Annexation of Kashmir: Pakistan Just Warned the World About the 21st Century’s Munich Moment

Annexation of Kashmir Pakistan Just Warned the World About the 21st Century’s Munich Moment1

By Andrew Korybko

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s
(PMIK) speech at the UN General Assembly last week was one
for the history books and heralded the country’s rapid ascent as a globally
significant actor. The South Asian leader touched upon the four main topics of
climate change, anti-corruption, Islamophobia, and the deteriorating
humanitarian situation in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK), with the first three
thematically leading up to the last. PMIK touched upon how his administration
planted billions of trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when it led the province and
then followed up by rolling out this eco-friendly policy nationwide upon
winning last year’s elections, an interesting tidbit that will be returned to
later on in this analysis. His second part about anti-corruption promoted
genuine social justice by pointing out how the West’s assistance in recovering
laundered assets abroad would enable Pakistan to invest the stolen funds in
socio-economic development programs at home if only its partners had the
political will to help it (which they regrettably don’t), while the third theme
saw PMIK explaining the roots of Islamophobia and convincingly articulating
Muslims’ sensitivities about freedom of speech being used to insult the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH).

It was the last half of his speech about Kashmir, however,
that will forever be remembered as a defining moment in International Relations
after PMIK compared India’s annexation of Kashmir to
Nazi Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland and warned that the 21st century’s
Munich moment might even lead to a nuclear war if New Delhi proceeds to follow
in the Fuhrer’s footsteps and attack its neighbor. This comparison isn’t
hyperbolic in any sense either since the Pakistani leader explained how the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of the BJP and of
which Indian Prime Minister Modi is a lifelong member, was inspired by Hitler’s
racial supremacist hatred and seeks to succeed where he failed. Tellingly, PMIK
also reminded the world how the RSS assassinated Gandhi, which helps the
international community understand why Modi would stand by and let RSS
terrorists carry out a bloody pogrom against Muslims in 2002 in the western
state of Gujurat during his time as Chief Minister there, as well as why he has
no compunctions about imprisoning the 8 million mostly Muslim people of the
Kashmir valley in their own homes for over 50 days already.

The Pakistani leader also brilliantly preempted a
forthcoming infowar plot by India to blame its neighbor for a seemingly
inevitable follow-up to February’s Pulwama incident following
the eventual lifting of the curfew in Kashmir, which could be abused by the
authorities to “justify” launching another strike against
Pakistan and therefore dangerously bringing the two nuclear-armed countries to
the brink of war if Modi decides to continue escalating the situation. In order
to not be accused of alarmism, PMIK spent a lot of time explaining the
perspective of the increasingly desperate Kashmiris before concluding that even
he would pick up a gun if he was forced into such a humiliating situation,
which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if any of the locals or their 1.3
billion co-confessionals anywhere across the world did so as well. Should this
scenario transpire as predicted and India attacks Pakistan, it might not just
kill a handful of trees like last time (which PMIK nevertheless lamented in his
speech to rapturous applause from the audience), but actually people and
therefore provoke a symmetrical Pakistani response that could very easily put
the two on the path to a nuclear exchange.

He made no secret about this either, dramatically telling
the world that Pakistan will fight to the end if it’s faced with that choice or
to surrender, reminding them that the ramifications of a nuclear-armed state
doing so would effect the entire world. That’s why he implored the UN to stop
appeasing India like the League of Nations appeased Hitler, telling them in no
uncertain terms that India’s annexation of Kashmir and the consequences thereof
pose a direct challenge to the global organization that has failed the
Kashmiris for decades after first promising them a plebiscite on their future
political status following roughly a dozen resolutions on the matter. Instead
of being swayed by corrupt motives stemming from their interest in
obtaining access to India’s massive 1.2 billion-person marketplace, the
International Community must take a strong stand against India’s Islamophobic
policies and urgently put a stop to its ethnic cleansing plans in Kashmir. Not
doing so would only embolden Modi to do more and also risks radicalizing
India’s 180 million Muslims who are watching in shock as 8 million of their
co-confessionals are placed under de-facto house arrest simply for the “crime”
of believing in their religion while the rest of the world remains silent to
their plight in pursuit of India’s markets.

The unparalleled stakes associated with the Kashmir Crisis
and Pakistan’s crucial role in trying its utmost to responsibly resolve it
confirm the country’s growing status as the global pivot state.
PMIK’s passionate defense of Islam alone was enough to draw the world’s
attention because of how unprecedented it was for any leader to spend a lot of
their time explaining the deeper nuances of this religion to their
international audience at the UN, but it was his support of the Kashmiri cause
that took the cake and got everyone to reconsider the importance of Pakistan
for world peace. PMIK wasn’t exaggerating when he warned everyone that India’s
annexation of Kashmir is the 21st century’s Munich moment, and his speech seems
to have succeeded in swaying some countries to his side that otherwise wouldn’t
have cared about this issue whatsoever. The memory of World War II is still
heavy on the world’s collective consciousness, so evoking its run-up was an
effective way to ensure that everyone paid attention to his words. The
difference between then and now, however, is that the potential victims of
India’s racist crusade to wipe out Islam are many orders of magnitude larger
than the millions who were slaughtered during Hitler’s reign of terror.

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