Grade Crossing

Why Salman Khurshid likes Nawaz Sharif and hates Modi

Maybe he fears he cannot come back in one piece from Pakistan after indicting them of cross-border terrorism.

 |  Grade Crossing  |  3-minute read |   14-11-2015
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'Wily old fox' is a term used to refer to people who cleverly trick others to get what they want. Though it is not used in progressive cases, the adjective finds a place when talking about extremely shrewd people. And then, there is another class of people who want to grab media headlines, for which they would do anything.

Salman Khurshid is a mix of both. He visited Islamabad to give a lecture about the Indo-Pak relationship, at the Jinnah Institute. Being a former external affairs minister himself, Khurshid was not a bad choice for the talk. But at the venue, Khurshid became an ordinary politician donning the Congress garb. Instead of a critical analysis, he found pleasure in attacking his own prime minister on a personal level.

Khurshid said Modi does not talk to people who disagree with him. This statement has little consequence in India and is completely acceptable as a political jibe at the prime minister, irrespective of its merit. But the wily old fox in Khurshid sprang to action and gave it a different meaning, given the context of his speech. This clearly sent out a message that the Indo-Pak relations are jeopardised at the moment because of Narendra Modi's personal attitude more than anything else.

He could not have ignored the fact that Modi, the prime minister designate, had invited all neighbouring heads of state including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to attend his swearing in ceremony in New Delhi. Naturally, he had to resort to some other statement which could override the background of the invitation. So he said India made things uncomfortable for Pakistan after the visit. This coupled with the statement on Modi's attitude gives out what Khurshid has to say - Pakistan is ready for negotiations, but Modi is not.

The wily old Khurshid conveniently hid from the public view the terrorist threat India faced from across the border, which is the prime reason for the unfriendly relations between the two countries. India faced multiple terror attacks and infiltrations from the Pakistan side even after Modi sworn in. This was nothing new. It was just a continuation of what we had experienced during the time Manmohan Singh was the prime minister.

Khurshid went one step ahead and praised Sharif for whatever Pakistan does to curb terrorism, the effect of which is seen only by Khurshid, not his fellow Indians. It was only a few months ago that the terrorist attacks in Gurdaspur and Udhampur happened, the origins of which were traced back to Pakistan. Indian government does not have any responsibility to own up Khurshid's short-term memory loss or stupor.

Strange, but it is good to know that Khurshid is now favouring peace over agitation. As an advocate, he had in the past represented banned organisations such as SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), and boldly said that no breach of ethics was involved in his decision to appear for the organisation. He is the same man, while being a union minister, threatened Arvind Kejriwal with the statement "Let him come to Farrukhabad, but how will he go back." But Kejriwal did visit Farrukhabad are returned in one piece.

Maybe Khurshid fears he cannot come back in one piece from Pakistan after indicting them of cross-border terrorism! Khurshid's statements have only that much credence. The statements will make a day's headline in India, and then rest in Pakistan.


Sreejith Panickar Sreejith Panickar @panickars

The writer is a columnist, researcher and social activist. He is the founder-member of Mission Netaji.

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