Tag Archives: pakistan

Pakistan’s Journey to Nowhere

After the 9/11, Pakistan became an American alley and started fighting, what then was called, a war against terror. In its initial years, Pak-Army conducted ‘operations’ almost with zero public support against extremism and fundamentalism. From the beginning of this mess to a significant way down, for years, no Pakistani media reported incidents of terror in the country and that’s why initial reports are only available with the international media even today when you Google it.

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Over the years, the media started reporting and public seems to stand with law and enforcement agencies in order to eradicate terrorism, but this was not the case, and agitations on Mumtaz Qadri’s execution proved it. Pakistan has lost more than 70,000 its men, women and children along with billions of dollars of resources and had reached nowhere in its combat against terrorism. Three mega developments are important to note down while examining Pakistan’s journey to nowhere.

First; the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979, which changed the very fabric of Pakistani state and society. This provided an opportunity to gain short-term benefits, for example, teaming up with the Western Block against communism and averting the potential of any revolt within the country against capitalism. Also, gaining assistances/funds and avoiding international sanctions, because of being close to the United States of America. But this brought more harm than good. The state and society radicalized during these 10 years, from 1979 to 1989, and what came out was a decision of keeping the irregulars or non-state actors as force multipliers.

Second; meanwhile, Iran had an ‘Islamic Revolution’, which triumphed the Shia political Islam over the Sunni political Islam. This started a battle of proxies, just like the US and Soviet, but definitely on a regional scale. Saudi Arabia, being the traditional rival and nucleus of the Sunni political Islam, started promoting its version of Islam, across the Muslim world and so does in Pakistan. To avert an uprising in the Kingdom, it supported Jihad in Afghanistan, later in Palestine and Kashmir.

Third; these non-state actors played a significant role in the 1989 Kashmir insurgency. Apparently it was started by a Kashmiri nationalist group called Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, better known from its abbreviation, JKLF, but when Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) took the control of the movement and started slaughtering JKLF, it showed a different picture. Pakistan opted the strategy of Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) after 1971 when the East Pakistan was separated from the rest of the country and conventional means yielded nothing in Kashmir. It worked fine but not after the 9/11. When on the pressure of the U.S Pakistan enforced a ban on Jihadist organizations they started blowing back.

The way forwarded is clear but difficult. Pakistan needs to take a fresh start but this time with educating the masses and restricting the religion to everyone’s personal life. By not prioritizing the short-term benefits over the long term goals. By behaving like a civilized nation instead of a mob of 1.8 million people. As long as the state and society are not on the same page against extremism and terrorism, Pakistan’s success will remain limited.

The author is a researcher and blogger. He has authored On Kashmir and Terrorism and can be reached at @imrankhushaal and imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

A viable solution of Kashmir dispute

Different individuals, groups, and states have the different and often contradictory understanding and stance on the Kashmir dispute. No viable solution can be presented without defining one’s own understanding of the issue. If the Kashmir dispute is seen in its original form it is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the territory of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Now the question what comprised the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir can be answered from the Treaty of Amritsar. According to which it was comprised of present day AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, Aksai Chin and Trans Karakorum Tract. In other words, it was consist of former states of Burushal, Dardistan, Boloristan, Ladakh, Purig, Kishtwar, Duggart, Poonch and Kashmir, and it remained as it till 1947, the time of the partition of India. Now seeing Kashmir as a whole, demands considering its every part a disputed one including Gilgit-Baltistan; some advocate as Pakistani part and Ladakh; sometimes considered a part of India.

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After defining Kashmir, one needs to know what the dispute is and what proposed solutions are already there. The Kashmir dispute emerged after the partition of the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan opted for a communal approach to the solution of the problem whereas India opted for a legal solution. Pakistan claimed that the Kashmir is a Muslim majority region so should be incorporated in Pakistan as per the division formula. But the division formula was exclusively for the regions directly colonized by the British so the Kashmir being a princely state enjoyed exceptional status. The Maharaja Hari Singh signed a standstill agreement, to remain independent and never joined India or Pakistan, until a tribal invasion on 22 October 1947 from Pakistan, which forced him to seek help from India.

