File photo of PM Narendra Modi | PIB
File photo of PM Narendra Modi | PIB
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The US has been first off the mark on the Narendra Modi government’s move to abolish Article 370 that grants special status Jammu and Kashmir, saying in an early morning statement Tuesday that it was “concerned about reports of detention and (urged) respect for individual rights”, even as the UN secretary-general called for all parties to “exercise restraint”.

Perhaps, other governments will soon issue carefully crafted statements. Certainly, many are watching the crisis carefully. Pakistan’s Imran Khan has begun to call world leaders – he began with the Turkish and Malaysian presidents Monday – while Pakistan army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa has summoned a corps commanders conference to discuss developments.

With the Pakistani media leading from the front – “Modi devours Kashmir” was a particularly catchy headline – Imran Khan insisted that Pakistan would continue to seek international attention according to the 1949 UN Security Council resolutions.

Still, Modi’s determination to demonstrate the irrelevance of Jawaharlal Nehru taking Kashmir to the UN in 1949 is manifest. It will be interesting to see what the PM says when he goes to the UN General Assembly meetings in New York next month.

Also read: Amit Shah tells Lok Sabha J&K also means PoK & Aksai Chin, ready to die for this

Modi learns quick

Meanwhile, China, Russia, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Muslim nations have been very quiet. China’s Xi Jinping is coming to India in October and Putin’s Russia has not-so-long-ago memory of Chechnya to deal with.

In any case, none of these is a democracy. If you have bloody hands, you can’t really point an accusing finger at Narendra Modi.

Love him or hate him, you have got to hand it to Modi. He learns quickly. In fact, he probably took a leaf out of the world’s notebook as he travelled relentlessly in his first term – no newspaper, not even the New York Times, could stop the rise and rise of a self-appointed megalomaniac called Trump – and reassured himself that the voter standing in front of the EVM was all that mattered.

With most of India coloured saffron, Punjab, Kerala and a small handful of states in the northeast could hardly make a dent in Modi’s strategy. The near-complete irrelevance of the Congress and the rest of the opposition, as well as its double-speak on Article 370, made it much easier to carry out this ‘surgical strike’ on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Also read: This is General Bajwa’s dilemma after Modi govt’s Article 370 move in Kashmir

Trump’s fall into the Pakistani trap

Increasingly, it transpires, that Fate in the persona of Trump, lent a hand. It’s unclear when the US President last read a book, especially on India and Pakistan, or on Kashmir.

Trump has been so focused on his own agenda on exiting from Afghanistan that he laid out the red carpet for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US two weeks ago. He knew the Pakistanis hold the key because of their control over the Taliban and other terrorist groups that are occasionally unleashed to create havoc in Afghanistan.

But when the generals accompanying Imran Khan – Pakistan army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief Faiz Hameed – demanded their pound of flesh, Khan had no option but to fall in line.

Kashmir. Third-party mediation. The UN resolutions.

Trump fell into the Pakistani trap like many an American politician before. His call for mediation in Kashmir was like the sound of music to Pakistani ears. Much worse for Delhi was the Trump statement that no less than PM Modi had asked him to mediate in Kashmir.

Also read: Modi took Kashmir’s special status away. He must assure people it won’t become a Palestine

Using Trump’s opportunity

Did Modi use the opportunity Trump gave him to do what the RSS has always wanted since Syama Prasad Mookerjee announced in 1953 that “ek desh main do vidhan, do pradhan aur do nishaan nahin chalengey” (you cannot have two Constitutions, two prime ministers and two flags in one country)? Certainly, BJP manifestos have always stated that the scrapping of Article 370 is on top of the party’s agenda, just like building a temple on the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi land and uniform civil code.

Even in 1998, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee took India across the nuclear Rubicon and the world was apoplectic in response, all it needed for his principal secretary Brajesh Mishra to do was to point to the BJP manifesto and that particular clause right on top.

