When you see a former Pakistani ambassador being hailed in India for his views, it has to be for all the wrong reasons. There is no doubt that the amount of attention Hussain Haqqani gets from Indian media is unprecedented for a Pakistani national. One can easily come across his various articles and interviews on various newspapers and channels, circulating like wildfire. What makes Mr. Ambassador so special and cherished across the border? To state the obvious, he loves to spew venom against the state. Moreover, when a man of this stature makes claims in favor of the Indian narrative, it provides a certain degree of legitimacy to the propaganda against Pakistan. In his latest interview to NDTV, he again presents a lopsided picture on India-Pakistan relations, putting the onus of blame on the latter.
He claims that “Mr. Modi initially made it very clear that he wanted to reach out. And once he reached out, the onus was on the Pakistani side.” It may be true that Narendera Modi took the first initiative as the Indian Prime Minister by inviting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his oath taking ceremony along with other heads of states. However, instead of being a gracious host to Nawaz Sharif, Modi issued a blunt warning to Sharif that Islamabad must prevent militants on its territory from attacking India. Later, he also canceled the foreign secretary level bi-lateral talks that were to take place in Islamabad. Therefore, to create an impression that a civil-military imbalance had anything to do with the faltering India-Pakistan ties is highly misleading.
His failure to acknowledge the Peshawar attack as a defining moment in the fight against terrorism further highlights his short-sightedness. With an ongoing military operation and National Action Plan in place, the military is zeroing in on extremist elements from all corners; Karachi operation being one such example. It is highly irresponsible of Hussain Haqqani to propagate a contrary picture of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism based on assumptions when the country is passing through such a critical juncture.
In addition to that, India has been actively involved in supporting terrorism in Pakistan; Indian weapons have been recovered multiple times from militants in North Waziristan and Balochistan. Pakistan has officially highlighted Indian involvement along with material proofs to the Indian authorities to bring their attention to cross-border support being provided to terror outfits by RAW. While Hussain Haqqani easily fails to mention the Indian involvement in terrorism in his interviews to his Indian friends, he focuses on the “Pakistani obsession with Kashmir”, conveniently forgetting the atrocities being committed by the Indian state and Indian military on the people of Kashmir for decades. Why does he never mention India’s obsession with Balochistan and its open support to the militant separatist elements there?
It is ironic that Mr. Ambassador truly believes that his imprudent statements on Indian media are in the best interest of the country. He sees this criticism as a form of self reflection but this is far from the truth. A far cry from constructive criticism, his reckless articles and interviews are focused more on destructive criticism for the country and its institutions.