ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s foreign policy towards India took a dramatic turn yesterday as Islamabad came on the front foot against New Delhi, shunning the decades-old style of condemnations and criticisms.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide Moeed Yusuf’s recent interview with an Indian media outlet had set the tone for the aggressive policy amid the regular ceasefire violations by India and propaganda at every forum to defame Pakistan.

Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has taken a decision to pay in the same coin and expose India at the international level.

A dossier presented at a joint news conference by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar carried loads of evidence to convince the world regarding India’s wrongdoings in the region – especially against Pakistan.

In the recent years both Pakistan and India have accused each other of letting their soil to be used against one another but never such evidence was presented.

Pakistan’s foreign policy wizards have now realized that condemnations and rejections have failed to serve the country’s purpose and Pakistan will have to act practically to counter India.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has made it clear that Pakistan will go after India’s state-terrorism policy and expose it at the international level. “For years, India has blamed us for supporting terrorism without any evidence. We will now provide evidence to the world and let them decide which country is on the wrong side,” he said.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan will not allow India to damage Islamabad’s reputation. “We have the evidence and we will go after them (India). We will expose India and prove to the world that they are the perpetrators of terrorism in Kashmir and in the region,” he maintained.

International relations expert Dr Huma Baqai said India had propagated falsehood to defame Pakistan at international arena. “India is envious of the China-Pakistan friendship and wants to sabotage CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). Pakistan is not oblivious of India’s nefarious design to destabilize Pakistan,” she said. 

India, she said, was pursuing a multipronged strategy to build a negative propaganda to weaken Pakistan’s position at the international front. 

“It is diplomatic victory of our country that the international community has endorsed Pakistan’s stance against India. The international media has also exposed that India is financing and facilitating terrorists to sabotage peace in Pakistan,” she remarked.

Defense analyst Brigadier Said Nazeer (retd) said the Indian government was habitual of blaming Pakistan for its internal crises. “The people of Kashmir are forced to live in complete black out since August 5, 2019. India’s war mongering attitude is posing a serious threat to regional peace and stability. Its deteriorating ties with neighbouring countries indicate India’s fail diplomacy,” he said. 

Brigadier Nazeer said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expansionist policies were leading India towards regional and global isolation. “Pakistan should expose India,” he added.

Defense analyst Brigadiar Haris Nawaz (retd) said that India’s deteriorating ties with neighbouring countries is a manifestation of New Delhi’s failed foreign policy. “This is a positive change in Pakistan’s policy. We must go after India to stop it,” he said.

The world, he said, should realize that any confrontation between the two nuclear armed states can bring catastrophic results. “Pakistan has sufficient evidence that India is using Afghan soil to destabilize peace in Pakistan. It is responsibility of the United Nations to take practical steps to stop India from committing any misadventure. The world powers should pursue a balanced foreign policy. The United States must pressurize India to stop state terrorism in Kashmir. It is responsibility of the Kabul government not to allow anyone to use its soil against Pakistan,” he stressed.

This week, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram hoped that US President-elect Joe Biden will seek to balance the United States’ approach to Asia.

“Obviously, Pakistan would like to have better relations with the United States. We would be looking to find the areas of convergence where we can work together with the US,” he said.

He added: “We hope that, as in the past, the US would adopt a balanced approach towards both India and Pakistan, an approach that is equitable, that takes into account the national interests of not only India, but also Pakistan. If that is the case, if there is a balanced policy from Washington towards the continent, I think Washington would find Pakistan a willing partner,” Akram said.

As part of the diplomatic outreach, Prime Minister Imran Khan is planning to visit Afghanistan next week. This will be PM Khan’s first visit to Kabul as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. It wasn’t mentioned whether he would raise Pakistan’s allegations of Indian interference. The Afghan foreign ministry confirmed the plan.