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[LISTEN] India Vows Surgical Strikes Against Pakistan as Modi’s Popularity Drops

Nov 24, 2021

Staff Writer

India has once again vowed surgical cross border strikes against so called militants inside Pakistan. Pakistan has, however, remained quiet, with many arguing that these were an attempt to engineer popularity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had recently been forced to repeal the controversial farmers laws, in a defeat to the ruling BJP, free market capitalism, and Modi’s perceived invincibility.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Zaki Khalid, founder of the Pakistani Geostrategic Review, noted that Delhi had been threatening, and carrying out these strikes since 2016, in an attempt to boost Modi’s flagging popularity, and as a response to militant attacks on Indian soldiers, which continue despite Delhi’s security first approach in Kashmir. Khalid argued that Pakistan initially viewed these as declaratory, but many now view it as a joke. Further, he argued that even were the leadership in Pakistan to alter, little would change, since Modi has another 3 years in charge.

Concerning the opening of the Punjab corridor to allow Sikhs to travel to India to visit their shrines, Khalid argued that this occurred because Pakistan wants to indicate its openness to minorities and Modi wanted to gain back some ground, especially since the farmer protests had seen many Sikhs move away from the BJP’s Hindu nationalistic ethos. He said that it had everything to do with politics, and nothing to do with actual understanding. It is noteworthy that Sikhs do feel marginalised in India and generally vote Congress.

Concerning tensions between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the military in Pakistan, Khalid argued that rumours were correct, but that the on-the-ground data proves that the policy making process is continually occurring – the Khan government was able to pass over 30 laws in one day, according to Khalid. This means that from an actual policy stand-point there’s more commonalities than differences between the government and the military in Pakistan. He further stated that Khan would likely last his whole term in office, making him the longest serving first-term Prime Minister. Khalid said, “I can’t even predict the future, but I can reasonably say that there is a lot of likelihood that the remaining two years, which Imran Khan has left, he will be able to continue in his time.”

 

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