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Unrest in Kashmir: Why is India in no mood to resolve the explosive issue?

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] I [/yt_dropcap]ndia suffers from an illogical superiority complex and situation has become very serious under the Hindutva nationalist BJP rule. India government, irrespective of which party or coalition rules the country, does not change its policy for Jammu Kashmir which it sees through its policy for Pakistan.

India possibly thinks if it ends criminal operations in Kashmir and let Kashmiris win freedom and sovereignty from New Delhi that would be misunderstood by the world as India’s weakness.

Having been robbed off their sovereignty, Kashmiris are placed in a precarious position under a powerful military of India and they do not have support of veto powers to make any difference to Indian military yoke in Kashmir and they do not have high precision weapons that Israel has in order to defend themselves from military attacks on them; India very cleverly exploits the weaknesses of Kashmiris. State government being elected by Kashmiris does not think they have a duty to protect the life and property of Kashmiris in Kashmir.

The Kashmiri parties like National Conference (NC) and PDP use the Hindutva parties like BJP and Congress to threaten the Muslims in Kashmir with action if they continue to demand freedom and sovereignty from Indi, the big power of South Asia. While they and their intelligence-media target Muslims in Kashmir aided by military, India and BJP in JK government do all possible things to make Hindus very happy.

Knowing the weak predicament of Kashmiris, Indian federal government is in no mood for talks with Kashmir “separatists” despite JK state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti pushing for discussion with all stakeholders, especially the freedom fighting groups or the so-called separatists. Even the British government eventfully had understood the need to talk to Indian freedom fighters, especially with Mahatma Gandhi to find credible ways to end the struggle. But India continues to evade that proper, legal route and hit the Muslims in Kashmir with terror goods, including imported Zionist arms.

Already over 100,000 Kashmir shave laid their valuable lives to see a soverign Jammu Kashmir.

Now New Delhi, armed with huge arsenals of nuclear and conventional terror goods, does not think the time is ripe go for a talk with Syed Geelani and other Hurriyet leaders who are spearheading the freedom struggle. As India keeps killing the Kashmiri Muslims, their leaders look to Pakistan for help mainly because they can’t approach the UNSC directly for safety and sovereignty.

India has money and arms in plenty and it keeps bribing foreign lobbyists and buying terror goods from big powers with an understating that they won’t interfere with Indian colonialist operation in Kashmir which according to New delhi is apart of modern democracy.

In order to divert the global attention on the state crimes in occupied Kashmir, Indian terror specialists say the Kashmiri freedom fighters are separatists, terrorists and they should be dealt with sternly and Indian government should be supported in its regular massacre operations in Kashmir, leading to creation of secret graveyards in the valley.

While the federal government in New Delhi is unwilling to find solutions to the problems being faced by Kashmiris, Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi with a message that the government should restart talks with Hurriyat separatists for normalcy to return in the Valley. However, India appears to be in no mood for discussion with Hurriyat leaders whom Indian government calls the Pakistani agents, worse than Indian agents in Kashmir and Pakistan. Sources said the government is not in favour of talks with “pro-Pakistan lobby” in the Valley despite such demands from various quarters, including from foreign powers.

Heavily nuclearized India says entire Kashmir belongs to it and Pakistan should not dream of getting more Kashmir lands. India is ready for any number of terror wars with Pakistan.

India threatens the Kashmir freedom fighting groups to be silent about sovereignty and Indian government believes that talks with separatists even on its terms would yield no result as all such attempts have failed in the past. Pointing to the need to hold talks with all stakeholders, Mehbooba Mufti said that talks with the separatist Hurriyat (Conference) had taken place during the tenure of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She said talks were the only way forward.

As situation in the Valley remains tense and incidents of stone pelting continues unabated, the government has decided to go ahead after the top aggressive leaders of Kashmir. Indian agencies have been directed to break the backbone of “terror infrastructure” in Jammu Kashmir.

In recent times Kashmiri agitations have embarrassed New Delhi who claims everything is calm and cool in Kashmir. The continued agitations of Kashmiris, authorities of JK government have also been asked by New Delhi to continue the crack down on social media inciting violence in the region. Nearly 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilize stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces’ operations at encounter sites. Most of these groups – at least 90 per cent of them – have been successfully shut down in the last three weeks.

