Within a week of crying war over Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is shifting his gear now. First he spoke of “.. more Pulwama like terrorist attack” in Kashmir the day Indian Parliament annulled the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by scrapping Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Imran Khan said, “This will lead to problems in Azaad Kashmir. If they attack us, we will retaliate. Then this will further aggravate. Where is the end to this? This can lead to a conventional war,” he said.
“If a war happens, what can happen? We’ll fight till the last drop of blood… All parties will lose that war. A conventional war between two nuclear-armed nations will have global consequences,” he said, adding his country hopes for the best but is prepared for the worst.
He subsequently downgraded diplomatic mission in India by recalling its High Commissioner and suspending trade between the two countries. Pakistan also expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria in Islamabad. India had already withdrawn ‘most favoured nation’ status in trade for Pakistan. If one is to believe the words of Imran Khan the diplomatic developments are precursor to war. “This is how war begins”, Khan has said. Ministers in Pakistan went a step further demanding “attack India” on Kashmir issue.
However, within a week of making a provocative statement in the National Assembly in Pakistan, Imran Khan has come to realise that war against India will be a costly affair. It has tasted war with India earlier in 1965, 1971 and in 1999 when it suffered defeat.
Problem with Pakistan or for that matter the Military junta in that country is to save face on Kashmir. All through the years, Pakistan has been waging a proxy war against India in Kashmir by sending terrorists to attack our forces in the valley. Pakistan’s strategists on Kashmir were hoping that by creating unrest in Kashmir it will engineer a mass revolt in the valley like the mass uprising it suffered in East Pakistan in 1970-71 leading to the dismemberment of Pakistan and birth of a newly independent nation Bangladesh. This did not happen in Kashmir despite Pakistan’s best efforts. The earlier attempt to raise the Kashmir issue in the United Nations calling for a ‘plebiscite’ also did not succeed.
Pakistan has now launched new ‘warfare’ against India it is a war of propaganda. Taking refuse in ‘fake news’ and ‘fake videos’, Pakistan has claimed violence in the Kashmir valley against the government decision of scrapping of Article 370. Some foreign media have carried news of violence in the valley and some news broadcaster in England carried footage of violence.
It is more than a week since Article 370 was scrapped and there are no reports of any violence in the valley. The Governor of the state Satyapal Malik and the Director General of Police of Jammu & Kashmir said on Monday that “not a single bullet was fired in the whole of the state”. The Eid was celebrated peacefully in the state that included the valley.
The new elected regime in Pakistan under Imran Khan did not stop engineering terrorist attacks in Kashmir while talking of dialogue with India on initiating a peace process.
In the given situation when Jammu and Kashmir has become Union Territory along with Ladakh much against the pronounced stand of regional political parties like National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party supported by the Congress on abrogation of Article 370.
One wonders at the wisdom of some Congress leaders who said on Monday that “Kashmir has become another Palestine”. Mani Shankar Aiyer of Congress went on to compare the situation in Kashmir with situation obtaining in East Pakistan in 1971. P Chidambaram, another Congress leader, gave a communal colour to the government decision on Article 370 when he said that the government scrapped the special status of Jammu & Kashmir because it was a Muslim majority state. Rahul Gandhi says that “People are dying in Kashmir”. Well Rahulji must tell the number of casualties because of violence in Kashmir.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi now says that Pakistan will take the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council where it will get the support of China. On August 9 Qureshi visited Beijing and held discussion with Chinese leaders on Kashmir issue.
India has dispatched it’s Minister for External Affairs Jaishankar who was in Beijing on Monday on a two-day visit to explain India’s stand in the Kashmir issue.
Not many countries will support Pakistan in the UN which is going to hold its general meeting in September next. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the UN General Assembly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported India on its decision on Kashmir. A foreign ministry statement from Moscow said, “We proceed from the fact that the changes associated with the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is within the framework of Indian Constitution”.
White House in Washington has also made it clear that the Trump administration is not in favour of any aggression by Pakistan against India on Kashmir issue. An official statement from White House has on that revocation of Article 370 by India said, “It is an internal matter of India”.
With no support from the world leaders, Pakistan is left with mounting rhetoric on Kashmir. It will renew its attempt to create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.
Once restrictions are lifted in Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad will approach the Hurriyat Conference leaders and also PDP and National Conference leaders to foment trouble in the valley which is showing signs of returning to normalcy.
(The writer is a Member of Rajya Sabha)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.