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Olive Branch from Pakistan was finally extended by their military leader Gen Q A Bajwa. Peace lovers in India are cautiously optimistic, where as the diplomats and the Government are looking for the reasons why such an offer came across the border

The peace-loving citizens on either side of LOC of the two nuclear-powered neighbours have welcomed two developments in the last week. The first one was an announcement of the ceasefire was by the DGMOs of India and Pakistan followed by the de facto head of state of Pakistan, Gen Q A Bajwa sought peace with India for ‘securing the future of the region’.

Of course, a lot of backchannel diplomacy would have taken place. Names of a few countries brokering the peace deal have also been floated. Let us explore the reasons why Bajwa extended a hand of friendship from Pakistan to Indian finally.

  1. Disillusionment with Imran’s foreign policies:
    • After Trump sidetracked Pakistan, Biden continues to follow pro India policies and eye’s Pakistan with suspicion.
    • EU, especially France and Holland had pro and anti-Muslim riots. Demonstration by Mullahs of Pakistan and Imran’s statements against the heads of states of these EU countries didn’t go well with them.
    • Relegated from being a leader of OIC to a backbencher. Their strong anti-India views are no longer shared by a majority of OIC members.
    • No friends in the international arena except Turkey. Even Malaysia has left its side.
    • Touted as a colony of China after BRI. Pakistan’s doublespeak on atrocities on Uyghur Muslims revealed their true face to the world.
    • Saudi Arabia, UAE and some other Gulf countries recognised Israel, side-lined Pakistan’s strong pro-Palestinian views.
    • Imran’s announced address of the Sri Lankan parliament didn’t take place. After his visit, Sri Lanka announced restrictions on the use of Burqa. Not much headway in their anti-India policy in Bangladesh or Nepal.
    • Rich Pakistan’s expatriates in Western countries being discriminated against. Not being welcomed anymore.
  2. The dismal state of Pakistan’s economy:
    • BRI interest payments, increasing population and defence spending have taken a huge toll on their economy. Loans from IMF due to FATF grey list are hard to come. Even the Gulf countries demanded their loan money back. There is hardly any money left after servicing external debt.
    • Food imports cannot be ignored. They import wheat, sugar, tea and palm oil – the basics of a poor man’s diet. Items are procured from far of countries. These could have easily been procured from India at a very less price.
    • Exports are dwindling.
  3. Discovering the truth of the much-touted Belt and Road Initiative.
    • No tangible benefits for the common man.
    • Electricity production increased considerably. However, it is at a very high cost. The industrialisation has not kept pace. Electricity could have been sold to India if relations were good.
    • Large scale corruption by trusted by Pakistan’s generals in the deal.
  4. Draconian Coronavirus.
    • China was accused worldwide for the occurrence and spread of the virus. It ruined the economies of countries worldwide.
    • Pakistan’s foreign workers lost jobs and returned home.
    • Pakistan is now dependent on the small quantities of more expensive Chinese and Russian Covid vaccines. India is supplying free vaccine to poorer countries and at a cheap rate to other countries. Their vaccination schedule as yet has no clarity and is still to take off.
  5. Dramatic Rise of India on the world scene.
    • Failure of Pakistan’s anti-India policies of terrorism, drugs and Khalistan.
    • Reorganisation of J and K and repeal of Article 370 accepted by everyone.
    • Balakot bombing didn’t invite sanctions.
    • Fear of Indian support to Baluch militancy cause, copper mining in Baluchistan and security of Gwadar port.
    • The extreme shortage of water in Pakistan. Two dams being built by India could worsen water availability further. Indus water treaty talks could be the way out.
    • Shutting down of SAARC at a time when Pakistan was to host it.
    • The creation of BRICS and QUAD has increased India’s status in the region.
    • Stopping border trade has hurt Pakistan much more than it has hurt India.
Olive Branch from Pakistan
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies. The author is neither a foreign policy expert nor a defence analyst. He has compiled divergent facts in one place.

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By Major General Krishan Chauhan (AMC)

Maj Gen Krishan Chauhan (Retd) Army Medical Corps., is the alumni of Sainik School Kapurthala, IG Medical College Shimla and AFMC Pune. Part of PG Community Medicine. He is a fellow of the Indian Public Health Association. He was part of core groups in establishing ECHS and ACMS Delhi. He was Addl DGMS Army prior retirement.