PDP chief and Jammu Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti has reminded New Delhi once again of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee doctrine on Kashmir when she said only dialogue similar to the ones held during the former prime minister’s era more than a decade ago could save the Valley. “There was dialogue when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and LK Advani his deputy. They even held dialogue with the Hurriyat and others,” Mufti told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence in New Delhi. Vajpayee ruled between 1998 and 2004. His approach towards addressing the Kashmir issue came to be called Vajpayee Doctrine. It also included improving relations with neighbouring Pakistan.

The Vajpayee doctrine on Kashmir called for peace, progress and prosperity in the Valley by imbibing the spirit of Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Identity of the people of Kashmir). The doctrine was universally acclaimed by all segments across of political spectrum in the state, including the extremist elements in the Valley. Vajpayee’s mantra included resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan, including that of Jammu and Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner through bilateral dialogue without any third party intervention. He carried his message of peace to Pakistan during a bus journey to Lahore on February 19, 1999. Vajpayee made it a point to visit to Minar-e-Pakistan where he re-affirmed India’s commitment to the existence of Pakistan. He reached out to the people of Pakistan in a passionate speech at the governor’s house in Lahore telecast live both in Pakistan & India.

Vajpayee signed a Lahore Declaration with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on February 21, 1999 in the form of roadmap for peace. As part of the declaration, Pakistan agreed to resolve all bilateral issues between the two countries, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in a peaceful manner and through dialogue and to promote people to people contact. The Delhi-Lahore Bus Service Sada-e-Sarhad (Call of the Frontier) was launched as a symbol of the efforts of the Vajpayee government to promote peaceful and friendly relations with Pakistan on the basis of reciprocity.

Seeking to let diplomacy win, Vajpayee did allow the bus service to be terminated even when Pakistan army chief President Parvez Musharraf launched an attack in Kargil between May and July, 1999, which the Indian armed forces successfully repulsed forcing the Pakistani army to vacate the occupied hills in the region.

However, the bus service had to be suspended during the heightened tension between the two neighbours in the aftermath of what New Delhi specialists say “the Pakistan-ISI sponsored terrorist attack” on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. Later, it came out that the parliament attack was planned by Indian sources to terrorize Indian Muslims and to launch scathing rhetoric against Pakistan. But service was restored on July 16, 2003 when Pakistan assured the Indian government that Islamabad would not allow its territory to be used for terrorists’ activities. But later it allowed US led NATO terrorist militaries to use Pakistan to launch terror attack on neighboring Afghanistan and leading to attack Pakistani themselves.

Though it sought strategic partnership with USA refused USA and NATO its territories to be sued by them to attack Afghanistan.

Vajpayee on whom the BJP government bestowed nation’s highest civilian honor for his contribution to social work and politics, extended a hand of friendship on the basis of reciprocity and mutual trust and called for collective fight against poverty in the Indian subcontinent devoid of terrorism and drug-trafficking. His emotional speech made Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to say: “Vajpayee Saheb, ab to aap Pakistan mein bhi election jeet sakte haein (Vajpayee now you can win elections even in Pakistan).”

All the setbacks to his dialogue initiatives, including Kargil conflict, hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandhar and terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament, notwithstanding, Vajpayee did not allow the peace process to derail despite serious provocations by the Pakistan army and the ISI.

Perhaps, Mehbooba Mufti wants PM Modi to follow the Vajpayee doctrine to normalize the situation in the Kashmir Valley and lower the tension with Pakistan.

“We must start from where Vajpayee ji left… Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow the footsteps of Vajpayee ji, whose policy was of reconciliation, not confrontation,” Mufti said. “There is no option but to talk,” she asserted.

Mufti’s meeting with Modi came in the backdrop of the worsening security situation in the state that has also rattled the ruling PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir. The government headed by Mehbooba Mufti is under mounting attack in the face of fresh spurt in violence in the state.

The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir regions has been fragile in the last few months, and the worst Army-civilian relationship has been in the news for all reasons unsavory. Further, the rise in stone-pelting incidents to thwart counter-insurgency operations in the state has been a cause of worry for the security forces.

New Delhi systematically denying fundamental rights of Kashmiri youth global connectivity and refuses them to use mobile and internet so that world does not know what is happening in Kashmir. Nearly 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilize stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces’ operations at encounter sites.

