PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 11, 2024 IST

PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs

Arun Joshi

Now Pakistan has Prime Minster and President in place. The formal clothing has been given to the coalition government. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated new prime minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif. It was a simple message of congratulations to Shehbaz . Nothing more nothing less.

The reasons are not far to seek. It is a diplomatic decency that Indian prime ministers have displayed from time to time to congratulate their Pakistani counterparts. Modi has extended this kind of congratulatory message to Pakistani counterparts for a third time – in 2018, it was to Imran Khan, and twice to Shehbaz in 2022 and 2024 . Before the 2024 message, Prime Minister  Modi had been wishing cooperation with the neighbouring country , asking them to work together to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, and at the same time he used to advise them to curb the menace of terrorism.

There could have been a very Indian reason. Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif in his first speech in the National Assembly had called for “passing of a resolution seeking liberation of Kashmiris  and Palestinians.”  Setting conditions for dialogue is one thing, but Shehbaz sealed his fate vis-à-vis India as he made a plea for resolution on Kashmir. In Modi era, there is zero tolerance to such utterances from across the border. This, in a way is promotion of terrorism

Modi has sensed the state of affairs of Pakistan. There can be no offer to work with a government in Islamabad, legs of which are shaking, and which is not trusted by its own people for providing economic and political stability. Pakistanis are more suspicious of the intentions and competence to deliver than the rest of the world. In fact there is multiplication of concerns than hope.

Two things have emerged very clearly that there is a great deal of unpredictability in the coalition government that has shaped up in Pakistan  and  the alliance , especially of Pakistan-Muslim League – Nawaz and Pakistan People’s Party has no policy paper or direction to address issues distressing the country.

This is a statement of facts about Pakistan that sits next to India as immediate neighbour. An internally disturbed Pakistan holds all the ominous possibilities of nightmare for India. Pakistan drifting in a directionless manner is more difficult to work with than a stable one. And the stability is all bit elusive.

Ever since the February 8 polls, Pakistan has been undergoing upheavals. The charges of rigged elections echoed in the international community, particularly in the west. This in itself is a stigma. The international community is convinced that the mandate of the people was stolen. It has called for thorough investigation into the charges that have come thick and fast from all quarters in Pakistan and the international observers.

There is something fundamental to the post-poll alliances much beyond the formation of the government. The formation of the government by stitching alliances is normal practice when the polls throw fractured mandate. These sorts of results reflect different choices and preferences, and then it falls on the political parties to fill the vacuum caused by such mandate. . The parties have to come together to hammer out the shared points, politically, economically and socially to end the uncertainty, because no country can be left without a government for long. That causes uncontrollable slide.

Pakistan has not acted differently .Its parties, PML-N, and PPP , and four other parties , have come together to offer a co9alition government to the country . This is absolutely in tune with the need of the times, though a question would always continue to hang whether this should have been the shape of the coalition government, because former primly minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf – PTI backed candidates have emerged a single largest group. It is always dangerous to keep the single largest group out of the government unless it reconciles to sit in opposition. And PTI has shown no signs of doing so or playing the role of a constructive opposition. It is not in the genes of any of the political parties in Pakistan to act responsibly. Had that been the case, then Pakistan would not have lived with a permanent taunt in the history that no prime minister completed a full term since its birth in 1947.

That being that. Now the coalition government PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif has assumed office as Prime Minister after he won a majority of votes in the National Assembly, and PPP’s co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari is back as president for a second time. But there is no guarantee of stability; the coalition government experiments in Pakistan have never offered a clear assurance that it can lead the nation to a stable situation.

It is not even old wine in new bottle. Both the wine and bottles are old. So it is not surprising that people in Pakistan are not seeing anything new or transformation from the bad old days prior to February 8 polls and after that.

The real task of the coalition government should have been to draw a roadmap of governance, which, in common parlance is known as Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Such a programme, it has been   experienced that CMP is not always is not the perfect document of commitment, but at least this signals a particular direction. The people know that what the promises are in concrete terms. The absence of that shows lack of commitments even in. narratives.

Even Pakistani political analysts have been unsparing in the criticism of the political developments in their country.

Maleeha Lodhi, former ambassador of Pakistan to the US, UK and permanent representative at UN, while writing about the coalition government, observed “Elsewhere when such alliances are fashioned there is almost always a common minimum programme agreed among allying parties. But when there is no effort to formulate an agreed programme of action the impression conveyed is that the alliance is all about power but bereft of public purpose.

When the  unpredictability in the coalition is combined with no direction , it raises questions,  if the government is not all about addressing the internal issues, how could it convince the foreign countries, especially the neighbours that it can stay the course in fostering good relations. The internal dynamics of such situations result in casualty of foreign policy. Since India has seen that how the internally disturbed situation in Pakistan in the past has caused harm to it, now it is very natural for it to be cautious and watch its interests. Today or tomorrow, Pakistan’s grave situation will inflict harm to India, though Delhi is in a position to tackle all issues emanating from across its western borders, yet the dangers are there nevertheless.

Arun Joshi is author of “Eyewitness Kashmir; Teetering on Nuclear War and senior journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir, writes on South Asian affairs)

Disclaimer: This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com

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PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
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PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs
PM Modi’s congratulatory message to Pakistani counterpart had more meaning than words -zero tolerance to utterances of meddling in Kashmir affairs

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