Ignore pesky Pakistan in global summits

For years, India has been pleading with the world to de-hyphenate it from Pakistan.

Published: 02nd October 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2018 03:13 AM   |  A+A-

For years, India has been pleading with the world to de-hyphenate it from Pakistan. The argument was that India was way ahead of Pakistan in almost every parameter: Size, economy, military, and in most other social and political indices, and hence India deserves to be seen in its own right. Incidentally, China too bristles at any India-China hyphenation for the same reasons.

Yet the fact remains that every multilateral forum where India and Pakistan meet degenerates into a bilateral slanging match over terrorism and Kashmir, reinforcing the hyphenation. SAARC, a regional forum, is dead in the water because New Delhi does not want to talk to Pakistan. This does not go down well with other member states, who believe their interests are being ignored due to a bilateral spat. At the UN General Assembly, the leaders of the two nations predictably use most of their speeches attacking each other, and then go home to boast about how they had put the other nation ‘in place’ with their semantic jugglery.

Pakistan, on the other hand, needs the hyphenation because it believes it puts it at par with its much larger neighbour, and because GHQ wants to keep the Kashmir issue alive. So at some level, India’s attempts to name and shame Pakistan on the world stage feeds Islamabad’s game plan and ‘internationalises’ the Kashmir issue. That does not mean India should stop talking about the threat of terrorism. But it could certainly stop naming Pakistan, and instead look at the issue from a slightly more global perspective.

India’s position that talks and terror are incompatible needs no further justification. Ditto India’s position that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Constantly reiterating it at multilateral forums only gives Pakistan the chance to challenge it. If India were to totally drop any mention of Pakistan or Kashmir at multilateral forums, any attempts by Islamabad to flag the issue would be seen as a peevish attempt at parity. Ignoring a pesky neighbour can sometimes be a bigger snub than a public insult.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp