How to give peace a chance in the region?

Lahore  - The news that India had agreed to a meeting of its External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was welcomed around the world. However, the happiness associated with it could not last long as India called off the proposed meeting the very next day. The reasons given were that Pakistan had published the postage stamps carrying images of freedom fighter Burhan Wani and others related to Kashmiris’ freedom struggle. Those stamps were published in July before the general elections. This means that the current government had nothing to do with it. Raising the issue now means it was just an excuse not to engage in any kind of dialogue.

Another objection raised by India was that its security personnel and Border Security Force soldier had been killed by entities based in Pakistan. For this Pakistan has offered to start a joint investigation into the issue and said it had nothing to do with it.

Both the Indian allegations seem to be an excuse to avoid talks that the Indian hawks believe can lead to bad results for them. The Kashmiri freedom struggle and persecution of Kashmiris is an open secret, which cannot be hidden from the world. The movement in Indian-occupied Kashmir is going from strength to strength. It is not because of external help but due to increase in Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir. The images and videos of Indian armed forces cruelties are uploaded every day on social media. India for the first time is dealing with the new What’sapp generation of young Kashmiris, who since the mainstream media does not highlight their plight have adopted the social media to highlight their cause to the world.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet shows his anger and desperation at the Indian government of Nirendra Modi. “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India…all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.” The goodwill meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session has started the chain of peace efforts. His reaction in the tweet is understandable as he had made an earnest attempt to start peace process.

The same day as the cancellation of meeting came India’s plan to celebrate ‘Marking the second anniversary of surgical strikes’ came to surface. India plans to celebrate a three-day event to mark what it calls strikes inside Pakistan in 2016. The event will not just be celebrated in New Delhi but across India in a big way. The question arises as to why did India not celebrate the first anniversary of these so-called surgical strikes, which Pakistan says did not take place.

As the Indian elections are due to take place next year Nirendra Modi is all set to use the power of hatred by creating war phobia in the country. He wants to motivate the Indian public to start hating Pakistan more and to instil in them a superiority complex that India is now powerful to cross into other countries for launching operations.

The Indian public understands his motives as he miserably failed to come up to its expectation on the economic front. To cover up his failures he has started again on the path of hatred. For many the Indian move to cancel the New York meeting comes as no surprise. India has politicised even the sports. For example it is not ready to play with Pakistan team any test cricket or one-day match even at neutral venues. What could be the reason for that stance on the part of India? Pakistan and India’s cricket teams play each other only in international tournaments.

Indian army chief Bipin Rawat perhaps following the instructions of his premier is also talking about aggression. He has threatened Pakistan of retaliation for the soldier killed and policemen killed in the occupied Kashmir. He should act as a responsible head of armed forces instead of acting like BJP security chief.

South Asia is home to nearly two billion people. War mongering will lead India to nowhere. Already the people of this region are very much behind other nations only due to this hate factor. It is said in all holy books ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’. Peace is in the interest of both Pakistan and India. The people of both countries want peace and we should all strive for it.



Emanuel Sarfraz

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt