Monday, September 24, 2018

Modi's Flip-Flop Diplomacy: "Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa" to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden U-turn on foreign minister level talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly has come under fire from within India. The top Indian critics of Mr. Modi's flip-fop include former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Mr. Sharat Sabharwal, ex foreign secretary Nirupama Menon Rao and seasoned journalists Suhasini Haider and Shekhar Gupta.

Pakistan's new prime minister Mr. Imran Khan extended his hand of friendship to India that led to a mutual agreement for the two countries to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming annual UN General Assembly meeting. However, the foreign minister level meeting was canceled by India a couple of days later with a nasty message from Indian foreign ministry to Prime Minister Imran Khan alleging that he has shown his "true face" and exposed his "evil agenda". Prime Minister Imran Khan responded with an equally nasty tweet talking of "small men occupying big offices" that do not have the vision to see the larger picture" without naming Prime Minister Modi.

Nirupama Rao asked in a tweet: "Why is diplomacy seen as a cave-in when it comes to India-Pakistan relations?" And then went to say that "a meeting in New York is not an instrument of surrender".  Ex High Commissioner Sabharwal said in a tweet: "IFS (Indian Foreign Service) does not draft such election oriented statements or take such hasty flip flop decisions. Seems handiwork of 'muscular' thinking. More 'brawn' than 'brain'!" 

Ex Indian diplomats' chorus of criticism was joined by journalist Shekhar Gupta who tweeted: "Is this MEA statement drafted by the same dudes who write scripts for commando-comic channels? And seriously: can’t believe IFS drafted it. They know Imran has been PM for exactly a month, not “first few months.”" Suhasini Haider chimed in with a tweet of her own: "Clumsier still is the MEA statement. Have seldom seen such a crudely worded and badly articulated explanation from our diplomats."

The clumsy excuses like the "latest killing" along LoC in Kashmir and Burhan Wani postage stamps for cancellation have also been questioned by "The Wire Analysis" published in thewire.in.  The "latest killing" occurred before Indian government agreed to the meeting and the planned Burhan Wani stamp release was also known well in advance.

So why did it go from the hopeful meeting to saber rattling between the two South Asian neighbors? Did the Modi government cave in to pressure from within his Hindu Nationalist base? Have India's far right-wing leaders whipped up so much anti-Pakistan hysteria that they have made it extremely difficult to talk peace and friendship with the western neighbor? Has the talk of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and "boli nahi goli" (bullets, not talks) radicalized Mr. Modi's base and left little room to maneuver for his government on its Pakistan policy?

Here's a discussion on the subject:

https://youtu.be/CjG2qCp17VQ



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Conventional Military Balance

Who's India's Real Enemy? China? Pakistan?

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

US and China Vying For Influence in Pakistan

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan Disappears by 2015

MQM-RAW Link

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

7 comments:

Taqi H. said...

Pakistan unfortunately has become insignificant for India economically. They just use it to rile up Modi’s supporters just like Trump excites his base with racist bigoted tweets. IK’s tweet about Modi doesn’t help the cause either, need him to be more patient and diplomatic.

Riaz Haq said...

Taqi: "Pakistan unfortunately has become insignificant for India economically."

Pakistan possesses both carrots and sticks. It is a trillion dollar plus economy in ppp terms with over 200 million consumers. It is also armed with nuclear weapons capable of hitting deep inside India. Only a delusional Indian would consider Pakistan "insignificant"

http://www.riazhaq.com/2018/07/pakistan-gdp-growth-1960-2017-how-does.html

Riaz Haq said...

While #ImranKhan and #Modi Feud, #India and #Pakistan’s Economies Miss Out On $37 billion in Regional Trade https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-25/while-khan-and-modi-feud-india-and-pakistan-economies-miss-out via @bpolitics

India and Pakistan’s bitter rivalry is costing them $35 billion worth of annual trade, the World Bank said in a report.


Someone might want to tell the two countries’ leaders -- both of whom want to boost trade to battle widespread poverty. The World Bank called for South Asia, the world’s least economically-integrated region, to start cooperating instead of feuding. Trade between India and Pakistan, the region’s two largest economies, could jump to $37 billion from $2 billion if New Delhi and Islamabad tore down artificial barriers, last week’s report found.

But the breakdown last week of the most recent attempt by the two nuclear-armed nations to mend ties showed, once again, why South Asia -- with 33 percent of the world’s poor and 40 percent of the world’s stunted children -- is unlikely to realize those gains.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan industry is non competitive free trade means complete closure of industry..more free trade nonsense from the imf companies like Samsung Hyundai Tata reliance exist because the countries had the foresight to protect them in the initial stages..they also protect democracy by financing the political class to a degree not possible by foreign companies/ governments. It is not a coincidence that India is nearly as corrupt as Pakistan but NO Indian government has ever betrayed the country's core interests or not supported domestic industry...

Riaz Haq said...

#China's top diplomat says plots to disrupt ties with #Pakistan will fail. #CPEC #BRI #US #India http://po.st/n8y86Y via @ChannelNewsAsia

Any plots to sow discord in China's ties with Pakistan will not prevail, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Tuesday, as Beijing fends off criticism of its economic projects in Pakistan and a clampdown in China's western Xinjiang region.

China has pledged US$57 billion (£43 billion) to build power stations, major highways, new railways and high capacity ports along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road plan to further tie China to Eurasia.

The sustainability of Chinese projects has come under fresh scrutiny in recent months, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July warned that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan's troubled economy should not be used to pay off Chinese lenders. Both Beijing and Islamabad say the loans are sustainable.

