The flaws in India’s plan to diplomatically isolate Pakistan

Published: March 28, 2017
Indian premier Narendra Modi. PHOTO: AFP

Indian premier Narendra Modi. PHOTO: AFP

For those wanting to see Pakistan isolated in the international arena such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, nothing could have been more frustrating than to watch the multinational Pakistan Day celebrations. To show solidarity with Islamabad, China and Saudi Arabia unprecedentedly sent their troops, while Turkey sent a band to participate in the 77th Pakistan Day parade. South Africa’s Chief of the National Defence Forces General Solly Zacharia Shoke was also in attendance and authorities in Dubai decided to decorate world’s tallest tower Burj al-Khalifa with the colours of Pakistani flag on the occasion.

Luckily for Pakistan, the parade was not the only time when Modi’s wishful plan to corner Pakistan fell flat on its face. In October last year, India faced a setback over its policy of isolating Pakistan at the BRICS Summit in Goa, attended by head of states from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Given its friendly relations with Pakistan, China opposed the Indian stance and refused to buy Modi’s remarks of “mothership of terrorism” against Islamabad. Similarly, India had lobbied in the US to sanction Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism, but the global power refused as it acknowledges Pakistan has been engaged in a serious fight against terrorism. In September, New Delhi also tried to interrupt Pakistan-Russia ties and urged Moscow to not carry out a joint military exercise in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the Indian plea was frustrated by Moscow.

Ironically, even with all these setbacks, New Delhi has been claiming that it is succeeding in its efforts against Pakistan.

Why Modi’s policy is harmful to India itself

Despite its failure to isolate Pakistan, India is still continuing with its blame game and arrogantly avoiding dialogue over outstanding issues including Kashmir. Practically speaking, such a policy is not even in the interest of New Delhi for several reasons.

Firstly, New Delhi wants to establish itself as an economic power in the region. Such dreams can never be realised in an environment where Pakistan and India – two nuclear-armed nations – are in conflict. Moreover, in the case of better ties, Pakistan can interconnect the country with other regions through land and sea routes that are very important for corporate India.

Secondly, conflicts never resolve issues or defeat terrorism, which is a serious threat to the entire region. It is the terrorists India needs to isolate, not Pakistan; the conflict between the two countries will only strengthen extremism both in India and Pakistan. What is needed is joint efforts and cooperation between the two countries; refusing to talk will only help violence to spread across the region engulfing India as well eventually.

In the last two years, India has reportedly arrested dozens of suspected global militants who allegedly wanted to establish their cells in the country. The country has also been facing the threat of terror attacks for long. Similarly, Pakistan itself is one of the worst victims of terrorism with about 22,000 civilians and 6,600 soldiers killed. In addition, the country has incurred losses worth Rs12.3 trillion in the war on terror, besides the destruction of its infrastructures in different parts of the country. It is only logical for the two countries to come together for peace and development.

Thirdly, India’s strategy has reflected negatively on its own image. Last year, Russian diplomat Zamir Kabulov praised the speech of foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz at the Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar as “a friendly one” and cautioned the participants against indulging in a blame game over the critical issues of terrorism and peace in Afghanistan in which everyone has an important stake. Similarly, China and the US have opposed Modi’s stance against Pakistan.

Can Pakistan be isolated?

For the global community, Pakistan’s role against terrorism is vital as it is connected to the security situation in China, India, Middle East and Central Asia. The world also realises the importance of Pakistan for stabilisation and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Economically, Pakistan is considered important for interconnecting Central Asia and South Asia as desired by the international community especially China, Russia and the US. Its sea and land routes can interconnect different regions of the world in the future as well; apart from the much-popular China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program – to interconnect Europe and the Middle East with Central Asia and South Asia – plans to make use of Pakistani ports.

Additionally, Pakistan’s role in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and other regional arrangements can never be overlooked. The stabilisation of South Asia region is essential for global connectivity, peace and development and no country in the world can afford to isolate Pakistan and further destabilise the region.

Imdad Hussain is an Islamabad-based journalist specialising in diplomatic and security issues.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Fast
    Mar 28, 2017 - 4:07PM

    A country isolate itself while isolating Pakistan. What an irony. Two brics countries i.e China military and South Africa head of forces take part in the Pakistan day parade. While Saudi Arabia forces and Turkish band was too part of this parade. Further, world tallest building was lite up with Pakistan flag. Further more many world leaders including China, Russia, Turkish, French state of heads send good wishes on Pakistan day. Thanks world community to support Pakistan.Recommend

  • maxpain
    Mar 28, 2017 - 6:25PM

    The largest democratic country in the world is also at the seventh spot on our list of 10 Countries with the Biggest Gay Populations in the World. India is a secular country and the gay culture is really becoming a norm here. 1 out of every 14 men in India is gay.Recommend

  • Mostly Bull
    Mar 28, 2017 - 8:53PM

    What a great idea Sir Ji….India isolated whilst trying to isolate paksitan……!!!Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Mar 28, 2017 - 10:42PM

    these writeups are only for fooling foolish peoples.
    In reality, pak govt had beg these countries to send sub-standards peoples to save the face.
    like retired cricketers took part in PSL. Recommend

  • Rana
    Mar 29, 2017 - 7:35AM

    Isolation does not mean military isolation. No one will isolate Pakistan as long as terrorism is a threat emanating this part of the world.

    In terms of good relationship with its neighbor ,yes it is isolated.In terms of foreign investment India made a good effort in downgrading Pakistan reputation. Pakistan has one of the worst passport and are seen suspiciously by many countries.Recommend

  • Saurav
    Mar 29, 2017 - 9:16AM

    Good that all bad eggs are coming to one basket. Good going Pakistan. Keep dreaming.Recommend

  • Malik Ikram Ullah Joyia
    Apr 3, 2017 - 7:34PM

    That’s high analysis Amdad Hussnian. You are right international financial institutions have started realizing Pakistan’s success. This success is another prof that Modi is on wrong side.Recommend

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