To Accept Aid or help from Financially Weak Pakistan whose Economic Parameters use to be a Hotbed issue even terming the country as Beggar is supposedly a Challenge to self-reliance for the eyes in Delhi
By Shahid Majeed Mir
With people running hither and thither for the lifesaving oxygen cylinders in national capital of India majority of the countries round the world offered help in the shape of essential equipments to manage the crisis period. Be it USA , Russia , Britain, France , Germany, Singapore et al almost all the global leaders are pouring in to augment the collapsed health system of world’s 2nd largest populated country. The two parameters failed new Delhi miserably, shortage of beds and Oxygen cylinders. With almost seamless 1st wave due to strict lockdown and restrictions the country’s political leadership declared victory and Purportedly engaged in exporting the necessary ingredients to help the other countries in containment of Pandemic as a mark of goodwill gesture. All this was done in the backdrop of circumstances where almost all the medical experts warned onset of second wave. The more drastic step in this regard was to allow the huge gatherings in elections and festivals. This devastated the already derailed ladder to combat the deadly virus even when second wave was on our head in wee days of April. Now the situation worsened and Delhi is witnessing so horrible episodes’ day in and day out with people craving for some breathes of oxygen which is facing acute crisis due to supply shortage. Now when whole world is busy in sending oxygen concentrators and tankers to equip the healthcare system with necessary implements to confront the challenges likely to emerge on peak in mid-May or so. Pakistan formally announced to help India through medical supplies like oxygen concentrators and Ambulances. Moreover a world renowned NGO Edhi Foundation offered at least 50 ambulances and workers for India which has met cold shoulders.
When everyone in India is seeking refuge in the space where ever it deems may prove lifesaving like Mosques and Gurduwaras, it seems so bleak to show cold shoulder to help offered by Pakistan. It is noteworthy to mention that Pakistan is also facing the heat domestically by Pandemic but not likewise as is happening in Delhi. When the health system has collapsed and the centre is reluctant to impose another lockdown there seems to be an erratic landscape with sloppy policies to find the way out of the crisis. An aid from friend and an aid from enemy is likewise whatsoever. What lead New Delhi to show coldness to help from Pakistan is transverse of political crisis of corona. Crisis of Pandemic seem far more easy to handle by establishment in Delhi to geopolitical rivalry with Pakistan. The likely thaw in the strained relationship with ceasefire agreement and likely resumption of trade and sports activities seems not kicking the attitude of Doval Doctrine to overcome the rivalry phobia of Pakistan. China has indeed stopped the supplies and as per reports strengthening engagement of troops in Ladakh as well while as Pakistan above all shows goodwill gesture with liberal mind-set to overcome the crisis which goes beyond politics and religion around the globe. However, the denial tactics by establishment in Delhi leads one to subsume humanity over politics.
With widening of gulf between US and China and the likelihood of China formally overtaking the global landscape, India is finding itself in political puzzle of containing China at its own expense which leads to confusion and conformity. Pakistan has always followed the anti-India directions and the relationship with China seems in alliance with same saga of political rivalry. India was perforced by changing dynamics of China to create tense free western border to avoid two front confrontation which is likely so easy to derail. On one hand Delhi adopted wait and watch approach for Pakistan to move forward and the denial of aid is one such tactic applied by Modi led Government which is too sensitive to conclude anything. This attitude has mostly three reasons. Domestic woes and concerns of BJP which has Stonewalled on the premises of Anti Pakistan stance all around. With oft repeated Assembly Elections and the mishandling of Pandemic the acceptance of help from Pakistan may likely tarnish such image in the backdrop of big brother syndrome and far right nature of politics. This nature of politics is seemingly inalienable to the nature of party in power as the basics couldn’t overrun the temporary settlements.
On the other hand, Delhi declared victory after 1st wave passed off almost smoothly without much damage for its population in country. And the medical equipments as a goodwill gesture were offered to Bhutan, south African countries and others to help in containment of Virus. It was poised as a step towards global leadership with emphasis on Indian led initiatives in this regard. The second wave overpowered the notion and caught us off guard. This wave collapsed the whole system and put the reality to test when people were craving for oxygen and dying on footpaths. To accept aid or help from financially weak Pakistan whose economic parameters use to be a hotbed issue even terming the country as beggar is supposedly a challenge to self-reliance for the eyes in Delhi. Third factor is the relationship in itself. Pakistan since the ceasefire talks in February is impressing upon resolution of Kashmir and the restoration of Aug 2019 position prior to any formal talks which is an obstacle ipso facto. Imran Khan led cabinet recently reject Empowered commerce ministry proposal to lift ban from import of cotton and sugar from India on the condition of talks on Kashmir. In this view Delhi is treading every step in this way so cautiously before giving Pakistan any leverage as it seems the Aug 2019 declaration is non-negotiable, for the party in power. This notion also intensified the denial tactic which would have in reality brought the arch rivals close to keep momentum in the talks later. After the cold shoulders shown to offer in the middle of crisis is uncalled for in the situational analysis when country after country is swept and degraded by nasty virus around us. It’s only possible when we collectively adopt a cumulative strategy to counter and eke out the humanity from this genocidal virus which is chameleon in its shape and becoming deadly to handle alone. However, India and Pakistan once again proved the dictum “Geopolitical rivals never agree on principles of idealism “. The ideals of peace and humanity are not priority for countries in question. Otherwise the collective help by each other would have indeed helped in easing the tension further for formal resumption of dialogue on issues between the two.
Shahid Majeed Mir is an Author of the Book “Untold stories of Kashmir” hails from Kupwara and can be reached at [email protected]