Nearly 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilize stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces’ operations at encounter sites. However, most of these groups–at least 90 per cent of them–have been successfully shut down in the last three weeks. “We identified the groups and the group administrators, who were called in by police for counseling.

Indian atrocities include the following:

  1. Each of these 300 WhatsApp groups had around 250 members; the police official explained how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the occupation forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites.
  2. The government’s policy of suspending internet services appeared to be showing positive results in curbing stone-pelting during encounters and cited the case of the encounter in Budgam district on Saturday. Just a few youth gathered to hurl stones after two militants were gunned down in the encounter.
  3. This was in sharp contrast to an encounter in Durbugh village in the same area on March 28, when a large number of stone-pelters had assembled and three of them were killed in firing by security forces. “With no internet services, the mobilization of mobs has almost become impossible. Earlier, we would see youth from as far as 10 kilometres from the encounter sites joining the protesters to pelt stones at security forces to disrupt the anti-militancy operations,” the official said. “That did not happen on Saturday during or after the encounter in the absence of internet on mobiles”.
  4. Some of the youth listed personal issues like alleged harassment by security forces as reasons for taking to stone-pelting. “Most of them get carried away momentarily,” authorities are also looking at further sensitizing the personnel on the need to adopt a humane approach while dealing with the youth.
  5. Stone-pelting on security forces near the encounter sites has been causing major operational problems for the law enforcing agencies over the past one year. More than half a dozen youth have been killed in such incidents in the first quarter of this year. “With the internet facility withdrawn, the activity on these social networking groups and other sites like Facebook has come down drastically”.
  6. However, people especially those from the business community say they are facing hardships, because of the inability to stay connected online. “Today, the business depends on internet for communication. I am into stock markets and I have had no business since the mobile internet services were withdrawn last week,” Mudasir Bhat said. He said most of the people had done away with landlines and broadband internet services as mobile internet facility gave them more freedom and were also cheaper.
  7. Ishfaq Ahmad, a contractor by profession, said life, without internet, had come to a standstill. “I had to submit a tender document two days after the internet facility was withdrawn. As the document was to be submitted online, we had to request the concerned department to extend the date till we make arrangements for e-filing,” Ahmad said. He said he has applied for landline connection but the service provider, BSNL, has informed him that it will take time. “BSNL is the only landline services provider here in Kashmir. I hope the government takes steps to ensure that businesses do not suffer because of this internet ban,” he added.

The government in JK is defunct but the BJP, the ruling partner of PDP, said there were no differences between coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir and the state government was “working well”. The PDP-BJP government is working well. Everyone is performing his or her task,” state BJP unit Chief Sat Sharma told reporters.

The PDP had earlier accused the BJP of betraying it in the council elections, in which an associate member of the PDP voted in favour of the BJP candidate on assurance of a post.

BJP pursues the RSS Hindutva agenda in Kashmir valley with help from Congress, PDP, NC, etc. BJP knows it is rather easy to fool the Kashmiri politicians with some money and NOC for foreign trips.

Observation

Jammu Kashmir is reeling under tension also because the PDP lost the seat to National Conference in the April 9 bypoll, in about 3 years after the 2014 General elections. The election to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency was marred by violence and witnessed the lowest voter turnout. Mufti is, hence, expected to review working of PDP-BJP coalition government in the state and discuss with Modi the roadmap to restore peace in the Valley.

JK CM Mehbooba Mufti wants PM Modi to follow the Vajpayee doctrine to normalize the situation in the Kashmir Valley and lower the tension with Pakistan.

The deteriorating security situation in JK state and reports of strains in the PDP-BJP coalition indicate negative functioning of the BJP – PDP government. Mufti, who attended the Niti Aayog meeting in Delhi, discussed the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Modi and seeks a solution from the Centre to address the issues of the people of the Valley; especially after the increase in the incidents of stone-pelting. The rise in these incidents also led to a friction between the PDP and the BJP, which are running the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.

India wants to continue with its terror programs by using terror goods manufactured in India and abroad to terrorize Kashmiris who still think Pakistan would make them free from colonialist occupational crimes of India and help them make a home for themselves. However, going by the rhetoric and action of Pakistan, it is clear that Pakistanis fight for Kashmir to be added to Azad Kashmir which then be made an integral part of a destabilized Pakistan – and they are indeed not fighting with India for the sake of unfortunate Kashmiris.

