There was a time when India used to bully and pressurise its way out of its international obligations. Unfortunately for India, its atrocities have grown so large in scale that it is now realising that these tactics will not work anymore, as it continues to fumble on the international stage.
The latest embarrassment occurred at an online meeting of national security advisers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Pakistan had unveiled a new political map underlining the disputed status of the Kashmir region, which was displayed in the background of NSA’s meeting. Expecting that Russia, which was hosting the meeting, could be pressurised into removing the map, India conveyed its objections to the map to Moscow, demanding that it be taken out. According to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Moeed Yusuf, Russia refused to cave in to this unnecessary and divisive demand of India and overruled the objection. This resulted in Indian NSA Ajit Doval unceremoniously walking out in protest during a speech at the dialogue. The map remained on display.
This shows a collective international tiring of India’s pushy tactics and domineering narrative. The issue of the map was inconsequential and could have been easily ignored by India—the new map only recognises the disputed status of the region. There was no legitimate contention any party could have had to the map—except for the fact that it was displayed by Pakistan and India does not miss any opportunity to one-up us for no reason.
Yet these tactics are getting old, especially now that international objectives are focused on regional alliances. The SCO is such a forum focused on social development and security of its member countries—this mindless protest by India over a trifling issue was surely not appreciated.