Kashmir, Balochistan, PoK and all the territorial issues which has been not much of a talking point among the masses, but certainly these are issues which has been cause of concern for different reasons, some for human rights violation, some for civilian-army conflicts. These issues have never died down, yet it never took center stage. The leaders, the media, the strategists and the pundits all kept it niche without noise. The Independence day speech by Prime Minister where Mr Modi mentioned of Balochistan is unprecedented whilst Pakistan’s rants about Kashmir is not new. There are two or more ways to look and gauge the potential consequences of mentioning of Balochistan.
It could certainly be a potential master stroke and perhaps push Pakistan to the corner. It could make Pakistan think twice about mentioning Kashmir. On the flip side, unlike never before, foreign policy has potentially been swayed by mass opinions. Not that mass opinions are wrong for foreign policy issues, but, foreign policy unlike any social issues has a history, present and future to be taken into account for a country to achieve its strategic benefits.
Pakistan media has always taken pot shots at India about India’s alleged role in Balochistan, an accusation India has strongly rejected in the past. Now with the Independence speech mentioning Balochistan what are the potential questions and concerns ?
1. Could now Kashmir & Balochistan both become a reason in delaying bilateral talks?
2. Will Pakistan up the ante over the alleged involvement of India in Balochitan’s unrest?
3. Will Pakistan use this as an opportunity to pull up a third party like the UN to report on both Kashmir & Balochistan?
4. Will Pakistan play the dirty game of pinning every mishap in Balochistan on India?
5. Will Balochistan outreach tame Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir?
and much more, that’s what Balochistan does, it adds a new variable to an existing complex equation. It can work to our benefit, it can die out without any significance to India or it can hurt India on the short term or medium term. Only time will tell us if the Balochistan mention during the Independence day speech was a master stroke, certainly it was a good riddance to Pakistan’s mention of Kashmir during its Independence day speech.