Anti-Pakistan Chauvinism in India

 By Sajjad Shaukat

Although Indian blame game against Pakistan about violations at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir has hidden purposes, yet it has been creating anti-Pakistan chauvinism.  Even such a phenomenon was also created by Indian rulers in normal circumstances, when in May 1998; New Delhi detonated five nuclear tests, and compelled Pakistan to follow the suit.

However, by acting upon a preplanned scheme, Indian soldiers crossed over the LoC in Kashmir on January 6, this year and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier and injuring many troops. Besides, Indian troops shot dead two Pakistani soldiers on the LoC on January 10 and 15. This practice continued from time to time.

While, in order to justify its open aggression, India concocted a fabricated story of accusing Pakistan Army of killing its five soldiers on August 6, this year, In this regard, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Defence Minister AK Anthony have blamed Pak Army for the incident on LoC. In this regard, Pakistan Foreign Office and Pak Army sources have strongly denied terming it “baseless and unfounded.”

Earlier, Indian high civilian officials and Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh had already threatened to retaliate against Pakistan for the alleged killing of its soldiers in fighting near the disputed border of Kashmir, saying, he had asked his commanders there to be aggressive in the face of provocation.

This actually happened in the recent days. While accusing Pak Army of firing along the LoC, Indian troops perennially started unprovoked firing at the LoC in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and Nakiyal sector, which killed some civilians. But Indian guns became silence when Pak Army and Rangers responded with equal response.

Meanwhile, on August 13, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin welcomed a recent statement by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he called for a “new beginning” in relations with India, but said it would not hold talks with Islamabad until issues related to the Line of Control ceasefire violations and the alleged killing of five Indian soldiers were not addressed. It shows although there is no official word on cancellation or otherwise about the proposed Nawaz-Manmohan meeting next month in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, yet diplomatic sources are skeptical over the interaction now in the prevailing situation. There is also no chance of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Pakistan.

In his address, during India’s Independence Day, Congress-led Indian premier Singh warned Pakistan on August 15 against using its soil for “anti-India activity”, following a fresh escalation of tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours over a deadly attack on Indian soldiers.

Nevertheless, the ongoing pretext of India is to create obstacle in the way of the new peace process with Pakistan so that Pak-Indian issues like Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, water and especially main dispute of Kashmir remain unresolved. In the past too, New Delhi availed various crises to suspend the process of Pak-India talks. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the process of dialogue. Again, in 2008, India suspended the ‘composite dialogue’ under the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks which were in fact, arranged by its secret agency RAW in connivance with the Indian home-grown terrorists.

India and Pakistan had resumed the new phase of talks in March 2009, which were the first structured bilateral talks. But, every time, prime ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries ended their meetings with issuance of positive notes, and vowed that their parleys would pave the way for the settlement of real issues, particularly the core dispute of Kashmir, but the same failed without producing tangible results due to Indian double game.

It is mentionable that Indian adamant stand regarding Pak-India parleys are not without some sinister designs. In this context, India is determined to keep its hold on Kashmir which is considered by it as integrated part of the Indian union. It also wants to blackmail Pakistan by stopping the flow of rivers’ water towards Pakistan as major rivers of our country take origin from the occupied Kashmir.

As a matter of fact, India is only fulfilling the formality through the new phase of talks as Indian rulers also intend to show to the US-led western countries that they are willing to settle all the outstanding disputes with Pakistan including Kashmir dispute. But, New Delhi also seeks to continue state terrorism on the innocent Kashmiris who are waging a ‘war of liberation’ for their legitimate rights as recognised by the UNO.

Now, with rise in tension on LoC, and by manipulating the August 6 incident, Indian rulers, opposition parties, media, particularly news channels have resorted to fanning anti-Pakistan sentiments, war hysteria and jingoism vitiating atmosphere for any constructive engagement in near future.

It is a repeated story in India that whenever any untoward incident happens relating to both the countries directly or indirectly, Indian news channels start an ugly campaign further deteriorating the situation.

Nonetheless, Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh said that India’s patience was at an end and demanded that all dialogue between India and Pakistan including Confidence Building Measures (CMBs) be stopped after India claimed that Pakistan violated the ceasefire.

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony in his strongly worded statement in Lok Sabha on August 8, clearly exposed Indian designs. In this connection, he allegedly stated “Specialist troops of the Pakistani Army crossed the Line of Control into Indian territory and killed the five Indian soldiers…We all know nothing happens from Pakistan side of the Line of Control without support, assistance, facilitation and often, direct involvement of the Pakistan Army.”

In a strong message to Pakistan, Indian Parliament on July 14 rejected the Pakistan National Assembly resolution, saying it leveled “absolutely baseless and unfounded” allegations against India.” The resolution asserted that Pakistani Army was involved in unprovoked attack” on the LoC.

Besides, some other members of Indian Parliament used tough language against Islamabad. One of them stated that New Delhi should teach a lesson to Pakistan. Another member said that India should even prepare itself for war with Pakistan.

No doubt, Indian media, opposition party BJP and members of civil society have created uproar over the alleged LoC incident. In this context, anti-Pakistan chauvinism in India incited public to take to the streets. The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi was stormed by supporters of the Congress Party’s Youth Wing, while the Lahore-bound friendship bus was stopped by protestors in Amritsar. And PIA offices in Bombay and New Delhi were also ransacked by extremists of Hindu fundamentalist party, Shiv Sena.

Although, Indian elections are due in 2014 and ruling party Congress and opposition parties including BJP intend to take popular ride in the election campaign by cashing anti-Pakistan sentiments, yet main purpose of New Delhi is to use delaying tactics in settling the real issues with Pakistan including the Kashmir dispute.

But building war hysteria by India among the general masses could never bring both the countries on the line of true friendship. Such irresponsible approach may also result into nuclear war between the two neighbouring countries.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations



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