By Talha Ul Huda
The Ministry of External Affairs, India, issued a retraction of its decision to have the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers meet in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA session. The scathing statement written in undiplomatic language was issued just a day after the decision to go forward with the dialogue on September 19th.
The statement said: “It is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office,” he said. “Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.”
The reasons cited for the cancelation were factually incorrect and politically baseless. The MEA spokesperson said that Pakistani security forces had “brutally beheaded” a BSF personnel on the LOC after the decision. The BSF soldier in question was in fact killed two days prior and the reasons for his death are unknown as is his location. The Pakistani security forces had put up a formal offer to help locate the body before the meeting was in the books.
Secondly, the MEA spokesperson alleged that the Imran Khan regime had printed out postage stamps “glorifying a terrorist”. The postage stamps in question had the martyred Burhan Wani’s picture on them and they were printed prior to the 25thJuly elections to pay homage to the Kashmiri freedom fighter.
Pakistan, along with the rest of the international community, buried the sham narrative and inferred that the state of India had repeated this pattern various times in the past. Chronologically, since the BJP government assumed power in 2014, two secretarial level talks have been cancelled on the basis that Pakistani leaders had met with Hurriyat leaders, which the state of India labels as terrorists. In 2016, when Pakistan wished to protest in the UNGA session to highlight the mass killings in Kashmir that followed Burhan Wani’s death, the state of India conveniently put Pakistan under the lamp for an attack on an Indian Army camp in Urri, which to this day, remains one of the most dubious incidents in the history of Indian narrative manufacturing.
In December 2016, PM Modi paid a surprise visit to Pakistan to meet the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to give out the impression that India was keen to make headway. Days later, an Indian Airforce base was attacked and the blame was, again, thrown on Pakistan. The Pathankot base incident was decided to be scrutinized under a JIT with both Pakistani and Indian personnel, but India refused to cooperate to give Pakistani law enforcement on-ground evidence.
In 2017, after the intervention of US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley, India put forward a five-point dialogue agenda, none of which were Kashmir-centric. After all of these strategically played but flimsy gimmicks, the state of India is unable to justify the apprehension of Indian Navy officer Kulbushan Yadav who was apprehended from Baluchistan by security forces and later confessed to having orchestrated various terrorist attacks. The Navy Commander was apprehended in May 2016, immediately after which the Indian government had denied his citizenship. After Pakistan made his documents public, the Indian government changed its stance to the scripture that Mr. Yadav was a former officer and was now a civilian, implying that the Pakistani security forces had “kidnapped” a civilian. Mysteriously, a former Pakistan army colonel was abducted through a scam job offer in Nepal and was never recovered, a few months later, casting a doubt that the Indian agencies had abducted Colonel Habib Zahir for leverage.
All of these factors in, coupled with the failed surgical strike narrative that the state of India had tried to sell to the international community, the pattern is visible and see-through. The inference is the distraction for massive human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir which has 0.7 million Indian army personnel deployed, killing and injuring thousands of Kashmiri civilians. At face-value, the Indian state is also trying to distract the international community from the actual headway that Pakistan has made in countering terrorism in the region, to obviously fabricated incidents made up to serve international political purposes.
The opinions in this article are of the writer only and do not represent the views of The Weekly Pakistan.