Since the cease-fire went into action on January 1, 1949, one-third of Jammu & Kashmir falls under Pakistan’s control and the rest of Kashmir is being controlled by India. Both, India and Pakistan have made Kashmir an existential issue. India wants to keep it to justify its showcase secular democracy, and Pakistan wants to get it to prove its two-nation theory. But neither India nor Pakistan is prepared to give up its stance on Kashmir.

Pakistan’s official position on Kashmir states that Maharaja Hari Singh’s accession of Jammu and Kashmir was not supported by the people of Kashmir so it has no value whereas India’s official position on the Kashmir dispute states that Kashmir is an integral part of India and accession is final and legal. Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is unfinished agenda of the partition and the promised plebiscite was never held by India. India on the other hand, says elections are a substitute for the plebiscite. Pakistan claims that Kashmir is its jugular vein and it runs in its blood whereas India claims that Kashmir is its integral part. Pakistan maintains that the solution to the dispute requires a unitary plebiscite as per United Nations Resolutions for the whole of J&K under international auspices whereas India maintains that the will of the people does not need to be ascertained only through a plebiscite. Democratic elections are a recognized means of ascertaining the wishes of the people and the people of the State of J&K have repeatedly participated in such elections. According to Pakistan, the Mujahideen who fight for their suffering Muslim brethren in Kashmir may cross the LoC, and it cannot guarantee an end to all infiltration whereas according to India all would be well in Kashmir but for cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. According to Pakistan, India is involved in Human Rights Violations in Kashmir whereas according to India Human Right Violations by the State are negligible and sufficient judicial mechanisms are in place to investigate such allegations. Pakistan should relinquish control of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is not Azad Kashmir.

To end the First Kashmir War, the United Nations intervened and through its Security Council passed resolutions, and called for a cease-fire, followed by the withdrawal of security forces, and an a plebiscite for Kashmiris to decide whether they join India or Pakistan, which will be monitored by international supervisors. The cease-fire resolution was implemented, but neither India nor Pakistan withdraw its forces. So a plebiscite was never taken place.

Pakistan and India fought in 1947, 1965 and then in 1999 over Kashmir. Now both have nuclear capability and any intended or accidental incident can bring the whole south Asia under threat. The Kashmir dispute is now a nuclear flash-point and needs more attention than ever. But as from the hard positions of the two countries it is evident that neither India nor Pakistan would retreat from its historical positions, so what is needed is an innovative and creative solution to the Kashmir dispute. A solution which doesn’t make India or Pakistan felt compromised or defeated.

The dispute over Kashmir, if seen as a territorial or an ideological dispute would not be easy to solve because neither India nor Pakistan can divide Kashmir alone. So there’s a need to understand that the people of Kashmir are the central to any resolution of the conflict. As this dispute is more about their fundamental rights and future than about territory and Ideology for India and Pakistan.

As there is least possibility of immediate breakthroughs as well as of ultimate solutions (e.g. proposed by the United Nations), so India and Pakistan need to consider creative but viable smaller solutions which can (step by step) lead to the ultimate resolution.

We proposed that a third party is crucial in moving toward any viable solution for the dispute. This third party must be the people of Kashmir who would participate through their elected representatives.

Legislative assemblies in Pakistan-administer Kashmir (in AJK and G.B) and state assembly in Jammu and Kashmir don’t have a real mandate of the Kashmiri people. On Pakistani side no Member of a Legislative Assembly in AJK or G.B can qualify without demonstrating allegiance to Pakistan and on Indian side on one can qualify without demonstrating allegiance to the Indian Union. These legislative assemblies which are controlled from New Delhi and Islamabad need to replace by the “Representatives Assemblies”. Assemblies comprised of representatives of the people of Kashmir from all parts of the state. Elections for these representative assemblies must be free and open to the public and international organizations. No representative must be disqualified on not alleging to India or Pakistan.

