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It appears that a game of bizarre is being played out in Pakistan. The Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made preposterous allegations in Multan against India saying that New Delhi could be upping the ante in the coming days; amidst the still looming tension between the two countries post-Pulwama. India rejected the irresponsible and preposterous statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. India in a strong reply said, this gimmick appears to be a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India. New Delhi further added that Pakistan needs to take credible and irreversible steps against terrorism operating from all territories under its control rather than making hysterical statements to obfuscate the core issue that bedevils our region: cross- border terrorism.
The outlandish statement of Mr. Qureshi could be attributed to the malaise that is presently prevailing in the ruling Paksitan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party. It has been reportedly widely that the Pakistan Foreign Minister is not on the same page on a host of issues with Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan.
It is also known that he harbours higher political ambitions. The sad saga of Pakistani politics is that any political statement that criticises India is welcomed by many. It could be possible that Mr. Qureshi too, is playing the same card. However, for a responsible Foreign Minister to make such wild allegations is completely uncalled for.
It may be pertinent to point out that India as a nation has never harboured ill intentions against any country. In India’s five thousand year old history, the country was never the aggressor. But, as a responsible country, India reserves the right to defend herself from external aggression. It was Pakistan, which attacked India in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999. On all the four occasions, the Pakistani misadventures were thwarted by India. It’s indeed a mystery that the American and Chinese trained Pakistani army could not match India’s military prowess.
Despite four wars, India still took step towards normalizing relations with her western neighbour. All political parties in India favour normalising relations but it has been made clear that terror emanating from Pakistan must stop before any talks between the two countries take place.
On the other hand, Pakistani political parties have; since the birth of that country, tried to out-do each other on their anti-India stance. It is well known that Pakistani politicians who make stridently anti-India statements go a long way. The Pakistani politicians also have in the past made wild statements. Who can forget, former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s “thousand year war against India” or “Pakistan would eat grass to develop the nuclear bomb” etc. These kinds of statements have demonstrated that Pakistani politicians do not need a development agenda; they need to just hype their anti-India rhetoric to stay ensconced in power.
It should also be noted that despite such highly bombastic statements, Pakistani politicians could not keep the promise of “One Unit” (West Pakistan and East Pakistan) together. Within 24 years of the country’s existence, the language issue led to the break-up of the ‘one unit’. Both Pakistani military men and politicians were responsible for this; some like Bhutto had to pay the price dearly for his actions. While Gen. Yahya Khan, the military dictator of Pakistan, who saw the creation of Bangladesh, was disgraced, stripped off all his medals and died a forgotten man.
Pakistan as a nation state has always been in an identity crisis. While, it was found on the basis of religion, above all; Pakistani rulers have used religion to better their cause and have left the people in a lurch. Today, the country’s relevance has dipped. It is in the cross-hairs of various external powers who are watching its every move. Unless, Pakistan mends its ways, the story could get difficult.
Script: Kaushik Roy: AIR: Strategic Affairs Analyst