South Asian scenario
N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: The Indian Prime Minister Modi and his notorious Gang of 4 (Modi, Doval, Shankar and Shah) team has now abundant reasons to suppurate in private for the prime reason that the ace cricketer Imran Khan has hit yet another ‘sixer’ when he (Imran Khan) quite unpredictably announced the publication of the new political and the administrative map of Pakistan.
In doing so, the world-class cricketer and the Oxonian graduate Imran Khan, stunned not only the leaders of the South Asian nations but also sent appropriate signals to whom “it really matters since the partition days”.
The world community Nepal included was taken by disbelief when all of a sudden this new political map, in fact which was long overdue, was uncovered by the Pakistan chief of the executive with due sanction from the entire Pakistani political sector.
It must have been “bolt from the blue” to the Gang of 4 in the neighborhood.
The map enjoys the unconditional support from the Cabinet and the political segment plus the common population at large.
And this, must have made several Indian politicos including the howling Godi-Media to think as to how this could happen all of a sudden?
The Gang of 4, (all of them happen to be fundamentalist and lynching specialists -Hindus) must have several sleepless nights following the proclamation of the new map from across the fitting and matching bordering nation.
The Pakistani bombshell had a clear political message underneath to the nauseating neighbor and also an event to revel for the people of the country which published the map.
The fact is that the most naughty spy agency of the Indian dominion too could not guess as to what was under the sleeve of Islamabad for all along the last fortnight prior to the publication of the new authentic cartographic sketch.
The unveiling of the new political map, Pakistan as a matter of fact has asserted its longstanding position on Kashmir and Sir Creek disputes.
The map issued by Pakistan also includes some portions of the erstwhile State of Junagarh in Gujarat.
The comedian PM Modi while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Gujarat massacre took place which took thousands of Minority Muslim lives.
A beaming Prime Minister Khan said that “It is a historic occasion. The political map reflects our national aspiration and supports our principled stance on Kashmir dispute”.
PM Khan declared that “it would now be the “official map” after being approved by the federal cabinet, which would be the one used in schools and colleges across the nation”.
The map clearly identifies occupied Kashmir as a “disputed territory” and states that the final status will be decided in line with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
The new map is subject to the United Nations Security Council decisions that may come at a later date.
Speaking on the long standing Kashmir issue, PM Khan said, “Let me make it clear once again that there is only one solution to Kashmir, that solution is in the United Nations Security Council resolutions which gave the people of Kashmir the right to decide by vote that they want to go with Pakistan or India”.
He said that the steps taken by India on August 5/2019 shall never lead to the solution to the Kashmir dispute.
This does mean that PM Khan has in his own way pressed the otherwise dormant and presumed to be India bend UNSC to take up the Kashmir issue as per its commitments made several times in the past and then finalize the status of Kashmir after the plebiscite is over. Khan thus honors the supremacy of the UNSC decisions to which unfortunately India prefers to reject or ignore summarily.
To recall, the UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of mostly Muslim majority Kashmir now under the illegal occupation of India.
Scholars and media commentators around the world have taken the Indian occupied Kashmir as the largest open air jail in the contemporary world.
But yet India doesn’t feel even a bit of shame.
The map rightfully discards the unilateral and illegal steps taken by India on August 5 last year and has already obtained legal (constitutional) status in Pakistan.
This is a big triumph for Pakistan and conversely an equally big suitable blow to the “expansionist” regime of the South Asia’s recognized hegemon controlled by four mentally deranged personalities.
Reacting to Pakistan’s issuing of the new political map, India has called it an “exercise in political absurdity”.
The frustrating Indian rebuttal further states that “We have seen a so-called political map of Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan. This is an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian State of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh”.
A fitting rebuttal to the Indian reaction was instantly given by the spokeswomen of the Pakistan foreign ministry.
In doing so, Pakistan is now tentatively the leader of the South Asian nations. The SA leadership has now slipped from the hands of India and gone to the pocket of Pakistan. With this Pakistan’s South Asian (at least) responsibilities have gone up. Pakistan needs to live up to the new responsibility, observers hope. A new feather in the Pakistani cap.
