many have advocated a direct war with Pakistan, it is a natural expression of that anger.

But a direct war can never be the answer to a proxy war that Pakistan has forced India into. Our policymakers and strategists realize it, especially when internationalizing Kashmir and showing India in bad light is the main aim of Pakistan’s diplomacy. Now that India is emerging as a global power and the world community has started taking notice of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in India, attacking Pakistan would be like playing into its hands because it will immediately divert the world’s attention from Pakistan’s proxy war to India’s attack on Pakistan and Kashmir. So, even if the Indian Army has asserted to respond to the cowardly Uri attack, it has added that the response will be ‘at the time and place of its choosing’.

Also, we cannot forget that both, India and Pakistan, are nuclear powers. India can and will keep restraint but what about Pakistan. Its leaders threaten nuclear strike against India even on the slightest pretext. Just yesterday, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif again spoke of use of nuclear weapons against India.

In that case, the other alternative that remains is diplomatic offensive.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, a senior minister of the NDA government, summed up the sentiments of the Indian establishment when he said that ‘after the Uri attack, the India-Pakistan ties can never be same again’. At the moment, India is deliberating on many alternatives. The major among them are curtailing diplomatic ties with Pakistan, strongly counteracting Pakistan’s Kashmir and anti-India propaganda and telling the world in a mission mode Pakistan’s atrocities and human rights violation in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir and Balochistan.

And the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), that began today, can be the launch platform. Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to address the UNGA tomorrow and Pakistan has said that it will use the UN platform and Sharif’s speech to tell the world how India is indulged in perpetrating atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir. Pakistan has been doing it for decades, sending its politicians and bureaucrats to different countries and world-bodies to raise the Kashmir bogey and spread anti-India propaganda. But there has been a desperate rush in these activities with the ongoing phase of unrest in Kashmir (that is again fuelled by Pakistan).

Now India has to answer it and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj is ready that if Nawaz Sharif raises the Kashmir pitch in the UN, India will forcefully counter with evidence of Pakistan’s atrocities and human rights violations in PoK and Balochistan and Pakistan sponsored terrorism in India with the Uri attack being the latest example. And to extend her diplomatic offensive, India has already firmed up its strategy to reach out to every global platform. Last week, when Pakistan had tried to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Council, India had vehemently rejected it, putting its stand firmly that the present phase of unrest in Kashmir was, like always, Pakistan sponsored. In fact, India should have begun on these initiatives much earlier. It is an established fact that Pakistan is behind terrorism in Kashmir yet we have failed in telling it to the world. Now the Narendra Modi government is talking of changing all this.

If we look through the years of India-Pakistan ties, we will find that barring few occasions, Pakistan has always been ahead of us in diplomatically ratcheting up the Kashmir issue on international platforms. India needs to shape up its diplomatic offensive keeping in mind ‘how and why’ of these lapses. It is totally unacceptable that we have failed to raise the PoK human rights abuses while Pakistan keeps spreading lies about Kashmir. It is disturbing that terrorists and criminals wanted in India are respectable citizens in Pakistan yet India never thought of extending the olive branch to Baloch, Sindhi and other groups who are fighting for independence from Pakistan. Showing the mirror to Pakistan and fighting and winning diplomacy at the level of diplomacy should be the guiding principle for India now. And PoK, Balochistan and Pakistan sponsored terrorism should be at its core.

Narendra Modi has made it clear that if there is anything contentious between India and Pakistan, it is Pakistan sponsored terrorism and PoK. Narendra Modi also made a much needed policy correction when he asserted in his Independence Day address on August 15 that India would support the Baloch activists and would raise the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan. So, a beginning has been made but the road ahead is unpredictable and the path is long. Let’s see how the Modi government carries out this course correction.

But one needs to keep in mind that a diplomatic offensive needs to be proactive and not reactive. India should not wait to react on Pakistan’s bravados. Instead, it should go full throttle in exposing Pakistan through its diplomatic offensive when we know that Pakistan’s atrocity and barbarism has continued unabated in PoK and Balochistan and when we have Baloch leaders and freedom fighter speaking against it from different global platforms. India should try to get such voices even from PoK.

