On Feb 28th, after Pakistan announced the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan held captive by Pakistan, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary submitted a resolution to the secretariat of National Assembly recommending Prime Minister Imran Khan for Nobel Peace Prize. Alluding to his contributions in averting plausible war between India and Pakistan after terror strikes on Balakot, Pakistan held ode to Khan’s good will gesture. It is not just Pakistan which called for such coveted honour for Khan, India’s left-liberal brigade, the fervid “Aman ki Asha” advocates started similar propaganda in India.
Minutes after Pakistani government’s made approved release of Abhinandan, the brigade lost no time in eulogising, former Pakistan captain for the international honour. Castigating the Indian Prime Minister as the aggressor, started an online petition under the hashtag of “NobelPeacePrizeforImranKhan”. After the initial frenzy the issue seemed to have faded from public memory. But what made this development interesting, is the endorsement by Indian bigwigs which included former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju. In a telephonic interview to Pakistani news channel, Geo News, he praised Khan for displaying “real statesmanship” and added, “his speech was balanced, mature and full of wisdom. With calmness, he explained that war is not a solution. I think the speech should be circulated throughout the World, not just in our subcontinent. He deserves a Nobel Prize”. Two days ago, Eurasian Times carried an article stating that Imran Khan has been nominated for Nobel Prize by American publication, The Christian Science Monitor, terming it as “perhaps the biggest surprise in the peaceful leadership-and most critical to the World”.
The news of Khan’s nomination for Nobel Prize by an agency now demands an unbiased scrutiny. As of now while Indo-Pakistan tensions have cooled, it is important to explore if Khan’s self-aggrandised appellation of “Naya Pakistan” was any different from earlier Pakistan regimes. Hours after taking charge as Prime Minister in a televised address to India, pledged to take two steps for every one step taken by India to reduce tensions between both countries. For all the grandstanding nothing changed on ground. There was no decline in the cross-border infiltrations, unprovoked firings and terror attacks in Kashmir. The valley continued to bear the brunt of unabated terror under Khan.
Infact, giving peace a chance, India approved talks between foreign secretaries of both countries along the margins of UNGA at New York. But New Delhi called off the talks at the eleventh hour due to brutal murder and mutilation of three Indian security forces by Pakistani forces. Besides, as an endorsement to insurgency in Kashmir, Khan’s government unveiled postal stamp of terrorist Burhan Wani extolling him as a martyr. For the first time in recent times, Punjab awoke to a bomb explosion on Nirankari Bhavan at Amritsar, signalling resurgence of Khalistan movement.
To counter Modi government’s intense crackdown on terror operatives in Kashmir and free hand to security forces, under the guise of honouring religious and cultural sentiments of people Khan pushed the long pending Kartarpur corridor construction proposal. Through influential Pakistani sympathisers in India, Khan effectively pushed the Kartarpur issue to forefront. India relented and conducted foundation laying ceremony with immediate effect. With Pakistan’s army chief Qamar Bajwa overseeing ground breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor and special invite extended to Khalistan leader, the bluster of Khan’s administration stood exposed. Every year Kashmir valley would experience a break from the terror episodes during the winter months. But this year there was no respite from terror for the valley and Indian security forces made some major breakthrough by neutralising hardened terrorists sheltered in the valley. Having suffered a massive setback, Pakistan terror operatives with the support of deep state plotted Pulwama attacks. While JeM claimed responsibility minutes after the attack, Pakistan dilly-dallied and reluctantly condemned terror attacks referring to Kashmir as “Indian Administered Kashmir”. This has been the “Naya Pakistan” of Khan in brief.
Against this background it really makes no sense to even believe that the current regime of the so “statesman” Khan is any different. As mentioned earlier, Khan announced the release of Wing Commander under International Pressure as signatory of Geneva Convention. It would be ridiculous to even think Khan’s act as good will gesture, since Pakistan has been relentlessly escalating tensions across the border. Civilians near border areas have been witnessing heavy artillery shelling since air strikes. As of now, alert Indian Air Force shot down six Pakistan’s spy drones entering India across the Western border. Indeed, unexploded bombs dropped by Pakistani drones are recovered from the residential areas Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar. For all the tall promises, Khan didn’t make any sincere attempt post-Pulwama to cull and extricate terrorists.
On the contrary, Pakistan government stopped the UN team from interviewing Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attacks and sought removal of his name from the UN list of banned terrorists. While Pakistan government announced that Saeed won’t lead Friday prayers, he is replaced by Abdul Rauf, a designated international terrorist, chief of banned outfit JuD (Jamaat-ud-Dawa). Similarly, Khan is all set to appoint retired Brigadier Ijaz Shah, as National Security Adviser (NSA), suspected of plotting Late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassination and known to have close links with Taliban. Indeed, such is the reputation of Shah, that Australia refused to accept his nomination as High commissioner. These and several other half-hearted so-called reported counter terrorism measures, hold mirror to Khan’s real intentions.
