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India-Pakistan tug-of-war involves J&K and Balochistan

By Newsd
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: The Hindu)

The Congress has openly supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements against Pakistan, where he raised the Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir issues to counter its stance on Jammu and Kashmir and the on-going unrest.

In 2009, India and Pakistan—Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yusuf Raza Gilani—signed a joint declaration at Sharm-el-Sheikh, which said that Pakistan has ‘some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas’. In other words, the declaration was perceived as India nearly admitting to a role in Balochistan. Parliament questioned the Congress-led UPA government as to why Balochistan was included in the declaration. 

Addressing the nation on Independence Day, Modi expressed his gratitude to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and POK for the way they whole-heartedly thanked him, Modi said, “People of a distant land I haven’t even seen…When they thank the Indian Prime Minister, it’s an honour for the 125 crore people of the country.”

The reference is a direct counter-attack to Islamabad, which has been commenting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and targeting India for the crisis. Modi has found similar soft spots in Pakistan in Balochistan and POK, where the country is dealing with a long separatist struggle.

The people of Balochistan have been, since the time of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging India to speak up against the “terrorism perpetrated by the Pakistan Army in Balochistan”. Suleiman Khan, the United Kingdom-based heir to the throne of the Khanate of Kalat, said back in 2009, “If Pakistan can provide support for groups in Jammu and Kashmir, and raise the issue on every available international forum, why is India hesitant to do the same for our people?”

Wahid Baloch, president of the Baloch Society of North America, also voiced a similar opinion saying, “It is imperative for India to now speak up against the terrorism perpetrated by the Pakistan Army in Balochistan.”

He went on to say, “India rightly supported the just war of the people of Bangladesh against tyranny, and helped them win freedom. It is morally obliged, as a democracy, to provide Baloch groups with training and material support to stop the slaughter of our people.”

In contrast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned the tables, painting a picture similar to what Pakistan is doing with Kashmir. His words from the Red Fort escalate the game, one of tit-for-tat between the countries.