Modi, FM Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval’s synergetic effect has broken ground and set the stage. Pakistan’s economic & political meltdown makes them the clear underdogs. Its a sticky situation, to choose between giving up POK or risking greater balkanization. In the absence of Clinton Era patronage, they’ve been left to fend for themselves with no help on its way.
The Modi Shah duo have had a clear & objective Kashmir policy right from the word go, augmenting the Pakistan strategy to tailoring the right bureaucratic setup and subsequently abrogating article 370 & 35A , the ‘Naya Kashmir’ has been conceived well, at least at a higher level. The August 5 move, mainly its seamless execution has won the duo a repute even from their staunch critics. This, in the backdrop of HM Amit Shah’s vow of reintegrating Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK) from the same parliament session of 2019 has started a debate among the political class on the possibility and a potential timeline. Infamous as they are for secrecy & stealth, the murmur on the ground is getting louder each passing day as the 2024 general elections draw nearer.
Pakistan’s turmoil is out in the open for the world to see, from New Delhi’s vantage, the western neighbor, a perpetual nuisance has exposed key vulnerabilities – an economy in free fall, a mass anti establishment movement coined with a growing diplomatic isolation. Armed struggle for an independent Balochistan, demand for a subnational Sindhudesh changing into a full-fledged freedom movement, KPK’s growing affinity for the Afghan Taliban and most significantly the pro India secessionism in POK has presented lucrative opportunities for India to permute and combine to its advantage.
Nothing seems to be going the Pak way,
An army junta style clampdown on civilians, mass jailing of activists challenging the establishment.
Extra judicial killings of journalists, unprecedented media gag.
Bending over backwards to retain China in the dying CPEC program.
Army chief turning economist in a vehement attempt to bluff about a recovery plan.
Asim Munir’s failed hafiz e Qur’an stunt & playing the Muslim card with Arab leadership for bail outs.
A dummy caretaker civilian government, one that continues to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons with close to no public acceptance.
A simmering discord within the military ranks. A demoralized army and a exhausted ISI -Pakistan today is a textbook example of a failed state.
On the western flank, Pak- Taliban relation is sore and worsening fairly rapidly. Derecognizing the Taliban government it supposedly helped install, the raging attacks by TTP, the “unknown gunmen” fiasco, the brewing Durand Line dispute & the poorly timed Afghan exodus points towards an impending all out war like situation with a heavily armed & an unconventional Taliban that the Pak army may just not be ready for both in terms of men and machinery.
In the hinterland, political polarization and civil unrest thanks to the Imran Khan debacle, post 9 may repression and an anticipatory rigging just around the corner, conditions are favorable for an implosion. Skyrocketing prices of basic food items, rampant unemployment & high levels of street crime is pushing even the apolitical to the brink of anarchy.
On the eastern flank, the bull is pawing the floor. For decades, Pakistan has neglected Gilgit Baltistan and other parts of Kashmir it occupied years ago and kept it as a mere trophy for its annual propaganda ritual at the United Nations. Years of subjugation, neglect and mismanagement recently triggered mass anti-Pakistan and pro-India protests that were too large to be hushed and swept under the carpet. A failed attempt by the ISI to paint the picture of a communal Shia -Sunni rift only added fuel to the fire resulting in larger protests demanding the unconditional exit of the ‘occupying’ Pak army. The world powers took close cognizance of these events as unambiguous testimony to India’s 76 year old unwavering claim.
PM Modi has had objective POK in the works, right from the day he took office, between his two terms, he has strategically helped placed India as a recognized regional power and restructured the countries defense apparatus. A close analysis of NSA Ajit Doval’s declassified moves vis a vis Pakistan strongly points to an inclination of pinning the enemy down into submission. The “Bajwa doctrine” of handing over POK in exchange for peace with India may well be alive and kicking, and hence we might just be about to witness historic reunification without a bullet being fired.
After all, ‘Modi hai to Mumkin Hai’.