New Delhi: An Indian diplomat has reportedly confirmed that New Delhi has received an invite from Pakistan for an Afghan conference, but no decision has been taken on the External Affairs Minister’s participation in the conference.
In a bid to restore stability in the militancy-ravaged Afghanistan, Pakistan has invited Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference to be held in Islamabad on 7th and 8th December. The Afghan conference aims at addressing the unstable condition of Afghanistan.
Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the UAE are certain to attend the conference.
“A formal invitation has been sent to India and 25 other countries for the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting on Afghanistan to be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior Foreign Office official was quoted by Pakistan news daily – Express Tribune.
The diplomat further said India is likely to send a high-level delegation headed by the minister, given the importance of the conference.
The meet would provide an opportunity for the two countries to develop a procedure for further discussion between the two countries after the latest glitches in their relations.
Post cancellation of the NSA-level talks and differences over the meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, India and Pakistan would be able to benefit from such a meet.
If such steps have been taken by Pakistan, India should respond in a positive manner and attended the conference to mend their international relations with the country.
There are no official confirmations given by the Indian Government to any such invite and neither has the External Affairs Minister clarified on the request.
A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.
A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.
The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.
Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.
New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.
The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.
Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.
Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.
-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.
Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there
India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over South Asia’s nuclear program
Sushma Swaraj’s statement is significant since it comes after the BRICS Summit where many countries unequivocally named Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there
Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism
New York, Sep 22, 2017: In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over North Korea’s nuclear and weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Sushma Swaraj said while speaking at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly Session here.
“They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she added.
Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there.
“There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement,” she said, calling for terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support to “be systematically cut off”.
Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN Security Council.
On North Korea’s recent offensive military posturing, she said: “The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.”
She also touched on climate change and referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s suggestion of an alliance between the India-initiated International Solar Alliance and the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS nations.
“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she said.
The International Solar Alliance, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.
It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (IANS)
The Hindu refugees, who fled to Bangladesh, have placed their hopes on the Modi government
The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state
The Indian government was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting Rohingya Muslims from the country
New Delhi, September 21, 2017: The crossfire between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s military has left hundreds of Hindus, who fled to Bangladesh, placing their hopes on the Indian government.
Around 500 Hindus have taken shelter in a cleared-out chicken farm, in a Hindu hamlet in the southeast of Bangladesh. The place is situated at a distance of a couple of miles, where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims, who also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25, have taken abode, mentions the Reuters report.
The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to their villages in the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s restless Rakhine state. Modi government, meanwhile, is working to make things easier for Hindus, christians, Buddhists, and other minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain access to Indian citizenship.
“India is also known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus,” said a Hindu refugee, Niranjan Rudra, “We just want a peaceful life in India, not much. We may not get that in Myanmar or here.”
The fellow refugees agreed and shared their desire of getting this message received by the Indian government through media.
The Indian government, however, has declined to comment on hopes of Hindu refugees. it was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India.
Achintya Biswas, a senior member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also called the World Hindu Council, on the other hand, stated India as the natural destination for the Hindus fleeing Myanmar.
“Hindu families must be allowed to enter India by the government,” Biswas said, according to a report by Reuters, “Where else will they go? This is their place of origin.”
Biswas said the VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, would be submitting a report to the home ministry demanding a new policy that would be allowing Hindu refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek asylum in India.
While India’s Home Ministry spokesman, K.S. Dhatwalia declined to comment, a senior home ministry official in New Delhi, on the condition of anonymity, mentioned that no Hindu in Myanmar or Bangladesh affected by the violence had approached Indian authorities.
“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus,” the official said.
“Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order.”
Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Rudra along with other Hindu refugees talked about how they fled soon after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 Myanmar police posts, instigating a fierce military counterattack.
“Our village in Myanmar was surrounded by hundreds of men in black masks on the morning of Aug. 25,” said Veena Sheel, a mother-of-two whose husband works in Malaysia.
“They called some men out and asked them to fight the security forces … a few hours after we heard gunshots,” she added.
Soon after taking office in 2014, the Modi government issued orders stating that no Hindu, or refugees of other minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be deemed as illegal immigrants even if they had entered the country without having the required documents, on or before December 31, 2014.
India, indeed, is in a tough situation, where it can’t compromise with the principles it holds being a Secular nation that is always engaged in humanitarian activities, but will also need to keep in mind the potential security threats that might come along with such an act of acceptance.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha