Pakistan’s veteran foreign affairs expert, Sartaz Aziz, reacted to Indian Prime Minister’s references to India’s role during the 1971 War with an appeal to UN and international community to note India’s admission of having interfered in the affairs of a sovereign nation, underscoring the impuned lawlessness as a trait that makes India ineligible for the high seat in UNSC. PM Modi’s “nuisance” descriptor of the country, for its terror culture and state export, would have severely dented Pakistan’s image globally, coming as it did from a leader the world has begun to respect, trust and listen to. Mr Aziz read in it a clear sign that India does not want good neighbourly relations with Pakistan but he reiterated that such attempts will not succeed at driving a wedge of discord in the sound relationship his country has with Bangladesh.
What relationship, Mr Aziz, I wonder, with a country whose people still await a State apology from Pakistan, for all the senseless brutality and mindless frenzy of rape and killings they suffered while the land was still a part of your country ? Your country withheld recognition to the emerged nation for five years after its independence and your all-weather friend, China, vetoed its membership to the UNO.
More recently, Mr Aziz, in late 2013 your country’s National Assembly had passed a resolution against the hanging of Jamaat leader accused of committing heinous crimes on Bangla people. In fact, from day one you have not ceased fomenting serious trouble for the young nation and its aspiring people : coups, sectarian strife, political regression to Islamist cause, breach of peace and creating law and order problems on an ongoing basis, regular opposition to democratic process and open dialogue in the society, dispossessing and terrorising the Hindu minority, mob killing of emergent voices and areligious intellectuals… There is nothing you have stopped fanning and supporting to stop Bangladesh’s march as a modern nation.
Some relationship, indeed, Mr Aziz. Did Bangladesh’s expulsion of your country’s diplomat in February this year, for inimical conduct, signal the soundness of your country’s relationship with Bangladesh ?
In a related development, even as I now write, the leader of opposition has introduced a resolution in Punjab Assembly against PM Modi’s statement made during his Bangladesh state visit. Since then however, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry has issued an unequivocal statement accepting Mr Modi’s references as factual, true to its history, and very welcome. There has not been a word against his statements in Bangla press, not one line disputing their validity in context.
For that lament of yours, Mr Aziz, regarding India’s ‘brotherly’ relations with Pakistan, the world is witness to how far Mr Modi’s administration has reached out to every other country in SAARC, including Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Srilanka, and now our neighbour in the east.
Should you feel the need to introspect, and truly fathom how the Indian people feel about your country, may I suggest a previous essay of mine : Telling Ourself, Telling Pakistan. Nothing has changed since its writing months ago. We are a democracy, Mr Aziz, unlike yours. The government here will always have an ear to how the people of this nation feel towards your country that nurtures terror and exports it to terrorise and blackmail others, a country that has a dysfunctional judicial system, where there are no guarantee of life and dignity to minorities, from which respectable people flee in hordes and take refuge in other lands, to which criminals flock and where terror advocates roam free.
Is that a country India should have brotherly relations with ? It would not.