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA’S PAKISTAN POLICY AFTER UR: NEITHER WAR. NOR PEACE.

And it was perfectly captured in a statement of Ravi Shankar Prasad, senior minister in the Narendra Modi government who said that after the Uri attack, relation with Pakistan would never be like it was – that the India-Pakistan ties would never be same again.

In spite of all the rhetoric and jingoism about going to war with Pakistan, nothing of that sort is going to happen. It reflected in the statement delivered this evening by Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operation (DGMO), Indian Army, when he said, “We reserve the right to respond at the time and place of our choosing. We have desired capability to respond to such blatant acts of aggression and violence as deemed appropriate by us.”

Yes, war is not a solution or logical option. India is militarily and economically far ahead than Pakistan. In fact, there is no comparison. But then we cannot forget the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear power. And when a poor and backward nation like North Korea can act with audacity based on its newly acquired nuclear deterrent, why would not Pakistan do so? And there has been a precedent. Even on the slightest pretext, Pakistan’s politicians go full throttle on nuclear war mongering against India.

So, the best way forward is to clip Pakistan’s wings indirectly – something like Indira Gandhi had done before the war that liberated Bangladesh in 1971.

Neither war. Nor peace!

Before the 1971 war, Indira Gandhi had gone on and sent her colleagues and bureaucrats on a global diplomatic offensive. It was a three pronged strategy. On one hand, the Indian Army was preparing for a war offensive to infiltrate and take over Bangladesh, while at the same time, she was busy promoting India’s stand as a peace loving country that wanted to avoid war with Pakistan.

The outcome of this diplomatic offensive, the most important element of her strategy, was the culmination of global support for India, when after a first desperate strike by Pakistan, India rushed its forces to the erstwhile East Pakistan that soon resulted in birth of a new nation – Bangladesh. So efficiently was Indira Gandhi’s handling then that even after the vehement US resistance, India was able to do what Indira had wanted it to do. The external threat and resistance that could have come from countries like US or China was effectively mitigated by winning confidence of the larger world including Russia.

India needs a global diplomatic offensive like that. But can Narendra Modi and his government do that?

Yes, there is intent, like Ravi Shankar Prasad summed up, that it can never again be the same walk with Pakistan. The hostilities have gone on a new high and the overall ties are a historic low.

But can they walk the talk?

United Nations General Assembly is in session and its principal event, the Annual General Debate, is beginning tomorrow. Pakistan has shouted over the top in telling the world community that it would draw the global attention from the UN platforms towards so called Indian atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

IS IT INDIAN FAILURE OR PAKISTAN’S OVER-EFFICIENCY THAT THE WHOLE WORLD SEEMS ENGAGED ABOUT J&K BUT DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN TO POK?

Pakistan says India is crushing the innocent Kashmiri voices. Its leaders shout over the top in telling the world community that India’s left, right and centre oppression in Kashmir is now spilling over on streets, shedding youngsters’ blood.

To add to it, people have visuals from Kashmir (the Jammu & Kashmir part that is with India) where people can be seen clashing with security forces on camera – and the lenses recording such scenes roam across the world to tell the stories of the so-called atrocities.

The world can see thousands gathering in funeral processions of terrorists gunned down by the Indian security forces.

The world can see the J&K crowds running amok stone pelting the security forces even if they try to minimize casualties as much as possible. Yes, in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, 55 civilians have lost their lives so far and that is condemnable.

But equally condemnable are the development like where a security personnel (CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar) had to sacrifice his life in an encounter with the terrorists on the day that is very essence of the sovereign India, i.e., its Independence Day. And he was not the first.

If civilians have lost their lives in the Kashmir unrest, the Pakistan driven and Hizbul Mujahideen terror phase that began in late 1980s, so have the security forces. According to the figures available from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), if over 14,000 civilians have been killed by the terrorist violence in the state since 1988, the Indian establishment has also lost over 6200 security forces personnel.

The world can see the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashiya Andrabi and many others. Syed Ali Geelani, one of the prominent separatist leaders and chairman of the separatist outfit All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), is free to abuse India on Twitter and Facebook. He regularly posts tweets, posts and videos of clashes, of Pakistani flags and of funeral processions eulogizing terrorists. See these twitter handles yourself – that is self explanatory – @sageelani; @MirwaizKashmir; @aasiyehandrabi. They openly humiliate India by chanting pro-Pakistan rants and by indulging in anti-India activities.

And they do so while staying in India. Can an oppressive nation tolerate that? We all know what China does with its dissident voices, be the Peace Nobel laureates like Liu Xiaobo or the students massacred at the Tiananmen Square of Beijing.

The world can see wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin or Masood Azhar threatening India to launch a full blown war. Hafiz Saeed carries a US bounty of $ 10 million and is main perpetrator behind many terrorist acts in India including the November 2008 terror attack. Syed Salahuddin is the man who started the ongoing phase of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in 1980s that has killed thousands so far yet his bloodlust is very much the same. It is when his family still lives in India and its members are employed by the institutions of the Indian establishment. Masood Azhar was in Indian jails when he was swapped against the innocent civilians hijacked in the Kandahar plane hijacking incident of December 1999. Terrorists like them are the Pakistani patrons for the J&K separatists and we all know the communication channels between them always remain active. Yet it is propagandized that India chokes the voices of dissent in Kashmir.

The world can see the debate that ensues every time whenever such developments take place in J&K. The world can see the Indian Parliament discussing the issue intently for the whole day. The world can see the India’s political opposition charging the Indian government of mishandling the situation and the government defending it.

But can the world say same about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir including Gilgit and Baltistan and Baluchistan?

Does the world know who the main separatist voices of PoK and Gilgit and Baltistan are? PoK is called Azad Kashmir yet Pakistan implants its puppet governments there and exploits its territory like its own – as is the case the China Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $ 46 billion project of which PoK is a vital part of. A simple Google search with tag words ‘J&K separatist leaders’ will return with lots of pages and loads of information but when we repeat the process with ‘PoK or Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir separatist/rebel leaders’, we are going to have tough time.

An obvious argument may be proposed that there are none – that the so called PoK is so heavenly that everyone wants to be a part of the state and its Pakistan driven administration. Well, we all know what the reality is. Pakistan uses the so called Azad Kashmir as a terror backyard for India where it trains terrorists in dozens of camps. Some PoK voices that do speak on international fora speak of how Pakistan is exploiting PoK and abusing its people. Extrajudicial killings and disappearances are common. An India Today report from March 2015 gives a detailed account of how bad the situation is in PoK. The report quotes Kashmir affairs expert, Dr. Shabir Choudhry, who says, “We in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir cannot even complain that we are occupied or expose Pakistani abuses and exploitation of our resources.”

Why the world doesn’t rush to hear those voices? Is it Indian failure or Pakistan’s over-efficiency that the whole world seems engaged about J&K but doesn’t give a damn to PoK?

©SantoshChaubey

SEEING THROUGH PAKISTAN’S AND KASHMIR SEPARATISTS’ SHAM

Pakistan says India is crushing the Kashmir voices. Its leaders shout over the top in telling the world community that India’s left, right and centre oppression in Kashmir is now spilling over on streets, shedding youngsters’ blood.

To add to it, people have visuals from Kashmir (the Jammu & Kashmir part that is with India) where people can be seen clashing with security forces on camera – and the lenses recording such scenes roam across the world to tell the stories of so-called atrocities.

The world can see thousands gathering in funeral processions of terrorists gunned down by Indian security forces.

The world can see J&K crowds running amok stone pelting the security forces who try to minimize casualties as much as possible. Yes, in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, 55 civilians have lost their lives so far and that is condemnable and equally condemnable is the development that a security personnel (CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar) had to sacrifice his life in an encounter with the terrorists. And he was not the first.

