Imran Khan: The Warrior Prime Minister?

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Imran Khan
Imran Khan

TIC Analysis |

Prime Minister Imran Khan affirmed on Wednesday that he would no longer seek dialogue with Indian officials over the escalating issue of Occupied Kashmir. In an interview with The New York Times, PM Khan inveighed against repeated rejections of his offers for dialogue by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at, both before and after the August 5 crackdown on the disputed territory of Kashmir.

“There is no point in talking to them. I mean, I have done all the talking. Unfortunately, now when I look back, all the overtures that I was making for peace and dialogue, I think they took it for appeasement,” PM Khan said during the interview, at the prime minister’s office in Islamabad. “There is nothing more that we can do.”

But it seems it was the plight of the Kashmiri people that weighed more on his mind then the failings of peace overtures. The PM urged the international community to take action to prevent an impending genocide of Kashmiris. Prime Minister Khan dubbed India’s Modi as “a fascist and Hindu supremacist” who isought to annihilate Kashmir’s Muslim population and populate the region with Hindus. “The most important thing is that eight million people’s lives are at risk. We are all worried that ethnic cleansing and genocide are about to happen there,” Khan said.

While the New York Times tried to dismiss Khan’s words as “hyperbole”, Genocide Watch, a global organisation dedicated to the prevention of genocide, has issued two warning alerts for India, one for the occupied territory of Kashmir and the other for Assam state. Rights groups have slammed India for atrocities in both Occupied Kashmir as well as the rest of india such as lynchings, impunity to religious murders, rape and severe human right violations.

The emergence of a Hindutva India has become a horrifying fact, now being felt by the increasingly under pressure Indian citizens and the international community. The reign of the Hindutva extremist through it’s fascist campaign of imposing its own brand of Hinduism has crushed the dreams of those who strove for a peaceful pluralist nation. Indian minorities have started facing the brunt of Hindutva fascism in the form of both legal and extra legal steps ranging from legalised forced conversions to culinary regulations to state backed terrorist attacks. The Hindu majority has not been spared with the Dalit commubity being brutalised with various measures every passing day. High caste Hindus are also under siege with dissenters being killed such as Gauri Lankesh, M.M. Kalburgi and others.

Muslim majority Kashmir has now become the new battleground for dominance between Hindutva and the surviving disordered proponents of Gandhi’s India. Already a defacto colony since India’s creation, Kashmiris already faced human rights violations ranging from mass killings, forced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. Now they face a genocidal assault that seeks to wipe their very memory from the face of the earth.

Hindutva will not limit itself to Occupied Kashmir. Already Indian ministers talk openly of conquering Azad Kashmir, the portion of Kashmir that got away from Indian rule through the intervention of Pakistan. Pakistan itself is designed to be bifurcated into several states through covert and overt means according to Hindutva aspirations. And still Indian hegemonic aims will not stop here. India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Subramanian Swamy Bangladesh will have to handover land from Khulna to Sylhet drawing a parallel line due to illegal immigration. Bangladesh adjoins India’s Assam state which is itself facing an insurgency for decades and is where the second genocide warning has been issued.

Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book “Strategic Vision:America and the Crisis of Global Power”, observed, “Indian strategists speak openly of a greater India exercising a dominant position in area ranging from Iran to Thailand. India is also positioning itself to control the Indian Ocean militarily; its naval and air power programs point clearly in that direction—as do politically guided efforts to establish for India strong positions, with geostrategic implications, in adjoining Bangladesh and Burma.”

In this context, Imran Khan’s policy of an end to appeasement rings true. A thought such as Hindutva cannot be placated through rational means, it seeks to either dominate or eliminate with no other choice. While some criticize Khan for his earlier softer approach it should be remembered he has always been an idealist peacemonger which he probably inherited from his sports career. It should also be remembered he showed his warrior side during the 27th February standoff when Pakistan under his command stared down a larger aggressive enemy i.e. Modi’s India before reverting back to his pacifist nature.

Pakistan has been a frontline state against both Cold War expansionism as well as transnational terrorism. Now it seems destiny wishes it to be a bulwark against newborn Nazism in the avatar of Hindutva. The situation seems to demand a Churchill or a Stalin or an Eisenhower. Or perhaps the situation demands a Prime Minister Khan the Warrior rather than Khan the peacemaker.