Modi accused of ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’ over Kashmir

Modi accused of  ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’ over Kashmir
In an interview to a news portal, ANI, Modi on Tuesday said: “It will be a big mistake to believe that Pakistan will mend its ways after a war. It will take a lot of time.” (AFP/File)
Updated 03 January 2019

Modi accused of ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’ over Kashmir

Modi accused of  ‘anti-Pakistan rhetoric’ over Kashmir
  • India’s PM is creating war hysteria to retain his right-wing nationalist vote bank, experts say
  • Spokesperson dismisses diatribe as statements that will “never solve issues”

ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should address the “human catastrophe” in Kashmir rather than indulge in anti-Pakistan rhetoric to please his political base, leading Pakistanis told Arab News on Wednesday.

In controversial remarks the previous day, Modi said India had “successfully managed to isolate Pakistan in the global arena,” but any dialogue between the two nuclear powers would have to wait until Pakistan ended its “support for terror.”

“It would be a big mistake to think Pakistan will start behaving after one fight. It will take a long time for Pakistan to start behaving,” he said.

DG ISPR said that Pakistani troops have shot down another Indian Spy Quadcopter on Wednesday in Satwal Sector along the  Line of Control, Azad Kashmir. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)

Modi’s allusion to “one fight” was a reference to the disputed “surgical strikes” of September 2016, when India claimed to have inflicted up to 50 casualties in attacks on militant launchpads across the Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Pakistan says there were no strikes, merely skirmishes at the border.

After Modi’s remarks, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal told Arab News: “Pakistan can defend its borders. However, we have no aggressive designs against anyone.”

He accused the Indian leader of a “political gambit” that would cause regional instability. “Such statements do not solve issues,” Faisal said.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry urged India to focus on stopping “the bloodbath” in Indian-administered Kashmir rather than “harp on about a make-believe surgical strike.”

Chaudhry said: “India must come out of its state of denial. Kashmir is now a human catastrophe.”

Pakistan Army said on Tuesday that its troops have shot down an Indian Spy Quadcopter in Bagh Sector along Line of Control in Azad Kashmir. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)

Retired Gen. Amjad Shoaib, a defense and strategy analyst in Islamabad, told Arab News Modi’s statement was “not a threat. It’s primarily for his domestic audience that he maintains an aggressive posture toward Pakistan.

“Many Indian politicians don’t believe there was such a surgical strike, but he keeps harping on about a drama he created at that time to appease the public.”

International affairs analyst Qamar Cheema told Arab News: “Prime Minister Modi is creating war hysteria just to retain and expand his right-wing Hindu nationalist voter base by inciting sentiments in people.

“What India needs to elect is a balanced and responsible leadership, otherwise the future of the region may be at stake.”