Exclusive : PM Modi rebuke of Pakistan

The undiplomatic and aggressive rejection by PM Modi government of a proposed meeting between FMs of Pakistan and India in New York on the sidelines of UN General Assembly is neither surprising nor unexpected. PM Modi has been acting like a bully not just towards Pakistan but the whole South Asian region. Modi will do what he thinks is best for India but we should be concerned about the foreign policy approach of our own government.

In a public statement on August 21st, I had suggested that I will not support any appeasement of PM Modi because I was afraid that he will rebuke and embarrass Pakistan. Unfortunately, this has materialized by the ill-timed letter of our PM to seek engagement thereby misreading the regional situation. I had also suggested in a public statement on July 28th the list of confidence-building measures India has to take that can show their seriousness and pave the way for a constructive engagement with them. We have to keep in mind that there has been no major change in the regional dynamics that should push India to be more reconciliatory towards Pakistan rather India feels more emboldened because all major players want to have good relations with her including China. India along with America was the prime mover to place Pakistan on FATF grey list and our allies China and Saudi Arabia voted with them. The yesterday’s Indian rebuke is not just aimed at Pakistan but also to send a message to the USA that it remains independent in its foreign policy rather than act as their client state.

PM Imran Khan has to acknowledge that he and his team are foreign policy novices and their error in judgments can damage the national interest of Pakistan. They have been issuing foreign policy statements with an aim to create feel-good impression and perception of success for their new government. This is an immature approach and must be reconsidered. There have already been many missteps which should give them a pause.

I had privately sent the FM and Senate foreign relations committee Chair my suggestions on approaching India. After the rebuke, I hope they will take a second look at it. The regional situation has to be analyzed in the aftermath of upcoming sanctions on Iranian oil sales, deteriorating support for American sponsored Ashraf Ghani government in Afghanistan, US-Chinese rising tensions, a strategic alliance between Russia & China, and Chinese conciliatory approach towards India.

Thanks & regards

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

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