If civilians have lost their lives in the Kashmir unrest, the Pakistan driven and Hizbul Mujahideen terror phase that began in 1989, so have the security forces.

The world can see the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube feeds of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ashiya Andrabi and many others.

The world can see wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin threatening India to launch full blown war.

The world can see the debate that ensues every time whenever such developments take place in J&K. The world can see the Indian Parliament discussing the issue intently for the whole day. The world can see the India’s political opposition charging the Indian government of mishandling the situation and the government defending it.

But can the world say same about Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir including Gilgit and Baltistan and Baluchistan?

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

HOW MODI’S PAKISTAN POLICY CHANGED SINCE HIS FIRST INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH

The article originally appeared on DailyO.

“I went to Bhutan, Nepal; all the dignitaries from SAARC countries took part in oath-taking ceremony; this marked a good beginning. This will definitely yield good results, it is my belief and this thinking of India, in the country and the world, that we want to do well to the countrymen and be useful for the welfare of the world, India wants such a hand to be extended (sic). We are trying to move forward with these dreams to achieve them.”

This is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said about his foreign policy priorities while delivering his first Independence Day speech on August 15, 2014. The words clearly told of a foreign policy vision that was taking shape and the thought of taking along your immediate neighbourhood seemed the immediate concern.

And when we talk about India’s foreign policy in its immediate neighbourhood, the first thought obviously goes to Pakistan with whom we have had a relation of more lows and very few highs since our independence in 1947.

So when Modi invited Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, along with other SAARC leaders to his oath taking ceremony on May 26, 2014 and Sharif warmly responded to it, bypassing any chance meeting with Kashmir’s separatist leaders, Modi received almost universal praise for his bold initiative to write a new script in India-Pakistan ties.

Modi certainly thought to give dialogue with Pakistan another chance under his charge in spite of the track record of Pakistan’s backstabbing.

The initiative seemed to work and a personal rapport developed between Modi and Sharif. There were exchanges of mangoes, sarees and talks between officials. It seemed some breakthrough development was in the offing.

Though there were many letdowns like ceasefire violaThat was the case till the Pathankot terror attack in January, 2016. He did not mention his SAARC initiative and his policy on India’s immediate neighbourhood and Pakistan in his second Independence Day speech from the Red Fort on August 15, 2015.

He committed a foreign policy coup with an unscheduled visit to Lahore to meet and greet Sharif on his birthday on December 25, 2016.

It was appreciated by the policymakers the world over as an innovative approach to take on the lingering coldness and hostility in India-Pakistan ties. And even after the Pathankot attack, this warm gesture continued as reflected in the easy access given to the probe team from Pakistan that had come to India to verify the “Indian allegations” that Maulana Masood Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammed were behind the attack.tions, cross-border firings, Pakistan’s high commissioner Abdul Basit’s insistence on meeting with the Kashmir separatists, and the rants on Kashmir by different Pakistani leaders, itBut things started deteriorating after it. There were conflicting reports that Pakistan had dismissed the evidence given by India. Though it has never officially been confirmed, we can say it is going to be yet another sham like the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks probe in Pakistan.

Pakistan has not responded to India’s requests to allow its probe team to visit Pakistan. The neighbouring country, in fact, has never sounded serious about probing the incident. On the issue of India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Pakistan, along with China, brought together a group of countries that scuttled India’s chances.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has again ratcheted up its Kashmir-rant, especially after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter. Much to India’s (and Modi’s disappointment), Sharif and Pakistan have declared Burhan a martyr and funeral processions are being held there.

And like never before, wanted terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin are dictating terms, threatening India openly of dire consequences. It all, it seems, has made Modi uncomfortable enough to finally abandon his Pakistan policy that he had initiated two years back. It seems he has finally run out of patience. After two years of that initiative, we can now say that Modi’s efforts have proved futile.