Interestingly the flood of releasing new political and administrative map in South Asian countries began with the expansionist India when it released a map incorporating neighboring country’s landmass and forcibly claimed that the incorporated area rightfully belonged to the Indian regime to which it was definitely not.
The Indian map forcibly gulped large Nepali landmass as well.
It was definitely a cartographic aggression on Nepal.
Keeping the pain inside the heart, an ever Independent and sovereign Nepal (never a slave) too published its political and the administrative map on May 20 this year much to the dismay of the coercive and the noted interventionist India and since then Nepal is being harassed by the Modi sponsored media and the paid politicos of the nation across the border in the South.
Domestic paid agents with clear India bend are too active and teasing PM Oli.
The coercion from India is such that the freshly gone mad Indian foreign minister S. Shankar claimed that Lord Buddha was born in India.
Reports say that he is being sent to Ranchi (Mental hospital) for the treatment of his mental disorder that he has apparently developed after the humiliating Galwan debacle.
China scares him even in dreams. His recovery may take some time longer than Modi and his team has expected.
“Pakistan’s new map –unveiled almost exactly a year to the day since India’s unilateral decision to strip the part of Kashmir it controls of its semi-autonomy –extends Islamabad’s territorial claim north-eastward up to the Chinese held Karakoram Pass”, writes Tom Hussain for the Week in Asia dated August 6/2020.
Unveiling the map, PM Khan also told the national population that “Their right (Kashmir people) to self-determination given to them by the world community, has still not been awarded”. We will do political struggle, we don’t believe in military solutions. We will remind the UN again and again that you had made a promise [to the people of Kashmir] which you did not fulfill.”
Presenting the changes made in the map, the foreign minister Shah Mhd. Qureshi said that administrative maps have been introduced before, but this was the first time that a map reflected the aspirations of the people.
The foreign minister added that it had also been made clear that Siachen is a part of Pakistan. “Through the map we are challenging their illegal occupation and claiming our right to the area,” he said.
He maintained that Pakistan had also rejected India’s claims about Sir Creek in the map. “We have said that our border is towards the eastern bank; India had claimed that it goes towards the west,” he said, adding that by doing so, India was trying to capture several acres of the countries “exclusive economic zone”.
Close on the heels of the release of the new political map in Pakistan, the United Nations Security Council has taken up the issue of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
This is important and significant also.
The J&K issue has been on agenda of the UN for all along seventy years.
The UNSC under the UN Charter has not only the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security but also of ensuring the just implementation of its resolutions.
A beaming Pakistani foreign minister said on August 5/20202 that “India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 last year have sought to change globally recognized disputed status and alter the demography in illegally India Occupied J&K. Despite India’s lobbying attempts, the fresh deliberations reflect international community’s grave concern for peace, security and Human Rights”.
He was referring to the fresh UNSC meet which discussed the issues pertaining to the J&K.
The foreign Minister also challenged the Indian Prime Minister Modi by stating that “If you are confident about your Kashmir policy, address the Kashmiri population in Muzaffarabad and also let PM Khan address an event on Kashmir in Sri Nagar”.
Adding timely strength to the voice of the population living in the India’s illegally occupied Kashmiri population, the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has “urged the international community to take notice of the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir”.
He said that the Kashmiris are living “under siege by nine hundred thousand occupation forces of the Indian regime”.
Addressing a ceremony to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir in Kuala Lumpur, Mahathir termed the Indian action of abrogating article 370 and 35A as “illegal”.
Khalid Rehman, the executive President of Islamabad based think tank, the Institute of Policy Studies said the other day that “Pakistan must be a bit more aggressive on its principled Kashmir stance”.
Rehman hastens to add that “Pakistan has a very strong case as Kashmiris themselves are not ready to accept the Indian rule and so we should be blatant in telling the world community that all the options are on the table”.
Internationals relations expert in the South Asian region wonder as to why it took Islamabad an entire year to conjure up a map which clearly delineates its international boundaries?
The South Asian political brains other than from India opine that Imran Khan could have shown it (the new map) to the world when he presented the Pakistanis view forcefully at the United nations general Assembly last year in September”.
