- Sep 25, 2020
Bajwa’s backdoor diplomacy and Modi’s visit to PakistanOne day Bajwa came to the Prime Minister and told PM Imran Khan that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to Pakistan on April 9, 2021.
In his article for Pakistan’s biggest daily Jang, senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has confirmed the existence of backdoor diplomacy channel between Pakistan & India during the tenure of former army chief General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Hamid Mir has shares how General (r) Bajwa went above and beyond in his attempt to establish a backdoor diplomacy channel between India & Pakistan, keeping Pakistani foreign Office in the dark and taking Pakistani civilian government by surpirse about Modi’s visit to Pakistan on April 9, 2021.
Change of ISI ChiefIn June 2019, Pakistani govt replaced ISI chief Lieutenant General Asim Munir, after only eight months on the job. He was replaced with Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, a former senior ISI figure. Hameed was seen to be hugely influential within ISI during his previous stint at the agency and was one of the figures who brokered the Faizabad agreement in late 2017 – an incident that further stoked civilian-military tensions. Hamid Mir has a lot to say about this:
Meanwhile, in June 2019, ISI chief Syed Asim Munir was suddenly replaced as he was also disliked by Imran Khan and unsuitable for Bajwa’s backdoor channel. Faiz Hameed was brought in his place.
During the same days, General Bajwa told a briefing that there is going to be a breakthrough with India. On July 25, 2019, I warned in my “Jang” column that Modi should not be trusted. Modi wants to surround Pakistan and force a diplomatic surrender on Kashmir. The column of August 5, 2019 was also on Kashmir and on the same day, India declared martial law in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Opening of Kartarpur CorridorHamid Mir believes opening of Kartarpur Corridor was part of General Bajwa’s backdoor diplomacy with India. artarpur Corridor is a visa-free corridor linking the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, with the border of India. It was inaugurated in November 2019 and allows Indian Sikhs to visit the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, without a visa. Mir writes:
A detailed report against Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir had been released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Pakistan could have made a lot of noise about it, but on November 9, 2019, Imran Khan inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor on Iqbal Day.
Faiz-Doval secret talksIn February 2021, India and Pakistan surprised the world by announcing a sudden cease-fire on Line of Control. The cease-fire announcement was made in a joint statement by the militaries of the two countries on a ‘hotline contact’ between their DGMOs, which had apparently taken place a day earlier.
Hamid Mir believes this cease fire result of backdoor diplomacy by military, but most importantly, Pakistan foreign office was kept in dark about what was happening. Mir writes:
In February 2021, Pakistan and India announced a ceasefire on the Line of Control. On March 23, 2021, Narendra Modi wrote a letter to Imran Khan on Pakistan Day. These developments took foreign office by surprise. It was only then that Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, revealed that secret talks between Faiz Hameed and Ajit Doval in Dubai have gone ahead.
Modi’s visit to Pakistan on April 9, 2021Earlier, we had reported that India’s Prime Minister Modi was to visit Pakistan on 9 April, 2021 and new start in relations between India and Pakistan was to be announced, but visit was cancelled after Prime Minister Imran Khan backed out of it. Hamid Mir has confirmed the development in his article. Mir writes:
One day Bajwa came to the Prime Minister and told PM Imran Khan that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to Pakistan on April 9, 2021. Modi will first visit the Hinglaj Mata temple on the banks of the Hangul River in Balochistan’s mountainous Lasbela region and attend the annual Hindu fair there. Then he will come to Islamabad and will announce the resumption of India-Pakistan trade and cricket matches in a meeting with Imran Khan.
What will happen to Kashmir?Earlier, journalist Javed Chaudhary had claimed that General (r) Bajwa told him that Kashmir Issue was to be set aside for 20 years and was to be resolved by Pakistan and India after 20 years bilaterally. Hamid Mir has also confirmed this development.
Khan Sahib asked what will happen to the Kashmir issue? Faiz Hameed told them that the Kashmir problem will remain the same for twenty years and after twenty years they will find a solution.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s entryIt is important to note that Pakistan’s foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. who is also vice chairman of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI), has often taken a hawkish stand when it comes to Modi-led Indian government, terming it a ‘fascist, Neo-Nazi regime’. Mir writes:
This was the occasion when Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned Khan Sahib that there is a parliament in Pakistan, what will we answer there? We have to go to election too, we will be accused of selling Kashmir. General elections were going to be held in Azad Kashmir in July 2021. It was feared that if Modi visited Pakistan in April, Tehreek-e-Insaaf would be wiped out from Azad Kashmir in July. Meanwhile, the Economic Coordination Committee had decided to open trade with India, but Shah Mehmood Qureshi not only showed ignorance of the back channel negotiations with India, but the federal cabinet also opposed trade with India.
“No Talks with India unless Article 270 is Restored”On August 5th, 2019, the Parliament of India passed a resolution proposed by Home Minister Amit Shah to revoke the autonomy granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was met with controversy and criticism.
According to Hamid Mir, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was of the view that any talks with India without it restoring special status of Kashmir will be considered a diplomatic surrender for Pakistan. Mir writes:
Bajwa was very angry. He complained to Khan Sahib that whatever we did, we did it by asking you. Khan sahib told him to go slowly and let the opposition in.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi called Bajwa Sahib to the Foreign Office to calm his anger and told him that unless India withdraws the actions of August 5, 2019, the restoration of relations with India will be considered a defeat for Pakistan.
Imran Khan’s speech in UNIn 2021, Imran Khan delievered a fiery speech at UN. Imran blasted BJP govt for its “intensified repression” in Kashmir. He accused Indian leader Narendra Modi of a plan to “purge India of Muslims”.
“The hate-filled Hindutva ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million-strong Muslim community,” he said.
Hamid Mir believes that Imran Khan’s speech bulldozed the backdoor diplomact initiated by General Bajwa and this started the tensions between general Bajwa and PM Imran Khan’s governmet.
In September 2021, Imran Khan disappointed Bajwa by repeating Pakistan’s old traditional position on Kashmir in the United Nations General Assembly session, but Bajwa continued to give hope to India through the back channel saying that there would be a breakthrough in April 2022.
Both Pakistani and Indian governments have not yet commented on the matter.
Bajwa's backdoor diplomacy and Modi's visit to Pakistan on April 9, 2021
One day General Bajwa came to the Prime Minister and told PM Imran Khan that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Pakistan on April 9, 2021.
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