Prime Minister Modi’s trip to the US didn’t have many tangible results, but nonetheless it was very significant. The chemistry between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump was positive, which might have come as a relief to those who were wary of how the trip would pan-out.
The biggest takeaway of the trip didn’t come from the two participating nations, but from Pakistan. The reaction of a top newspaper in Pakistan to the meet of the two leaders showed what a considerable effect the bilateral had on Pakistan.
The Dawn said in an editorial: “Historically, the US has encouraged Pakistan and India to engage in dialogue on all disputes and issues between the two countries. But that encouragement is now meaningless if the US aligns itself with India on the Kashmir dispute.”
It went on to say, “Pakistan has been unable to adapt its approach to India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The newspaper noted how this posed certain challenges to Pakistan including how to mobilize world opinion against India over Jammu and Kashmir.
“Whether it is the dysfunction in civil-military relations, the intransigence of the security establishment or the reluctance of the PML-N government, Pakistan has been unable to adapt its approach to India in the Modi era,” it said.
The editorial raised serious questions over the manner in which Pakistan is losing out its significance on the world stage and how its claim over Kashmir is getting thinner. It felt that perhaps Pakistan’s own fraught history with militancy has made the world sceptical of Islamabad’s claims on Kashmir.
One significant step that the US took even before Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Donald Trump began was the US State Department declaring Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist. Syed Salahuddin is a separatist leader who claims to run an independent movement to free Kashmir.
This step was considered important as it meant Salahuddin is now a global terrorist, and not just a terrorist in India’s eyes. Obviously, this didn’t go down well with the terrorist-backing establishment of Pakistan. Even the Dawn came down harshly on this move of the US State Department.
India has been particularly aggressive on the border since Narendra Modi came to power. He has also worked relentlessly to ostracize Pakistan on the world stage which is working out very well for India. And now, the Indian Army has been given freedom to search and kill Pakistani and local terrorists in Kashmir. All this has stumped Pakistan, and it doesn’t have any counter to Prime Minister Modi’s aggression.