The self-proclaimed mighty Indian state has been reduced to catching pigeons and now expelling Pakistani diplomatic officials over false allegations of espionage. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, the Indian state has grown increasingly belligerent in a desperate bid to punch above its weight in the region. Despite a series of embarrassments and failures at the international stage, the BJP-led government remains adamant on pursuing a policy of aggression and violence, aimed at both the Indian population – especially the country’s minorities – as well as its neighbouring nations.

The Modi-Doval duo has tried its best to isolate and antagonise Pakistan, but it has failed on both fronts. They failed to put Pakistan on the FATF blacklist, or corner it at the UN, or involve it in a futile war to paint it as a destabilising force in the region and distract the government from its economic agenda. Kulbhushan Yadav remains in Pakistani custody despite Modi’s claims that he would secure the spy’s release. Kashmiris remain firm in their resolve for freedom, braving months of lockdown and violence.

The pandemic is out of control. The Indian economy is severely underperforming. The Chinese military is making a mockery of Indian troops and defences along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Simply put, the only thing keeping the Modi government afloat is the Indian media’s relentless propaganda that brushes over all its failures and paints the butcher of Gujrat as the sole viable option available to the Indian masses.

It should not come as a surprise if the BJP-led government continues to resort to desperate measures out of frustration and political compulsions. Pakistan should continue to exhibit restraint and confidence, as it has done so far. This strategy has worked, as it has allowed Pakistan to project an image of a secure and responsible nuclear state while a frantic India makes a laughing stock of itself.