Did The Establishment Collude With Modi On Kashmir?

Did The Establishment Collude With Modi On Kashmir?
Pakistani media has been abuzz with revelations made by leading anchors – that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi annexed Indian-controlled Kashmir on August 5, 2019 by revoking Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution allegedly in collusion with the Pakistan establishment and ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Ex-PEMRA chief and senior journalist Absar Alam tweeted on April 6 that for their personal benefit, Imran-Bajwa sold Kashmir to Modi. "Everything was pre-decided.”


On April 22, two senior media personnel, Hamid Mir and Nasim Zehra spilled more beans on the topic. Hamid Mir said that Modi was planning to visit Pakistan in April 2021 and that they were among the 25 media personnel attending the meeting where ex-COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa revealed that the Pakistan Army does not have resources to fight a war with India.

Absar Alam tweeted again on April 23, and the crux of his tweet was that he has been personally persecuted and physically attacked for exposing the Imran-Bajwa alleged deal with Modi on Kashmir.

According to Alam, Imran-Bajwa brokered this secret deal with Modi through the offices of the US officials during their joint trip to the US in July 2019. When Imran Khan returned from the US, most of the cabinet ministers were present at the airport to welcome him. On arrival, Imran remarked as if he had won the World Cup the second time. Alam’s tweet clearly mentioned that the US must have facilitated this secret deal between Modi and Pakistan’s establishment and Imran Khan.

The timelines of revelations of this deal by both Alam and Mir are similar and date back to April 2021.

Imran Khan said on April 28 that he knows “more” about Bajwa’s Kashmir plan but would keep quiet, given national security imperatives. ISPR recently stated that Bajwa’s comments on combat readiness have been taken “out of context.”

In my opinion, it is highly likely that Pakistan-India secret links, facilitated through the good offices of the US and West, were established before Modi became the prime minister of India. The plan goes back to Pervez Musharraf’s Agra Summit in July 2001 and his “four-point” formula to resolve the Kashmir issue. Also, I will not hold against him that he did not want to go to war with India on Kashmir. Wars do not solve problems. Only peaceful negotiations are desirable. So, if Bajwa avoided going to war with India, it must be appreciated.

My own analysis is that going to war with India was never on the cards. Bajwa, as part of the psychological warfare, made an excuse that the Pakistan army does not have resources to go to war with India to placate the domestic opinion makers. Secret deal with Modi must have other motivations, including personal interests as stated earlier by Alam.

I asked a similar question in a panel on ‘Kashmir: The Valley Seized’ on September 27, 2019 at the Islamabad Literary Festival. The event was organized soon after Modi’s annexation of the India-controlled Kashmir on August 5, 2019. Hina Rabbani Khar and General (retd) Athar Abbas were panelists, among others. I asked if Modi’s annexation of Kashmir was any different from Musharraf’s Agra plan. Hina Rabbani Khar gestured as if I was asking a stupid question. Athar Abbas tried to answer the question in some way. The video of the session was made available in October 2019, but the video link does not work anymore.

The truth of the matter is Pakistan’s establishment is playing a double game on Kashmir. It knows that after fighting wars and particularly post-Kargil, there is no military solution to the Kashmir issue. Yet, it does not allow the civilian leaders of Pakistan to pursue peace with India. Nawaz Sharif tried to establish cordial relations with Vajpayee in 1999 but the establishment torpedoed his peace efforts. Even when Nawaz Sharif was in power between 2013 and 2017, relations with India were a thorn in his relationship with the establishment.

Pakistan’s establishment has used the Kashmir card to internally colonize the rest of Pakistan. Writing for the Korea Times, A.H. Nayyar said the annual budget of the army is approximately $10 billion. This is huge given the country’s total GDP is $350 billion.

No army can win a war if it has lost the support of its own people. It is about time the establishment realizes the gravity of the matter and surrenders the policy of internal colonization of the country for institutional and personal interests of the officer corps. It must limit itself to its constitutional role to become effective defenders of the country.

Trust has been the worst causality of this internal colonization by the establishment. Just because someone criticizes the establishment in public does not mean he or she is anti-establishment. Likewise, just because someone is critical of Modi in India does not mean the person is anti-Indian establishment. She or he might be doing the bidding of the Indian establishment secretly in all things that matter. The same is the case in the West and other developing countries. To restore honesty of purpose, the establishment in Pakistan needs to stop colonizing its people. Internal colonization is prevalent in other countries of the world as well. But we write about Pakistan as it concerns us.

The writer is an Islamabad-based social scientist and can be reached at fskcolumns@gmail.com.