By Nasir Mahmood
Karachi, June 15, 2019: Pakistan needs to be mindful of the challenges which it may confront during the second term of Narendra Modi as Indian prime minister. This was stated by Dr. Moonis Ahmar, former Meritorious Professor of International Relations and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Karachi.
This was stated by him in a talk on ‘Post-Indian Election Scenario: Challenges and Options for Pakistan,’ organized by the Society for Global Moderation (SGM). He said that a strategic response is needed to thwart India’s attempt to change the status of occupied J&K and it must be diplomatically pressurized to resume the Comprehensive Dialogue along with dropping its stance of not participating in the 19th SAARC summit.
According to Dr. Moonis Ahmar, among the key challenges facing Pakistan are: Sustained aggressive and chauvinistic approach under the Narendra Modi regime; Modi’s drive to talk to Pakistan on India’s terms and conditions forcing Pakistan to abandon its age-old stance on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), accept the Line of Control (LoC) as an International border and accept New Delhi’s pre-eminent and authoritative role in the region; absorbing Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in the Indian Union by revoking Article 370 and 35-A; depriving Pakistan of its share of water as determined under the Indus Water Treaty; dragging Pakistan in a vicious arms race merely to cause enormous burden on its fragile economy; sustaining its policy of isolating Pakistan in the region and beyond; and patronizing its supported elements in Balochistan, former FATA and Sindh.
With respect to the future of Pakistan-India relations during Modi’s second term as Indian prime minister, he said the appointment of Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, a career diplomat and son of Indian’s renowned strategic thinker Dr. K. Subrahmanyam, will have an impact on New Delhi’s relations with Pakistan. “To dispel the Indian policy to isolate Pakistan, Pakistan should focus on seeking regional connectivity, giving zero tolerance to cross-border infiltration and terrorism,” he urged.
He was of the view that Pakistan needs to be alert for challenges on the horizon and be pro-active in addressing them through sustained diplomatic efforts. Discussing the options available to Pakistan to confront these challenges posed by Modi regime, Dr. Ahmar said Pakistan needs to focus on its domestic issues, particularly those related to the economy, politics and governance and it must avoid unilateral gestures of friendship and peace which are termed as a sign of weakness by the other side.