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EDITORIAL: Surely, the whole world can see a clear pattern in India's accusations by now. Barely a couple of days after the second anniversary of the unconstitutional abrogation of Kashmir's special status by the Modi administration, when the people of Kashmir and Pakistan alike raised the issue for the whole world to notice, New Delhi is making the same old noise about likely Pakistan-sponsored infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC) just to deflect attention away from its own excesses. And, right on cue, the international media outlets are also picking up the story, quoting unnamed security officials quoted in an Indian publication to make their case.

The Foreign Office has done the right thing by rejecting all such claims, telling the world that Pakistan expected something just like this considering what the Indian government always does when international headlines begin going against it and, best of all, also reminded everybody how just last year the EU DininfoLab exposed India's own smear campaign against Pakistan in a report titled Indian Chronicles. The very fact that the Pakistani side is bringing quantifiable things to the table, like a very real suspension of people's basic rights in the valley and proof of Indian espionage activities against it, while all Delhi can do is lob allegations, along with its mortars, across the LoC, goes to show that all the latter has nothing beyond the same old tricks to do its job.

And it can do it so easily and so confidently, and get away with it each time, because it knows how world leaders are charmed by its giant consumer market. Now more than ever, when all countries are doing what they can to snap out of pandemic-induced low production and growth, everybody is looking for more exports and India's billion-plus consumers never looked so inviting to a lot of them. Therefore, the Pakistani government deserves all the more credit for sticking to its course and not abandoning the struggle for the freedom of the Kashmiri people. The Imran Khan administration has, in fact, breathed life into this issue like never before and raised it at all important international fora and with all international leaders of repute and stature.

The idea, quite rightly given the circumstances, seems to be to raise this issue to the point that all the citizens of the world become familiar with it and their leaders' indifference becomes synonymous with the unending suffering in Kashmir. Perhaps that is the right way to get the right policies out of capitals in the western hemisphere, where democracy and the rule of law can still play a part in dictating official discourse. It's a big shame that so far even countries that can do nothing better than lecture the world about progressive and democratic values also have the most duplicitous policies when it comes to illegal and inhuman occupations like the ones in Kashmir and Palestine. And in order to keep the money from these countries flowing to their vaults a lot of these leaders also play a big part in weaving detailed conspiracy theories that seem to justify their actions; like how siding with the oppressors is important to defend human rights, etc.

Yet the struggle must continue; and that means not just doing the right thing but also being prepared for the fiercest media onslaught every now and then that money and influence can buy. Delhi doesn't realise though, much to its cost, that such antics are now well past their sell by date and its actions are only strengthening the resolve of the Kashmiri people to stand against it. Insofar as the Pakistani people and government are concerned, they're expressing - loudly and clearly - their commitment to the Kashmir cause to stand with the people of Kashmir.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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