In a major diplomatic triumph for India, China has finally agreed to the designation of Masood Azhar, the founder of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish e-Mohammed, as a global terrorist by …Read More
The savage massacre of over 40 police personnel in south Kashmir, engineered by a Pakistan-affiliated terror group, has ignited national outrage in India, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning the …Read More
US President Donald Trump’s tweets have set off fireworks of a different kind in Pakistan than those that greeted the New Year. In a blistering attack, Mr Trump lashed out at Pakistan for hoodwinking the world, especially the US with its counter-terrorism masquerade, and threated to hold up $255 million in foreign military aid to Islamabad.
If Trump’s dire warnings have rattled Pakistan’s powerful civilian-military establishment, they have brought much cheer in India, which will be monitoring closely whether a beleaguered Islamabad will now walk the talk on terror.
Two nations, two narratives – “India sets up IITs and IIMs and Pakistan produces jihadis and set up terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohamed.” Taking an expose of Pakistan to a new level on the global stage at the annual UNGA jamboree, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a savage indictment of Pakistan for sponsoring and supporting terror against India and the region.
In her hard-hitting speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, Sushma Swaraj was at her acerbic best, launching a scathing criticism of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi’s address where he had accused India of perpetuating state-sponsored terrorism and human rights violations.
Those listening had only one observation: “Look who’s talking!” A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium,” she said at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
across the range of human welfare.
“Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror? What is the reason for this have they ever thought? There is only one reason. India has risen despite the principle destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism,” she said.
In the picturesque coastal city of Xiamen, better known for its noodles, entrepreneurial drive and touristy beaches, terror is not what you think about, but when the leaders of BRICS countries meet for their 9th annual summit here on September 14, enhancing counter-terror cooperation will be on top of the agenda.
By and large, there is a robust BRICS consensus on collectively dealing with the scourge of terrorism, but Pakistan-origin terrorism continues to be a source of dissonance between India and China. At the last BRICS summit in Goa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a blistering attack on Pakistan and sought BRICS support in isolating Islamabad for its dubious role in using terror as an instrument of state policy. But he didn’t succeed in getting a reference to Pakistan included in the Goa joint statement, largely due to Beijing’s fierce objections. This time round, China has gone a step further by pre-setting the agenda by making it clear that Pakistan’s role in fostering and sheltering terrorism is not “an appropriate subject appropriate topic to be discussed at BRICS summit.”
Buoyed by Trump’s frontal expose of Pakistan’s role in fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to highlight India’s concerns on Pakistan’s role in cross-border terrorism, at the Xiamen summit. But given the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan, Beijing is unlikely to allow any reference to Pakistan-based terrorism except in general terms about safe havens for terror.
In his speech at the BRICS Business Forum, which opened in Xiamen on September 3, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a holistic approach to fighting terrorism. “I am convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide,” he said.
The audacious killing of two Indian security men and mutilation of their bodies by Pakistani troops along the de facto border between the two countries in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state has sparked outrage and challenged New Delhi to walk its tough talk against cross-border terror.Read More
Dark clouds are once again hovering over the future of already strained relations between India and Pakistan, following a Pakistani military court’s handing out death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav on the charge of espionage and India’s sharp reaction to it. But more importantly, the international community is outraged by the court ruling which did not follow any norms of a fair trial and any law giving chance to Mr Jadhav, a former Indian Navy commander, for self-defence.
Pakistan says it had captured Mr Jadhav, 46, in Balochistan on March 3, 2016 on the charge of espionage. India refuted the charge and hit back with political parties cutting across the ideological spectrum condemning the Pakistani court’s ruling and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj telling parliament that New Delhi would consider execution of Mr Jadhav as a “pre-meditated murder.” India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, and issued a demarche in which he said that Mr Jadhav was kidnapped last year from Iran and there had not been a credible explanation for his subsequent presence in Pakistan.
The whole episode raises several serious questions about Pakistan’s status as a law-abiding and civilized country. Mr Jadhav’s trial in a military court is a mockery of the due process of law and defies all cannons of natural justice. He never got a lawyer to present his case in the military court and all that used by Pakistani military authorities was a so-called “confession” by him.
