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Watch thy neighbours–I

Economic strength of a nation determines its political and global weightage. India is one example which is making the most out of it. Authorities in India have adopted laws and policies that systematically discriminate against Muslims and stigmatize critics of the government, reported Human Rights Watch. Prejudices embedded in the government of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have infiltrated independent institutions, such as police and courts, encouraging ultra-nationalist groups to threaten, harass, and attack religious minorities with impunity.

Human rights abuses in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. The personnel of Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Border Security Force (BSF) have been found involved in grave human rights abuses against the Kashmiri civilians. Human rights groups have documented and prepared a dossier for world attention but to no avail. Pakistan, too, presented to the United Nations a number of dossiers about India’s overt and covert involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan, but without any success or any effect. Whereas, it works the other way round for the BJP government when it comes to finger-pointing at Pakistan for incidents of terrorism in India, drawing world attention and reprimand.

The answer to this discrimination is that an economically strong India is on the giving end of the favour from the world powers who matter while Pakistan is economically weak and is therefore often on the receiving end.

In global politics of today it’s all about economic interests. India, on the strength of its consistent economic growth and functional democracy, has emerged as a nation to reckon with in global politics with significant weightage that it gets from world powers than it gives them.

Boeing company of the USA, a giant in the aviation industry, is working closely with its partners in India, to develop and enable exceptional operational capabilities and mission readiness for the Indian air force and Indian navy. Air India, recently privatised and now owned by Tata, has provisionally agreed to place orders for 500 planes from Airbus and Boeing, including options to purchase an additional 370 aircraft. Air India aims to take on domestic and international rivals. This will be the largest aircraft order by an airline in modern aviation history and will create substantial employment opportunities in the US. This deal did not go unnoticed by President Biden and those who matter in influencing global politics in favor of India.

In a similar development Godrej and Boyce of India are to build a 508 km Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project to be operational in 2024, providing Japan a significant export opportunity. The project’s foundation stone was laid by the prime ministers of India and Japan in 2017. The project is financed through US $ 12 billion from Japan at an interest rate of 0.1 %, payable in 50 years with repayment scheduled to start 15 years after the line becomes operational. Prime Minister Modi considers this as a flagship project to strengthen his country’s economic and political weightage.

Economic supremacy of a nation often leads to its urge for expansionism and dominance. India, since its inception has longed for regional dominance; it wants to become a regional power. Pakistan has been the only stumbling block in its way. But, with the USA abetting with India and its emergence as the latter’s largest economy of the world by 2025, its ambition level to be recognised as such, has risen several notches.

Pakistan, in the midst of its unprecedented economic and political crisis, much of it, of its own doing, appears vulnerable on its borders as never before. This internal weakness has been noted and may not go un-exploited by our adversaries across the border. Pakistan’s rightful stand on Kashmir is now limited to few ideological statements and rallies on Kashmir Day every year. Its feeble voice against atrocities in Kashmir and on plight of Muslims in India goes unheeded – even in the Muslim world.

The intelligence agencies of Pakistan have foiled another false flag operation the Modi regime planned to stage on the fourth anniversary of Pulwama attack on February 14 this year. Under the plan an explosive vehicle-type attack was planned in the southern districts of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. There are reports of suicide attacks on military targets in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian and the blame would be placed on Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). India will not stop at this and more adventurism is expected.

Pakistan’s internal and external weakness are a threat to its sovereignty and renders the country high vulnerable to external threats. It also needs to be recognised that in the league of nations there are far less meaningful supporters and far more spoilers in this hour of the nation’s crisis. Pakistan.

Farhat Ali, "Watch thy neighbours–I," Business recorder. 2023-02-18.
Keywords: Economics , Political sciences , Economic interests , Human rights , Security Force , World powers , Central reserve , Police force , United Nations , Pakistan , India , Kashmir , ISI , USA , BJP , CRPF , BSF

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