India’s Faulty Approach towards Pakistan
Every country has an unambiguous foreign policy, particularly towards its neighbouring countries in the modern era of renunciation of war, economic development and peaceful settlement of disputes. When it comes to India, New Delhi has openly been acting upon a contradictory policy which shows its faulty approach towards Pakistan.
In the recent past, tension arose between Pakistan and India when Indian military conducted a series of unprovoked firings across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, and international border in wake of war-like strategy. While, Indian military high command failed in producing dead bodies of alleged terrorists who had crossed the LoC from Pakistan to Indian-occupied Kashmir. The ground realities proved that it was just propaganda against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Pak Army, as indicated by the Indian media, Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the Hindu fundamentalist party, BJP. Although Indian blame game against Pakistan about violations at the LoC has hidden purposes, yet it has been creating anti-Pakistan chauvinism. This practice continues from time to time.
However, by acting upon a preplanned scheme, Indian soldiers crossed over the LoC in Kashmir on January 6, 2013 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier and injuring many troops. Realizing its faulty policy, on December 24, 2013, New Delhi agreed for the meeting of Directors-General Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India, who met face-to-face at the Wagah Border, Lahore, to discuss specific measures strengthening the bilateral ceasefire mechanism across the LoC, while Pakistani side also raised the issue of India’s plan to erect a wall along the LoC.
It is notable that by showing a sense of great optimism for peace of the region, Pakistan had agreed with Indian old demand to fortify the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in order to resolve the outstanding issues, especially main dispute of Kashmir. In this regard, Pakistani prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz who visited New Delhi to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), held a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on November 12, 2013 to defuse tension at the LoC and to restore the peace process. Sartaj Aziz also met the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir. However, statements issued by their related-ministries said that both the diplomats reviewed bilateral relations in a constructive and forward looking manner, and pledged to settle all issues.
Quite contrarily, in a strong message, Salman Khurshid stated that he told Sartaj Aziz that his decision to meet Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi was “insensitive” and “counterproductive.” While keeping pressure on Pakistan, Khurshid explained that he gave “benefit of doubt” to Islamabad by telling them that “the conditions of the dialogue cannot be met till there is peace and tranquility on the LoC. He also allegedly said that Islamabad has been using delaying tactics in relation to the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks trial.
While, the Indian former officer of home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai and assault on the Indian Parliament were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism legislation. But, as part of delaying tactics regarding the solution of the Kashmir issue, Indian rulers availed various crises so as 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 dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India suspended the ‘composite dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.
In fact, India is pursuing ambivalent policy because it seeks to create obstacle in the way of the new peace process with Pakistan so that Pak-Indian concerned issues, especially main dispute of Kashmir remain unresolved. For this purpose, New Delhi wants to keep its control on the Indian-held Kashmir because rivers of Pakistan take origin from the areas.
Water issue between India and Pakistan is a serious matter and needs attention of policy makers. Pakistani public is aware that India is trying to use water as a weapon against Pakistan. Recent developments indicate that Indian coercive tactics against Pakistan has already started, as India has completed some mega projects on rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. In this context, a comprehensive report has also been published by the daily “Dawn” on March 9, 2014. The highlights of the report project an extremely depressing state of affairs for Pakistan, while India ruthlessly usurped Pakistani share of water. The report also reflects the criminal negligence of Pakistani authorities in the face of extraordinary challenges, posed by Indian machination. New Delhi openly violated Indus Water Treaty curbing water rights of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Water Administration failed to pursue water issue and therefore, grossly neglected country’s interests, while India is usurping Pakistan’s share of water. UN also did not feel the need to help Islamabad in fair resolution of water issue with India. Indian double game is not confined to Kashmir and water issue only, as India has continuously been distorting Pakistan’s image on one pretext or the other, while taking various steps against Islamabad and Pakistani nationals. In this connection, Indian government through its High Commissioner has advised the Pakistani travelers visiting to Indian cities to produce a Polio Vaccination Certificate prior to resumption of their tours to India. Moreover, these certificates must be carried by the Pakistani travelers’ stay in India. They have also asked for a list of hospitals, doctors and vaccines in Pakistan. There are reports that Indian intelligence agency RAW is involved in sponsoring and engaging attacks on the polio worker-teams in Pakistan. The aim of Indian scheme is to defame Pakistan at international level—on health issues, particularly on perils of polio. Unfortunately, Indian media and RAW leaves no stone unturned in exploiting any possible vulnerability of Pakistan, despite Pakistan (PML-N) government’s countless efforts to improve friendly relations with India.
It is noteworthy that India is the largest “HIV/AIDS” virus infected country, and many innocent people from different countries have already contracted HIV/AIDS after interacting with Indian nationals. Therefore, Pakistan Government needs to filter Indian nationals, visiting Pakistan after placing stringent testing mechanism to reveal that those visiting Pakistan are HIV/AIDS free. This will enable Islamabad to control a real health hazard which will pierce into Pakistan through Indian visitors.
Nonetheless, Indian faulty policy towards Pakistan could be judged by its civil and military leaders who have always displayed their self-contradictory approach in maligning Pakistan, its army and ISI. It is mentionable that on September 29, 2013, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN summit. Afterwards, Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters “Both agreed that the precondition for forward movement in the relationship, which they both desire, is really an improvement of the situation on the Line of Control.” He pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz also raised the issues of Siachen, Sir Creek, Kashmir and Indian interference in Balochistan. However, their dialogue ended with optimistic note, but in his speech in the General Assembly on September 28, Prime Minister Singh had allegedly said, “It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down.” Showing New Delhi’s contradictory approach, he also said that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, and in this context there could never be a compromise.”
On the one hand, Indian top officials have been accusing Pak Army and ISI of sponsoring terrorism in India and the Indian-held Kashmir, on the other, India’s media had revealed about a defence ministry directive, asking for the creation of covert capability—the military intelligence unit, Technical Services Division (TSD), which was set up by the Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh (R), which conducted covert operations in Pakistan. Besides an official of the TSD, in an Indian TV Channel, Gen. VK Singh boldly confessed that during his tenure as only one Minister of Agriculture (Ghulam Hasan Mir) was bribed, and Indian Army provided money to selected leaders in Jammu & Kashmir to crush the militancy (Kashmiri freedom fighters).
Nevertheless, while talking about the twin terrorist attacks in the Indian Occupied Kashmir which targeted a police station and a military camp, killing 14 personnel of army and police, Salman Khurshid almost wrecked the Nawaz-Manmohan talks when he blamed Pakistan’s ISI and the army in this respect. On the other side, quite opposite to his earlier statement, PM Singh remarked that such attacks by the non-state actors would not be allowed to derail efforts to find solutions of all problems through peaceful dialogue.
In fact, these terrorist attacks were engineered by the BJP to refrain PM Singh from continuing peace process with Pakistan. BJP also used its Hindu fundamentalist connections—RSS and like-minded cliques of Indian armed forces to escalate border tension along LoC to sink any hope of peace process with Islamabad, while Singh is already under duress of BJP which is expected to win the general elections 2014 at the cost of Pakistan. During the election-campaign, Pakistan became special target of the BJP-led extremist parties. While leaders of the ruling party, Congress also started a deliberate propaganda against Islamabad, and at the same time ensuring to advance the peace process with the latter. So, it shows India’s faulty approach towards Pakistan, which is likely to destabilize the whole region.
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 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org