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

9 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.

Riaz Haq said...

Lynch mobs, “cow vigilantes” and Whatsapp: What hate looks like in #India. Reports of #hate-crime cases, many involving “cow vigilantes,” have spiked since Narendra #Modi’s party came to power in 2014. #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/reports-of-hate-crime-cases-have-spiked-in-india/?utm_term=.bc6a932f9c7d


Alimuddin Ansari, a van driver, knew the risks. Smuggling beef in India, where the slaughter of cows is illegal in some states, is dangerous work, and Ansari eventually attracted the notice of Hindu extremists in Jharkhand.

One hot day in June 2017, they tracked him to a crowded market. When he arrived with a van full of beef, the lynch mob was waiting.

Reports of religious-based hate-crime cases have spiked in India since the pro-Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, according to new data from IndiaSpend, which tracks reports of violence in English-language media. The data shows that Muslims are overwhelmingly the victims and Hindus the perpetrators of the cases reported.

The government of India does not record religious-based hate crimes as separate offenses and so does not provide data on the category. The government does monitor incidents of communal violence — such as riots between religious communities — and has data that shows such incidents rose 28 percent between 2014 and 2017.


Some of the violence in the reported cases centers on cows because Hindus — nearly 80 percent of India’s population — believe the animals are sacred, and many states have laws that protect them from slaughter. Violent “cow vigilante” groups patrol the roads, beating and killing those suspected of smuggling beef.

Modi has said that state governments should punish these vigilantes and that his administration is committed to upholding the law, but critics say his party has emboldened Hindu extremists across the country. And the data supports that trend: More than half of the cases reported this year through October came from three states in northern India — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand — where Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, enjoys strong support.

BJP spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi said the government acts promptly if tensions occur between groups. He noted that India has suffered only “minor incidents” in the last four years, and there were no large-scale religious riots.

“Our objection is that the political class and a certain section of media want to highlight the [religious] angle in order to malign the image of government,” he said. “This is not happening for the first time. It has been happening for years.”


69through October
Between 2010 and 2013, fewer than 10 cases of hate crimes appeared in English-language media in India each year.

The vigilantes had been tracking Ansari for over a week. Early on the morning of June 29, 2017, a tea stall owner who had been working as an informer for the vigilantes called with a tip that Ansari was headed to the market in a white van full of beef, according to the judge’s ruling in the case and suspects’ statements to police. Deepak Mishra, a Brahmin priest, sent a WhatsApp message to a group of vigilantes calling them to the scene, court documents show.

The vigilantes trailed the van on their motorbikes, then stopped Ansari at the crowded market, pulling him from the driver’s seat, according to court records. They beat him with bamboo sticks and a fiber rod.

Riaz Haq said...

#India analyst says: #Imran has the edge on #Modi. #Pakistan PM's offer of free, visa-less, access to #Indian followers of Guru Nanak Dev to visit one of the most important #Sikh holy places..there’s nothing on the table from Indian side. https://bharatkarnad.com/2018/12/06/imran-has-the-edge-on-modi/ via @BharatKarnad

Like the Balkans in the 1990s, South Asia, but on a far vaster and ethnically more heterogeneous scale, where every imaginable kind of people have lived, sometimes fist by jowl, but generally peaceably for millennia, and where the whole complex fell apart in 1947, on account of religion. Religious faith is a curious thing that’s often trifled with by politicians for low gain but to devastating effect. To state the obvious — it is the exploiters of religions who are the great dividers, not religions themselves. But religion does not centrally intrude into in India-Pakistan relations, in most part because, to the mortification of the Pakistan ideologues, there are now more Muslims in India. Imran Khan’s decision to construct a “Kartarpur corridor”, however, has a different religious tinge.

If you cut out the publicity-seeking hijinks of the boisterous middleman — Navjot Singh Siddhu, the sometime India opening bat and Punjab minister who’s proving a handful for chief minister Amarinder Singh, and consider Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of free, visa-less, access to Indians and followers of Guru Nanak Dev to visit one of the most important Sikh holy places, then he needs to be commended, especially because there’s nothing comparable on the table from the Indian side. It is Imran’s own unique gambit — initially referred to by a Pakistani notable as a “googly” (where Imran is concerned, can the cricketing idiom be avoided?) that elicited a like trivial Indian response — an opening move is to resolve, if possible, the tiresomely disputatious relations between India and Pakistan that have done neither country any good, but prevented both and the subcontinent from emerging as a power bloc that the world would have to reckon with.

In his a recent televised meeting with India media persons, Imran made many interesting statements, some in reply to questions. Among these in no particular order, that the Pakistan government has according to UN Resolution 1267 sanctioned Hafiz Saeed and his Lashkar-e-Tayyaba terrorist outfit, that the 26/11 case against Hafiz is in the courts and thus sub judice. When reminded about the several occasions in the past when the Kargil intrusion after Vajpayee’s Lahore visit, the 26/11 attack on Mumbai after the 2007 meeting of PMs in Sharm el-Sheikh, he brushed it off by saying simply “I am not responsible for (what happened in) the past.” And then went on to say that the two countries better move on from these incidents of the past and capitalise on the fact that “There’s no animosity between the peoples of the two countries” and reiterated that every section of Pakistani society, including the army, is on “the same page” and agrees in the consensus view that neither nuclear-armed country has an option other than to cobble together lasting peace.
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Imran, of course, is absolutely right. The 2007 plan Musharraf negotiated had three basic points. One, both sides of Kashmir would come under a commission manned by representatives from the two countries to oversee the affairs of all of Kashmir. Secondly, free travel, trade and other interaction would be permitted between the two Kashmirs, except every time Indian or Pakistani Kashmiri crossed the line he would have to have his identification papers stamped. And finally, other than police for constabulary duties there would be phased deconcentration of Indian and Pakistan army unit from their respective sides of the province.