FPJ Edit: India must adopt a tougher stance

It is most unfortunate that China is managing to needle and exasperate India in many areas. There is no doubt that Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has been cocking a snook at India on Chinese goading and inspiration. While Oli has openly criticised India for wanting to see him sacked, his deliberate move to rake up a controversy over Ram Janmabhoomi, claiming that Lord Rama was born in a Nepalese village and not in India’s Ayodhya is a mischievous bid to repudiate India’s religious ancestry. At the same time, Beijing is apparently behind Pakistan’s deliberate failure to provide "unhindered and unimpeded access" to Indian death row convict in Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav, contrary to the directive of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). To top it all, China’s dragging of feet on withdrawing its troops from crucial points on the Indian border with China despite several rounds of talks is an attempt to humiliate India, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi went public with his comment that during the recent hostilities China had not occupied any Indian territory.

On Jadhav issue involving the sham trial of the alleged Indian spy in Pakistan, despite a dozen failed official Indian attempts at seeking consular access to Jadhav, Pakistan has denied all legal remedies. Hoping that better sense would prevail, India has lost precious time after the ICJ order. There was one farcical consular access to Jadhav allowed but it was with the presence of Pakistani sleuths. It is time indeed that India wastes no time in approaching the ICJ for Pakistan’s disregard of its orders. For too long has India tolerated the Pakistani transgression and given in to subterfuge at its worst. Likewise, India has repeatedly requested Pakistan for relevant documents related to the case of Jadhav. Pakistan advised India that the relevant documents could be handed over only to an authorised Pakistani lawyer. Thereafter, India appointed a Pakistani lawyer to obtain the relevant documents. To New Delhi’s surprise, as advised by the Pakistani authorities, when the authorised Pakistani lawyer approached the concerned authorities, they declined to handover the documents to the lawyer.

There is indeed no denying that India’s lack of action on all these issues is making this country look like a paper tiger. It is time India picks up cudgels. It must call the Nepalese premier’s bluff on the birthplace of Lord Rama, work more vigorously for replacement of Oli as prime minister, and drag Pakistan to the ICJ for disobeying the international court’s orders on Kulbhushan Jadhav. Enough is enough!

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Free Press Journal