China welcomes the good start made in its "all-weather" partnership with Pakistan following the election of the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan, State Councillor Wang Yi told Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

But "any conspiracies attempting to incite disharmony or interfere in China-Pakistan relations will not prevail," Wang added, without elaborating, according to a statement released by China's foreign ministry on Wednesday.

China and Pakistan should continue to make "all-out" efforts to promote the economic corridor, expand trade and reduce poverty to bring more benefits to the ordinary people of Pakistan, Wang said.

The relationship between China and Pakistan will not change, regardless of circumstantial changes, Qureshi told Wang, according to China's statement.

The corridor is "extremely important" to Pakistan and has brought "deep impact" for jobs, development and livelihood, and Islamabad will take effective measures to ensure the security of the entire route, he added.

Beijing has faced growing international criticism from rights groups, some western nations and United Nations human rights experts over its sweeping security crackdown in the far western region of Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan.

Islamabad, like most governments of majority Muslim countries, has so far remained silent on the issue, but a group of Pakistani businessmen whose Chinese wives and children have been trapped in Xinjiang are lobbying the new government to help pressure Beijing into allowing their release.

Beijing says it faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang and has rejected accusations of mistreatment.


Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-says-plots-to-disrupt-ties-with-pakistan-will-fail-10758750

Riaz Haq said...

#India FM Swaraj's #Pakistan-bashing Speech at #UNGA Aimed at #BJP Voters, Says Shashi Tharoor.“..particularly on the subject of #Pakistan rather than constructing a positive and constructive image of India in the world” #Modi https://www.news18.com/news/politics/swarajs-pakistan-bashing-speech-at-un-aimed-at-bjp-voters-says-shashi-tharoor-1893991.html

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday expressed his disappointment with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, saying the Pakistan bashing was aimed at voters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We get the sense that everything is about the political environment in India. This was a speech aimed at BJP voters and sending a message to them, particularly on the subject of Pakistan rather than constructing a positive and constructive image of India in the world,” Tharoor said.

Addressing the General Assembly on Saturday, Swaraj had lashed out at Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and blamed it for the stalled dialogue process.


“In our case, terrorism is bred not in some faraway land, but across our border. Our neighbour’s expertise is not restricted to spawning grounds for terrorism; it is also an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal duplicity,” she had said. "Pakistan's commitment to terrorism as an instrument of official policy has not abated one bit. Neither has its belief in hypocrisy,” Swaraj added


Riaz Haq said...

Does Modi Have a Pakistan Policy?

Oct 10, 2018 SHASHI THAROOR


https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/india-has-no-cohesive-pakistan-policy-by-shashi-tharoor-2018-10


Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, India’s approach to relations with Pakistan has been inconsistent and episodic, typified in the tensions at the recent UN General Assembly. In fact, Modi's government has no cohesive policy framework for dealing with Pakistan, much less a compelling vision for lasting peace.

EW DELHI – Judging by the unsavory exchanges between the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers at the recent United Nations General Assembly, the already deeply troubled bilateral relationship has reached a new low.


What immediately preceded the UN session was bad enough. Less than 24 hours after agreeing to a bilateral meeting of foreign ministers on the margins of the General Assembly, India canceled, citing the killing of three Indian police officers on their shared border and Pakistan’s issuance of a postage stamp honoring a slain Kashmiri terrorist.

But such border incidents – including both killings and retaliation – are not new; several have already occurred this year. And while the stamps were certainly an unpleasant manifestation of Pakistan’s chronic glorification of anti-Indian violence, they were issued in July, a month before Prime Minister Imran Khan – whose new government proposed the bilateral meeting – was even sworn in.

The Indian foreign ministry’s allegation that these incidents exposed Khan’s “true face” was a mere fig leaf – and a churlish one at that. In fact, with a general election six months away and five state elections set to take place before the end of this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government simply did not want a meeting with Pakistan at a politically sensitive moment.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to have decided to contest the upcoming elections on a hardline Hindutva platform. Hindutva, the ideology of Hindu chauvinism, prides itself on hostility toward Muslims in India, as well as toward Pakistan. Smiles and handshakes in New York would not have served that strategy.

This reading is reinforced by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s use of the UN podium to deliver a political campaign speech in Hindi to BJP voters back home. In it, she lambasted Pakistan and mentioned Modi twice as many times as she referred to India, on whose behalf she was supposed to be speaking.

This is not to say that Khan’s government has been a paragon of diplomacy. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has taken a bizarre and damaging approach, alleging, for example, that Pakistan is under siege from Indian “terrorism,” a phenomenon that no objective international analyst has yet recognized.

Qureshi also blames India for a 2014 attack on an army school in Peshawar that has been credibly attributed to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, a home-grown terrorist group waging war on the Pakistani government. Given that the one government the Pakistani Taliban hate more than Pakistan’s is India’s, the idea that they were doing India’s bidding on Pakistani soil is both grotesque and fatuous.

Can the supposedly responsible governments of two nuclear-armed countries sink any lower? Unfortunately, it seems entirely likely. In Pakistan, Khan’s government, anointed by the Pakistani military, will progressively consolidate power. In India, election fever is heating up under a government that has not hesitated to politicize the military and often substitutes marketing for tangible achievements.

For example, the BJP constantly boasts of cross-border raids on terrorist camps in Myanmar and Pakistan. Last month, it celebrated the anniversary of one such raid across the Line of Control in Kashmir, despite the fact that the raid had no lasting geostrategic impact. Cross-border terrorist incursions, aided and abetted by the Pakistani military, have continued in the two years since.