The indiscreet measures of Khan, the “yes man” of Pakistan military is a reflection of the country’s deep state anti-India agenda. At a time when influential Indian left brigade is tirelessly pitching Nobel for Khan, Pakistan’s Supreme Court is about to hear his disqualification case for hiding parentage of a daughter with a partner Sita White in his nomination papers. Coincidentally, Khan’s estranged wife Reham Khan, opened up a Pandora box by divulging stories of about the personal attributes of the former Captain that reeks of racist bigotry and religious intolerance. Abound by contradictions, the only saving grace has been Khan’s humble submission saying that he is not worthy of Nobel Prize. But any person who resolves Kashmir issue would deserves one.
Khan’s statement eventually takes us to another Nobel Prize nomination. Unlike Khan, President Trump in a press briefing days before the iconic Hanoi Summit with Chairman of DPRK, Kim Jong Un disclosed that he has been nominated for 2019 Nobel Prize. Soon, International Media is abuzz with news of Japanese Prime Minister forwarding President Trump’s nomination for the Nobel Prize. Nobel Prize nominations are supposed to be anonymous. The phenomenon of trending of nominations for Nobel marks beginning of a new era. After President’s historic Tuesday joint agreement on the denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula at Sentosa Island, Singapore, 18 Republican lawmakers wrote to Nobel Committee endorsing President’s nomination for Peace Prize. Per-Willy Amundsen right wing Progress Party of Norway had recommended Trump for the Prize after President’s first summit meet with Kim.
Kim’s rigorous pursuit of nuclear ambitions began to pose severe threat to the stability of the North East Asia, President Trump after the initial war of words, offered to negotiate peace talks at South Korea’s behest. Putting aside decades of acrimony, both leaders agreed to establish new links between the US and DPRK, renew efforts to build a regime of longstanding peace and stability, vowed to work towards denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula conforming to 2018 Panmunjom Declaration and to recover and repatriate the remains of PoW (Prisoners of War)/MIA (Missing in Action). As confidence building measure, North Korea repatriated remains of American soldiers. But when it came to real objective of denuclearisation, both countries failed to make any substantial progress.
While US awaited a decisive, verifiable action on dismantling of nuclear facilities and arsenal, DPRK wanted a complete lifting of sanctions regime. Much ahead of the Singapore Summit, Strategists were sceptical about the American efforts given the DPRK’s fears of regime change. Notwithstanding these doubts, Trump argued that he would break the jinx and create history for himself by clinching a mutually agreeable denuclearisation agreement. Interestingly, Japan, who felt threatened by the nuclear proliferation, enamoured by the American initiative is believed to have commended Trump’s efforts to restore stability in the region. While some reports suggest that Trump administration has requested Japan to nominate him for Nobel Peace Prize. Unlike Khan, who openly said that he is not worthy of Nobel Prize, Trump who is intent on scripting a history never lost a chance to trumpet his attributes. He even defended Nobel nomination for his efforts to bring peace in Syria while America’s closest ally Israel was spooked by his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
President Trump, an aspirant of Nobel, months before 2018 Singapore Summit, unilaterally pulled out America from the conscientiously worked out iconic Iranian Nuclear Deal alleging Tehran’s non-compliance and unabated missile testing. Trump’s abrogation of treaty and reinstating highest level of sanctions irrevocably miffed Iranian fundamentalists approved nuclear proliferation. By arbitrarily terminating the Iranian deal, Trump not only destroyed the deal but pushed the volatile Middle East into abyss.
For all the bravado of commitment to denuclearisation, recently Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the Regan era, Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Leaving the burden of resurrecting the treaty on Russia within 180 days, America alleged since 2013 Moscow has been grossly violating the agreement by developing new ground launch cruise missiles in the ranges between 500 and 5500 kms. Irked by Trump’s charges, Russia announced its immediate withdrawal. As a result, the treaty will now automatically annul in six months. This development has sparked fears of new arms race. Soon, Russia announced successful test firing of Yats Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System capable of carrying thermonuclear war heads. Russia alleged America continues to test its ICBMs several times a year launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the Marshall Islands. As of now America and Russia’s nuclear arsenal are kept under restraint by 2010 New Start treaty which expires on 2021. But with both parties hardly evincing any interest to negotiate five-year extension, fears of global security are abounding. Trump’s boastful claims of a breakthrough fell flat after his talks with Kim reached a deadlock at Hanoi.
The case studies of Trump’s and Khan’s nomination for Nobel Peace Prize has opened up a new dimension about the rectitude or commitment of individuals motives for greater global harmony and peace. According to Alfred Nobel’s will- “person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” shall be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since World War-II people who made phenomenal contributions towards nuclear disarmament, human rights, democracy and peace negotiations were richly rewarded with Nobel Peace Prize. Considering the hysteria for the Nobel nominations in recent time, it is time to contemplate whether a feverish rallying for undeserved people by themselves or their lobbies is even desirable. This imbecilic euphoria for the coveted global honours should never be held hostage for narrow political gains or to prove a point.
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