Pakistan leader criticises Modi of stoking 'war hysteria'
From the newsroom if the financial times invention, I'm season blimp. Sohn Imran Khan was praised action quickly to avert conflict with India last month after flareup intentions that followed a terror attack in Cushman, but Pakistan's prime minister says he is worried his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi may be stoking unimpressively to beast, his electro prospects, Stephanie Finley our South Asia correspondent spoke to Mr. Khan and Johnston. I sing discusses the interview with Stephanie and with Amy Kazman our South Asia bureau chief. Chose to India to try and have civilized relationship and resolving all shoes through dialogue. But the response. I got early on. I realized that because of the Indian elections we should not expect anything positive, but we were apprehensive that some incident would happen and Paloma happened. I felt that Mr. Modi's government used that to build this war hysteria. It could have gone anywhere once the jets bombed us, and we want them. So fortunately, it stopped. But I'm still apprehensive before the elections. I feel that the something happen Amy has anger in India over the pharma terror attack in February east off or is Mr Hun right to worry about another flare up during the Indian election period, the Indian missile strike at Bala coach was obviously a very significant event because it ended this long tradition of India's strategic restrain. Paint in the face of pug, sunny provocation and terror attacks believed to emanate from Pakistan in the past no matter what had happened, including the horrific Mumbai terror attacks in which one hundred sixty six people were killed in Porsche five star hotels and a two thousand one tack on the Indian parliament in. None of these cases to India turn to military retaliation, the situation is different now because prime minister Narendra Modi has really tried to adopt a much more muscular stance towards Pakistan. But the thing is that part of the reason that India was able to conduct this missile strike without triggering international. Outrage was because of the previous nearly two decades of serious strategic restraint. So as some commentators said India was kind of spending the political capital that had been accumulated by previous leaders. Now, I do not think given the current situation where I mean, the immediate crisis is over. There was an initial attack Mody said, we're not gonna take this anymore. And we're gonna teach you a lesson. There was a flare up of stability and the shooting down of the plane, but after the handing back of the captured Indian fighter pilot back to India and an immediate de-escalation. It looks to me and to most strategic analysts that the phase of hostilities is over and I don't think India could just all of a sudden out of a blue suddenly strike at Pakistan, again, the international community would react very strongly to that. India actually had support from the international community for doing it. There have been signaling from the United States that they would accept something like this. But that is only because they felt India had behaved so responsibly and with such restraint in the face of past provocations. So I don't think like suddenly out of the blue. We're gonna wake up and find that, you know, motive for some domestic political reasons without any provocation has launched a new attack on puck. Stan, However, I do feel and many fear that if there is some kind of next terror attack in India between now and the end of the election or even after the election that India has set a new threshold, and it will be really compelled and determined kind of react once again with military force, which could then lead to a whole 'nother cycle of esscalation on violence. So spy gunman came into power in August, two thousand eighteen we immediately resolved that you know, we cannot take the stance anymore where you have these armed groups in our country a legacy of the von jihad in the eighties. We cannot afford being blamed for any terrorist activity like Barama like what happened. So we've already cracked. Down on them. We all these dispensing the whole setup in a state. The monopoly of force arms has to be the state. You can't have groups operating here. Because whatever the reasons of creating the groups, and we know the militant groups were created to fight the jihad it makes no sense right now. So it's for our own self interest that we need to get it of the groups Stephanie Mr Hahn was insistent that he has done more than any other recent Pakistani leader to disband militant groups in Pakistan is this convincing. He has made an effort he has closed. A lot of the Madras says the schools he has shut down around two hundred of those. He has also arrested scores of people linked to terrorist groups, and we have seen this before from Pakistan. So the question is whether or not he'll be able to keep up the momentum. That is what everybody is watching and one. During about because in the past we've seen similar crackdowns only to scale back once the international pressure is off something that is encouraging though is that Pakistan is working to meet the condition set by the financial action task force which works to control and stop financing to terrorists. And this is something that is new for Pakistan, and it's designed to target financial flows to terrorist groups, and they were put on the grey list and in order to get off the grey list. They have to meet certain conditions, and they have made changes. However in a recent review fat of said, look, you're not doing enough. You know, the legislation may be there, but the action on the ground or an essence the enforcement of these new policies is not being done enough. So Pakistan wants to get off the grey list. They really want to bring investment in. In their economy is in dire straits. So hopefully, this provides enough pressure to see some reform in an area that has been a big issue the link this is a moment, but the dash mobile that India, the boy who blew himself up nineteen year old boy was a Kashmiri Indian boy, and he is better and said how he was radicalize. Some abuse by the security force. So it was it was an Indian boy Indian operation Indian car and then explosive why was Pakistan blamed Michigan says he doesn't have enough evidence to arrest Masud as head of the Pakistan based Jesse Mohammed. Does he have a point when he says the Paloma attack was planned and carried out in India itself, the Pam attack happened in Indian administered? Kashmir, the attacker is believed to be a local man, but the responsibility for the attack was claimed by j Muhammad which is a group operating in Pakistan, India handed over a dossier on Jewish Muhammad leader Masuda czar, prime minister controlled me, in our interview that he had the dossier, but still there was not enough evidence to bring the leader to court and in the absence of that he was doing all he could to crack down on terrorism in Pakistan and. He redirected blame to India and the security situation in Kashmir it's been very easy to get votes by spreading hatred. That's what the Bishop is doing. It's basically anti-pakistan party is anti Muslim anti Pakistan, and I