In­dia wins world’s trust, will have to walk the talk now

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - In­drani.Bagchi @times­

New Delhi: With the cur­tains com­ing down on the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, it com­pletes the first chap­ter of In­dia’s post-Ar­ti­cle 370 diplo­macy. By the time PM Naren­dra Modi wrapped up his speech on Fri­day, In­dia had suc­cess­fully con­veyed three key mes­sages to the world — the Kash­mir de­ci­sion was about de­vel­op­ment and there­fore an ‘in­ter­nal’ mat­ter; the real chal­lenge was ter­ror­ism, a global phe­nom­e­non where Pak­istan was the epi­cen­tre; and that any is­sue with Pak­istan would be re­solved bi­lat­er­ally.

This ar­gu­ment has been more or less ac­cepted by the world — ex­cept China and Pak­istan — but In­dia will be held to its prom­ises. That makes the next phase in this de­vel­op­ment more tricky.

In the com­ing days, the gov­ern­ment will be mov­ing on two par­al­lel fronts — in­ten­si­fy­ing anti-ter­ror op­er­a­tions in­side J&K while eas­ing re­stric­tions and be­gin­ning a more vis­i­ble po­lit­i­cal out­reach. The US will con­tinue to em­pha­sise the mes­sage. In­dia tra­di­tion­ally junks Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion stric­tures on Kash­mir but the gov­ern­ment will be sen­si­tive to the sen­ti­ments of two of its most im­por­tant Is­lamic part­ners — the UAE and Saudi Ara­bia.

US state depart­ment of­fi­cial Alice Wells said, “We look for­ward to the In­dian gov­ern­ment’s re­sump­tion of po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment with lo­cal lead­ers and the sched­ul­ing of the promised elec­tions at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity. PM Modi made a com­mit­ment that the re­cent changes to the sta­tus of Kash­mir will im­prove the lives of the Kash­miri peo­ple, and we look to him to up­hold this prom­ise.”

Equally, she in­di­cated that the pres­sure on Pak­istan to con­tain cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism would be main­tained. That pres­sure will man­i­fest it­self in Oc­to­ber when Pak­istan could be tossed into the FATF’s black list for in­ac­tion on ter­ror fi­nanc­ing and money laun­der­ing. Pak­istani prime min­is­ter Im­ran Khan, sources said, has blot­ted his copy­book with mind­less rants through­out the past week in the US. His warn­ings of “im­pend­ing geno­cide” and a “fas­cist Modi” ac­tu­ally di­min­ished his com­plaints.

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