Opinion

Modi’s Balochistan bomb

M Ramesh | Updated on March 09, 2018

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It has set the cat among the pigeons in Pakistan

After first being stunned into silence by what it believes was a transgression into its internal affairs by the Indian Prime Minister, the Pakistani establishment seems to have hurled itself into confused animation. Though all that Narendra Modi said was that the Balochs thanked him for India’s support of their cause, the 72-second reference to the plight of the Balochs was sand thrown into Pakistan’s already rusty gearbox. Indignation has given way to counter-offensive, the kindest word to describe which is ‘ludicrous’.

Pakistan wants to send 20 MPs to 12 cities in nine countries to “highlight Indian brutalities in India-Occupied Kashmir and to lobby for the Kashmir cause”. These MPs will scatter like snooker balls across the world to paint India black. Even the Pakistani media is laughing.

Apart from undermining Pakistan’s own diplomatic apparatus, the grand initiative seems merely like a junketing opportunity. Glaringly, 16 out of the 20 nominated MPs are from Nawaz Sharif’s own Pakistan Muslim League. Among those who expressed disappointment over the nominations is Shah Mehmood Qureishi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Surprised at his exclusion, Qureishi, a former foreign minister, has pointed out that he had raised the Kashmir issue at the UN, and with the OIC and Arab League. Journalist Najam Sethi, chairman of the executive committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board and a former chief Minister of Punjab, said that he could have prepared a better list.

Indeed, the very efficacy of the mission itself is being questioned in Pakistan. Asma Jahangir, a Supreme Court advocate and a human rights activist, wondered about the point behind sending MPs to Africa and Brazil to highlight the ‘Kashmir issue’; these countries have nothing to do with it. Clearly, ‘Balochistan’, tossed from the ramparts of Red Fort, has thrown things out of kilter in Pakistan.

Senior Deputy Editor

Published on September 11, 2016

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