WEB DESK: Though arrogance and diplomacy are not twins, there are exceptions. One such exception was on display in Karachi on Monday with Indian High Commissioner telling his audiences ‘forget about Kashmir it’s no good throwing stones on others if you live in a glass house’.
HC Gautam Bombawale was the guest speaker of Karachi Council of Foreign Relations, an occasion to recall the eve of September 6, 1965 when Indian forces surreptitiously broke through the international border at the dead of night – only to be beaten back without having drinks at the Lahore Gymkhana. When pointed out unprecedented brutality let loose on the Kashmiris by Indian troops he shot back, “you [better] focus on your problems”.
That a diplomat of Bombawale’s experience and outlook should be so evasive on an issue which was originally raised by his own country in the United Nations is an unsavoury development that can be described as unfortunate and disappointing. How come he wants the world to ignore the Valley where ruthlessly peaceful, unarmed protestors in Occupied Kashmir are being killed or hit by pellets? What a deception that you tell Pakistanis that India wants to see a Pakistan that is “moderate, prosperous and stable and at peace with itself”.
The truth in fact is that ‘at-peace with itself’ Pakistan is not in the Indian game plan. Not only has Kalbhushan Yadav spilled the beans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also on record having confessed India’s role in fomenting trouble in Pakistan. That Modi was only talking about the ‘letters’ he received on the Balochistan situation is an absolutely implausible argument.
Kalbhushan has admitted that he is Indian national and a RAW agent. Bahadar Ali is also an Indian national and whatever confessions he would have made is what his handlers had wanted. And no surprise, has Gautum Bombawale conceded that India is out to sabotage the China Pakistan Economic Corridor because it passes through a ‘certain part where both Pakistan and India are claiming sovereignty’.
On the eve of September 6, the Indian high commissioner was expected to denounce war. He was also expected to sell the imperative of peace between the two neighbours whose nuclear capability tends to rule out possibility of another armed conflict. There can be no quarrel with his remark that the way forward for the two countries is ‘to move in a direction where trust and confidence could be increased’.
And then he showcases New Delhi’s stale lollypops – the “road to normalisation of Pakistan-India relations lay through trade and business”, and against a potential of $20 billion the total trade is just about $2.5 billion. Yes, there is some scope of enhanced bilateral trade and this is also true that the people in the two countries do want to visit each other. But as things between the two countries stand today, this appears out of question. We do not know how much of Bombawale’s take that India and Pakistan ‘must talk about every issue under the sun’ is in line with his government’s perspective and policy.
The uprising in Occupied Kashmir is one such ‘under the sun’ issue. But nothing would be more obfuscating than predicating resumption of bilateral talks between New Delhi and Islamabad by some ‘progress’ in the Pathankot incident. However, that said one would still like to share High Commissioner Bambawale’s positivism that despite tensions there had been interaction between the two governments – though nothing tangible came out of that. Rightly then it’s a welcome news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘is looking forward’ to visiting Islamabad for the Saarc summit.
Hopefully, it would be a much-needed positive change from the recent tension-ridden visits. But anything concrete in terms of obtaining productive ambience for constructive interaction would be possible only if India sucks poison out of bilateralism by undergoing a change of mindset on critical issues, including the ongoing uprising in Occupied Kashmiris and its use of proxies to disrupt peace and stability in Pakistan.
And, instead of insisting on building trust and confidence before resumption of formal talks it would be pragmatic to sit and talk to help dispel doubts and remove distrust.
Source: Business Recorder