Remember a decade or so back, India-pak were hyphenated (meaning that when anyone spoke about Pak , they linked it to India and vice-versa) in global politics. Every UN Council meeting was hijacked by Pak on the Kashmir issue. India had to go to all countries trying to justify our stand on Kashmir. If US or UK said that “Kashmir is India-Pak problem and they should settle it amongst themselves”, we all congratulated ourselves. And then the next global seminar or event happened and we had to again go around to all major countries, trying to get their certificates. Pak’s per capita income was higher than India and we both were in shadow of each other. US, Europe, China, Bangladesh and even Nepal and Sri Lanka used this conflict to get advantage vis-a-vis India. All countries played one against the other.
But all that changed, basically with Atal Vajpayee. Kargil happened and India did not attack but kept on putting pressure. The world stood by India as it rebuffed the lies and betrayal by Pak. Then, like the statesman that he was, Atal met Musharaff in Agra to resolve diplomatically. He was betrayed, but the world realized that India was taking the initiative like a matured, responsible nation.India was different from Pak in their attitude was visible. The de-hyphenation had started.
US reduced their support and aids to Pak. The world started respecting India and money, people and work started flowing into India from all over. The per capita income is now solidly in favour of India and growing. (2001 – Pak $511 India $466, 2015 – Pak $1361, India $1581 (source World Bank)) After the Mumbai attack, Pak was branded as a rogue and failed state. Now, India is a success story and Pak a dangerous one.
We are now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the biggest nations on the Earth and that has lot to do with our fortitude, our confidence, our maturity and our democracy. Modi, for all his faults, has started re-positioning our nation in the geopolitical leaders. If this country has to grow and reclaim its position as a great nation, we need to act like leaders and not reactionaries.
Modi is behaving like a statesman as far as international politics is concerned. He is building India as a powerful, sensible and growth-oriented nation across the globe. He may have been failing in some spheres inside the nation, but some of his global moves have been unexceptional.
Like Shivsena, many have enmity with Pakistan as part of their psyche. Pak has betrayed and bled our country many many time and may continue to do so, but can anyone deny that the situation since India has started people-2-people relationship, since they have started business relations changed the perception. Kashmir is far less violent, globally Pak is isolated and Sharif won on basically pro-india stance. We would like different neighbours, but that is not going to happen. We have to handle Pak – firmly but reach out to their civil society and people over the heads of the government and the army. Remember there is no single Pak – there is govt, army, extremists, civil society, general public – all having different views and agendas.
So, when Modi talks to Sharif or goes for tea to break the ice, it is not cowardice – but statesmanship. When we have enough proof on the Pathankot blasts, and we strategically allow their team to come to embarrass Pak and precipitate the issue-it is again giving a great message to the world, about how serious we are to solve the problems.
But for Cong and AAP to have morchas at Pathankot against the investigative Pak team on what is essentially country’s foreign policy is ridiculous and needs to be condemned. A certain decorum and unity is needed without trying to use these initiatives for internal politics and one-upmanship. Glad that the Govt reacted with silence and contempt on these protests.
It is possible that this may fail, as many before them.But one should keep trying, there is no better alternative. And we are winning this invisible war – lets take it further.