Modi was so obsessed with getting Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist by the UNSC that he sold out India’s international reputation to do so after the global body made no mention of the many attacks that New Delhi accused him of masterminding in their official statement confirming this decision, thereby forever undercutting India’s credibility and causing the global community to question every one of its claims from here on out.
Most Indian media are portraying Masood Azhar’s UNSC terrorist designation as a long-sought victory for their country that was only brought about by Modi’s campaign of pressure on Pakistan that supposedly got China to reverse its position on this issue and finally agree to sanctioning him. While that narrative is easily believed by the ruling BJP’s hyper-nationalist Hindutva base, the political opposition immediately pointed out that the global body’s official statement made no mention of the many attacks that New Delhi accused him of masterminding. The conspicuous omission of the 2001 parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai false flag attack, the 2016 Pathankot incident, the recent Pulwama one, and anything at all having to do with Kashmir shows that Modi was so obsessed with getting Azhar listed as a terrorist by the UNSC that he sold out India’s international reputation to do so, making this latest development a cheap short-term election gimmick in a heated race that carries with it profound long-term consequences for the country’s image abroad.
Modi got his trophy, but he paid for it in a way that he never otherwise would have had he not been so desperate to exploit this event to help him win re-election. India’s credibility is forever undercut because the global community will never take its claims at face value anymore after the UNSC didn’t conclude that Azhar had any plausible connection to the aforementioned incidents that New Delhi accused him of masterminding other than being vaguely “associated with” Al-Qaida and Jaish-i-Mohammed, which are the legal technicalities that got the council to designate him as a terrorist. Contrary to the chorus coming out of Indian media, China didn’t “submit” to what they say was “increased international pressure” on Pakistan after Pulwama, but rather, it was Modi himself who submitted to Beijing and Islamabad by going along with their request to remove any mentioning of India’s claims against Azhar in exchange for China agreeing to his terrorist designation, which is expected to give the incumbent a boost at the polls ahead of the last three phases of the ongoing election in his country.
China held the cards all along and only had to wait for India to beg it behind the scenes to support Azhar’s terrorist designation in exchange for what Beijing wanted this entire time, which was for New Delhi to discredit itself on the world stage by accepting his UNSC listing made without any mentioning of the many attacks that it had previously accused him of. By publicly celebrating this as a “victory”, India proved to the world that its original claims never had any merit to begin with and that Azhar was just a convenient bogeyman for drumming up hyper-nationalist fervor from time to time. Modi decided to tacitly admit to this because he expects that his nation’s Bollywood-influenced media will do enough damage control over the next couple of weeks by distracting the population with ultra-jingoist claims of “victory” against Pakistan that they won’t realize the long-term loss that he inflicted on India’s international reputation until after the election ends in late May and it’s too late to remove him from office once the “high” wears off and everyone sobers up.
Taking stock of the self-inflicted damage that’s been done to India’s image abroad over the past two months alone, India’s Ambassador to Russia was proven to have lied to his hosts about supposedly rejecting international mediation between his country and Pakistan, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj publicly contradicted her government’s prior claims that “hundreds” of targets were taken out in February’s so-called “surgical strike” by admitting that no Pakistani citizen or soldier was killed, the US debunked New Delhi’s F-16 conspiracy theory, the Indian military turned itself into a laughing stock earlier this week by tweeting that it found the “Yeti’s” footprints, and now Modi discredited almost two decades of his country’s national security narratives by celebrating Azhar’s UNSC terrorist designation which made no mention of his alleged role in any previous attacks in India or occupied Kashmir. Indian media is right, though, since his designation is indeed a major victory, albeit it one for China and Pakistan at India’s agreed expense after Modi sold out his homeland’s international reputation in order to get the trophy that he so desperately needs to have a chance at re-election.
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