Pakistan managed to successfully troll India on Monday after reports that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) had rejected a complaint by New Delhi over Pakistan’s new political map. The map clearly visible behind PM’s Special Assistant Moeed Yusuf during the online meeting of National Security Advisers of the member countries. The SCO rejected Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s objection that the map showed “sovereign Indian territories” as part of Pakistan. In response, Pakistan said the political map simply represented the country’s rights and the aspirations of millions of Kashmiris while India had no right to claim any part of Jammu and Kashmir so long as it is internationally recognised as a disputed territory. The objection also gave Pakistan an opening to slam Indian human rights abuses in Kashmir, along with its violations of United Nations resolutions.
The fact that Doval ended up walking away from the moot also showed how lonely and isolated India feels. New Delhi’s later attempts to convince domestic audiences that it actually ‘won’ by quitting the meeting made for hilarious reading. India claimed that the map was “in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host...and in violation of the norms of the meeting.” Yet for some strange reason — perhaps because it wasn’t a violation — Russia, as the host, did not ask Pakistan to remove the map. Instead, “after consultation with the host, the Indian side left the meeting in protest.”
To summarise, India appealed, lost, went home, and claimed victory. Unfortunately for Indian citizens, this appears to be the only kind of win that the government in New Delhi has delivered for many recent months. It has gotten to the point that on Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had to tacitly admit in parliament that India has lost territory that it claims to China, after months of awkward denials. But even this was framed as a victory. Singh gave many vague examples of the “appropriate” responses that India has given to China, but no specific details, perhaps because telling the truth would end his political career. After all, Singh is emblematic of the ruling BJP — a party that only survives through the power of lies and deceit.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2020.
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