Both India and Pakistan are fighting for Kashmir. Naturally, India is in no mood to resolve the explosive Kashmir issue as it has the upper hand. And world powers like UNSC and NATO have not putting any pressure on India to vacate Jammu Kashmir.

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South Asia

The “Neo-Cold War” in the Indian Ocean Region

Kagusthan Ariaratnam

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Addressing an event last week at London’s Oxford University, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said some people are seeing “imaginary Chinese Naval bases in Sri Lanka. Whereas the Hambantota Port (in southern Sri Lanka) is a commercial joint venture between our Ports Authority and China Merchants – a company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.”

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has denied US’ claims that China might build a “forward military base” at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port which has been leased out to Beijing by Colombo. Sri Lanka failed to pay a Chinese loan of $1.4 billion and had to lease the China-developed port to Beijing for 99 years. Both New Delhi and Washington had in the past expressed concerns that Beijing could use the harbor for military purposes.

Image courtesy of Google

The USA, China, and India are the major powers playing their key role in the “Neo-Cold War” in Central Asian landmass and the strategic sea lanes of the world in the Indian Ocean where 90% of the world trade is being transported everyday including oil. It is this extension of the shadowy Cold War race that can be viewed as the reason for the recent comment made by the US Vice President Mike Pence that China is using “debt diplomacy” to expand its global footprint and Hambantota “may soon become a forward military base for China’s expanding navy”.

According to some analysts, the deep-water port, which is near a main shipping route between Asia and Europe, is likely to play a major role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In his book “Monsoon” Robert D. Kaplan (2010), a senior fellow at the Centre for a New American Security notes the following:

[…] the Indian Ocean will turn into the heart of a new geopolitical map, shifting from a unilateral world power to multilateral power cooperation. This transition is caused by the changing economic and military conditions of the USA, China and India. The Indian Ocean will play a big role in the 21st century’s confrontation for geopolitical power. The greater Indian Ocean region covers an arc of Islam, from the Sahara Desert to the Indonesian archipelago. Its western reaches include Somalia, Yemen, Iran, and Pakistan — constituting a network of dynamic trade as well as a network of global terrorism, piracy, and drug trafficking […]

Two third of the global maritime trade passes through a handful of relatively narrow shipping lanes, among which five geographic “chokepoints” or narrow channels that are gateway to and from Indian ocean: (1) Strait of Hormuz (2) Bab el-Mandab Passage (3) Palk Strait (4) Malacca and Singapore Straits and (5) Sunda Strait.

While Lutz Kleveman (2003), argues that the Central Asia is increasingly becoming the most important geostrategic region for the future commodities, Michael Richardson (2004) on the other hand explains that the global economy depends on the free flow of shipping through the strategic international straits, waterways, and canals in the Indian Ocean.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)  report published in 2017, “world chokepoints for maritime transit of oil are a critical part of global energy security. About 63% of the world’s oil production moves on maritime routes. The Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca are the world’s most important strategic chokepoints by volume of oil transit” (p.1). These channels are critically important to the world trade because so much of it passes through them. For instance, half of the world’s oil production is moved by tankers through these maritime routes. The blockage of a chokepoint, even for a day, can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs and thus these chokepoints are critical part of global energy security.  Hence, whoever control these chockpoints, waterways, and sea routes in the Indian Ocean maritime domain will reshape the region as an emerging global power.

In a recent analysis of globalization and its impact on Central Asia and Indian Ocean region, researcher Daniel Alphonsus (2015), notes that the twists and turns of political, economic and military turbulence were significant to all great players’ grand strategies:

(1) the One Belt, One Road (OBOR), China’s anticipated strategy to increase connectivity and trade between Eurasian nations, a part of which is the future Maritime Silk Road (MSR), aimed at furthering collaboration between south east Asia, Oceania and East Africa; (2) Project Mausam, India’s struggle to reconnect with its ancient trading partners along the Indian Ocean, broadly viewed as its answer to the MSR; and (3) the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, the USA’s effort to better connect south and south east Asian nations. (p.3)

India the superpower of the subcontinent, has long feared China’s role in building outposts around its periphery. In a recent essay, an Indian commentator Brahma Chellaney wrote that the fusion of China’s economic and military interests “risk turning Sri Lanka into India’s Cuba” – a reference to how the Soviet Union courted Fidel Castro’s Cuba right on the United States’ doorstep. Located at the Indian Ocean’s crossroads gives Sri Lanka the strategic and economic weight in both MSR and Project Mausam plans. MSR highlights Sri Lanka’s position on the east-west sea route, while Project Mausam’s aim to create an “Indian Ocean World” places Sri Lanka at the center of the twenty-first century’s defining economic, strategic and institutional frameworks. Furthermore, alongside the MSR, China is building an energy pipeline through Pakistan to secure Arabian petroleum, which is a measure intended to bypass the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca altogether.