think basically people in India also realize that this is what is happening to the minorities to the Muslims to the Kashmir is to win elections. You spread hatred against other human beings. I mean, this is attacking the basic secular concept of India. Amy Imraan Khan was quite scathing about the Monica moments incitement to religious hatred against minorities has Mr. Moby done anything to answer these allegations. Actually, prime minister Narendra Modi is very clever in the way that he works. An in fact, you will very rarely find him saying outrageous or provocative anti Muslim comments. He's very aware of his international image. And he's very careful about what he says. And making sure that nothing comes out of his mouth that you couldn't point to say, look, this is an absolutely anti-muslim statement. But there are kind of more subtle things that he says that are like coded messages that are clearly targeting the Muslim community, for example, when he talks about the need to protect cows from those who would kill them. I mean, this is clearly an everyone understands in India. This is clearly a reference to the Muslim community which doesn't share the same dietary taboos against eating beef that upper caste Hindus. Have. I mean, dull it's also may eat beef. But so the comments that he makes are careful and he's not like actively out there on the stump kind of whipping up hatred personally. The problem more is what members of his political party and members of his ground. Forces say, they often say much more explicit and inflammatory things and Modi's response to this is generally silence. He never rebuffs them. So for example, a chief minister of Haryana who was a BJ people Titians some years ago made strong statements about Muslim Hadzic live like the way Hindus lived unaccept- their values and priorities or they could leave the countries. So there's other comments that are made by people in the BJP that are often quite inflammatory when there have been incidents of communal violence Mody oven doesn't say anything. He's not been very forward about denouncing these things or saying that. We don't stand for hatred. So he lets other people do the talking and say the incendiary and inflammatory things that instigates hatred. And he just kind of keeps quiet, and then when the pressure really mounts after maybe a series of incidents or something so outrageous that someone says he will finally come out and make a very tepid statement. But one that isn't very convincing and doesn't really leave. You thinking that he disagreed that much with the very inflammatory thing that someone else had said, but essentially he kind of outsources his really hateful comments and has others do that work for him. So that he can like maintain his Stater, of course. Those in his party say, oh, you know, he can't respond to every comment that someone in his party makes hardliners marginal figures in the party. But the fact of the matter is heels chose somebody like yoga ditty off who had a strong track record of really instigating communal tensions between Doosan Russels and each. Chose him for the prime position of chief minister of ood oppression. So that's kind of how Mody tends to play at. He he outsources the tough stuff, but his actions and his silences speak. Bruce Lee would not talk to Pakistan about any other murder accept terrorism and Pakistan would say that look let's talk About Schmidt too. Because Kashmiri's the men reason why there is this problem Indian Pakistan, and because people in Kashmir and specially in the last four years with the sort of oppressive measures adopted by the Narendra Modi government cashmere. The pellet guns blinding of children young people about the five hundred people have been killed in the last one year. What we feel is that the answer is just like an environ, Astana. It's not more oppression by the military. It needs political dialogue and a solution. And there is a solution. But India would say that look only let's talk about terrorism in Pakistan would say, no, we want a proper dialogue. Now, I'm saying let's talk about terrorism. Let's first talk about terrorism. Whether it is terrorism coming from of Aniston into Baluchistan, all what India thinks is terrorism going from across the border solicits talk about it. Mr Hans seemed keen to open the way to new dialogue with India in his interview. Do you think once they elections are over the two sides might get together and try and normalize relations? Do you think that's possible? I think we'll have to recognize and give credit to prime minister Mody who when he first came to power did actually reach out to his Pakistani counterpart who was then prime minister Nawab Sharieff, he invited nausea reef to his inauguration is installation swearing in. The two men had a meeting biolo- counts, they got on very, well, then there was a very dramatic event on Christmas of December twenty fifteen. Where Mody unexpectedly landed in Lahore and went to wash reefs house to attend a family wedding. And wish somebody happy birthday. So there was this clean of effort by Modi. And he really stuck his own political capital on it to reach out to Pakistan and extend a hand of friendship. The problem is is that just a week after his very dramatic visit to wash Reeve in Lahore. There was a terror attack at petanque coat in which militants killed several people at an Indian military base. And there was a clear feeling that this had come from Pakistan. So I think that Mody may now be more wary about trying to deal with Pakistan because he feels that the civilian government may be interested in improving relations and wash Arief. I think over a long period of time even with the previous Indian prime minister Toby Hari by. Shonen inclinations normalize relations. He was business oriented character who saw the possibilities of healthy in normal relations between Indian Pakistan, and what that could mean for the puck Estonia Konami. But there's always a feeling that in Pakistan, the civilian governments don't really have the say in this matter, and that this is a matter that's being determined or controlled by the military, which may be rather less interested in normal relations with India because they have so much at stake in perpetuating, this hostile conflict situation where their position and importance is a shirt, so all that said, I do think that there is this possibility that, you know, after the elections new Indian government could be interested in once again trying to extend the hand of dialogue. But I think within India there's a great deal of suspicion about Imran Khan, maybe serious. But what about the real force that stands behind him and our? Are they serious? And are they really interested in peace? And I think that unless Indians government sees real signs that pug, Estonians are cracking down on the groups that are responsible and have long been responsible for terror attacks in India. I think they're going to remain wary. And I think that is just how things are that was Josina saying took into Stephanie lay an Amy Kazman, thanks for listening. Remember, if you're not sure subscriber and would like to discover more F T content e confined our latest subscription office at FDA dot com slash FM.