India has to understand that in this globalized world it cannot exploit its neighbours by leveling baseless charges, to divert attention of its own masses. Indeed, India has to understand that, use of military is not the solution to political issues. Rather making false accusations and exploitation, Indian political and military leadership need to demonstrate maturity and problem solving approach to promote good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan.
Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Indian President, while delivering his speech on
the eve of 64th Indian Republic Day said, “We believe in peace on the
border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship.
But this hand should not be taken for granted. Neighbours may have
disagreements, tension can be a subtext of frontiers, but, sponsorship
of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern to the
Some analysts consider the contents of the speech as an indirect warning
to Pakistan. I however believe that Mr Mukherjee was reading from a
written script, thus, his imposed words as quoted above were meant for
the public consumption, rather really a warning for Pakistan. These
words from the Indian head of state came after exchange of fire across
the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in early January 2013. Now
there is a restoration of ceasefire after the Director General Military
Operations of both countries interacted through hotline.
Thus, except reiterating to what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said: “there is nothing special in this
speech except the aspect of “sponsoring terrorism through non-state
actors.” This accusation is indeed distressing and unanticipated from
the President of India. It is indeed considered out of context also, if
cross LoC firing was the reference. No Pakistan based non-state actor
has a role in the recent incidents of firing or provocation. It was a
firing by regular soldiers from either side, initiated from Indian side.
If any reference of extremism and terrorism could be made, that suits
well about the elements within India. Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Indian
Home Minister, rightfully highlighted this aspect just a few days back.
The Home Minister uncovered the real face of Hindu extremism in India.
Though he directly nominated the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as responsible for this extremism, but in
real sense, majority of Hindus have similar sentiments towards
non-Hindus in India. There is no doubt that, RSS, being the militant
wing of BJP has been openly expressing its extremist acts against other
communities in India. Other Hindus have been making use of diplomacy to
promote their real agenda. According to Mr Shinde, Indian Government has
found through an investigation report that, “the RSS or BJP, their
training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict
vigil on all this.” Everyone in India knows this fact and even
international community is aware of it.
There is yet another reality that, RSS has its deep roots in the rank
and file of powerful Indian Army. What to talk of lower ranks, serving
Indian Army officers of very high ranks have been found involved in
terrorism against Muslims in India. In 2007, serving Indian Army
Lieutenant Colonel, Shrikant Purohit, provided explosive for bombing on
Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and for a bomb blast in Malegaon. As an
active member of the RSS, Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit and many
other uniformed persons of Indian Army have been actively participating
in anti-Muslim campaigns.
On the issue of the recent cross LoC firing incidents, which caused
killing of soldiers on either side of the divide, one fact has been
re-established that, the unresolved issue of the state of Jammu and
Kashmir has the potential to spoil the Indo-Pak bilateral relations any
time. It is a clear message that pursing peace process while putting
this issue beneath the carpet would be no more than a cosmetic effort.
It would be like dealing with peripheral issues and behaving ostensibly.
While evaluating the track record of Indo-Pak military escalation,
there are strong evidences that, many military stand-offs between them
were motivated by factors other than military deployment. Indeed, the
domestic compulsions were the real motives to ignite the military
escalation many a times. In a layman language, diverting the attention
from domestic issues encouraged military escalation, in order to create
the war hysteria.
The current scenario somehow has the same inspiration. What has gone so
serious that through an abrupt move, Indian President, Prime Minister,
his Foreign Minister and Army Chief had to make public statements and
press conferences, indeed, some very strong and threatening one? General
Bikram Singh, the Indian army Chief accused Pakistani soldiers of
beheading an Indian soldier and turned this allegation as,
“premeditated” by the Pakistani military. He threatened Pakistan and
said that, “we reserve the right to retaliate at a time and place of our
While all these statements and threatening remarks by top Indian
hierarchy have forgotten, the fact that, the current LoC violation was
initiated from Indian side once its soldiers physically attacked a
Pakistani post at Haji sector, killing one soldier and injuring another,
who also died later on. Pakistan did not initiate the process of
violation of the ceasefire across the LoC. Indian media has even pointed
out that attack on Pakistani Post in Haji Pir was a military
misadventure of a Brigade Commander in Uri Sector of IOK. Indian
accusation of beheading a soldier was rejected by Pakistan and offered
its investigation under UN. India however did not accept this offer and
threatened Pakistan of dire consequences.
In the analysis of many scholars and academicians, it is visualize that
India is facing the worst domestic unrest of its recent history. The
world biggest democracy had yet to come out from the allegations and
mass protests against massive corruption and bad governance, once it was
shaken by another violent protest against the rape of a 23 years old
Para-medical girl student. This poor student was raped, and then thrown
out from a bus by assailants in Indian Capital, New Delhi. It is worth
mentioning that, thousands of Indian women are raped every day. There
were violent protests throughout India against rapes and discrimination
against women in Indian society. Indeed, under the banner of Congress
Party, the UPA Government in New Delhi was rapidly losing its
credibility and there are serious image problems.
Even President said on the issue of rape that, “Her death, has left our
hearts empty and our minds in turmoil. We lost more than a valuable
life; we lost a dream. If today young Indians feel outraged, can we
blame our youth?” Apart from these immediate incidents, Indian masses
have serious reservations that despite economic development in India,
the living standard of the people has not improved. Then there is social
discrimination against Dalits and lower caste Hindus and monitories.
Under these and many other factors, Indian Government and future of the
Congress Party is at stake.
The current initiation of cross LoC firing and attack on an established
Pakistani post is considered as part of this strategy of diverting the
attention of the people from the real issues. Prior to the LoC
incidents, Indian Government was under a severe domestic pressure on
account of official corruption and discrimination against women.
Together with the Government, Indian media, which is traditionally known
for promoting anti-Pakistan sentiments among masses, took the lead.
After Mumbai attacks of 2008, Indian media had created war hysteria and
promoted many misgivings against the state of Pakistan. India has been
successful in diverting the attention of its masses from the violent
protests and domestic unrest, which was even named by some Western media
as the ‘Indian Spring’. The process has however seriously dented the
Indian sincerity towards Indo-Pak peace process. Pakistan feels that
future of Indo-Pakistan lies in the negotiated settlement of issues and
promotion of peace and prosperity. Pakistani FM Hina Rabbani Khar said
in this regard that, “Let me convey once again, even at this time, our
commitment to normalize relations with India and when we say normalize
relations with India we are talking about normalizing in all aspects.”
How prophetic and friendly Indian leadership is, can be imagined from
the fact that, Indian External Ministry did not allow two Pakistani
diplomats to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival on January 24, 25. It
is yet to be established what was so secret in the Festival, which
India has to hide from Pakistani diplomats. Being the South Asian giant,
India has to understand that in this globalized world it cannot exploit
its neighbours by leveling baseless charges, to divert attention of its
own masses. Indeed, India has to understand that, use of military is
not the solution to political issues. Rather making false accusations
and exploitation, Indian political and military leadership need to
demonstrate maturity and problem solving approach to promote good
neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan.
By Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
Thank You For Reading