India's diplomatic offensive against Pakistan could meet with a hitch or two

7 hours ago
Updated 7 hours ago

Ipsita Chakravarty

Diplomacy now
After the bluster, the stock taking. A day after the Uri attack, the
Indian political and military leadership reserved "the right to
respond... at a time and place of our choosing". But behind closed
doors, at high-level meetings, senior political leaders are said to
have pushed back against immediate military action. They have,
however, indicated that India will be launching a diplomatic offensive
on Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly given the
go-ahead to "diplomatically isolate Pakistan" at all international
forums, beginning with the United Nations.

At first glance, there seem to be salubrious conditions for such an
offensive. Representatives of the United States, Russia, China, France
and United Kingdom have issued statements condemning the attack and
all forms of terrorism. This means all permanent members of the UN
Security Council have issued statements of solidarity with India –
Russia even called off a joint military exercise with Pakistan. UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also stated that the perpetrators of the
attack would be brought to justice. So when External Affair Minister
Sushma Swaraj makes her speech on cross-border terror at the United
Nations General Assembly, she is likely to find a sympathetic

But the Indian diplomatic offensive does not stop at terror. Alok
Ranjan Jha, India's political counsellor to its mission at Geneva,
also dashed off a statement to the UN Human Rights Council. The
statement pointed out "human rights violations in Pakistan" that "cry
for the world's attention", especially in the province of Balochistan,
which has seen a long-running movement for secession. It spoke of
enforced disappearances in several provinces and the "high-handed" use
of force by the Pakistan Army against civilian populations.

These are all allegations that sound familiar, except they have been
made against Indian security forces in Kashmir, and not just by
Pakistan but various international human rights bodies, for decades.
The UN itself has been denied the right to send international
observers to investigate such allegations. If India is to launch a
credible diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, it also needs to clean
up its own house. All charges of human rights violations cannot be
swept under the carpet of cross-border terror.

Peace Is Doable

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