By Ali Hassnain
The other day, Indian Prime minister (Modi) held what he called All Parties Conference. It wasn’t actually an all parties conference; it consisted of only pro-Indian political parties, that too only from Indian Held Kashmir. The meeting unanimously rejected a move by the UNHRC to send a team to the state to investigate alleged human rights violations by Indian security forces. Not surprising as one didn’t expectBharat Sarkar to allow UNHCR to uncover the atrocities in Indian Held Kashmir. In the same breathe Modi claimed Azad Kashmir is not Azad (free) and it is “Pakistan occupied Kashmir”. He also instructed the Indian Foreign office to contact overseas Pakistanis so he can learn (rather invent) Pakistani atrocities in Azad Kashmir. He then focused on Balochistan and warned Pakistan that it would have to answer for its action (or rather inaction against Indian terrorists, I must say) in Balochistan.
On a serious note, one can find nothing new in this outrageous attempt by Indian PM to justify continuing the Indian occupation and atrocities in Kashmir. Indian terrorism in Balochistan is nothing new. That is being handled by LEAs; however efficiency of Pakistani government needs to increase. Indian agencies keep trying to buy the occasional overseas Pakistanis who are willing to be paid to work for Indian agenda and for the last one year India has been hilariously trying to promote the white lie of Pakistani atrocities in Kashmir.
A few months back an Indian journalist actually went to the extent of taking footage from Pakistan Army operation against TTP terrorists and claiming it was Kashmir. There are a few problems with Indian argument about Pakistani military action in Kashmir:
- Nothing comes out of nothing (nihil fit ex nihilo).
- Azad Kashmir is a semi-autonomous region in Pakistan since 1947 with a President, Prime Minister and Supreme Court. Azad Kashmir government has internal autonomy pending the resolution of issue of Kashmir as per the wishes of people of Kashmir and UNSC resolution no. 47.
- Except with the ceasefire line with India, Pakistan Army has no active troops in Kashmir. Those present don’t even carry live ammunition.
- There is NO military operation in Kashmir whatsoever and there has never been any, except for the action on de facto border, which of course is against Indian Military.
This propaganda that Pakistan is somehow “occupying” Kashmir against the will of Kashmiri people is so hollow it has no foundation what so ever. It is the principled stance of Government of Pakistan that the resolution of the conflict of Kashmir should be taken place according to the UNSC resolution No. 47 by a plebiscite on both sides of the border under UN.
This argument is hollow, although Indian assets in Pakistani media might try to raise it but would be laughed off internally. However, Pakistani Foreign office needs to step up their game. Lately the punch line of Indian propaganda has been that India has finally got Pakistan by neck, and that brilliant Indian strategists have turned the tables on Pakistan since the 1990s. All is good in India, they claim; cost of occupation in Kashmir would never be too high for Indian economy. India is a “big” country and their economy is simply too strong. According to India, Pakistan has lost the battle diplomatically, lacks any friends and should now worry about Balochistan. Mostly I would laugh it off, or listen to the silly propaganda so I can have a good laugh. Recently though our “Geniuses” who are the face of Pakistan media have started to buy the Indian argument. It’s not that I had any high hopes from them, but it is rather annoying to see no one is refuting the claims. Where is sanity, one is forced to ask.
Is Indian economy doing well? Yes, as far as most macro indicators are concerned, but at the cost of humans, and it depends on how you look at them. India has created Islands of prosperity in a land filled with poverty and hunger; they have clearly decided to forget the masses. For example the population of Indian state of Bihar is some 99 million (9 crore 90 lakh) and minimum wage is 2.40 US dollar (per day), in the Capital city of Delhi it is 6.35 USD, in Nagaland it is around 1.5 USD per day, East Punjab (Indian Punjab) it is around 4.2 USD , Manipur some 2.6 USD, Chattisgarh 2.5$, Uttarkhand 2.09$; whereas in Pakistan minimum wage for unskilled workers is around 4.3 USD per day (everywhere in Pakistan). While the given wages are approximate and real wages are way low at times, especially in India one is quoting the figures for a rough idea. Here in Pakistan we criticize our government, we do it during the day and with more force in the evenings. And I do believe it is one’s right which one should exercise with vigor, but when we compare it with Bharat Sarkaar, Hakumat e Pakistan looks like Hatim Tai (very generous) when it comes to dealing with poverty. Indian government is sitting on at least two lost generations and a brewing volcano.
Pakistan is not the only problem India faces, not by a long shot. Prolonged one party rule, elitism, class struggle, racism, separatism has brought the very fabric of Indian society on the edge for a while now. Why hasn’t it collapsed yet? Well the governments based on injustice rarely do without bloodshed, and I am not talking of foreign involvement. India faces an imminent internal collapse. Peasants in Europe served their masters for hundreds of years and ultimately revolted in France; it is not easy to forget the blood scarred history of Paris. In Pakistan, people do get a vent and politicians a wakeup call in form of Martial Law, however in India, politics is everything. They don’t fear the law, or God. In Pakistan they may or may not fear the law but fear of Martial Law puts the fear of God in many hearts.
Surely Indian government would have fewer problems if they focus less on perception and more on fixing the problems. Much like they would find a lot of rich history if they focused on researching and finding it then inventing or rewriting it. Indian government has money to waste on “cow welfare” and “dharma shalas” or nursing home for cows when they have no such system in place of the Children of Adam is rather sad. This very party in power (BJP) banned eggs served to underprivileged and malnourished children at meal. Most of the party actually defended the decision, one even going as far to say “there are cheaper sources of protein”. While after Indian PM claimed Indians actually invented Algebra and that they had working flying machines around 10 000 BC, one doesn’t expect him to understand science much; It is sad to see how Indian government is taking Hindu Nationalist propaganda as state policy.
There is this Indian Muslim televangelist Dr.Zakir Naik, who is an expert on comparative religions. He used to claim one can be a Muslim and an Indian citizen and that people in parts of India under threat can do Hijrat (migration) to other parts of India. This particular televangelist is known to have strong opinion and spoke on even the most controversial issues. At the time of writing, Indian government has built up a narrative against him with the help of their proxies in Bangladesh. He tried to hold a press conference in Bombay to defend himself but he could’t find a hotel booking as the Bombay police had verbally told them not to take a booking from Naik. He was made to hold a press conference on Skype. Currently the preacher is in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia and the Indian police and right wing press is building a case against him.
Dr.Naik is from India, and one reasonably expects Indian Muslims to be from a suppressed community, always apologetic, towing the narrative of Indian government, trying to prove their loyalty to the Indian state, but still always looked upon at with suspicion. That’s the way Indian government likes Muslims to be. I personally believe it is not possible to be a good Muslim and a good Indian at the same time and one should consider migration from India if viable. Otherwise one can suffer due to lack of options. Lately however it has become impossible to be a rational person from any religion and a supporter of Indian government, or impossible to even endorse it. For example Hindus consider Ganga Jal (water of River Ganges) sacred; that is not an issue for Muslims or any other religion. One can respect that. But you cannot teach it in science class and lynch those who disagree.
Sure Pakistan is going through some security issues, all of them however are under control. All of them are either brought by the war on terror, a war which Pakistan did not start and had no control over, and by the Indian proxies. However things are changing and many things have changed positively. The night of terror was dark but it ended somewhere between 2007 to 2010. The events of today are always and would be evident tomorrow. There is some time before the effects of new ground realities set in. In wilderness, one can sense the pre-dawn noises. One can sense them, and one hopes the brightness of the day would make one forget the harrowing night.