by Inam Un Nabi Soudagar
India and Pakistan fought four wars since they came into being. The intermediate period between the two nuclear powers was punctuated with hatred, subtle violence and low-intensity warfare supplemented with espionage and covert operations.
Nationalism, unfortunately, is defined in terms of the quanta of enmity a political dispensation can generate through rhetoric and warmongering, while the talks in the past aimed at changing status quo have in reality never met the desired goal.
With the unprecedented and incurable optimism reflected in a joint book released by two ex-intelligence chiefs, Assad Durrani (ISI) and A S Dulat (RAW), the time has come to recognize the futility of falling into the trap of a war that serves the western powers much more than any of the two neighbours. Suaves within the deep state do comprehend the urgency of composite and comprehensive dialogue but the right wing zealots don’t seem to give any heed to peacebuilding structures. The sane psyche has been confined to dungeons with little scope for rationality and meliorism. Prudence has taken a backseat in the postmodern era marked by truth decay.
Immediate neighbours including China have advocated a peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue while the foreign policy gurus have had a close ear to the US making other veto powers concern seem redundant. Off late, the problems including increasing tariffs, visa issues, sanctions on Iran with an impact on Chabbar Port and of course USA’s growing hostility with Russia have uneased India. The much-hyped India US conviviality is turning into a sort of illusion marked by a little benefit and meteoric rhetoric.
In the grab of maintaining good relations with the US, India is heavily paying in terms of losing its once most trusted favourite nations. India’s non-participation in (NAM) non-aligned movement that stands firm on issues of decolonization, disarmament and justice for all is also a marker of the right-wing foreign policy shift. Refugees who once used to be given an asylum by India have again become a national issue with Rohingyas flaring up in all nationalistic narratives and their deportation is now a national priority as well as emergency.
China’s boxer protocol deal of 1900 AD with the West which is considered a national humiliation in Chinese foreign policy history should be learning for all immediate neighbouring nation States. In an environment of rising hostility with the neighbour States, how long should India look at a nation thousands of miles away when the ‘String of Pearls’ is becoming hostile with each passing year.
Today rationalists are awed and worried by the strange India US relations where the latter is reciprocating with nuggets with former at the receiving end. Most nations in European Union itself are puzzled by US President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision of shifting embassy to Jerusalem and are rethinking of the grave consequences of siding with a country ruled by a bellicose leader like Donald Trump who has been carrying genocide in Middle East albeit masquerading as a saviour and revivalist under the flag of false democratic restoration in these gullible nations. India that has otherwise maintained good relations with Palestine recently chose to remain, mum when hundreds were killed and thousands injured in Gaza.
The foreign policy and list of countries that enjoy cordial relations with India does have an impact on the posterity of Kashmir and its long cherishing for peace. Track -II has already been engaged by the Modi government, but where does the solution lie when PM Modi himself recently advocated and prayed for peace as conclusion remarks at SKICC Srinagar. Is it not baffling that the policymakers are advocating Operation All-Out and ceasefire simultaneously which puts the best of brains to chaos and ambivalence.
The lexicon of power authorities has a good amount of schism and no one is circumventing a clean roadmap. We do admire the quest for peace that Prime Minister of India has recently revealed but how come the goal be achieved without the change in status quo.
With SCO meeting in Russia where both countries will share the stage, it is mandatory to shun the traditional innuendos and work for a joint mechanism for restoration of dialogue and justified peace in Kashmir. People living in border areas have had to flee their niche in wake of border skirmishes on either side, in the mainland Valley, the lack of meaningful indulgence has forced thousands to embrace death.
Ring road project and Zojila tunnel as part of Rs 25000 crore Central developmental assistance to Jammu and Kashmir State carry no meaning when the State has been orphaned politically for decades. The perfidy of policymakers and politicians has made an average Kashmiri suffer like never before.
China Russia and Iran have been long insinuating for peace in Kashmir, but the Modi government has maintained a deaf ear to its neighbours and has been chaperoning a country like the USA that has been credited historically with manufacturing wars for its personal armed industry to flourish. With the futility of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, countries globally and especially India should rethink its relationship with the US and listen to the astute calls of peace from its immediate neighbours that might decide the global order very soon.
(The author is a social, political activist and a TV debater. Ideas expressed in this article are personal.)
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