India’s latest tactic to divert focus from Kashmir

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 04:50 PM, 10 May, 2020
India’s latest tactic to divert focus from Kashmir
File photo.

It’s not an allegation levelled by Pakistan that can be rejected by anyone as politically motivated. It is an admission by a former Indian military official – that too on television – that India is working for the separation of Balochistan from Pakistan.

“Today on live television, I would like to make a claim that I am in contact with Baloch freedom fighters. I have their contact numbers in my phone and I am in touch with them every day and I tell them that entire population of India is with Baloch freedom struggle. We will support Baloch sisters and brothers in their freedom struggle”, said the shameless former official, Major Gaurav Arya (Retd).

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has rightly demanded that the civilized world must wake up and impose sanctions on India for promoting terrorism in Pakistan.

But the timing of admission is very important. It is when India is being criticized everywhere for annexing occupied Kashmir and turning the territory into the world’s biggest prison, depriving the Kashmiri people of all human rights.

India at any cost needs an issue that could divert world attention from Kashmir.

This admission is not new. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also made a reference to the “Baloch freedom struggle” in his Independence Day speech in 2016, saying the people of Balochistan, as also in Gilgit and “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”, had reached out to him.

“Today from the ramparts of Red Fort, I want to greet and express my thanks to some people. In the last few days, people of Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me, have expressed gratitude, and expressed good wishes for me. The people who are living far away, whom I have never seen, never met — such people have expressed appreciation for Prime Minister of India, for 125 crore (1,250 million) countrymen,” Mr Modi said.

The Indian premier had also referred to the Balochistan situation during his visit to Bangladesh.

Pakistan and India are enemies and will remain enemies till the Kashmir dispute is settled – and there is no such possibility in the foreseeable future.

In fact, the annexation of Kashmir in August last year further widened the already yawning gulf between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Unluckily, the international situation is such that despite all sympathies for the Kashmiri Muslims, even the Islamic countries are not taking any practical steps against India.

Other neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh are under Indian influence. Afghan leadership also feels closer to India than Pakistan, ignoring all sacrifices Islamabad has been rendering for the past four decades. Even today more than two million Afghan refugees are in Pakistan.

What is more regrettable is the role of the 200 million Indian Muslims. They are Muslims but unable to express an opinion unacceptable to the Indian government.

Without an iota of doubt, they are second rate citizens of the so-called biggest democracy and would remain salves of Hindus in future.

Chin is the only country in the region that is the best friend of Pakistan and can take on India. But although it has also a territorial dispute with India, it is trying to maintain good relations with it (possibly because of close India-US ties).

All this suggests that no change in the situation is visible and tensions in the region will persist. There are many people who don’t rule out another Pakistan-India war.