In the meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) General Secretary Molvi Bashir Ahmed while talking to media the previous day in Sri Nagar welcomed the renaming of the Kashmir Highway as Srinagar High Way by the government of Pakistan which, according to the Molvi Bashir “exhibits the commitment to the cause of liberating the India occupied territory from the Indian subjugation”.
The APHC has also welcomed the publication of the new political map of Pakistan which shows the India occupied territory as integral part of Pakistan.
As back as in July 16/20202, Rachel Hopkins, a Labor MP for Luton South, UK, said inside the British Parliament that “It is nearly a year since the Indian government revoked Article 370, Human Rights have been under assault in Jammu and Kashmir and violence has led to the needless deaths of many innocent people. The United Kingdom Government must schedule a debate on the HR abuses in Kashmir as soon as possible”.
Similarly, the Gulf News dated August 5/20202 in its opinion column bluntly reiterates that “for Modi’s politics, peace and stability in Kashmir do not bring benefits, however, the violence and despair of the Kashmiri Muslims do. That is the prime reason Narendra Modi is celebrating first anniversary of his repeal of Article 370 at Ayodhya by formally starting the construction of Ram temple, another key Hindutva project”.
Prof. Ashok Swain too subscribes to this view.
The news opinion carried by the Gulf News makes it precisely clear that the Kashmiri issue and the demolition of the Babri mosque and the subsequent construction of the Ram temple on August 5 by PM Modi has been taken seriously by the Muslims countries in and around the Gulf.
But the Arab world is yet to demonstrate its desired and appropriate brotherly feelings/sentimental attachments towards the plight of the Muslims both in India and in the illegally occupied Kashmir.
Does this mean that the Muslims in the Arab world remain scared of the Indian regime or is it the commercial transactions with India that restricts their open hearted support in favor of their own Muslim brothers held captive by the Indian military forces?
Perhaps it is this reluctance what is being barefacedly exhibited by the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) based in Saudi Arabia in urgently convening the OIC meet of the Foreign Ministers to discuss the Kashmir issue prompted the Pakistani Foreign Minister to challenge the OIC (tentatively controlled by the arrogant Saudis) that if the organization fails in calling the meet then his country will have no option other than to call a separate meet of some “important” Muslim countries who possess soft corner for the Kashmiri Muslims.
Look how he challenges the Saudi based the OIC: “I am once again respectfully telling the OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation, And if you can’t convene the desired meet then I will be compelled to ask PM Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris”.
The OIC’s reluctance is presumably due to the high handedness of the Saudi regime which makes the OIC to dance as per its tune.
“We have our own sensitivities. You have to realize this. Gulf countries should understand the Pakistani desire”, Qureshi told during a TV talk show according to the Dawn newspaper.
At the moment, Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia is under tremendous strain.
The Saudis wish to see Pakistan to act as per their instructions.
They wish to “severe ties with Iran and Qatar; Appease the USA by abandoning China and forget Gwadar; No more hobnobbing with Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia; Roll back the CPEC; No trade exchanges with rival Iran.
If not then pay back the loan money with 3.2%. A Muslim nation asks interests? This should be absurd but true.
Undeniably, the Indian regime has brainwashed the Saudi Royalties. But yet, Nepali observers advise Pakistan not to distance itself with the Saudi rulers for the moment and act diplomatically so that a win-win situation for both persists.
Financial crunch versus prestige issue may hit Pakistan hard but it is here the Pakistani diplomacy shall be tested.
FM Qureshi must prove now his diplomatic intelligence and wisdom that he has in abundance. What is thus demanded is the exhibition of a matured and sophisticated diplomatic step. What of talking to President Erdogan and Malaysian Former PM Mahathir? Think of giving breathing space to the Saudi rulers. The Army Chief’s meet with the Saudi envoy appears to have eased the bilateral strain. He has just returned from the Saudi Visit. Tensed bilateral ties at the “military level” have apparently eased. That’s all.
( A delayed posting. This article was first published in People’s Review weekly, Kathmandu some ten days back). Ed.