Newspaper Article 18/02/2023
Eradicating Pakistan from the world map to create a greater India is no conspiracy theory. In fact, it’s been part of India’s ruling BJP/ RSS’s political manifesto since many decades. RSS is acting as an ideological torch bearer for the Hindutva raj that seeks to establish a greater India (Akhand Baharat) by occupying and uniting territories of present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is why since the rise of Hindutva in the Indian political landscape, the bilateral ties with Pakistan remains cold and even hostile.
On 12th January 2023, a woman professor from Amritsar levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment and indecent behavior by some senior officials of the high commission in New Delhi. Pakistani officials were accused of bypassing the mechanism emplaced. Pak FO has reminded that. Pakistan being a responsible state has initiated investigations into the matter.
Indian media was quick to paint Pakistan in a bad light over some allegations which are not even been substantiated so far in any inquiry. India has a history of blaming Pakistan for all their own ills as this anti-Pakistan propaganda always does wonders in Indian politics which the Indian ruling elite has turned into a
India also has a history of pointing fingers even during incidents without letting investigations and due process take their course. This serves the Indian establishment’s long-term plan to malign Pakistan globally. Any such acquisition acts as a perfect excuse and Indian media instead of asking questions from their own government start blaming Pakistan. The said incident, even if true, was an individual act and an entire state can’t be blamed for that but this is what Indian media did be a propaganda tool for the Indian establishment.
Most importantly, why an incident that took place last year in March was used in January 2023 as propaganda against Pakistan? Why it was not reported there and then? In fact, Pakistan’s FO has also raised the issue of the timing of these accusations.
It would be prudent to assume that India is sensing a moment of weakness in the state of Pakistan due to ongoing political and economic turmoil in the country and hence decided to increase diplomatic pressure.
This is not the first time that India has resorted to such propaganda on Pakistani diplomats working in India. In 2020, around a dozen Pakistani diplomats were expelled from Delhi over charges of sponsoring terrorism by the Indian government though no evidence was ever produced to prove the allegations. Obviously, this time around similar charges could have done more harm to the Indian case so a new ploy was deployed instead and it’s possible that India may expel the two accused Pakistani diplomats despite the assurance from Islamabad that FO is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter after India brought it up recently as it’s directly linked with the good name of the country.
But keeping in mind the history of Indian diplomacy towards Pakistan and the media frenzy over this issue, it is obvious that an impartial inquiry would not suit Indian designs and it will instead rely on propaganda against Pakistan and its foreign office using this incident as an excuse.
Contrary to Indian propaganda about the conduct of Pakistani diplomats in India, the fact is that Indian diplomats in Pakistan were involved in the harassment of a woman on Pakistani soil. In August 2022, 2 Indian embassy workers in Islamabad were taken into police custody over allegations of harassing women. But Pakistani media never tried to sensationalize this incident as that was an individual act of both these men, not sanctioned by the state of India.
For Pakistan, the only viable option is to highlight this issue on multilateral forums with proper follow-up as the bilateral mechanism of negotiations has practically failed between Pakistan and India.
Note: This article appeared in Kashmir Watch, dated 18 February 2023.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are of the author and do not necessarily represent Institute’s policy.