- Emanating from a hegemonic mindset
Despite the Indian Army’s humiliating debacle in Galwan valley, the BJP government continues to provoke neighbouring countries. As Pakistan announced elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, the spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs challenged Islamabad’s right to conduct the exercise while laying claim to the region. This led to a prompt response from Pakistan Foreign Office, describing elections in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as fraudulent and conducted under the barrel of Indian occupation forces. India, the FO maintained, had turned the occupied region into the world’s largest open prison after which it had no locus standi to comment on elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
During his visit to Ladakh a day earlier Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi indulged in rhetoric, maintaining that the “enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces”, and warned that “India’s commitment to peace should not be seen as its weakness”. The Indian aggressive posture is causing concern among its neighbours.
On Friday Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over a meeting of the military high command to review the challenge emerging from the Indian side. The meeting stressed that while Pakistan believed in peaceful co-existence with its neighbours, it possessed the will and capacity to defend its people and its territorial integrity. The meeting also voiced serious concern over the continued human rights violations on the part of Indian forces in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and urged the international community to take notice.
The absurd Indian territorial claims have led China and Pakistan to exchange notes about the dangers posed to the region by Indian chauvinism. The foreign ministers of Pakistan and China have talked on phone and are likely to meet in coming days.
Pakistan is fully engaged in fighting the coronavirus. With its economy in bad shape the government needs peace to achieve its economic targets. Pakistan will not however allow India to get away with any aggressive act. In view of India’s hostile posture, Pakistan would naturally hold consultations with China, a time-tested ally. In case of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor coming under threat, Pakistan and China will jointly defend it. There is a need on the part of India to shed its hegemonic ambitions and live peacefully with its neighbours while implementing the UN resolutions regarding Kashmir.