Transforming Regional Diplomacy in South Asia: Omens of Frustrations and Hopes for India and Pakistan
June in South Asia is the hottest month and it seems recent wave of heat in India-Pakistan relations got some contingent effect form June as the nascent peace between India and Pakistan appears to be high jacked once again by the hawks from the both sides. However as every summer is met by the monsoon in South Asia, we should not leave hopes for the rain of peace between India and Pakistan. Interestingly, this time mechanism to check the omen of peace was by the actors must be cherishing on this as their agenda of hate speech and violence is taken by democratically elected ones. Though dialogue process once again was in embryonic phase but the situation was not that worst prior to the highly propagated and discusses Indian army’s attack on rebel camps within Myanmar’s territory, claiming destruction of two camps and killing up to 15 belligerents. Indian Media and defense analysts started discussing potential of Indian army to conduct similar operation in other neighboring states in general and Pakistan in particular. Earlier, Mr. Modi the prime minster of India mentioned his volunteer efforts and contribution in the war of succession of Bangladesh, while addressing to students of Dhaka University and a cross-section of Bangladeshi Society, he reminded and acknowledged the role of Indian army in 1971 war. These two events fuel up the debate across Pakistan and gave huge blow to peace that is already in budding phase. Contrary to this, soft corner for India and desire for peace was paid more attention in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif, then newly elected candidate as Prime Minster faced harsh criticism before he minister of Pakistan as he invited his counterpart from India for oath taking ceremony. This generous invitation went deaf ears and hawks in Pakistan celebrated this refusal. In contrast, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made no delay to be the part of oath taking ceremony of Mr. Modi when the latter invited heads of all SAARC member countries. It was admired and appreciated move on the end of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and hopes for better relations between two new governments were expected. One sided bonhomie of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif towards India did not ended here and Indian Foreign Secretary Subramanyam Jaishankar was given war welcome and reception by the Prime Minster house. This aroused a thought in across the border that Pakistan’s national narrative has come to a point where India’s third tier leadership of the country. Holding these views mean neither I am against peace nor do I cultivate any hate, but indeed it is an issue of national honor and dignity. The dialogue is necessary between the two neighbors, but one must remember both India and Pakistan are equally sovereign states, and the prime minister is the representative of the nation. His desire to be a peace-broker and win a Nobel Prize should not be at the expense of national prestige. Also it is evident form the past that such generous and out of way moves produce nothing. Arguably, hastened set of statements and irrational, narrow sighted policy choices are the outcome of frustration that India is facing with game changer ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ project. This mega project with 45billion$ worth would not only offer stability, peace and prosperity to Pakistan but also it will facilitate trade to central Asia and Afghanistan along with prime objective to connect China
with Arabian sea, thus offering China two Oceans power status. Though both Pakistan and China assured this development is not aimed at India, however Indian criticism and loud hue and cry itself explaining the defeat of their regional diplomacy. Another setback to Indian diplomacy in the region is newly established better working relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. With the government change in Afghanistan, the new government improved bilateral relations with Pakistan. Mutual agreement to nip the bud of terrorism collectively enhanced trust between the two states. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan mutually assured that their terrain will not be used against each other. This has nurtured disappointment to India. Indian offer to train Afghan Military is refused and it seems Kabul looks towards Islamabad with consistent reliability. Lastly but not least India’s day dreaming for permanent status in United Nations Security Council and Obama’s statement over the issue on Republic Day celebration of India was met by anger and irritation in Pakistan. However, it was nothing more than a happy ending diplomatic bargain by the United States for India with no serious implications. Since its inception UNSC have been retained by the Permanent Five members of the council who are granted special powers and attribute by the charter of the UN, as the article permanent members for the UNCS to decide any issue other than procedural ones, whereas the article 108 endorses their powers by making it, out of question to reform the charter without their consent. Which means one big likely by China) would restrain any such proposes amendment in the charter. The call for reforms in the UNSC is not a new phenomenon, there have been strong voices in post-cold war times for the reforms. The present distribution permanent status neglects several times, these includes Brazil and South Africa as emerging economies from the southern hemisphere, Indonesia Germany as the leading economy and technologically advance state of the central Europe. Albeit, India owing to its population, economy and several in such demand but a state that does not comply with the UNSC resolutions over Kashmir simply remains in utopian dream that needs compliance with the UNSC resolutions to materialize this dream. Desire for peace is worthy, noble and sacred, there must be no effort left undone to cultivate peace between India and Pakistan. Pakistan should not over react on hawkish statements by the is to divert the national potential from energies in useless verbal game with India. However, as a famous proverb says ‘peace prevails among equals’, this noble desire for peace must not be at the cost of moral surrender, subjugation, compromise on national honor and the death of dignity. Thus any breach of peace or threat of aggression should be met with full powers and potentials. Let us hope to dream once again for the peace, prosperity and friendship between India and Pakistan to secure a better future for the upcoming generation with stable and endurable peace.