Imran Khan wants TV debate with PM Modi

K N Pandita

An interview with Imran Khan before his departure for Moscow was released by the media soon after his arrival in Moscow. He was on a two-day visit at President Putin’s invitation. Pakistani newspaper the Dawn of 24 February wrote that Khan would like a televised debate with his Indian counterpart on India – Pakistan relations. Russian foreign minister Lavrov had visited Pakistan nine years ago and a Pakistani Prime Minister would be visiting Moscow after twenty-three years.

Seasoned and serious leaders when intending to talk on sensitive issues do not talk publicly. That is a deskbook rule of international diplomacy. However, sometimes an issue is talked about by them publicly if it is of global significance and concerns a wide spectrum of international community. For example, the Coronavirus when at its peak did call for timely interaction among the top leaders. Even then it remained accessible to a restricted audience.

By deviating from the accepted norms, and asking for a televised debate with the head of the government of a neighbouring country against which Pakistan has been nursing ill-will, animosity and hatred ever since its creation sounds bizarre. What does Imran Khan want to talk to Modi?

For the PTI party government headed by Imran Khan, Kashmir is made the sum and substance of Pakistan’s foreign policy – “the jugular vein”. Pakistan’s Kashmir policy is chartered by the Army and ISI both drawing strength from the home-bred jihadist militant organizations. PTI or any government in Pakistan survives as long as it has the goodwill of the army. Therefore, PTI has to play the card that stimulates maximum sensitivity and euphoria among the jihadists. Kashmir issue bandaged in religious padding serves Imran’s political purpose.

Therefore, Imran Khan has the compulsion to build Hitler, Mussolini, Changes Khan et al out of Modi. He has the compulsion to raise the hoax of a tyrant, an extremist Hindutva ideologue, a far right-wing dictator etc for Modi, the Indian leader to whom the vast Indian majority vote has sent to power for the second time and now eyeing the third stint in 2024 as well. Hence, what Imran Khan is unwittingly pursuing with all his intentions and compulsions is an ideological war camouflaged as the clash of religions. He has the compulsion of painting Modi as the biggest threat to the survival of the Muslim community in India despite constitutional and administrative guarantees for safety and security, and he (together with the Saudis) has the compulsion of giving a clean chit to China for demonizing two crores Uyghur Sunni Muslims of Xinjiang. For the last two years, Imran Khan has added a defining clause to its hate-India canard viz. “persecution of the Muslims of Kashmir and India by Modi government.” This compound lament has become integral to the prayer of Pakistani diehard anti-India and anti-Hindu jihadists in mosques, at shrines, in homes, offices, public places, at graveyards while offering fateha to the dead or on occasions of celebrating a feast in remembrance of a saint or Sufi.

Victimhood is a facet of taqiyya meaning the ‘covert strategy’ in Islamic jurisprudence. The intensity, with which Pakistan has woven the Kashmir mesh into Pakistan’s religious-political narrative, makes its factual refutation difficult and hideous for a large democracy that had allowed the separatists to stay back and live as Indians while successfully slicing traditional India into three.

What does Imran Khan intend to talk to PM Modi in a televised debate? This is an interesting question. Imran complains that India does not respond to his overtures since he thinks outstanding issues can be resolved by dialogue. Here lies the dichotomy which Modi is not going to buy while his predecessors did. Modi’s standpoint is that talks and terror do not go together. The world knows that at one time Pakistan feigned ignorance about the whereabouts of OBL as the “martyr” (in the words of Imran Khan) hid in the backyard of the GHQ for years at end. And finally the marines finished him.

Finding that India was tenaciously holding on to its stance of “talks and terror not going together”, and that the world largely found sense in Modi’s argument, Pak Prime Minister offered ceasefire along the LoC in February 2021. He wanted to sell his “good boy role” to his detractors and above all the FATF, which showed no inclination of removing Pakistan from its grey list.

Is it Imran Khan’s sincere conviction that a ceasefire along LoC would serve to put a halt to the clandestine infiltration of jihadists? No, not at all. The ceasefire agreement does not contain any clue to Pakistan putting a halt to clandestine infiltration across Kashmir. It has not been stopped and thousand of jihadists are assembled in camps close to the LoC on the PoK side. Pakistan offered a ceasefire because it knew it had raised the jihadist training centres in the deep forests along the borderline in J&K, streamlined anti-India and anti-Hindu brainwashing campaign among the Kashmiri youth and provided them enticement for enrolling in various jihadist organizations’ branches in Kashmir.

He wants to tell his beneficiary (meaning China) that he is soft and resilient towards India with whom his country’s relations are strained ever since Pakistan launched a proxy war against India on 22 October 1947 to wrest the J&K State from the Maharajas control. This is another facet of victimhood syndrome.

Pakistan wants to blur the vision of the world and hence a televised debate. But we have a question. When Pakistan sponsored, abetted and guided the invasion of tribal lashkars on J&K in 1947, the then Pakistan PM did not even inform or consult his cabinet colleagues leaving aside the people and the international community. What is more, Pakistan has been denying all these seven decades and half that she has anything to do with the Kashmir issue as it is the “insurgency of Kashmiri people against India”.

If Pakistan has nothing to do with the Kashmir issue, then why ask for a televised debate? Whom does he want to convince? Of course, the Kashmiris, who, in the process, have been hunting with the hound and running with the hare. They are enjoying the best of both worlds out of victimhood syndrome. One more facet of victimhood syndrome very well suiting Kashmir valley separatist leaders is “money from India and guns from Pakistan.”

Imran Khan has manufactured all possible canards and falsehoods to carry the product called taqiyya to the world market and find customers. He is projecting Modi as the enemy of the Muslims. He is presenting Indian and Kashmiri Muslims as persecuted and oppressed. They understand he is invoking taqiyya, not for any general good of the community but self-aggrandizement only. It is not important whether the world accepts what he says. It is important to keep track of what his people say about his method of taqiyya.

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