During his election campaign Indian PM Modi was considered a light weight in foreign affairs. On the domestic front his fundamentalist views were considered anathema to the secular ethos of Indian democracy. On both fronts he has proven to be a failure. Violence to punish consumption of beef against non-Hindus is on the rise creating unrest among Indian Muslims and Christians which constitute almost 15% of the population. In foreign affairs PM Modi’s speech on Indian Independence Day once again tried to equate occupation of Kashmir with international terrorism in Balochistan which is an integral part of Pakistan.
This showed Indian Prime Minister’s lack of understanding of international norms, laws and rules. If Indian PM’s formulation is acceptable then almost every nation in the world is guilty of failure. This idea of Indian PM would make Chinese efforts to eradicate separatism in Xinjiang; Russian efforts to punish Chechen rebels; Turkish actions against Kurd separatists; UK struggle in Northern Ireland; Spanish refusal to recognize Catalan; Ukrainian armed action against Eastern provinces; and even Indian Maost suppression in the north east are all illegitimate actions by the state. The world knows that Indian armed forces are using oppressive measures to contain indigenous uprising of Kashmiris demanding their UN recognized rights.
PM Modi speech is a response to the international pressure on the Indian government to stop atrocities in occupied Kashmir. This diplomatic failure has caused alarm bells ringing in New Delhi and as usual they are using Pakistan as a scapegoat for their own failure. India should accept Pakistan’s offer for dialogue rather than engage in a hawkish attitude of threats. We accept that India is a large country but that does not give them the right to act as regional bullies. It is important that the rising tensions between the two countries are brought down by establishing more rather than less people to people contact. But it is also a fact that there could hardly be any meaningful dialogue with a fundamentalist government in India. We may seek a deep freeze rather than escalation in bilateral relations until a more moderate government is in place in India.