India must immediately adopt a two-pronged strategy: bearing down on Pakistan to refrain from carrying out the death sentence and launching a diplomatic campaign to highlight the flawed trial process in Pakistan. The Jadhav trial has once again driven home the point that it does not always require a major terror attack in India to jeopardize India-Pakistan ties.
Indian diplomacy experienced an inflection point following the terrorist attack on September 18, 2016, at the Army encampment at Uri. Determined to raise costs for Pakistan to counter its strategy of bleeding India by a thousand cuts, the Indian government mounted an international campaign to paint Pakistan as a state-sponsor of global terrorism and to ‘isolate’ the country in the international community.
India made Pakistan’s state-sponsorship of terrorism, without naming it, a key element of its diplomatic agenda for the 8th BRICS summit hosted by it in Goa on October 15-16; the event also coincided with India-Russia and India-Brazil summit meetings. To deny Pakistan the chokehold on regional integration as well as to further ‘isolate’ it in the region, a BRICS’ outreach with the BIMSTEC at the summit level was organised. In all his interactions, Prime Minister Modi made a clear linkage between terrorism and economic prosperity, underlining Pakistan’s official complicity which casts a dark shadow on countries as well as on multilateral efforts to promote socio-economic progress. In his press statement, at the end of the annual India-Russia summit between PM Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said Russia’s “clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own.”
Prime Minister’s remarks on terrorism, at the concluding session of BRICS summit, were aimed at Pakistan when he declared that combating terrorism, “including cross-border terrorism and its supporters”, will be a key BRICS priority. The Goa Declaration, issued by the summit leaders, contains the key elements of India’s counterterrorism narrative but is less direct on the issue of isolation.
The BIMSTEC Outcome Document is even more satisfactory in terms of India’s counter-terrorism diplomacy.
Aiming to impose costs on Pakistan for pursuing its ‘low cost’ strategy, Indian diplomacy has widened the diplomatic and military space, in its bilateral relations with Pakistan, to ratchet up the pressure especially as focused military action to Pakistani terrorist provocations has not been ruled out. Against the backdrop of incandescent international anger against terrorism, Pakistan cannot misread the signals originating from Goa.
Putting terrorism on top of the BRICS agenda, India’s Prime Minister Narendra launched a blistering attack on the “mother-ship of terrorism,” an all-too obvious reference to Pakistan, and exhorted emerging powers and the region to rally together in combating this scourge.
“The most serious direct threat to our eco prosperity is terrorism; Tragically, its mother-ship is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Mr Modi told leaders of other BRICS countries at the plenary of the 8thsummit of emerging powers at the majestic Dome of the Taj Exotica hotel in Benaulim.Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is surely the hate word among Pakistan’s ruling dispensation, including the military establishment that runs its India policy. And if any proof was needed, one only needs to refer to the giveaway statement of Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “Pakistan sees no hope of a breakthrough in relations with India under the Narendra Modi government,” said Mr Aziz, encapsulating the distaste for PM Modi among Pakistan’s ruling elite. This rancour can be understood as Mr Modi has done the unthinkable by launching surgical strikes on Pakistani terrorist camps, patronized by the Rawalpindi establishment, in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and launching an effective campaign to isolate Pakistan in the international arena in the aftermath of the Uri terror strike. The message from Mr Modi is quite clear, and it’s no surprise that he is hated by Pakistan’s establishment which continues to use cross-border terrorism with impunity.
Mr Modi’s message is loud and clear: terror and talks cannot go hand in hand, therefore until Pakistan stops supporting terror activities on the Indian soil there can be no fruitful talks. For this reason, Pakistan sees Mr Modi, with his capacity for out-of-box thinking and decisive action, as its arch enemy in pursuing its politically motivated activities in Kashmir.
But it seems Pakistan’s attempts to influence domestic discourse on terrorism in India is not going to succeed given across-the-board support for tough actions against Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror strike. Pakistan must change its policy of cross-border terror against India if it wants peace with the world’s fastest growing economy, regardless of who is in power in New Delhi.