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