Thank you Mr Modi!
THANK you Narendra Modi, since the time you became the Prime Minster of India, you have been rendering invaluable service to Pakistan— even though through your comical actions—by reinforcing the faith amongst the people of Pakistan about the necessity of creating Pakistan in 1947. Especially, the younger generations born after Pakistan came into being, are indebted to you for showing them the real face of Hindutva.
During an All Parties Conference (APC) on October 03, Pakistani political leadership put-up a show of national unity.Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was convened to formulate a unanimous response on Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and the situation along the Line of Control (LoC).By taking political parties and parliament into loop, the government has conveyed a strong message that we are on one page. Briefing the participants, Foreign Secretary said, “India is constantly violating fundamental human rights of Kashmiris.” “An escalation in the situation was witnessed following the killing of separatist leader Burhan Wani by Indian forces [on July 8],” he added.
PPP chairperson said his party fully supported the premier on Pakistan’s Kashmir cause. “Only a united Pakistan can face Indian aggression and achieve the objectives of national security”, he said. PTI representative said, “We want to convey this message to India and the entire world that we stand with Kashmiris.” “Today, a unified stance for Pakistan and Kashmir should be formulated in the national interest,” the JI Amir remarked. JUI-F chief urged the PM “to raise Indian atrocities internationally”. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the Kashmiri freedom movement would not be suppressed by Indian brutalities anymore. He said their struggle for self-determination was legitimate and in accordance with UN resolutions. Over the last two weeks or so, Indian leadership took a number of steps to provoke Pakistan into action. Pakistan’s leadership has acted pragmatically. Comedy of surgical strikes was poorly scripted to suck Pakistan into an embarrassing slug, in both cases: either by acting or by not acting militarily. However, poor interpretation of surgical strike by Indian military leadership gave Pakistan the third option—shrug it off. While India stands self-incriminated of committing a hostile act, Pakistan accrued a bonus of legitimacy for hitting back at those Indian military installations, which according to India, took part in the surgical strike(s)—and that never was—at a time and place of its choosing. Also Pakistan may approach the UNSC to take Indian declaration as confession of committing an act of aggression and make it part of UN record.
Modi made a clumsy about-turn as his untenable hawkishness drowned in Arabian Sea via his Kerala speech on September 24.Though, apparently full of threatening bluster, substance had largely been replaced by nuance. His articulations were reflective of the fact that India does not have many options. Improvising a military oil tanker accident into a false flag operation has embarrassed India globally. Nervous Modi opted to scuttle the SAARC summit. Two new objectives announced by Modi at Kerala are: to dry Pakistan by stopping its water and isolate it diplomatically; both are equally silly as was the earlier rhetoric of going to war with Pakistan. He also proposed: “let’s fight a thousand year war against poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, and see who wins”. World Bank data shows that India is already on losing end of this war as well. The World Bank’s latest report on ‘Addressing Inequality in South Asia’ suggests that Pakistan fares far better than India in terms of people living below the poverty level. While 8.3% of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty, a staggering 21.3% in Indians are indigent. Congress leader Meem Afzal urged Modi to redirect his attention to India’s own challenges. “Modi ji, instead of giving suggestions to Pakistan, focus on what is happening in your own country,” he said. “No proper development is visible… you promised 100 million jobs in five years but you haven’t even created 50,000.”
Reply to Modi’s rhetoric about isolating Pakistan came from a former Indian Police Service officer from Gujarat— Sanjiv Bhatt. This IPS officer is known for his role in filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India against Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Bhatt had claimed to have attended a meeting, during which Modi had asked top police officials to let Hindus vent out their anger against the Muslims. And now about Modi’s wish to isolate Pakistan, Sanjive wrote: “Russian forces arrive in Pakistan to hold joint military drills snubbing India; Indonesia offers Pakistan defence equipment; Iran wants to be a part of CPEC and link Chabahar port which it built on Indian money; China says it supports Islamabad’s stance on Kashmir; OIC says it supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir; Turkey wishes sending fact finding mission to Kashmir on Pakistan’s demand; Nepal wants to boost bilateral relations with Pakistan; USA has refrained from naming Pakistan for the Uri Attack; And our government wants us to believe that Pakistan has been internationally isolated”.
And, now let us examine viability of Modi’s second rhetoric—reconfiguring Indus Water Basin Treaty. Quoting a senior government official, the Hindu reported: “The Prime Minister will discuss the pros and cons of turning off the [water] tap to Pakistan.” “Blood and water cannot flow together,” Modi was quoted by Times of India as telling his aides. During the meeting, it was decided that India would ‘exploit to the maximum’ the water of three Pakistani revers by fast-tracking building of new hydropower plants along these rivers. Treaty allows only limited water usage for agrarian purposes and electricity generation through construction of run of the river dams over Pakistani, exclusively to benefit Kashmiri people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Independent arbitrators have upheld the run of river principle during complaints lodged by Pakistan whenever India ventured to construct water storage based hydro-electric projects— for example Baglihar and Kishanganga dams. India is not allowed to open the gates of these dams even for silt removal, because by definition, a typical run of the river dam cannot have silt deposition. Verdict in Kishanganga case has made this principle applicable retrospectively—to Baglihar dam— as well as prospectively, to any dams that India could construct in future. The International Court of Arbitration had ruled that India was violating Indus Waters Treaty by building Kishanganga dam. Modi’s threat to run Pakistani rivers dry shows his utter desperation and naivety. So, here too, Modi stand legally blockaded.
As regards abrogation of IWT, international law experts say it is not possible for either country to just walk out of the Treaty. There is no provision in the IWT to scrap the agreement unilaterally. The government of Pakistan has approached the World Bank in the context of Modi’s latest pearls of wisdom. World Bankis the guarantor of the Treaty, and would discipline India in due course. Indian Express aptly stated on September 26 that: “Like so many hawkish memes, Indus Treaty abrogation has been marketed as grand strategy. Held up to the light of day, though, it isn’t hard to see it for what it is: a plan that belongs to the dusty shelf reserved for awful ideas”. Modi’s childish gimmicks will lead his Pakistan policy nowhere, and region’s stability shall stay on tenterhooks!