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Yes, Mr. Bilawal  Bhutto: India of today is different – zero-tolerance to terrorism and its sponsors

29/09/2022 at 5:27 PM

Arun Joshi

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari Bhutto on Tuesday told audience at a US thinktank  Wilson Center organized event that the current day “ India is different, it is not that  what it was under ( premiership) of Manmohan Singh or even Vajpayee,”. His remarks tended to suggest that   India under Prime Minister  Narendra Modi was not inclined as much toward  Pakistan as were his two immediate  predecessors.

There are two contexts to what Pakistani Foreign  Minister said, and of course , how could have he not touched upon Kashmir while talking of India-Pakistan relations and the trajectory it has taken over the years . That apart , his  statement  and that of  other leaders in his country  , that “ India of today is different.”  Because the country under Modi’s ;leadership has vowed to “ zero-tolerance to terrorism” and validated it by its action against the terror networks operating  on the soil of the neighbouring country . Yes, that way, India is different

 Second part is quite obvious , Pakistan.

Second part is also quite obvious –  Pakistan is unable to reconcile to the progress and development that  has visited Kashmir  since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. Pakistan is unhappy with this  because the people in the Valley have tasted fruits of growing  economy , movement from  political inertia on the development sector to pro-activism . The figures of more than two million tourists , and overall normalcy are not the only things that Delhi has brought to Kashmir, it has generated new hope among the youth , told them that all this could happen and there are limitless opportunities waiting for them in their land as well as in other parts of the country . And the work is in progress.

The first thing that Bhutto should have noticed  and  recognised the fact that how the rest of the world, and even the United States , which  has been showering gits and  money on Islamabad in its renewed bid to keep  its erstwhile in its fold,  is offering advice to it in public . In diplomacy, an advice delivered in public is a call for introspection if not an outright rebuke.

US Secretary of State   Antony J Blinken  on Monday  disclosed as to what transpired in their meeting before the  joint press conference . “ We talked about the importance of managing a responsible relationship with India , and also urged our  ( Pakistani) colleagues to engage China on some of the important issues of debt relief and restructure so that  Pakistan can more  quickly recover  from the floods .”

Bilawal could not utter a word in response to the blunt advice given by the US Secretary of State, instead he profusely praised the US. In a sense, he was told that Pakistan is not behaving responsibly with  its immediate neighbour India. That was a diplomatic scolding , Pakistan was not having reply to offer.

However, when he was asked a question at the Wilson Center event, titled , “ Priorities for Pakistan Foreign Policy,” he sought to  say that “ Pakistan  cannot have  ( responsible) relations  as India is different from he previous times. This , in fact was an excuse  to avoid the responsibility . There are reasons for Pakistan to take shield behind excuses – it is unable to tame the terrorist groups  working on its soil , and all these terrorist groups , particularly Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba , have been working against India.   And its inability is of its  own making . It has helped, financed , patronized  these terror groups to launch them into the proxy war in Jammu and  Kashmir, so the state of Pakistan cannot decimate its own assets  used as foreign policy tool .

India is different . During Manmohan  Singh’s ) time , 26/11 happened and there was no counter action , and  during Atal Behari’ Vajpayee’s time his bus to Lahore was betrayed , Kargil war was launched, India did not cross the Line of Control .  After Uri terror attack on September 18, 2016, ten days later India conducted a surgical strike across the LoC, breaking the taboo of not chasing the terrorists and their patrons by crossing the dividing line between two parts of J&K.  And Pakistan’s audacity to launch a suicide bombing in Pulwama terror attack  in February was responded by perforating the terror training camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  province of Pakistan.

Terror and talks cannot go together . Pakistan has been delivered this message quite bluntly .

Modi is having a different approach toward Pakistan , Bilawal  needed to recall that how during the government of Nawaz Sharif, elder brother of his Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif , Modi had visited Pakistan . It was much more than the gesture of extending hand of friendship from this side of the border, but a real embrace for the friendly ties .

The continuing terror campaign from across the border has changed the attitudes and approach , and Pakistan is responsible for it. Modi voiced his support for the people in Pakistan marooned by unprecedented floods .

Relationship  also demands  decency in semantics . Blabbering and rants do not serve any good .

About the Author:

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, and The Tribune. He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.


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

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