PAKISTAN Prime Minister Mr. Shehbaz Sharif has indulged in a fresh diplomatic fraud by saying that his country has learned its lessons from three wars with India and that he would welcome “serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on “burning points like Kashmir”. There can never be a more fraudulent and stupid statement than this from the Prime Minister of any country. Contrary to the words he has used, the substance of Mr. Shehbaz Sharif’s interview to a media channel show clearly that Pakistan has learned no lessons whatsoever from the wars it fought against India and got defeated. The tone and tenor of the language does not suggest any moderation and any reconsideration of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir -- if all the wars were fought on that issue. In such a case, the very suggestion that there should be sincere serious and sincere talks on so-called burning issues like Kashmir, is nothing but outright nonsense -- which only Pakistan can indulge in.
The term ‘learning a lesson’ suggests universally that the person who has learned his lessons must become docile and be willing to give up his old obstinacy. That has not happened with Pakistan in the least. Instead of taking an amenable posture, Pakistan should have said that it was giving up its traditional insistence on Kashmir and was willing to open talks with India. But Prime Minister Mr. Shehbaz Sharif’s stand appears to be in tune with his country’s traditional policy that goes to prove that Islamabad has learned no lessons.
This has been the Pakistani style for since its formation in 1947. There is a historical reason, too, for such a Pakistani steadfastness on the Kashmir issue. It is common knowledge that even before Pakistan was formed, its protagonists had perfected a game-plan to annex Kashmir by deceit, no matter the details of the Partition Plan and the expected honesty in implementation by all parties. History also offers enough evidence to suggest that the leaders of Pakistan and the British had colluded to snatch Kashmir away from India even though Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir had clearly signed the Instrument of Accession to India.
Since that time, Pakistan has made Kashmir an integral part of its State policy and has designed whatever it may call its foreign affairs handling around the issue. Thus, it is only naive to expect Pakistan to give up its Kashmir policy. Therefore, any so-called soft words by any Pakistani leader appear only as a smokes-screen. The same has happened in the case of Mr. Shehbaz Sharif’s statement. For, even as he talked of Pakistan having learned its lessons, he does not give up the Kashmir issue in the least. Obviously, there are no lessons learned, and no remorse of any kind even after the so-called “three” wars.
In fact, Mr. Shehbaz Sharif is faulting with historical details, too. Pakistan imposed not three but four wars on India. The first was immediately after Independence when Pakistan Army regulars acted as ‘tribals’ and tried to annex the whole of Kashmir. In the war that ensued, the Indian Armed Forces evicted the invaders and saved Kashmir from a total loss to India. That war, however, was halted prematurely through a United-Nations-imposed ceasefire, and deprived India of the chance to snatch back the whole of Kashmir from Pakistan’s illegal occupation (that continues till the date). The second war was in 1965 when the Pakistan Army launched an attack on Kashmir -- and got defeated severely. The third war was in 1971 -- again imposed by Pakistan whose Air Force launched air strikes on Indian positions in the western sector when actually the eastern sector was boiling under the heat of Bangladesh liberation struggle. And the fourth war was in 1999 when the Pakistan Army occupied Indian positions in the Kargil heights on the sly -- and got a terrible rebuff.
In each of these four wars, Pakistan got rebuffed severely -- good enough to be called lessons. Yet, Pakistani leadership refused to learn any lesson from those and continued to raise the Kashmir issue at every possible international forum. This obstinacy, thus, has become a mark of Islamabad’s foreign policy, no matter if Pakistan has made an ass of itself in the past seventy-five years since its formation. Now also, the condition does not seem to have changed.