Narendra Modi gave us a handshake to remember during the G7 Summit that took place in Biarritz, France this weekend. Bharat’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with President Donald Trump during the summit to discuss bilateral trade and the US-Bharat relationship. PM Modi was invited to the G7 as a special guest of French president Emmanuel Macron and certainly made his presence felt. He took the opportunity to clear up the air about the recent Kashmir issue.
Kashmir has always been strictly a bilateral issue between Bharat and Pakistan. Any foreign diplomat worth their salt knows about the Shimla agreement of 1972, that clearly outlines any issue to do with Kashmir will be resolved between the two parties involved- Bharat and Pakistan. Any third party involvement will not be welcome or legitimate.
Earlier, Trump had offered to “mediate” between Bharat and Pakistan during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Diplomats and political scientists around the world were triggered, as it is well known what the red lines are with any issue around Kashmir. Trump does not have legal jurisprudence to offer any third party mediation and any such mediation will not bear any fruit nor will it be deemed legitimate.
So Trump’s offer of mediation would have been ill placed. However, what Trump can do and should be doing is to pressurise Pakistan to stop its export of terrorism into Bharat and its strategy of using terror as a diplomatic tool. During the same meeting with Trump, the Pakistani PM conceded that there are currently 45,000 terrorists operating in Pakistan. What he did not reveal was that most of these terrorists are somehow nurtured or connected to his country’s notorious spy agency ISI.
The US gives billions in aid every year to Pakistan for development, which sadly gets diverted to both their terror factories as well as their nuclear proliferation program. For 72 years, it has instigated and lost four wars with Bharat and conducted many terror attacks including one on Bharat’s parliament, cementing its position as the largest state sponsor of terrorists in the world.
Prime Minister Modi has made it very clear that Kashmir will be resolved bilaterally between the two countries. In fact, Jammu & Kashmir is truly an “internal matter” of Bharat and the illegally occupied area called POJK- “Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir” is really the only issue up for bilateral resolution. The state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) legally and legitimately joined the union of Bharat during the partition in 1947 and has been an integral part of Bharat since then.
On August 5th, 2019 the Bharatiya government revoked Article 370- a law that gave “special status” to J&K to have its own flag, anthem and constitution. This Article introduced in 1949 was meant to be temporary and transient, to be removed at a suitable future time. It sadly disconnected J&K with the rest of Bharat, leading to the state’s isolation from the rest of the country for 70 years. The removal of Article 370 fully integrated J&K into Bharat.
This revokes the status of J&K as an apartheid state, where Muslim-majority Kashmir valley dominated the politics of the entire state & the non-Muslim residents of J&K were treated as second class citizens and refugees in their own home state. It also removed the discriminatory, sexist and racist citizenship, property and inheritance laws that existed in the state for 70 years, which denied fundamental rights to women, Valmiki community sanitation workers, Gorkha soldiers, Hindu refugees from Pakistan and of course non-J&K citizens from the rest of the country.
The issue of illegal occupation of parts of J&K does not stop with Pakistan. China surreptitiously annexed a region called Aksai Chin in the 1950s right from under Nehru’s nose. And then in 1963, Pakistan gifted the Shaksgam valley to China. Bharat needs to deal separately with China to get these two regions of J&K back.
The Minister for External Affairs in Bharat, Mr. Jaishankar recently noted, “Bharat’s relationship with China is one of the future. But Pakistan is an unusual neighbor and a peculiar problem. It is the only country in the world that uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool.”
Trump made a noticeable U-turn on his original offer of ‘mediation’, and has agreed that Kashmir is in good hands and will need to be resolved between Bharat & Pakistan.
Modi’s handshake with and cheeky backslap to Trump is assertive, confident and indicative of the strong diplomatic ties between Bharat and the USA. It also reiterates the international community standing with Bharat in its internal matters over J&K, isolating Pakistan just like the UN did a week ago. In a sense, Modi is saying, “Back off, we got this”!
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