NAGROTA: PARTING SHOT BY GEN SHARIF OR INAUGURAL GIFT BY GEN BAJWA?

Though Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Bajwa, after taking the charge yesterday, said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan would be normal soon, indicating a softer approach than his predecessor, developments say otherwise.

The day, when Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa took baton from the outgoing Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, a proven India detractor, 7 Indian soldiers including two officials were martyred in a terror attack on an army unit near Jammu.

The attack that began early morning and lasted for some 14 hours saw fierce gunbattle and a hostage like situation with terrorists targeting army officials’ mess and residential units in Nagrota, near Indian Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters.

As expected, ugly politics over the issue has pitched in. Political goalposting has started. Debates and opinions are raging on ‘whys and hows’ of this attack that is clearly an intelligence failure but, at the outset, it is clear that it will be linked with Gen. Raheel Sharif’s parting warning to India and Gen. Bajwa ascendance to the throne.

While transferring power to Gen. Bajwa, Raheel Sharif warned India of its stand on Kashmir, comparing it with ‘increased terrorism and aggression’. He said, “India should know that mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous.”

We all know that is an empty rhetoric, especially after the fact that the all powerful army of Pakistan had no other option left but to deny the highly successful surgical strike by India deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The Pakistan Army could not have accepted the Indian surgical strike as it would undermine the numero-uno position it enjoys in Pakistan, presenting its weaker character before everyone – whereas Raheel Sharif had curated a ‘hero sort of image’ for himself – riding high on anti-India acts and rhetoric.

Also, doing so, as the Pakistani civilian leadership had done initially, accepting India’s claims till the army told them to toe its line of shameless denial, would have put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani army to reply back to India in a similar manner, something that it was simply not capable of.

But incidents like Nagrota or Uri present reaffirm the clear face of danger due to Pakistan’s proxy war in India. Almost all terror attacks in any part of India are found to have Pakistani links. If Jammu & Kashmir, that was once considered heaven on earth, has now become a living hell, it is because of Pakistan’s proxy war only.

It is this proxy war that Pakistan has adopted as the mainstay of its policy. Raheel Sharif actively extended that tradition. And whatever Pakistan’s military does, its civilian government has to follow that – willingly or unwillingly –  because military is supreme in Pakistan.

So, even if we were yet to hear a word about India from its next army chief, Pakistan’s spin doctors, its politicians, were already on the job. So Sartaj Aziz had said that any dialogue process cannot go ahead with India unless Kashmir is on the table, a prospect that India has officially denied, saying if there has to be India-Pakistan dialogue, it will be on terror only. So Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif had said there will be no change in Pakistan’s military policy on Indian border under Gen. Bajwa.

Even if Pakistan’s new army chief Gen. Bajwa is yet to speak openly on his thoughts on India!

Whatever little he spoke yesterday didn’t give much – but at least, from that little – we can give him the benefit of doubt – that this cowardly act in Nagrota, targeting residential units of an Indian Army base, was a parting shot by a frustrated Raheel Sharif, who, despite all his tall claims and boastings, would have to live forever with the fact that it was during his tenure only that India conducted a highly successful surgical strike deep inside his territory of influence and owned it before the world and he could not do anything.

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING ANTI-INDIA RHETORIC, PAKISTAN’S FS WARNS INDIA OF ITS BELLIGERENT ATTITUDE

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has warned India against the ‘harms’ of its hostile ‘tendencies’ against Pakistan, implying it’s a ‘dangerous’ territory.

According to a report published in The News International, Chaudhry, in a TV programme, said ‘India, with its belligerent attitude, was treading a serious path’.

Pakistan’s new army chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is assuming office tomorrow. His predecessor, General Raheel Sharif, has had the notoriety of pushing India-Pak ties to a historically low point with war-like situation prevailing along the border between the two neighbours.

Now it is a well-established fact that Pakistan’s army chief is its most powerful person. Gen. Raheel Sharif is leaving the Pakistan’s most powerful office with anti-India designs, something that reflects in the statements of every Pakistani politician, be it its prime minister or defence minister or foreign affairs minister.

If we take a cue from that, India is going to handle the same, belligerent and backstabbing Pakistan as it was during Raheel Sharif’s time.

Continuing the tradition of anti-India rhetoric, Pakistan FS said ‘Pakistan had very sagaciously reminded it (India) of such dangerous tendencies’.

While emphasizing that India and Pakistan needed to talk, he further added that ‘Pakistan’s defences were fully impregnable and it could not be intimidated with volleys of bragging talks’.

Pakistan’s leadership has been more livid ever since India conducted its surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September eliminating dozens of terrorists and terror launch-pads. What has been more humiliating for Pakistan and its military leadership is that they cannot accept on any platform any such military exercise by the Indian army inside the territory of its influence.

And so they are resorting to such ‘volleys of bragging talks’ like Pakistan’s FS has just said or like other ruling elite of Pakistan say about India every other day or like the continued shelling across our border areas ever since the surgical strike.

Ever since the surgical strike on September 29, Pakistan has violated ceasefire over 300 times and brags about how many Indian soldiers it has killed in the cross-border firing to appease concerns of its internal politics. But as the Indian forces have been given a free hand to give befitting reply to any Pakistani misadventure, the scale of damage on the Pakistani side in the Indian counter-firing has been manifold.

Last week we saw a glimpse of it when the Pakistani DGMO had to call his Indian counterpart for talks after India’s retaliatory fire in response to an Indian soldier’s beheading inflicted heavy damage on the Pakistani side. We can gauge the extent of damage by the fact that it was the first time since the surgical strike that the Pakistani DGMO had to speak to the Indian DGMO about bringing normalcy along the LoC.

©SantoshChaubey

KHAWAJA ASIF: FROM ‘ELIMINATING INDIA’ TO ‘NO TO NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST’

Though Pakistan is trying hard to deny India the glory that a successful Surgical Strike by India against terrorists in Pakistan controlled territory of Jammu & Kashmir has brought, we can easily gauge the sentiments in Pakistan, by the pre and post strike body language of its leaders.

After the Uri terror strike, that killed 19 of our soldiers, most of them sleeping, Pakistan had started feeling the heat as there was intense demand in India that the country should take some decisive, concrete against Pakistan this time.

To handle this, and to thwart any serious response by the Indian establishment, (and buoyed by the past precedent, when India had hesitated to take any tough measure), the Pakistani ruling elite started blackmailing and threatening India with their so-called tactical or nuclear weapons. And it reflects so perfectly in the body language and changing statements of Khawaja Asif, Pakistan’s defence minister.

After the Uri attack but the before the Surgical Strike, the favourite line of Khawaja Asif happened to be that it will eliminate India with its tactical (read nuclear) weapons if India tried to impose war on Pakistan. See the body language and carefree attitude here (in this video) while he delivers threat (bluster) to India here.

Now see this. This video clip shows same Khawaja Asif post the Surgical Strike on the intervening night of September 28-29. See how resigned he looks, as if he has been slammed left, right and centre. The look on his face clearly shows that the Pakistani ruling elite had not expected a Surgical Strike from India even in dreams and was in a state of shock, not knowing how to respond. He stutters while accepting that there was an aggression by India and if India tries it again, Pakistan will give befitting reply (and not that ‘Pakistan will nuke and eliminate India).

And what about this tweet on October 3 from Dunya News, a Pakistani news channel.

Dunya News @DunyaNews
India-Pakistan cannot take risk of a nuclear holocaust, we will keep supporting the right of freedom of our Kashmiri brothers: @KhawajaMAsif

Now it is indicator of complete realization (and surrender) in the ruling Pakistani establishment. In just a week, from September 26 to October 3, Khawaja Asif has travelled from ‘we will nuke and eliminate India’ to ‘India and Pakistan cannot risk a nuclear holocaust’.

But old habits die hard.

