WEB DESK: In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech was focused on the atrocities being committed by India in the segment of Kashmir that it continues to occupy contravening the UN Security Council resolutions, assuming that after entering into “the defining partnership of the 21st century” with the US, its conduct can’t be challenged.
Nawaz Sharif was forthright in pointing to the brutal suppression of the current “indigenous uprising of the Kashmiris” by India’s occupation force of over half a million soldiers. A movement requiring half a million soldiers to suppress it isn’t rebellion; it is a freedom movement that could prove decisive in Kashmiris’ struggle against their decade-long enslavement.
Nawaz Sharif also repeated what Pakistan has been demanding of the UN for decades – de-militarization of Jammu and Kashmir and initiation of steps by the UN in consultations with India, Pakistan and representatives of the Kashmiri people, for implementing the decades-old UN Security Council resolutions mandating a plebiscite in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Nawaz Sharif also stated that Pakistan didn’t want to engage in an arms race – it is a quest fuelled only by visible risks to its security. Earlier, in his September 15 speech at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Toby Dalton too pointed to the fact that “Pakistan embarked on a nuclear weapons program in earnest only after it suffered defeat in the 1971 war with India.”
What Dalton didn’t mention was that confronting India in three wars in a span of 23 years beginning 1948 was a sad experience because, while its allies (China, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey) came to its rescue, its ‘strategic ally’, the US, didn’t. Finally, developing a nuclear capability for its defence became imperative for Pakistan after India’s testing of a nuclear bomb in 1974.
Yet Pakistan was repeatedly warned about insecurity of its nuclear weapons despite its firm commitment to securing its nuclear arsenal. To date, there is no public information indicating any close calls of nuclear material going missing, and no hint of any technology leakage after Pakistan dismantled the alleged AQ Khan-led proliferation network.
But what revived Pakistan’s fears is that the in-power Indian regime is led by a man who remained classified as a ‘terrorist’ and couldn’t enter the US and several EU states until becoming India’s Prime Minister, and after the US entered into “the defining partnership of the 21st century” (according to President Obama) with India, pursuit of ‘US interests’ is blinding the US to South Asia’s harsh realities.
Not surprisingly therefore, in his address to the UNGA, President Obama didn’t utter a word about Indian atrocities in Indian-occupied Kashmir, though he dealt at length with the denial of enduring appeal of ethnic and sectarian identities and pervasive inequalities and suppression, but blamed them on ‘globalisation’, not on religious segregation, racism, injustice and state-sponsored brutality.
After Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s media team stated that Kashmir issue was discussed, but a press release of the State Department mentioned nothing about it, though it revealed that Kerry pressed Nawaz Sharif not to allow elements within Pakistan to be used against other countries.
Kerry didn’t bother about the fact that, while India blames Pakistan for the attacks on Samjhauta Express, Taj Mahal Hotel Bombay, and Pathankot Airbase, it did not provide Pakistan actionable evidence thereby placing in doubt the claims it has been making though they served a key interest – tarnishing Pakistan’s image globally at a huge cost to Pakistan – a strategic US ally?
Kerry also didn’t refer to the details provided about what RAW’s Kulbhushan had been doing in Baluchistan and Sindh and India’s links to Brahamdagh Bugti. Seemingly, he was focused only on India’s (un-investigated, embarrassing, and later hushed up) claims about Pakistani intelligence agencies’ involvement in the attack on Indian Army’s Brigade Headquarter in Uri.
What was disappointing about Nawaz Sharif’s speech was that, despite exposing and condemning Indian atrocities in Kashmir, he too didn’t mention the Kulbhushan and Brahamdagh Bugti affairs in his speech at the UNGA although it is high time the shocking variety of Indian designs focused on destabilising Pakistan – ignored by the West – are exposed with full details.
While in the ‘post-Arab Spring’ era terrorism has become a global phenomenon, there is scant realisation of the fact, especially by the US, that Pakistan remains the principal victim of terrorism sponsored from abroad ie by India via Afghanistan with the covert backing of Israel, because Pakistan made the mistake of becoming a nuclear power despite being a Muslim state.
But America’s entering into “the defining partnership of the 21st century” with India, under which the US will unshackle on India’s nuclear program, forced Pakistan to conclude that minimum deterrence of existential threats was insufficient for its security. Thus, in 2011, Pakistan opted for “full-spectrum deterrence” for responding to a conventional Indian military attack.
Now the US lawmakers have moved a bill in the House of Representatives seeking Pakistan’s inclusion in the list of “state sponsors of terrorism.” That’s how the US is rewarding Pakistan for its role in SEATO and CENTO, the U-2 affair, and the Afghan Jihad that immensely contributed towards the dismemberment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In July 2016, a US Congressional panel had debated whether Pakistan was a friend or foe, and Congresswoman Rohrabacher came close to challenging Pakistan’s existence. Thereafter, the US refused to sell military equipment to Pakistan and also froze the reimbursement for the expenses incurred for ISAF in connection with its “peace-keeping” operations in Afghanistan.
This change proves that the US policies aren’t based on a philosophy that prioritises global peace and stability; its aim is global dominance for which this philosophy justifies side-lining ethics and all principles of justice and humanity. But did brutalities like the May Lai massacre lead to US victory in Vietnam, and what did the US achieve in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?
This US attitude is triggering a radical change in South Asia. For the first time in history, Pakistani and Russian armed forces are conducting a two-week long joint military exercise and Russia (a former Indian ally that no longer trusts India) has lifted its long-standing embargo on arms sales to Pakistan and, for a start, will deliver Mi-35 attack helicopters to Pakistan.
The US and its parliamentarians aren’t bothered about multiple naked threats from India to Pakistan (including offer of Rs 10 million for the head of Pakistan’s Prime Minister). Do the Americans want their government to standby India that has such an aggressive profile? Or are they violating their electorate’s mandate?
Source: Business Recorder