Modi must take Trump’s help to condemn Nawaz Sharif for Jadhav death sentence, torture of citizens

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif walks past his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi (foreground) during the opening session of 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Narendra Shrestha/Pool/Files

NEW YORK: How do you think President Donald Trump would react if some innocent citizens of the United States, who had accidentally strayed across the border, are brutally tortured by the Parrilla method in Mexico by the Mexican government? Strapped to a bedframe, given electric shocks, brains fried, till they lose their mental abilities. Then dumped back unceremoniously across the border.

Or, how do you think the US government would react if a citizen is captured by Mexican forces, accused unfairly of being a spy, and without any proof whatsoever, given the death sentence, executed.

How do you think the US would react if both those scenarios actually played out?

You can take your choice guess: from an economically crippling diplomatic cold war to dropping a Mother of All Bombs in Juarez Valley, infested with the drug mafia.

One thing’s for sure: the reaction from the US would be such that Mexico wouldn’t dare to commit such an egregiously heinous act ever again. US voters would no doubt stand behind it.

The US may be spared of this kind of brutality, at least for now. Unfortunately for India, the same two scenarios are playing out in real time, with the culprit being Pakistan.

It’s sickening enough to read the arbitrary death sentence handed by the stupid and terrorism-leaning Pakistan Army to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav. The ignominy of support given to that shocking decision by the sly and despicable Nawaz Sharif, who cannot be trusted to do anything good for India, makes it for ghastly neighbor behavior.

It’s sad and infuriating to read the numerous cases of Indian nationals who have been mercilessly tortured by Pakistan, some of whom are electrocuted by the Parrilla method, incapacitating, destroying innocent lives.

Take the case of Yashpal, a former rickshaw-puller from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, now 27, who in 2010 strayed into Pakistan after taking a wrong train. He was arrested, tortured to such an extent that after his return to India in 2013, he’s never spoken a word, sits outside his house all day long in silence. He’s determined to be mentally ill.

It’s time Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian government take forceful action against Pakistan. It’s time India stands up for even one Indian tortured by Pakistan. The time for diplomatic niceties is over. It’s been tried, has not worked.

India should ponder over this: what’s the point of being much bigger, stronger and mightier than Pakistan? Is that so to allow their citizens to be tortured and executed by a rogue army and cowardly prime minister across the border?

Modi should totally ignore Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meet in the US this summer. India should boycott all international forums and meets where Pakistan is invited. It would be ridiculous if Modi even shakes Sharif’s hand, pose for a photo op. India should call upon all their allies to condemn Pakistan for the decision to execute Jadhav, torture innocent soldiers and civilians.

It’s apparent that India’s biggest foes, Pakistan and China, are rearing their venomous heads just as India’s relationship with Donald Trump and the Trump administration is looking uncertain, if not unsteady. Despite the cordial and warm calls between Trump and Modi, the delay in the two leaders meeting is now looking like the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

India is perhaps uncertain how the meet between Modi and Trump would pan out. Their business ties, apart, there is a perceptible sense that contentious issues of trade imbalance, immigration and climate change could dampen relations, things could turn frosty.

China and Pakistan have got that palpable feeling too. It’s not a surprise the former is now aggressively pursuing the prospect of invading and acquiring Arunachal Pradesh. The latter is looking desperately to start a war with India, stoke patriotic passions in a country torn apart by religious and political factions. It’s Sharif’s plan perhaps, in connivance with the Pakistan Army, to execute Jadhav.

It’s likely that India may be caught off-guard and perhaps overwhelmed if there’s sudden military confrontations simultaneously from their north-eastern and northern borders, not to speak of domestic terrorism flaring up in Kashmir.

It those military aggressions come up after a frosty start with Trump, then the situation might turn dire for India. The Trump administration has not even appointed an ambassador yet to India, it seems to be on the back-burner.

With deepening rivalry between the US and Russia, India would also find themselves in a bind over whom to call for support: Russia or the US, at the risk of forsaking the other.

It’s also apparent after the bombings by the US of Syria and Afghanistan, that the US can certainly do without the support of India in their fight against radical Islamic terrorism, be it Afghanistan or Pakistan. The ‘shock and awe’ of a few thousand pound bombs would drive home sense into the few remaining ISIS members.

For India, though it’s not that easy, surrounded by nuclear-armed nations.

Suddenly, it’s looking as if more than the US needing India to maintain their status quo in Asia, with regard to China, India needs the staunch support of US to maintain its cordial relations with China, to fend them off diplomatically from Arunachal Pradesh, put Sharif and Pakistan on a leash. India needs to take Trump’s support in condemning Pakistan.

India should also be wary that maybe the Trump phenomenon, like that of the growing wings of the BJP in India, is here to stay for a while.

Trump may win re-election, be in power for a long time. It’s time Modi took a leaf from Trump’s book, be more aggressive diplomatically with Pakistan and China.

(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)




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