India, a thriving democracy, is the only country where ethos ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is deeply embedded in its social and political system

Pakistan has once again shown that it is a land of jehadis, terrorists and fundamentalists and it has no place for civility, moderation and reasonableness. The statue of 19th century Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh was vandalized at Lahore in Pakistan on Friday. In August, 2019 too, two persons belonging to a religious party, Tehreek-Labbaik Pakistan of Maulana Khaim Rizvi had vandalized the statue.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who spare no moment in criticizing India on even an issue of almost no significance, need to look in their backyard and see in which direction they want to take their country. They should not forget that the ideology they have followed for more than seven decades is the root cause of Pakistan’s continued slide into fundamentalism.

In contrast, India is a thriving democracy with a strong legislative and judicial system in place. Secularism is deeply embedded into its political lifeline. As a result, no one can change its fundamental character, how hard he or she may try. Besides, India is the only country where ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is its ethos and its practical application was before the world when as many as 150 countries were supplied with medicines to fight the deadly coronavirus in its early days.

In fact, India has always worked for the betterment of humanity in the world. There are numerous examples of India being the first country to reach out to countries from Asia to Africa in distress. Whether they were devastative earthquake of Nepal in 2015, the deadly tsunami of 2004 or sending ship loads of food grains to Djibouti, Sudan and other African countries during the ongoing Covid-19 triggered crisis, India has always been at the forefront of humanitarian assistance.

On the other hand, Pakistan has turned into a heaven for jihadis and terrorists and a key exporter of destructive elements to the world. Moreover, ‘Naya Pakistan,’ a slogan Imran Khan had pitched hard during the 2018 General Elections, has turned into a façade for exploitation and unabated human rights abuse of minority Hindu, Sikh, Christians, Ahmadis and others.

Most recently, responding to Pakistan’s claims in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India unraveled the truth, saying, “Ahmadis remain the most persecuted community in Pakistan under the aegis of the so-called Constitution of Pakistan. Hundreds of Christians are persecuted every year while the maximum of them are subjected to violent deaths in Pakistan.”

Also, human rights violations of people in Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan are at its peak. Besides being accused of committing genocide in Gilgit-Baltistan, human rights activists are blaming the Pakistan government for changing the demography of the area by resettling people from other parts of the country.

In October, thousands of people in Gilgit-Baltistan took to streets for four days protesting against the Pakistan Army and the government for an unabated onslaught on their human rights. However, the world was in deep shock when, during the 43 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 6, Senge H Sering, president of Gilgit-Baltistan Studies narrated before the Council about the situation in this part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

“Locals in Gilgit-Baltistan continue to face torture, sedition and terrorism charges and life-imprisonment for opposing onslaught on their resources and cultural identity. People in the region are losing their battle against the worst demographic engineering due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that encourages illegal settlements of Pakistanis and Chinese,” Senge H Sering said.

In the background of such accusations, Pakistan needs to act fast for its self-correction instead of indulging in blame-game against India. Its habit of negating the truth about its being haven for terrorists and jehadis is the very reason for its increasing international isolation. Close friends like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and several other Gulf countries have today turned their backs on Pakistan. Before it should be too late to recover the lost ground, Islamabad should first of all start looking inwards and undertake fundamental course corrections at political and social levels.