Wake-Up Call: Pakistani Reflections On Modi's US Trip

Wake-Up Call: Pakistani Reflections On Modi's US Trip
The recently concluded trip to the US by Prime Minister Modi of India should be taken as a wakeup call for the political and military leadership of Pakistan. Narendra Modi in the recent past had been denied a visa to the USA for his role in the genocidal actions during his term as chief minister of Gujarat. Now we see the red carpet rolled out for him and his visit treated as a great national event with a welcome worthy of a royal personage and a shower of laudatory remarks and accolades as if he were a knight in shining armour coming to help the USA in its economic and strategic plans for the future. American leaders were falling over each other to embrace and glorify the Indian PM, completely forgetting the blatant violations of human rights and discriminations against minorities, particularly the Muslim community of India. The most shocking and surprising element was the clear mention of jihadi elements in the Joint Communique that mentioned Pakistan’s support of Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Jaish-i-Mohammed and other militant organisations based in Pakistan. The American and Indian leaders went on to ask the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “to undertake further work identifying how to improve global implementation of its standards to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.”

Pakistan has paid a very heavy price for its role as a frontline state in the war on terror after the happenings of 9/11. More than 800,000 lives have been lost and the Pakistan army has suffered more casualties than it has in all the wars with India. After the tragic attack on the Army Public school in Peshawar, the Pakistan Army launched an all-out war on the militant organisations with the start of operation Zarb-e-Azb. The army has taken many practical and concrete measures to root out the scourge of terrorism from the soil of our country. It has paid a huge sacrifice in lives and it is still paying a price in this war. Surprisingly, the US, as the only superpower in the world and a self-proclaimed champion of human rights, very conveniently overlooks the blatant abuse of human rights by the Modi regime in India and pinpoints Pakistan and China as violators of human rights.

Modi’s political career and his past record leaves much to be desired. He was declared a promoter of religious discrimination and a violator of human rights and abused of encouraging discrimination against the Muslim community of the state of Gujarat. During his recent visit to the US, all his past brutal deeds and actions were very conveniently forgotten and his present discrimination against minorities and the brutal actions in Indian Kashmir totally ignored. This is nothing but an open and blatant example of geopolitical and economic interests taking precedence over moral and human considerations. During recent times, the US has also actively supported and promoted the Indian claim of getting permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and it is only due to the opposition of China and Italy that India has not succeeded in becoming a permanent member of the UNSC. The membership of the UNSC must and should be expanded by giving representation to countries with large populations such as India, Brazil and South Africa – but it must be ensured that these countries adhere to the principles and charter of the United Nations. India has been a blatant violator of all Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and shows no respect for human rights or the rights of religious minorities and with such a track record it does not deserve membership of the UNSC.

In recent times, the Indian economy is motivated by has made very impressive progress – and it is due to this that the US has extended extensive cooperation in the economy and in science and technology – which includes including nuclear technology. This new American move is motivated purely by geostrategic, political and economic reasons. The Indian market is presently dominated by China, and by supporting the rise of Indian economic power, the US hopes that it will open the Indian market for US products.

India is an active member of Quad along with Australia, Japan and the US – and their aim is to challenge the growing influence of China in the region and by their strong naval presence and increase dtrade with Australia and amongst each other. The communique issued on Modi’s visit to the US also deals extensively with the prospects of widening and deepening defense ties, including transfer of critical technologies, so that India’s military power could match that of China. Sharing of intelligence and developing compatibility of encrypted communication equipment are likely to further strengthen their military capabilities against China. The growing influence of the Indian diaspora is clearly evident. They are dominating the field of IT and have a significant presence as doctors, medical staff and engineers.

China, rising rapidly as the next economic and military superpower of the world, cannot stand by without countering the American moves. The most recent move by China has been its focus on expanding trade and diplomatic relations with the Middle East and South East Asia, with a focus on Europe and close economic linkages with Russia. Recently, Saudi Arabia has shown considerable interest in opening new avenues of expanding trade and commercial relations with China. With Pakistan, its bonds would continue to strengthen as there is strong convergence of interests.

All these major political and strategic moves by the heavyweights of world politics are a major wake up call for Pakistan and our leadership needs to develop a new geopolitical and economic strategy for our future. It is about time that our political elite woke up from their long slumber and make an end of their political infighting for upholding the larger national interests. The present political scenario is that the political elite cannot see beyond the tip of their nose. The political environment is vitiated and the nation is mired in doom and gloom, with no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. This is severely effecting he economy and the international image of the country – at a time when such important changes are taking place.