Regional security still at peril | Pakistan Today

Regional security still at peril

  • Modi must be stopped from disturbing regional peace

Even after de-escalation of the situation that developed in the wake of the Pulwama incident and the criminal indiscretion by the Modi government in attacking the alleged training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed at Balakot, the danger of yet another act of madness by India does not seem to have receded. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been expressing these concerns at different forums and the Foreign Minister in a press conference on Sunday corroborated those fears by disclosing that Pakistan had credible evidence that India was getting ready for another attack which could take place between 16 and 20 April. He said that India could enact a Pulwama-like incident to put pressure on Pakistan and to find justification for the contemplated attack. He also revealed that Pakistan had already shared this information with the P-5 countries. As is evident regional peace and security are still at peril.

It is indeed a very worrying development and Pakistan has done well by sensitising the world community and the five nuclear powers about it. Pakistan showed tremendous restraint in response to the earlier Indian indiscretion which could have easily led to a full-fledged armed conflict between the two nuclear powers. The international community also played a significant role in defusing the snowballing situation. The international community also needs to act now before the Modi government makes any sinister move which threatens regional peace and security.

Pakistan, inspite of being fully capable of giving a befitting reply to India as it demonstrated during the earlier engagement, has been persistently making efforts to engage India in a dialogue to resolve the disputes between them, including the core issue of Kashmir. The new Pakistani narrative, which enjoys the unqualified support of the civil and military leadership as well as the masses, stems from the realisation and conviction that regional peace and security is absolutely imperative for strengthening the avenues of shared economic prosperity by exploiting the enormous potential that exists in the region. Politics apart, the reality is that the PML-N government, as well as the present one, have pursued this course with sincerity of purpose but these overtures have not been responded to positively by the Indian government.

Modi must rethink his strategy of maintaining a hostile posture towards Pakistan, and try to resolve all disputes between the two countries including Kashmir through dialogue

Indian PM Narendra Modi instead has chosen a path of confrontation and has persisted with anti-Pakistan actions, precipitating the hostility between the two countries and making regional peace and security hostage to his own narrow political ends. He almost brought the two countries to the edge of a possible nuclear war. It was for the first time in the history of the world that one nuclear power attacked the territory of the other. India needs to realise that the continued enmity between the two countries was mutually harmful. The war hysteria created by the Modi government in the wake of the Pulwama episode, and the contemplated move against Pakistan for political mileage in the ensuing Indian elections, may or may not produce the desired results but the eruption of hostilities again would surely put the lives of the people of the two countries at risk with all the horrifying consequences for the entire region and beyond.

The solution lies in recognising the ground realities. Shutting one’s eyes to them or trying to change them through the barrel of the gun is not going to produce any positive result. The reality is that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the Partition and its future needs to be decided in consonance with the UN resolutions. The people of Indian held Kashmir are fighting a war of freedom. This indigenous war is gaining momentum with every passing day in spite of the ruthless oppression and killing spree by the Indian security forces.

According to media reports, Modi in a message of greetings to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the eve of Pakistan Day said “I extend my greetings and best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that people of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence” Coming in the backdrop of mounting tensions between the two countries his message taken at its face value was a whiff of fresh air far removed from the madness that was displayed by India after the Pulwama incident.

There is no doubt about the fact that the leaders of both countries owe it to their posterity to live in peace with each other and make collective efforts for shared regional prosperity. Somebody has rightly said that it’s the regions that develop and attain prosperity as a whole and not the individual countries. The sentiments expressed in the message reflect the ultimate reality. Modi needs to prove it through deeds that he really wants that to happen. Merely ceremonial and diplomatic niceties are not going to trigger the required change. As is said, it takes two to tango. Both Pakistan and India need to make sincere and reciprocal efforts to create a congenial atmosphere for working together.

Modi has to accept the reality of the Kashmir dispute and the Indian obligation towards the people of Kashmir to allow them to exercise their right of self-determination as per the UN resolutions on the subject and repeated commitments given by Jawaharlal Nehru, then Indian PM. India has already accepted Kashmir being a dispute between the two countries in the Simla Agreement.

The world history is replete with examples testifying to the fact that wars and disputes have always been resolved through dialogue and peaceful means. For the sake of peace and future of the posterity, nations have even abdicated territorial claims against others which had been instrumental in the initiation of conflicts. The example of the EU is before us. Hostile nations abandoned their enmity and became partners in nudging collective and shared prosperity, as well as developing a political clout in the management of international affairs.

Modi must rethink his strategy of maintaining a hostile posture towards Pakistan, and try to resolve all disputes between the two countries including Kashmir through dialogue. The efforts to establish hegemony in the region and adopting the disposition of a war-like state is going to hurt India itself ultimately.

In view of what transpired after the Pulwama episode and the news of a possible repeat of it, it is incumbent upon the international community and the UN not to merely show concern over the developing situation but also get involved in facilitating a dialogue between the two countries at the bilateral level to resolve the mutual disputes or re-launch international efforts at the UN forum to have the Kashmir issue resolved as per the UN resolutions.