These assemblies after their fair formation would combine and merge together to make a Greater Representative Assembly (GRA) for all the people of Kashmir, with the mandate to negotiate with India and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the line of control would make flexible and the people to people contact through social and economic activities, would enhance. On the social side, people must permit for family reunions and on the economic side, they must permit to start the business on either side of Kashmir. Subsequently, the region would demilitarize and militant organizations would cease to exist. Refugees from all parts of the world would allow returning to their homes and the international human rights commission would make responsible for monitoring Human Rights situation. International organization and companies would allow starting development projects. And political parties would allow opening their offices in all parts of Kashmir.

The writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad. He blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com and can be reached on twitter at @imrankhushaal and on email at imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

Will JKLF rise again?

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was the first Kashmiri nationalist party which started militant struggle against the Indian occupation of former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1989, an insurgency led by JKLF gripped Srinagar and soon there were blood and bullets everywhere. Kashmir has witnessed worse bloodshed of the century in the following years. Before the end of 20th century in less than ten years from 1989 to 1998, more than 70,000 Kashmiris were killed either by the militants or by the Indian forces. JKLF vanished from the scene as quickly as it appeared in 1989. Within two or three years its militants were killed in clashes with rival militant groups, notably Hizbul Mujahidin (HM) or captured/killed by the Indian forces. It lost weapons supply and legitimacy, as the movement it started for a sovereign (Khud-mukhtar) Kashmir later became “Holy Jihad” to win Kashmir for Pakistan.

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Recent developments in Pakistan particularly initiation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has sparked a new wave of nationalism across the Jammu and Kashmir. China’s pressure on Pakistan to give Gilgit-Baltistan a legal status has opened a new debate in Pakistan, India and defiantly all parts of Kashmir. Kashmiri nationalist parties are busy in holding all parties conferences and organizing seminars throughout the world on the future status of Gilgit-Baltistan and its impact on Kashmir. JKLF is also doing the same and has also inaugurated its Gilgit-Baltistan office. So the question is; can JKLF rise again, and what it needs to do so?

Well, the short answer is; yes it can, and it needs what it lacked at the first place. And the long answer is; the JKLF can rise again and it needs a secular, non-militant, and indigenous movement against all kinds of occupation and all the occupiers, from all parts of Jammu and Kashmir, with a clear plan and future program, starting from the demilitarization and unification of Jammu and Kashmir. JKLF lacked a secular face in 1989, it was, to a great extent, religious and so soon replaced by other religious groups with a variant ideology. It was militant, and soon it ran out of weapons supply. It has indigenous support but not enough from the local people against the local occupier. It has only rebelled against the Indian occupation, whereas it wanted a free and sovereign Kashmir, free from all kinds of occupation. It has a concentrated insurgency only in one part of Kashmir and other were not mobilized. And finally, it lacked a political program. A program necessary for the demilitarization and the unification of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

JKLF or any nationalist party for that matter can only rise through a non-militant, secular, and indigenous support. Like every other nationalist party, JKLF lacks what is necessary to win Gilgit-Baltistan. It might have local supporters but not enough. And the biggest challenge is to win parties rallying for independent Gilgit-Baltistan. They are fed-up of Azad Kashmir and make no distinction between Azad Kashmir based nationalist or pro-Pakistan parties.  For them, Azad Kashmir has ignored them and Pakistan has exploited them for seventy years and now they want independence from Pakistan and don’t want to link Gilgit-Baltistan with the Kashmir dispute.

