It’s a crazy world in which we live-here what is preached is never practiced and since whatever said is fraught with chicanery, it becomes well-nigh impossible to discern what’s right and what’s wrong. In our neighborhood, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been crying hoarse about what he perceives as ‘oppression’ of the Muslim ‘ummah’ (community), but unfortunately his concerns aren’t unconditional or universal. Whereas he is very vocal in claiming that the Indian government is instituting measures that will reduce Muslims to “second class citizens,” he is completely unmoved by the pitiful plight of oppressed Uighur and Kurd Muslims.
In fact, just a year ago, when asked about mass detention centers in which numerous Uighur-Muslims were being detained by Chinese authorities, Khan replied that he didn’t “know much” because “it is not so much in the papers.” Coming from a Keble College, Oxford alumni (who is also a student of politics) this reply makes one wonder whether it’s the syllabi of this prestigious college that’s to blame or is just that Khan is feigning ignorance so as to avoid embarrassing Pakistan’s “all weather friend” China? But what’s absolutely clear from this is that for Islamabad, appeasing Beijing seems to be much more important than standing up against the religious persecutions of Uighur Muslims!
Khan, (who is also the self-anointed “ambassador” of Kashmir) is also upset by what he believes is the imposition of an “anti-democratic and fascist ideology” in Kashmir. But at the same time, he finds nothing anti-democratic or fascist in Para 7 (3) of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) constitution that reads “No person or political party in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (PoK) shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan.” This may sound strange, but it’s true!
Islamabad proudly talks about being a stakeholder in the Kashmir issue, but avoids mentioning the fact that this is so simply because it is the real creator of this entire mess. Similarly, while shouting from rooftops that India should implement UN resolutions on Kashmir, it cleverly glosses over the fact that for facilitating implementation of these resolutions, it’s not New Delhi but Islamabad that has to take the first step by withdrawing all Pakistani nationals from PoK. So, its repetitive complaint about UN and the global community’s apathy on the Kashmir issue is nothing but a classical example of the pot calling the pot black!
Pakistan also insists that Kashmir is a UN designated “disputed territory” and using this self-deduced conclusion, holds that abrogation of Article 370 made by the Government of India (GoI) is “illegal.” Such was Islamabad’s obsession that it even took up this issue with the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), albeit without any success. Furthermore, while Islamabad considers the GoI’s action “illegal,” it conveniently forgets to apply this very yardstick of J&K being “disputed territory” when it comes to permanently ceding a part of J&K to China or allowing construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) through this area. But the funniest part is that it expects the world to subscribe to its skewed logic and when the international community doesn’t oblige, Islamabad starts spinning conspiracy theories!
Islamabad also wants the world to believe that “genocide” is being perpetuated against Muslims in J&K by New Delhi and wanted to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on this issue. The Government of Pakistan needs to thank its ICJ lawyer Khawar Qureshi for advising it not to do so as it was “extremely difficult” to prove the accusation of “genocide.” This sagacious advice saved Pakistan, which had already faced considerable embarrassment at the UNSC (remember Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s ‘they are not waiting for us at UNSC with garlands’ comment?) from making a laughing stock of itself in the international arena.
Islamabad’s duplicity doesn’t end here. It deems armed groups in Balochistan who are challenging the writ of the government to be “terrorists” but surprisingly, it considers those who are doing the same thing against the Indian state in J&K to be “freedom fighters” and has even issued postal stamps to honour fighters of proscribed terrorist groups killed in encounters with security forces. Islamabad continues to maintain that it doesn’t have any truck with terrorists, but with 146 Pakistani nationals figuring in UNSC’s proscribed list of terrorists, it’s hard to believe that besides Rawalpindi’s claim that it’s acting against terrorists of “all hue and colour,” Pakistan still ranks third in the UNSC list. However, Pakistan’s complicity goes much beyond this.
China’s systematic persecution of Uighur Muslims and Turkey’s use of military and local militia to terrorise Kurd Muslims remains a matter of grave concern for Islamic countries. But since China and Turkey are amongst the handful of nations who back Islamabad on the ‘K’ issue, Pakistan prefers to keep them in good humour by looking the other way. Resultantly Khan’s concern about the wellbeing of ‘ummah’ is restricted only to Muslims in India and his complete lack of concern for the Uighur and Kurd Muslims clearly indicates his intention of playing the ummah ‘persecution’ card to malign New Delhi and incite communal emotions amongst the Muslims in India!
No discussion on the issue of nations indulging in chicanery can ever be complete without mention of America. This is because when it comes to waxing eloquent on human virtues, talking about pursuing lofty ideals and upholding principles, no country can match the US- and when it comes to practicing fraudulence, none can beat Washington.
So, while on the one hand, the US talks a lot about the war on terror that it’s waging for the noble cause of mankind by making the world a much safer place to live in, on the other hand it has no qualms in abandoning its allies who have borne the brunt of its war on terror. It washed its hands off the Kurds who as an ally of the US had made great sacrifices while playing a sterling role in quelling the Daesh and left them entirely to the mercy of an unforgiving Turkish army. Similarly, by striking a ‘compromise’ deal with the Taliban with the selfish motive of securing an early American exit from Afghanistan, Washington seems to have no inhibition in sacrificing the Ashraf Ghani government!
Tailpiece: Washington talks glibly about ‘neutralising’ fugitive terrorist leaders irrespective of where they may be hiding. One such terrorist is 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the US had announced a $ 10 million bounty on him. But despite him moving about freely in Pakistan, Washington’s failure to bring Saeed to justice or ‘neutralise’ as well as Pakistan’s inability to gather enough evidence to nail him in a court of law reeks of institutionalised skullduggery, which reinforces the view that we are indeed living in a crazy world.