Its first indications were seen when Modi justified his Pakistan policy by saying that owing to his efforts to reach out, the world was now clearly seeing through Pakistan’s sham and Pakistan was finding it hard to justify its stand on global platforms.

And on Monday (August 15), it became clearly visible when Modi took on Pakistan left, right and centre in his third Independence Day speech. During his over-90 minute speech on Monday, Modi connected threads to his first Independence Day speech by saying that he had proposed a common vision for India and its neighbours to unite and fight together the common enemy of poverty.

He clearly named Pakistan on Monday and detailed on how it promotes terrorism and how the world is now seeing through its tactics. He drew effective parallels with India’s sensitive response on the terror strike on the Army school in Peshawar in December 2014 and on Pakistan’s backstabbing, and doublespeak on promoting terror and fuelling unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

How detached Modi has become from his Pakistan policy that he had envisioned in May 2014 becomes clear from the fact that he is now trying to put the ball in Pakistan’s court by talking openly on Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Balochistan as he did on Sunday (August 14) and Monday.

On Sunday, during an all party meet on Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “Now the time has come that Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against the people in Balochistan and PoK.”

On Monday again, during his Independence Day address, he very categorically mentioned Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, thanking their people to reach out to India against Pakistan’s atrocities. This stand has come after two years of trial and error and we can say it is now going to define Modi’s Pakistan policy. seemed Modi was still hopeful. He never sounded overtly critical of Pakistan and used his words carefully even if his silence on Pakistan sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India became a national talking point.

©SantoshChaubey

NSG DIDN’T COME INDIA’S WAY..AND IT WAS EXPECTED.

NSG didn’t come India’s way – and it was expected.

It is not at all a diplomatic failure. It worked where Narendra Modi has been burning his midnight oil – in strengthening relations with major powers like the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Japan, and so on – and all of them supported India’s bid. In fact, the US vehemently pushed for it.

It was the NSG’s 26th plenary and there will obviously be the 27th one. India’s NSG membership issue has been on the table for quite some time though India formally applied for it on May 12 only – something that set in motion a formal process. And mind you there was no direct no.

The members, in fact, agreed for more discussion on the issue and decided to lay down criteria for inducting the non-NPT members – the sole point of contention behind China’s ‘no to India’ attitude. That, in fact, is a win for India.

The gain that India got could be gauged from the fact that a special session was organized the last night to discuss India’s NSG membership request only even if China had said initially that ‘India’s membership’ was not on the agenda.

In Fact, barring seven countries (some reports say 10) – China, Brazil, New Zealand, Austria, Ireland, Turkey and Switzerland – all other countries in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) supported India’s entry into the grouping that represents major nuclear trading nations of the world.

More or less, this was the same block of the countries which was opposed to any exemption to India in 2008. Like this time, China was the major roadblock even then. And the sceptics were – Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands. The NSG used to be a 45-nation bloc then.

The India-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Deal or the 123 Agreement signed in July 2008 came after some intense negotiations before the NSG allowed exemptions to India – after a pledge by Pranab Mukherjee that India would not carry anymore nuclear tests. The NSG exemptions allowed countries to do nuclear trading with India – lifting provisions of the NSG and other export control regimes.

It made possible the 2008 India-US deal and paved way for further such agreements. Today, India has bilateral nuclear trading relations with France, the UK, Australia, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan and some other countries. And the list is expected to grow as India is poised to grow – as Indian market needs an ever increasing scale of energy consumption for its growing economy that is slated to be in the world top three. And that means good business for everyone.

Yes, it is some worthwhile food for thought for another line of discussion that how Narendra Modi’s government committed another Image Management hara-kiri by blowing the incident over the top – as if it was the grand finale and India was going to get a grand entry in the NSG – reaffirming again that ‘Narendra Modi’ is the best thing to happen to India.

It was better as ‘India’s NSG push’. The government shouldn’t have allowed it to get ‘India’s NSG bid’ perception.

©SantoshChaubey