Table salt is one of the most incumbent items on a food table. Sans table salt, the most delicious food, cooked even by a tested chef may be rendered insipid and tasteless.
No wonder that we say, ‘We lost on the table what we won in the field.” Apart from the fact whether the disputed Uri incident was a usual India-alleged proxy strike by Pakistan or an Indian bid to falsely incriminate rivals like Pakistan by way of self-imposed injuries, what transpired is that it adversely exposed India’s meagre military professional skills and aggravated Pakistan’s isolation in the international community from Dehli’s point of view. The same was followed by the misfired ‘surgical strikes’ by India thus becoming the talk of the town for India at one hand and exposing the rift between the political and spy leadership of Pakistan on the other for latter’s clandestine support to the banned religious militant groups, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-i-Tayyaba. The latter could not have, perhaps, been so highlighted if the story was not broken ‘objectively’ by one of our learned journalist brothers, throttling a ‘quick response’ from our Interior Ministry by way of imposing an ECL order upon the said journalist.
At length, the story which might be factual, seems to have echo and vibrations of the Memogate Scandal, wherein the rift between the then PPP political government and the spy agencies led New Dehli to put international pressure to demand Pakistan cut down the budget of spy agencies and bring them under civilian.
However, India seems to be awfully scared of the Pakistan’s military might which is further endorsed by the well quoted Doval guidelines suggested to the Modi government to push the Indian forces to work upfront against the Pakistani forces. Cutting down of the allowances of the Indian military men by the Modi government is also indicative of unhappiness, nay the displeasure, of the Modi government over the mishandling of the insurgency in Indian held Kashmir.
In the wake of such incidents, the Foreign Office of India became so perplexed that it had to jeopardise the recent SAARC conference by refusing to participate.
Thus, one after the other, India had to face severe jolts in its Kashmir policy in the field leaving the Indian forces, government as well as the public demoralised at one hand and boosting the morale of the Pakistani forces and the public on the other. Admittedly, the break of the story of the rift between the political leadership and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan might have, above all, diverted the attention of the circumstances and provided India a respite for a while, but its effect is will not push Pakistan to isolation as is perceived by the Indian policy makers and the analysts.
No political leadership in Pakistan, however, may opt or to be so blunt in the circumstances to defy even the reasonable measures taken to compel India to come on the table in accordance with the UN resolutions asking for the right of a plebiscite to be granted to the Kashmiris.
However, being grave and serious at the table, ensuring availability of table salt thereupon, especially in case of India, is, unquestionably, a million dollar question, which needs to be at least pointed out and addressed positively. On the eve of recent UNGA session, the Kashmir issue was highlighted due to the grave situation in the field. The fact remains that no such gravity could ever be communicated on the tables of the UN General Assembly. The Foreign Office of Pakistan was seen to be focusing more and stewing pressure on the listeners by way of having a grand show down of a huge official fleet comprising more than a hundred delegates in those General Assembly seats where only the professional delegates were entitled to represent the true cause of Pakistan including Kashmir.
Similarly, 22 parliamentarians have been nominated as special envoys to highlight the plight of the Kashmiris in India-Occupied Kashmir, IOK, to plead their case on their special visit to the UN, US and the other key world capitals, the out-come and fate thereof has yet to be seen. It has yet to be seen as to how far these parliamentarians would add to the salt flavours on the table to counter Indian propaganda regarding Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and especially the abrupt questions as highlighted in the recently published story.
Needless to say, that a segment of politicians, diplomats, technocrats and intelligentsia on both sides of the border wants peace between India and Pakistan even at the cost of Kashmir and is still desirous to resume dialogue and back door diplomacy between the two countries. However, cogent evidence is also claimed to be put forth by certain official segments on both sides as to show biases and interventions across the borders, but India always lacks reason to justify its avoidance of the implementation of UN Resolutions and even questions the acceptability of Pakistan as an independent state. Rationally, no country, either India or Pakistan would like to opt for a military solution in their particular socio-economic circumstances but no country would also simultaneously be able to afford any ignominy and disgrace, especially Pakistan, comprising a large segment of emotionally and religiously charged population which shall hardly allow its leadership to go for any such irrational and unjustified solution as a negation of the UN Resolutions. Therefore, what options are available to the Pakistani leadership and what will be the fate of Kashmir, including the third option of an independent Kashmir, and what leadership is required to put salt on the table to make any deal palatable are yet to be seen.