India’s habit of bringing Pakistan into news

June 26, 2020

Observers on this side of the Pak-India border, at least, were wondering for a while just what form India’s next accusation against Pakistan was going to take. It was expected rather urgently because of all the embarrassment Delhi has had to suffer in the standoff with China in the Laddakh region. And now it has come. Suddenly, India informed Pakistan that the latter’s embassy presence in the former should be cut by half within a week, a move the former will duly reciprocate, which amounts to a serious,
deliberate upgrade in the diplomatic distance between the two countries.
Yet even as escalated as the situation seems, it is really part of a long-developing trend. The Indian government, especially since the Modi administration came to Delhi, has been in the habit of bringing
Pakistan into the news whenever it has any other trouble. It has done so whether confronted with natural disasters, the fruits of economic mismanagement, internal strife over its own unpopular
problems, and now it has done it again since it has got such an embarrassing thrashing from China. Our colleagues in the Indian media hit back that the trouble with China has more or less been handled, and
the two countries’ leaders have agreed to deescalate, but they forget that Beijing is still pretty front foot on the diplomatic front; and it is not going to let Delhi wriggle its way out of this one by lying as usual. That is why some sort of frenzy of accusations against Pakistan was once again on the cards. And it’s no longer just Pakistan in the region that is fed up with India’s irrational behaviour. Almost all of India’s immediate neighbours are not really on very friendly terms with it. The Indian public, too, is hardly having a good time of it anymore. There’s neither the economic boom
that everybody predicted would come with him neither the regional dominance he sold so effectively on the campaign trail – not just once but twice. Instead there’s increasing polarisation, religious/sectarian
hatred, crime, and an unprecedented breakdown in the country’s civil society. India is already a far cry from the country that celebrated all sorts of diversity within its fold. Yet however unhinged the Modi
administration has become and however divorced from reality it has always been, it better realise that all its threats against Pakistan are best kept limited to hollow speeches of politicians. Because, just as
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi just warned the neighbouring country, any attempt at use of force will be repaid immediately and forcefully. Surely that much would already have become
clear after the famous dog fight of last February.

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