Obviously, they have their opinion but it is history that has linked Gilgit-Baltistan with Kashmir. Azad Kashmir based nationalists have a different version of history and Gilgit-Baltistan based nationalists seem to have a different version. One possible way to win them over is; get them on board for the demilitarization and the unification of Jammu and Kashmir, to create United States of Kashmir, by uniting all the previous states of Kashmir, with a right to exist separately. And this is one of the ways, that JKLF or any other Kashmiri nationalist party can adopt to rise or rise again.

The writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad. He blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com and can be reached on twitter at @imrankhushaal and on email at imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

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China: Pakistan’s friend or foe

The rhetoric of China-Pakistan friendship is endless but more in Pakistan. In 2013 90% Pakistani said China is our friend. So Pakistan is the world’s most pro-China country. It is almost a custom to paint newspapers with Chinese red and Pakistani green flags in a way that they show two hands are shaking and a friendship is occurring. The more TV plays, “Pak Cheen Dosti Zindabad”, (long live Pak-China friendship), the more Chines companies penetrate into Pakistan from Gwadar to Gilgit and from Karachi to Kashmir. But have we ever tried to dissect Pakistan-China friendship, I believe never because that has become a taboo. Let’s dissect Pak-China friendship.

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Pakistan has faced so many challenges since it was created in 1947, and it is still a mess. These challenges can be categorize into three broad categories. Natural disasters, Wars/Conflicts, and Poverty/Crime.

  1. Natural disasters; Chines economy is one of the world’s largest economies. It was capable of providing maximum after every natural disaster but it has provided minimum or symbolic. In 2005’s devastating earthquake countries like Cuba and Vietnam came to rescue the victims and later offered medical scholarships to the people of effected areas. Where was Friendly China?
  2. Wars and Conflicts; 1948’s war led to 1965’s and 1965’s war led to 1971’s, when Pakistan lost East Pakistan. Where was friendly China? If Pak-China friendship was real and on ground, not only in Pakistani heads, India would have considered that, but she did not. And most importantly what are Chinese efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute? Suggesting Pakistan to annex Gilgit-Baltistan for its investment or for selling guns and missiles?
  3. Poverty; How many chines NGOS are there working to end poverty and poverty related problems of Pakistan? Has china offered anything to Pakistan to combat terrorism other than arms and weapons? Perhaps china has nothing in this regard other than weapons but those who are offering free education and secularization of Pakistani society are not Chines.

Economic Expansion looks prime focus of China in 21st-century. It has expanded into as far as Africa and Latin America and as near as Pakistan, Iran and India. But the question is on what cost? Take Pakistani example and you’ll astonish that 21st century Chines Capitalism is more brutal than 17th-century Western Capitalism. Karl Marx called western capitalism, a “vampire-like” if he has seen China he would say worse than vampires because it has undermined people’s aspirations, history, culture, politics and everything one could believe in, just to sell its Barbies and second class smart phone batteries. It has mode Pakistan withdraw from its historical stance on Kashmir. China to invest 46 billion $, has pushed Pakistan really hard. Pakistan under Chines pressure has gone so far that it has tried to declare Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province.

China has not only pressurize Pakistan to give a legal status to Gilgit-Baltistan but it has also sparked a new anti-Punjab fire in Khabir Pakhtoonkhuwa (KP). If Chinese investment can divide Kashmir or one part of Gilgit-Baltistan from its other parts it can also divide Pakistan. Sindh and Baluchistan already have separatists but KP will be a greater challenge for the federal government if China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), doesn’t satisfy its government and people.

Pak-China friendship has benefited Pakistan but it has more potential to harm than benefit. It has certainly benefitted China as she got Aksai China and Trans-Karakoram Tract and now going to have Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan needs to understand China’s 21st-century invasion through economics. If China doesn’t want or can’t help Pakistan to solve the Kashmir dispute, it is impotent in helping Pakistan to fight against natural disasters and terrorism, it can’t help in elevating people’s life in Pakistan and has only there to worsen Pakistan’s geopolitics and offer cyber-crime law, then China is not a friend to Pakistan but a foe.

The writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad. He blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com and can be reached at @imrankhushaal or imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

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Pakistan’s Failure in Combating Terrorism

Pakistan has been fighting against terrorism since 9/11, 2001, when the United States of America was attacked by Al-Qaeda. Though its decision was hesitant and because of American pressure, it fought against terrorists and is still fighting. In its combat against terrorism, Pakistan has lost more than 70,000 lives, and still continuing, but it is nowhere near ending terrorism.

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Pakistan’s inability or unwillingness is evident from the time it has taken in formulating its (first) National Action Plan, (NAP), to eradicate terrorism, which is more than 14 years. Before the formulation of such a plan, many debated “who is a terrorist”, “who is a mujahid”, “who should be called a martyr and who should not be”, from TV talk shows to all fields of life. And even after a year of NAP, such debates have not lost their heat.

In his speech, before waging the “war on terror”, President Bush told his citizen that, Why the United States of America was attacked, who carried this attack, and what the U.S. is going to do? Unlike the United States, no one tried to give a clear (even false) explanation of “why Pakistan is under attack’, and who is carrying these attacks. Perhaps there was no explanation at all. So, what happened, after every terrorist attack there came different distorted explanations, which painted an elusive and ambiguous picture, just like an abstract painting, to which anyone can attach any meanings. This picture was more or less like this; “no Muslim can kill Muslims so this must be done by non-Muslims”. “India doesn’t want peace in Pakistan so it must be done by RAW”, “America is behind it”. “Israel has done this hideous thing”. So on and so forth.

This indicates an extremist mindset which is an outcome of decades of radicalization and Islamization of political issues in Pakistan. Though it has started from 1949’s Objectives Resolution but till General Zia’s era religion has a relatively lesser influence on politics. In General Zia’s time, everything was Islamized to fight against the Soviets, which gave enormous power to religious parties and groups. From 1979 to 1989, these ten years, when a holy war was fought in Afghanistan, all most all of Pakistan was militarized and radicalized. In 1989, Soviet’s defeat triumphed extremism. In the same year, the insurgency in Kashmir was affected by the overflow of extremism. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front’s (JKLF) militant struggle for the right of self-determination and independence got Islamized and soon became a Jehad for the incorporation of Kashmir into Pakistan.

Islamization of the Kashmir dispute strengthened the religious parties and weaken democratic institutions. It paved a way for military coups and overthrown the elected governments. Religious parties supported military regimes and, military regimes in return protected their interests. Extremism created a war loving mindset which was not favorable for political leaders but military dictators.

In his efforts to solve the Kashmir dispute, General Musharraf had gone one or two steps away. Retreating from the decade-old stance on Kashmir was his one the biggest mistakes, which led to the start of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan and after that there frequency and intensity increased with every passing day.

Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism are linked with its people’s mindset. Terrorism is an ideology and needs to be replaced by a non-terrorist ideology. It is a narrative which needs to be challenged with a counter-narrative. Pakistan has conducted a handful military operations in its Tribal areas, which are being considered successful but it has failed on the ideological front. Failure in preventing a terrorist attack is not just Pakistan’s inability but failure in fulfilling what is needed to be fulfilled after an attack is its specification.

It has failed in bringing madrasa and syllabus reforms. It has failed in implementing NAP’s major portion. And more importantly, it has failed in countering the narrative of terrorists which has given them an advantage of recruiting more and more people for their ranks.

Militancy is not a solution to any of Pakistan problems and certainly not to the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan needs to de-Islamized the Kashmir dispute, which will strengthen its democratic institutions and will reduce support for religious and militant groups and leaders. This could reduce the number of extremist minds in the country. When there will be considerable voices against homegrown terrorists, extremism will then be challenged on the ideological level. And only then a counter-narrative can be successful.

Writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad. He blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com and can be reached at @imrankhushaal or imrankhushaalraja@gmail.com

ISIL in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan

This debate on the presence of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Indian subcontinent is heated up.  Last year India caught some youth waving ISIL’s flags in Srinagar, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where anti-Indian Kashmiri were agitating against the Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. This year, Pakistan has arrested more than one hundred different suspects on the basis of their allegiance to ISIL from different cities of the country. Whereas in Bangladesh, ISIL has already taken the responsibility of several terrorist attacks. So the question is, are Indian, Pakistani and Bengali ‘Muslim’ joining ISIL ranks?

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A study, Who Becomes a Terrorist? Poverty, education, and the origins of Political Violence, published in 2011, by Alexander Lee, in World Politics, International Relations’ journal, tries to find the answer of this question. Who becomes a terrorist? How terrorism is related to poverty and education and how non-violent politics turns into violent one.

Generally, it is considered that poverty and lack of education lead toward terrorism and more poor and illiterate people become terrorists. If this is the case Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, who have nearly half of their population below poverty line, are in real trouble. But despite all the rhetoric about poverty and terrorism of government officials and public figures social sciences’ research has shown that this is not the case.

If you take “terrorism” as a skill, a mean to gain a political aim, like Alexander Lee, you might note that extremely poor and illiterate people don’t have necessary resources to learn it. This skill cost many and time to learn, which the poor don’t have any. And if you take terrorism as one shape of politics, you might note that, people who cannot afford mainstream politics go for “terrorist politics” the violent politics.

Lee has taken the partition of Bengal (1907) as a case study, where many Bengali nationalists started the political resistance against the British decision of partition. He noted that those who were relatively poor and poorly educated started taking part in violent politics. They would plant a bomb, rob a local landlord and do some other publicity gaining act.

Non-violent politics requires more resources than the violent politics. People who go mainstream, have resources to learn mainstream politics as a skill, but People who opt for terrorism, have least resources, as terrorism doesn’t require more resources to adopt it as a skill. Education plays an important role, but maybe after a qualitative point. As Alexander Lee has noted that among those Bengalis who were involved in violent politics and were also involved in daicoties, those who passed their B.A degree left daicoties and robberies.

So if we take terrorism as kind of politics, we could say, failure to take part in mainstream politics can push one to take part in violent politics. Or failure in gaining what one seeks important to gain through non-violent politics can lead to violent politics. Another example from the colonial India where Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah adopted the non-violent politics, because they were sure that their aim which initially was not of throwing the British out of the Indian subcontinent is achievable through it. Whereas many Muslim, Hindu and Sikh socialists adopted the violent politics because they were sure that their aim of “purna swaraj” “the Complete Independence” cannot be achieved without violence, notably, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar.

Currently, Bangladesh is taking hard measures to deal with Jamaat-i-Islami, but fail to deal with extremism. Extremists have killed a number of bloggers and social activists in Bangladesh. Also, a considerable number of attacks were claimed by ISIL in Bangladesh. India was under attack in the last week when its Airbase at Pathankot got a hit from the terrorists after Mumbai and many other attacks. Pakistan has lost more than 60,000 people in the war against terror and still at losing.

Talking from the state’s point of view, India and Pakistan are really strong nuclear states and both have huge militaries for their defence. Bangladesh is not nuclear capable nor has a larger army as compared to India and Pakistan but still have a better defence system as compared to the countries where ISIL currently operating. Talking from political perspective Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are the countries where taking part in the mainstream politics costs numerous resources which people with limited wealth and poor education cannot afford. The situation such as this can push a number of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani extremist minds to adopt terrorism as mean to fight whatever they want.

Writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad and blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com go say hello @imrankhushaal

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Modi’s impromptu visit to Pakistan

On 25-th December when many were busy in Christmas and others were observing Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Birthday here in Pakistan “a few” were celebrating Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s birthday on his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa’s wedding. On the same day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Lal Modi paid a surprise visit to his Pakistani counterpart. He flew from Kabul and landed at Lahore with his 120 personals team, stayed for a while and flew away. Modi’s visit brought a smile on many faces, but it also disturbed a number of people and parties. Jammat-i-Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen staged protests wherever they managed on short notice and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf tweeted, I mean they tweeted a lot on #Modi.

1290Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) talks to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during his visit to Lahore.

Right after his departure, strong jolts of the earthquake were felt throughout the region from Afghanistan to Dehli, and many has related them with Modi’s “evil” nature. Notably, Dr. Moed Pirzada a Pakistani anchor at Dunya TV who tweeted “Narendra Modi let whole of Pakistan dance into a ‘Simple Harmonic Motion’ leading to worst Earthquake; God, this was literally hell!” upon which he was called a moron and an idiot, by some two hundred people out of 445 retweets. Anyways that was not something I wanted to talk about.

I want to talk about, why Modi has visited Pakistan “after threating Pakistan to holding hands with Nawaz” as Dawn calls it. A lot of people are talking about the reasons which compelled Indian Prime Minister Narendra Lal Modi to visit Pakistan and many believe he has visited Pakistan because of his deteriorating reputation in India and to give a message to multinational corporations; interested in investing in India or already have invested, that he is not a failure on diplomatic front and India is as safe for investment as any other developed democratic country in the world.

I agree to this, but this is not the only thing for which he has visited Pakistan after threating Pakistan in 2011, and taking a real hard line against it. He has visited because of some more serious issues, which involve the US, China, Russia, Pakistan, India and Syria in a way. Before reaching Kabul, on Thursday, he was in Russia as Indian Express has reported that, “As Prime Minister Narendra Modi commences a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for the annual summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, New Delhi is expected to focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, defence and trade.” Terrorism, defence and trade are points of agreement between India and Russia and fields where they are cooperating and will enhance their cooperation in the future. On the other hand cooperation and expected cooperation between Russia and China in combating terrorism in Syria and Trade, has also seen. China has also invested in India and going to invest more. And same is the case with Pakistan. So the trade is common between Russia, China, India and Pakistan.

China is going to invest more than $46 billion In Pakistan according to different media reports. This mega venture involves Kashmir in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and China’s worry isn’t something easily fixable. Pakistan and India has a dispute over Kashmir and Kashmir includes Gilgit-Baltistan, the region which connects Pakistan with China. Despite the demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan could not incorporate it as a province and has granted a semi-provincial level, which is ‘okay’ for administrative purpose but didn’t fix China’s reservations. China’s worry is real and genuine and contestation on Kashmir could cause her serious damages in the future. So to be on the safe side, China wants Pakistan to declare Gilgit Baltistan’s status which is not possible until Pakistan and India reach some consensus.

Here comes the assumption part as we don’t know what is really happening behind the scene. So it is possible that China could have talk to Russia to talk to India or it could have directly talked to India to reach an understanding with Pakistan, as it (China) has talked to Pakistan. Pakistan’s green signal can be seen from two statements of past couple of days, first, “Pakistan Joins Russia, Condemns Any Attempts to Topple Assad in Syria, Pakistan opposes any efforts to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Pakistan’s foreign secretary said on Wednesday.” Second, “Issues are resolved with talks, not war: Pervaiz Rashid, He told China had suggested the same solution for Kashmir dispute which it used for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.”

So Indian Prime Minister Narendra Lal Modi’s Pakistan visit was not just to eat Pakistani Prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s birthday cake or to greet Mehrun Nisa or even rebuild his damaged reputation in his country but it was “supposedly’ also about a step towards some game-changing phenomena. It could also be towards solving or further complicating Kashmir Issue. What it was really about, let’s wait and see.

The writer is pursuing his MPhil at Iqra University Islamabad, blogs at Kashmirica.wordpress.com and can be followed @imrankhushaal

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