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Pakistanis acknowledge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful Washington visit, but with a heavy heart

US President Joe Biden (Left) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi share a lighter moment—the personal chemistry between the two leaders is evident.

The sane voices of the Pak society including Pakistani diaspora in the US  have termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s  recent USA visit in the 3rd week of June as  historic and  highly successful, admitting that  India too has joined the league of big powers if not super powers. Both the US and India during the visit were clearly applauding each other. President Joe Biden’s banquet hosted in honour of the PM happens to be the yardstick  with which  these Pakistanis gauged PM Narendra Modi’s as well India’s popularity, steeply increasing economic might and soft power. Pakistani analysts and observers envied the state banquet which was attended by around 400 prominent personalities including chief executives of Google, Microsoft, and Apple and so on, telling that most of the businessmen and intellectuals were NRIs.  For these observers and thinkers, the letter by American congressmen on alleged human rights violations by India was insignificant in the US-India relations as it is purely economics and business which matters. How can the business-minded America take sides with Pakistan which always approaches it with a begging bowl? they question.

This rational stratum of Pak intelligentsia said that the state dinner, hosted at the White House under the supervision of the first lady was a huge statement and display of Indian soft power, which was attended by everyone who matters in the American industry. It was attended by top political leadership and business tycoons and prominent journalists. The wide ranging list also included American Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu, who had been made a highly controversial American state department functionary by Pakistan’s ex-PM and PTI chairman Imran Khan.  Prior to removal of his govt through no confidence vote in April 2022, Imran alleged that Lu had asked Pak establishment through the then Pak ambassador Asad Majid to remove him from the power. Pak intelligentsia opine that Pakistanis can learn much from PM Modi’s highly successful visit which and was discussed everywhere in positive manner, though some articles in the media were critical of him.

It said that growing India clout has been manifested in bilateral agreements and MoUs, adding that bilateral ties between India and the US are gradually reaching to the next level. It also acknowledged that besides Modi-Biden talks and signing of agreements, clapping and standing ovations by the congressmen repeatedly during PM Narendra Modi’s address to the American Congress were also unprecedented. However, Pak observers and intellectuals regretted that the paragraph of the joint declaration issued after PM Modi- President Biden has mentioned Pakistan in highly negative terms. It was focused on Pak terrorist groups like JeM, LeT, asking Pakistan to take action against perpetrators of Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.

The overseas Pakistanis while displaying their tilt towards Imran Khan, urged Pak government and politicians to get out of May 09 syndrome and said that the joint statement is a report card of dismal Pak diplomacy. Pak leadership could not convince the US in its favour. Pak FM Bilawal Bhutto paid 04 visits including a week-long visit. He, despite utmost efforts, couldn’t even meet American Secy of State Antony Blinken. Bilawal Bhutto despite being Benazir’s son couldn’t get much recognition. Pakistan has to think whether it should do diplomacy through knee jerk reaction or convince other countries through diplomacy that their suspicions are unfounded. Instead of Foreign Office, the Pak defence minister is fighting on the diplomatic front.  Pak leadership should know that the world will take them seriously when they themselves become serious. Pakistan has to become a democratic nation as it is a common notion in the west that there is an undeclared dictatorship. Pak ties with the US are at the last stage. There should be constitutional democracy and rule of law in the country.

The daily Jang said that the joint declaration issued after PM Modi’s meeting with American President Joe Biden is an indictment of Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism. It is  in fact, indicative of their strategy to  further increase Pak difficulties. The US has decided to give a special role to India to counter increasing influence of Russia and China in the region. However, prominent analyst Imtiaz Alam who is a regular Jang columnist terms PM’s visit a huge strategic leap in international and regional geo-strategic ties. During PM’s address to the Congress, participants clapped for 75 times and gave 15 standing ovations. The new beginning made in India -US relations during Bush Jr’s time, has entered a major strategic era. These relations are bilaterally suitable to both vis-à-vis Chinese economic and security challenges to the US and India, he added.

Alam said that the India-America partnership will have a far reaching impact on Pakistan. While ignoring human rights violations in India and ongoing repression in Kashmir, condemnation of the alleged cross border terrorism of Pakistan by the US in concert with India is a disturbing thing for Pak foreign office and defence ministry. However, it is in Pakistan’s own interest to get rid of the menace of terrorism. Pakistan while taking a bold diplomatic initiative should invite the US for a joint struggle against the terrorism. It will have to normalize relations with India by adopting a realistic approach. It should resume efforts for peace agreements with India including a feasible settlement of the Kashmir issue.

The staunch anti-India Urdu daily Nawai Waqt said that it is highly surprising that at a time when protest against Indian repression on minorities were being held outside the White House and the world over, the Washington administration not only honoured the India PM with full protocol but allegations of patronization of terrorists were also leveled against Pakistan in the joint declaration. It is a display of dual policy of the US that President Biden is reiterating baseless and vague Indian allegations and transferring military technology to India to promote its war phobia. An article in the Dunya daily takes pleasure in saying that former American President Barack Obama on the occasion of PM’s visit stated that India can fragment because of communal riots.

In addition to vernacular press, the inimical elements and Islamists including the JeI termed the demand by the US and India that Pakistan should eliminate terrorism is very ridiculous, alleging that both of them are considered as champions of trampling human rights and individual freedom under their feet. Describing Pakistan as a victim of terrorism, they alleged that it is India which on the one hand, has made life difficult for minorities, particularly Muslims while on the other hand, it has been involved in abetting and sponsoring terrorist organisations like TTP, BLA and other Baloch insurgent groups. Indian agencies are involved in the Dasu terrorist attack and have formed a cell to sabotage the CPEC. The increasing affection of the White House for Modi is aimed at putting a check on increasing Chinese influence in the region.

JeI Amir Sirajul Haq, addressing a public meeting at Mardan on June 24 described the joint declaration as contrary to the facts and criticised FM Bilawal’s vague statement. He said that Pakistan and its people are forced to face such a day due to cowardly statements by the Pak rulers, who could not utter even a single word for the return of Dr Afia Siddiqui. They handed over Kashmir to India on a platter. Former JeI PoK Amir Abdur Rashid Turabi said that the evil declaration against Pakistan at the behest of Narendra Modi is a cause of concern. To support Modi is tantamount to supporting Hitler the 2nd. Why did Joe Biden forget that India killed one lakh Kashmiris in the last 30 years. The US should not see all Muslim countries through the Indian and Israeli eyes. It is unfair to issue such statements after ignoring Indian brutalities in Kashmir and Modi’s efforts for promoting the RSS agenda against Muslims and other minorities in India.

PoK President and PM said that the US and India by enhancing their bilateral ties wish to degrade China. They appear jubilant on boycotting the American congressmen and Barack Obama’s statement of disintegration of India because of extremist policies of PM Modi. They claim that the international community is well aware of gross human rights violations in Kashmir and repression against minorities by India. Condemning the joint statement, PoK leaders as usual announce Kashmiris’ pledge of not shunning the so-called liberation struggle.

Also Read: PM Modi’s US visit lights up new pathways of partnership