Thursday October 19, 2017
Home India India and Pak...

India and Pakistan: A bitter rivalry fueled by false accusations and ignorance of truth

1
112

pakistan-india-flag-l

By Gaurav Sharma

Ever since the rise of extremism in Punjab in the 1980s, which further expanded to the Kashmir Valley in the late 1990s, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a war of words, matching blow for blow for diplomatic one-upmanship.

In those days, it was common for the Indian officials to blame the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, for implanting the seed of insurgency in the Indian soil. Since then, many, if not all, of the terrorist activities committed against Indian citizens have been attributed to ISI, either directly or through indirect links.

Recently, the pendulum has swung, with Pakistan bearing the brunt of the treacherous seed which it nourished under the wings of the army and the ISI. In the midst of the chronic epidemic which is rapidly engulfing Pakistan by the day, not showing the slightest sign of abating, the Pakistani bureaucracy has turned the diplomatic warfare on its head.

The Pakistani military establishment has retaliated, by making a rather questionable assertion that the Research and Analysis Wings (RAW) are involved in staging terrorism activities in Pakistan.

As per an ISI public relations statement, the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had chaired a conference on May 5 in which he had taken a “serious note of RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan”.

Although there is no hard evidence for making outrageous claims that India fuels terrorism activities in Pakistan, the country’s diplomatic circle has been hell bent on frequently dragging India into international forums over issues such issues as water treaties, downing airplanes and other ill-informed matters.

When Sartaj Aziz, the advisor to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, made the pronouncement that Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons “smashed India’s dream”, it highlighted the helpless state in which Pakistan finds itself.

On the face of it, such a statement is factually incorrect, because it is recorded in the pages of history that Pakistan’s nuclear development programme was essentially an insecure response towards India’s development of nuclear weapons.

During the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, which comprised of a series of skirmishes in the Kashmir Valley, including the largest tank battle since World War 2, India had gained an upper hand after the ceasefire was declared.

Most Pakistanis, schooled in the belief of their own martial prowess, refused to accept the possibility of their country’s military defeat by “Hindu India” and were, instead, quick to blame their failure to attain their military aims on what they considered to be the ineptitude of Ayub Khan and his government.

“The invading Indian forces outfought their Pakistani counterparts and halted their attack on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city. By the time United Nations intervened on September 22, Pakistan had suffered a clear defeat,” wrote David T. Hagerty in his book South Asia in World Politics.

Through the Shimla Agreement, Pakistan was forced to recognize the independence of East Pakistan or Bangladesh as it is now known. The war had wiped-out half of the Pakistani navy, a quarter of its air force and a third of its army.

But more than that, the war was a psychological setback for Pakistan, a humiliating and complete defeat at the hands of its rival. So massive was the magnitude of the aftermath that the then President General Yahya Khan surrendered power to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

After India conducted the Smiling Buddha, a surprise nuclear test in 1974, which was also the first confirmed nuclear test by any nation outside the United Nations Security Council, Pakistan started moving towards the goal of nuclear weapons with greater and desperate urgency.

To conclude, Pakistan’s inability to curb the bloody flow of terrorism has splintered the country into a chaotic schism and, as a result, forced Pakistan to make baseless and uninformed allegations against India.

Rather than shackling itself with the chains of such a warped imagination, it would do well for Pakistan to introspect its strategic geopolitical decisions and address the problem where its roots really lie, its own backyard.

1 COMMENT

  1. On several occasions Pakistan demanded to let its envoy investigate Ajmal Kasab but obviously there was something dubious that is why India did not allow. On July 19, 2013 the ex-investigating officer of CBI Satish Verma unveiled the secret that Indian government killed hundreds in Mumbai and Parliament attacks just to strengthen the counter-terror legislation. This brings us to another whistle blown on January 20, 2013 by the Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that political party in power BJP and RSS are running training camps to promote Hindu terrorism.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Next Story

Pakistan Elected to UN Human Rights Council along with 14 other countries

The new members will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018

0
0
un human rights council
UN General Assembly elect 15 new members of Human Rights Council. Wikimedia

United Nations, October 17, 2017 : Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly.

In a vote on Monday, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected, a Foreign Office statement said.

They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Pakistan Electoral Body Bars Political Party Due to Terror Ties

0
8
Sheikh Yaqub
Sheikh Yaqub (C) candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his supporters at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan. voa

Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group in the country.

Milli Muslim League (MML) has been disqualified to participate in the country’s state and general elections.

The electoral commission’s decision is said to be based on a request made earlier by the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, stating that Milli Muslim League is a front organization for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S.-designated terror sponsoring organization in Pakistan.

“The government is vigilant and under no circumstances will allow any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to spread their extremist ideology through democracy and political means,” Tallal Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of state for Interior Affairs, told VOA.

Saif Ullah Khalid, president of Milli Muslim League, dismissed the election commission’s decision and said the party will take the matter to the country’s judiciary.

Political wing

Milli Muslim League was established in August 2017 as a political wing for the controversial Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was accused of masterminding Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Saeed has been reportedly under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore for the past eight months.

In September, during an important by-election in Lahore, when the National Assembly’s seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the newly launched MML backed an independent candidate who finished fourth in the race for Sharif’s seat.

At the time, Pakistan’s upper house of parliament strongly criticized the country’s election commission for allowing JuD’s political wing, MML, to participate in the Lahore by-election.

Some experts were concerned about the emergence of militant groups joining mainstream politics in Pakistan. They maintain that the political trend seen in Lahore’s by-election, where parties linked to militant groups are able to mobilize and generate sufficient numbers of votes within a very short period of time, as alarming.

“There should be a debate on this sensitive issue through social, political and media channels. By allowing militant-based political parties to integrate into mainstream politics, it will only escalate radicalization in the society,” Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar based political analyst, told VOA.

“There are people who believe with the merger of such militant groups into politics, we’ll provide them an avenue to maintain a political presence without leaving their extreme ideologies,” Hussain added.

Army’s support

Earlier last week, Pakistan’s army acknowledged they are mulling over plans to blend the militant-linked political groups into the mainstream political arena.

Some analysts side with MML, arguing the party should be allowed to participate in elections.

“I do not understand in what capacity the election commission has rejected MML’s application to register as a party,” said Ahmad Bilal Mehboob, the head of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“Did they (MML) break any law? If not, how can you bar MML from entering the mainstream politics when they’re doing it through legitimate ways,” Mehboob emphasized.

Zubair Iqbal, a Washington-based South Asia expert, also raised concerns over the validity of the decision.

“This is how democracy works. … There are some extreme groups, some moderate groups and no one should be stopped because of their extreme ideologies,” Iqbal told VOA. “The extremist groups can be barred from entering into the politics only through people and democracy.”

“Unless these parties and individuals are allowed to participate in the political system they might never change their extreme ideologies and might continue operating underground which will prove to be more dangerous,” Iqbal added.

International pressure

In the past few years, Pakistan has faced escalating pressure from the international community for not being able to crackdown on militant groups enjoying safe havens in Pakistan and launching attacks in neighboring countries.

In his recent speech on the region, U.S President Trump put Pakistan on notice to take actions against safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani officials deny the existence of safe havens on its soil.

Pakistan is also accused of being selective in its pursuit of terror groups. It allegedly goes after only those groups that pose a threat to the country’s national security, ignoring others that threat India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejects the allegations and reiterates its stance of having no sympathy for any terror group operating in the country.(VOA)

Next Story

India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

0
4
United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)