Rafiq Jan – Qatar
India’s hardliner stance continues to plague the future of South Asia. PM Modi’s short-sightedness and towing American policy line is negatively affecting not only the region, but also his own country. His lack of vision coupled with a jingoistic approach has recently dented the reputation of the world’s largest democracy. Moreover, India’s belligerence seems to be an attempt to stave off the Rafael Jet-deal and corruption controversy that the Modi government is currently embroiled in.
Imran Khan’s Tweet-statement, in response to the Indian Foreign office statement, was a measured and befitting response to a neighbor that ignores the etiquette and norms of mutual respect and coexistence of neighbors in harmony.
India is currently going through a dilemma of internal resistance from the civil society in the wake of a radical Hindu regime, influenced by the RSS. Modi, just like his predecessors, has always played the anti-Pakistan card to attract right wing Hindu voter base. Moreover, Washington supports Modi as it sees the Indian PM as a counter to China’s rise in both the region and around the globe.
The usual hawkish voices rising from the media houses in India, followed by the army chief’s war-mongering narrative, reveals serious flaws in the genuineness and veracity of the world’s largest democracy. Instead of wishing for a war with Pakistan, India, just like Pakistan, needs to announce a war on poverty, education, malnutrition and provision of basic human rights. More than twenty percent of the population is living below the poverty line in a country that boasts to be the biggest democracy on the planet.
Additionally, the Indian atrocities in Kashmir have been so far ignored by the international community. Successful lobbying by India on all the platforms, compared to lack on interest from Pakistan, bolstered New Delhi’s confidence exponentially. Even the United Nations, under the aegis of USA, turned a blind eye to all the resolutions moved in the favor of Kashmir. Kashmir’s freedom struggle has gained momentum in recent years, resulting in scores being martyred and injured by indiscriminate use of force by the Indian army.
Pakistan has lately expressed solidarity with Kashmiris at almost every forum, which has puzzled the Modi government. Pakistan, under the PTI government, seems to have revitalized its foreign office, effectively engaging with the international community.
India had successfully managed, until recently, to keep Pakistan entangled in multiple domestic issues. Additionally, our political elites were preoccupied with their personal long term ambitions of staying in power. They slyly traded off national interests and strategic issues with the US in exchange for guaranteed support. Hence the status quo continued and Pakistan kept sinking into the quagmire of failures and despondency.
This also gave rise to an important question for both India and Pakistan:
Why can’t both the countries learn from USA, China, and the European Union, who closely work together for their mutual benefit, even with all their differences?
These countries don’t antagonize their neighbors in order to keep their own borders safe understanding that only safe borders guarantee the security and prosperity of their own citizens.
Modi’s India is the living example of a nation equipped with an incredible human potential and resources, however, a hate-mongering PM, not wishing for peace and harmony with neighbors, can risk destroying this potential.
India direly needs to choose between ‘a developing state’ or a ‘state that is worthy of leading the way the leaders do’.