A recent study done by a panel of experts and reported by the New York Times reveal that how the power has increasingly shifted towards China from the traditional US led world order in the past five years among small nation states in the region. The critical role played by the strategic sea ports China has been building in the rims of Indian Ocean including Port of Gwadar in Pakistan, Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Port of Kyaukpyu in Myanmar and Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh clearly validates the argument that how these small states are being used as proxies in this power projection.

This ongoing political, economic and military rivalry between these global powers who are seeking sphere of influence in one of the world’s most important geostrategic regions is the beginning of a “Neo-Cold War” that Joseph Troupe refers as the post-Soviet era geopolitical conflict resulting from the multipolar New world order.

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South Asia

IMF bail-out Package and Pakistan

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Pakistan may approach IMF to bail-out the current economic crisis. It is not the first time that Pakistan will knock the doors of IMF. Since 1965, Pakistan has been to IMF 17 times. Almost all of the governments has availed IMF packages. Usually, IMF is a temporary relief and provide oxygen for short time so that the patient may recover and try to be self-sustained. The major role of IMF is to improve the governance or reforms, how the ill-economy of a country may recover quickly and become self-sustained. After having oxygen cylinder for 17 times within 5 decades, Pakistan’s economy could not recover to a stage, where we can be self-sustained and no more looking for IMF again and again. This is a question asked by the common man in Pakistan to their leadership.  People are worried that for how long do we have to run after IMF package? The nation has enjoyed 70 decades of independence and expects to be mature enough to survive under all circumstances without depending on a ventilator.

The immediate impact of decision to approach IMF, is the devaluation of Pakistani Rupees. By depreciating only one rupee to US dollar, our foreign debt increases 95 billion rupees.  Today we witness a depreciation of rupee by 15 approximately (fluctuating), means the increase in foreign debt by 1425 billion rupees. Yet, we have not negotiated with IMF regarding depreciation of Rupees. Usually IMF demand major depreciation but all government understands the implications of sharp devaluation, always try to bargain with IMF to the best of their capacity. I am sure, Government of Pakistan will also negotiate and get the best bargain.

IMF always imposes conditions to generate more revenue and the easiest way to create more income is imposing tax on major commodities including Gas, Electricity and Fuel. Pakistan has already increased the prices of Gas, Electricity and Fuel. It has had direct impact on basic necessities and commodities of life. We can witness a price hike of basic food, consumer items and so on. Except salaries, everything has gone up. While negotiating with IMF formally, we do not know how much tax will be increased and how much burden will be put on the common man.

We believe, our rulers know our capacity and will keep in mind the life of a common man and may not exceed the limit of burden to common man beyond its capacity. We are optimistic that all decisions will be taken in the best interest of the nation.

It is true, that Pakistan has been to IMF so many times, so this might be a justification for the PTI Government to avail IMF package. But, there are people with different approach. They have voted for change and for “Naya” (new) Pakistan. They do not expect from PTI to behave like previous several governments. If PTI uses the logic of previous governments, may not satisfy many people in Pakistan.

Especially, when Pakistan was in a position to take-off economically, we surrendered half way, may not be accepted by many people in Pakistan.

The government has explained that other options like economic assistance from friendly countries was also very expensive, so that they have preferred IMF as more competitive package. I wish, Government may educate public on the comparison of available options, their terms and conditions, their interest rate, their political conditions, etc. There might be something confidential, Government may avoid or hide, one may not mind and understand the sensitivity of some of the issues. But all permissible information on the terms and conditions of all options in comparison, may be placed on Ministry of Finance’s website or any other mode of dissemination of knowledge to its public.