So it will take some time before Pakistan can recalibrate its strategy and response to a bold, new India who is asserting herself on the global stage and who is ready to take on minnows like Pakistan who have gone rogue with nuclear power, both militarily as well as diplomatically.

Till then, let them say whatever they want to propagandize. Why should we care.

©SantoshChaubey

IT SEEMS THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS CONSPIRING AGAINST PAKISTAN

We may call it coincidence or destiny’s cruel joke or poetic justice of nature, but whatever propaganda Pakistan is spreading against India these days, it is coming back to hit it only, be it geopolitical in nature or anything else.

Something on these lines happened today in an interesting development. Pakistan’s senate today passed ‘a resolution unanimously to felicitate the Pakistani cricket team on becoming number one in the test cricket’. And today only Pakistan lost its number one spot. And that, too, to India.

India today defeated New Zealand to win the second consecutive test match of the three match series and took an invincible lead of 2-0. And with it India regained its top spot in the test cricket. India was the top test playing country before Pakistan.

Pakistan had become number one on August 22 after India-West Indies test series had ended in a 2-2 draw – while to retain its top rank, India had to win the series by 3-0.

Perhaps, the Pakistani ruling elite could not get time since then (or pulse for it). Anyway, better late than never. Even if it took 40 days (since August 22)! But, see what happened! And they chose this day!

While the Pakistani Senate was passing the resolution honouring the Pakistani cricket team for becoming number one, it slipped back. And that, too, to India!

And in times when anti-India sentiments in Pakistan have peaked. This incident tells us that destiny doesn’t want to stay with Pakistan anymore. Naturally, if the Pakistani senators would have realized that India could unseat Pakistan from the top spot today, they would never have gone for it. True, misfortune spoils the mind!

Pakistani military and its ruling elite have always adopted an anti-India stand and have always practiced and fuelled anti-India propaganda. Fomenting and spreading terrorism in India and showing India in a negative light on international platforms have always been on the main agenda of every Pakistani ruling elite.

Now that India is responding back (strongly) to this Pakistani agenda, both militarily and diplomatically, the skewed balance that Pakistan was enjoying so far, has gone to a toss. And in fact, is rightly tilting in India’s favour, especially after the Surgical Strike deep across Line of Control (LoC) in Pak-occupied-Kashmir. And no one is taking Pakistan seriously even if it has scaled up its Kashmir rant and is doing its every bit to convince the world that India did not carry any surgical strike in PoK and it was mere a rumour.

A game should be treated with sportsmanship and being number one or two or victory or defeat is an inherent part of it. But timing is the devil here. This whole newsbreak has nothing special about it but this coincidence, which, if we say in the style of Paulo Coelho, says that the ‘whole universe is conspiring against Pakistan’ – (even if its advantage goes to India or India somehow comes in the scene).

©SantoshChaubey

KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stand apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight – that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India’s position that is now going to matter – a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India’s boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad that was followed by others and was in last cancelled and the surgical strike will prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly – including its diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech was just the beginning which saw its follow-up actions soon.

Today, Pakistan is finding hard to prove its point to the world – because it has nothing to tell. In fact, it was always the case. It is just that India has now realized that the only way to handle a rogue state like Pakistan lies in tough measures that can outsmart Pakistan it its own game. And India has started moving accordingly.

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA STRIKES BACK

September 29 morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world.

Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out surgical strikes on six terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India, like a responsible member of the world community, has owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

Ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders are in a state of shock. And it initially reflected in their state of mind, speaking in different and incoherent voices. After the surgical strike, they initially didn’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admitted the surgical strikes. In fact, many from the Pakistan’s political establishment said things on these lines.

But how these versions changed with Pakistani army’s diktat shows the chaos India’s move caused – with foolishness and boorishness defining the thinking process of Pakistan’s ruling elite.

Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes move by India, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister had said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

But the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’ – or the silly Pakistani media propaganda that show the Pakistani army has captured or killed so many Indian soldiers or has blown this many Indian outposts across the LoC.

How sham now it all looks. How hollow it sounds.

Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing midnight road sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threats against India, including nuclear threats. The eastern border (LoC) was specifically on their radar.

Yet India struck back, and at will. It went deep into the Pakistan controlled territory and destroyed terror camps, not one or two but six, and the whole operation lasted for around four hours. And in spite of all the tall claims of Pakistan of being in a war-ready state, it could not do anything. Pakistan could not beat even the bush properly to push its propaganda aimed at saving its face.

surgicalstrike1

©SantoshChaubey

Featured Image Courtesy: AGD-PI, Indian Army’s Twitter page 

A BOLD, NEW INDIA: SURGICAL STRIKES AFTER INDIA’S KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION AT UNGA

SURGICAL STRIKES

This morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world. Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out many surgical strikes on terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India has fully owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

And ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders look shocked. Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threat against India, including nuclear threats. But now they don’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admit the surgical strikes.

And now see the foolishness and chaos inside Pakistan on it. Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

Well, the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’.

Yes, it’s the same India that was here all these years, especially in this Century, but with a bold new face that speaks its mind, based on its requirements, irrespective of what the police-masters of the world say. And it began with India’s diplomatic offensive against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack.

SUSHMA SWARAJ’S UNGA WARNING

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif’s pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma’s was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stood apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future – something that reflected in the midnight surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight – that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India’s position that is now going to matter – a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India’s boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad and today’s surgical strike will prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy. India was not alone and it got support of other countries that saw the SAARC Summit cancelled that was to be hosted by Pakistan – and the consensus was that with Pakistan’s terror record, it was not possible to hold peacetime summits in that country. This well can be the very first visible signs of Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly – including its diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech was the beginning.

And then came this surgical strike that has told the world that India has fully arrived on the world stage now. India never needed permission from any world power to respond to cowardly terror attacks inside its territory. And now it is walking the talk. We needed to go beyond Pakistan. We needed to shed our Pakistan obsession. And with this surgical strike, we just have showed that.

India had started with a non-aligned foreign policy but it could seldom act independently on foreign policy matters. There was always this or that global power pressure and there were only a handful of instances like Indira Gandhi’s decision to send Indian forces to liberate Bangladesh in 1971 or to carry out nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, when India acted on its own, firmly shutting down those interfering voices.

And like this surgical strike that was beyond anyone’s imagination, in India, in Pakistan and across the world – until it happened this night. Like a front-league global power, India needed to show something now, beyond its economic advances, that could tell the world community this India is not the India of yesteryears – that it was well prepared not only to defend its territory but also to strike back in case of proxy wars or terror attacks – like all the global powers do.

To back India’s might, it has what it needs. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is undoubtedly now major global power – in economy, in military and in space. And if India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has – the largest middle class of the world. India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India’s traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

©SantoshChaubey

SUSHMA’S UNGA SPEECH FIRMLY PUTS INDIA’S DIPLOMACY IN A PERSPECTIVE

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif’s pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma’s was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

As expected, no one in India and the world community has taken Sharif seriously and he has been criticised even back home in Pakistan for not raising ‘India interfering in Balochistan’ issue. We all know why Sharif did not raise it – simply for the fear of global attention that the issue would get – if it becomes an India-Pakistan war of words on a UN platform. But, then at the same time, we should not be in two minds on whether it will help Pakistan. With India’s emphasis and Pakistan’s long record of human rights abuses in Balochistan to crush the decades old freedom movement of its native people, it is going to get increased traction.

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stand apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission that day that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It is a bold move.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, has now made it very clear that it is India’s position that is now going to matter.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, might prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy. Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is now major global power – in economy, in military and in space.

India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly including diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech this time can be the beginning.

If India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has – the largest middle class of the world.

India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India’s traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

India needs to assert herself on global platforms and a diplomacy aligned on these lines is the first step towards it.

©SantoshChaubey

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.

india-pakistantwittercollage-sept26

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

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.

sharif-sharifcollage

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

©SantoshChaubey