Certainly, Modi is no Vajpayee, but he will have to watch this space far more carefully. The international community will respond to events inside the Kashmir valley and how Home Minister Amit Shah deals with them. The Ministry of External Affairs has issued a proforma statement saying that “this is an internal matter” of India, but if the situation in Kashmir deteriorates and Modi-Amit Shah don’t reach out to apply salve, it won’t take time for the world to say critical things about India.

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  1. Why is this author trying to scare us ? We are not scared that easily. This big neighbour has a poor record of respecting boundaries for decades as seen with India ,Tibet and so many others. If the decision is to support Pak they will heavily loose on many fronts.. Our MEA must be explaining our actions respecting the position of China and that need not be a weakness.

  2. ”Modi is no Vajpayee, ” Of course not. Vajpayee took Lahore Bus and he got Kargil. Modi proved that only fools like this author trusts what Pakistani snakes say. India has changed a lot since vajpayee days. Other nations worry about India’s purse. As long as India can keep its growth rate 7 percent or higher, no world power will disturb India.

  3. The world says many things about Israel. Does it care? Did the small Myanmar care when it threw out Rohingya terrorists? Did China care when criticism were all out for its treatment of Uighur Muslims? Let others say a few things and it will die with time.

  4. Dealing with internationally sensitive issues like Kashmir should always have a matured approach, appraising it from different angles and with the breaking of best available heads in the country.
    Hope, the present team led by PM is really efficient for this purpose and is capable of getting support from the international perspective.
    As the intention of the action is for the overall development of the region, it should be welcomed.

  5. I wish Jyoti watched her boss in his ‘Cut the Clutter’ and understood that while Congress did the halal with Art 370, BJP did a Jhatka. So Modi delivered a political master stroke and also perhaps at the right time, when US withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to make matters worse for India on LOC. So what happens next is a matter to be observed over a period of next few months but judging by the overall reaction in the country, it has been widely accepted by everyone save perhaps many from the valley. Ladakh is too thrilled with it and Jammu will welcome it as well. So Pakistan will do whatever but positive reaction from UAE today is welcome. One electoral promise out of the way and soon, we will all be back to blaming Modi for deplorable economic conditions!! And how on earth Jyoti says that even New York Times could not stop Modi juggernaut!

  6. Indian mentality never changes. Why should India, the Oldest & the Greatest of Civilizations care a hoot about what the World got to say? Why are the Joythi Malhotras of India still waiting like an errant child to get a small peise of appreciation from the world? What makes them so lacking in self-confidence? Is it due to the 1000 year slavery that we endured?

    • The world is connected. Trade and commerce are important elements of power and growth. We tried to close ourselves off during the Nehru era and ended up being dependent on others for food, weapons and technology. So managing world relations is an important part of survival and prosperity. The abrogation of article 370 is a cornerstone for nation building that requires managing international relations.

  7. India is not the same nation as it was in 1947, 1961,1965 and 1971. The change has been phenomenal, with US literally threatening India in 1971 to sanction post Pochran in 1999 to post Kargil in early part of this century. Come a long way, today India is part of G20 and G8. Every country had their own problems and issues and they cannot pin point on India as otherwise mirror can be shown. The current govt had determination to do it and they did it. Problems will be there temporarily, as they have been there for more than 4 decades supported by Pakistan and to be dealt with iron hand.

  8. Difficult to make the case that Kashmir remained a problem because of pusillanimity. Whichever government was in power in Delhi, there was never any difference in the use of force. Nor in virtually running the state by remote control. After the last thirty years, something better and different should be on offer, if we believe that not just Kashmir but Kashmiris are an integral, organic part of India. What the world thinks of India is important, but more important is the sort of nation and society we are creating for ourselves. Thoughtful column by Shri P B Mehta in IE. Also a tweet by Ms Tavleen Singh in response to a self laudatory tweet by a senior functionary – Is this a new beginning or the beginning of the end ?

    • In your long leftie you have omitted the fact muslims unleashed Jihadi terror , ethnic cleansed Pundits out of their ancestral homelands, so called “moderates” among them provided cover for this violence for so long.
      You would like to propagandize they are innocent lambs who were harassed.

      • Tenor against kuffars is Halal for Muslims and PRINT and their supporters have no complaints against this.

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