File photo: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )
The NSC decided, among other things, to downgrade diplomatic relations, suspend bilateral trade, review bilateral arrangements, take the “Kashmir issue” to the UN Security Council and observe Pakistan’s Independence Day as one of solidarity with the Kashmiris.
India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 far from ending Pakistan inspired and supported violence in Jammu and Kashmir seems to have made Islamabad opt for a direct confrontation with India. Pakistan’s National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has chosen a course of action calculated to step up India-Pakistan hostility.
The NSC decided, among other things, to downgrade diplomatic relations, suspend bilateral trade, review bilateral arrangements, take the “Kashmir issue” to the UN Security Council and observe Pakistan’s Independence Day as one of solidarity with the Kashmiris. To begin with, it means that the Indian High Commissioner would be asked to leave.
Whether these are so much drama driven by Pakistan’s desperation or a script for intensifying its policy of “a thousand cuts”, the fact is that India-Pakistan relations are set to take a dive. A more charitable view could be that Pakistan has resorted to this drama to save its face. And, there are good reasons for Pakistan to find a face-saver.
First and foremost, Pakistan has been presenting its case against India’s recent actions to members of the UN Security Council and other world leaders. India too has brief the P-5 and other countries on the action taken in the last few days. While none in the international community have criticized India’s action, they seem to be unmoved by Pakistan’s representations. In fact, there seem to be no takers in the international community for Pakistan’s arguments. Understandably, Pakistan may be feeling ignored.
In the event, to capture international attention, it must be acting in a way that raises the ante between India and Pakistan, heightens tensions and keeps taking steps that increasing hostility. Raising the prospect of a conflict and endangering security seems to be its way of grabbing global attention.
The point is that these may not work as expected to its advantage.
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