Against the tradition, people of Pakistan have voted Imran Khan, who so ever was given ticket of PTI, public has voted him or her blindly in trust to Imran Khan. A few of his candidates might not be having very high capabilities or very good reputation, but, public has trusted Imran Khan blindly. Imran Khan is the third most popular leader in Pakistan, after Jinnah the father of nation, and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Former Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1970s.

People of Pakistan have blindly trusted in Imran Khan and possess very high expectations from him. I know, Imran Khan understands it very well. He is honest, brave and visionary leader and I believe he will not disappoint his voters.

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South Asia

Now India denies a friendly hand: Imran Khan debuts against arrogant neighbors

Sisir Devkota

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Imran Khan is facing the brunt for overly appeasing its arch rival-India. On September 22, Khan tweeted that he was disappointed over India’s arrogant reply to resume bilateral talks in the UNGA and that he had encountered many “small men” in big offices unable to perceive the larger picture.I am observing a south Asian order changing with Khan’s rise in Pakistani politics. We in Nepal need to grasp the possible reality before circumstances shall engulf our interests.

Observation 1

Narendra Modi was undoubtedly “The Prince”of South Asia from Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century classic political narrative. I sense the old prince acting in distress over the rise of a new one. Imran Khan’s invitation for a ministerial level meeting in New York; amidst the eyes of foreign diplomats could not have been a better approach by Pakistan in a long time. Instead, Indian foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj dismissed the offer, blaming Pakistan’s double standard in killing Indian forces and releasing Burhan Wani’s (India’s terrorist and Pakistan’s martyr) postal stamps. Khan did not sanction the postal release, but as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he must be held accountable for failing to stop the killings,just when talks were supposed to happen. He should have addressed the highly sensitive Indian government. But, I do empathize with Khan’s statement, “small men in big offices”; as he clearly outlined the exact problem. He directly called upon the Indian government to think bigger and escape circumstances to solve historical problems. Narendra Modi has developed a new rhetoric these days; that India is not going to keep quiet over Pakistan’s actions. It fits the nature of Machiavelli’s Prince as an authority which can maintain national virtue. Unfortunately, I do not buy Modi’s rhetoric. The Prince has come a bit late in his tenure to act for Indian virtues. I am sure many at the UNGA would have noticed India’s apprehension in the same manner. I suspect that the ex-prince is facing insecurities over the fear of losing his charisma. Nepal, in particular was charmed by his personality when he first visited our capital, with promises that flooded our heart. And then, we faced his double standard; right after the massive earthquake in 2015. Nobody in Nepal will sympathize with Swaraj’s justification of cancelling the meeting.

Observation 2

Let me explain the source of insecurity. Modi has thrived by endorsing his personality. A tea man who worked for the railways under great financial hardships, became the poster man of India. He generated hope and trust that his counterparts had lost over the years. His eloquent stage performance can fool the harshest of critics into sympathizing his cause. People have only realized later; many macro economists in India now argue that demonetization was, perhaps, one of the worst decisions for India’s sake. Narendra Modi is India sounds truer than Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India.

Imran Khan, a former cricketer does not spring the same impression as Modi. Khan, a world champion in 1992, is known for his vision and leadership in Cricket. Comparatively, Khan does not need to sell his poster in South Asia. He does not cry over his speeches to garner mass euphoria. Ask anybody who’s into the sport and they will explain you the legend behind his name. I suspect that Modi has realized that he is going to lose the stardom in the face of Pakistan’s newly elected democratic leader. After all, the Indian PM cannot match Imran’s many achievements in both politics and cricket. I suspect that Modi has realized the fundamental difference in how his subjects inside India and beyond are going to perceive Imran’s personality. I expect more artificial discourses from India to tarnish Imran’s capabilities.

Nepal & Pakistan

You will not find Pakistan associated with Nepal so often than with India. Frankly, Nepal has never sympathized with Indian cause against Pakistan. We have developed a healthy and constructive foreign relations with the Islamic republic. However, there has always been a problem of one neighbor keeping eyes on our dealings with another. Indian interests have hindered proximity with past governments. Now, Imran Khan has facilitated the platform for deeper relations. He does not carry the baggage of his predecessors. He is a global icon, a cricket legend and a studious politician. He is not the result of mass hysteria. Imran Khan has pledged to improve Pakistan’s economy, reinstate foreign ties and boost regional trade. For me, he is South Asia’s new Machiavellian prince; one that can be at least trusted when he speaks.

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