By buckling under Chinese pressure over the issue of visa to Chinese dissident Dolkun Isa, the Narendra Modi government has shown that India remains a shilly-shally, pusillanimous nation, notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s muscular rhetoric—aankh se aankh milakar baat karenge (we shall deal with other nations on an equal footing).
What is really frustrating is that New Delhi has backed out after adopting a bold stance. It granted a tourist visa to Isa, a Uyghur activist, to travel this week for a conference on democracy at Dharamsala, in which the Dalai Lama was also likely to participate. This was India’s taunt to China after it vetoed a proposal by India at the UN to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad boss Masood Azhar a terrorist.
China accuses Isa, who based in Germany, of terrorist activities in its Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region. Apparently, our government has accepted Beijing’s viewpoint. According to an NDTV report, “Government sources say the dissident leader’s visa was cancelled after India learnt that he had an Interpol red corner notice against him.”
This is ludicrous. First, there can be no comparison between Masood Azhar and Isa. The former is a well-known terrorist, whose nefarious activities even Washington is aware of. Six years ago, the American government prohibited Americans from “engaging in any transactions” with three Pakistan-based militants and a front group, including Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Isa, on the other hand, issued a statement on April 7, 2004, “to strongly condemn all kinds of terrorist activities and express our unequivocal solidarity with countries those who have been a target of international terrorists.” He and his organization may have been involved in violent activities—we should not forget that they are fighting a violent, totalitarian state—but at least he does not openly preach violence.
And what is this nonsense about the Interpol red corner notice? Are we supposed get badgered and battered by every nicety of the international law? We become bad by inviting an activist fighting a dictatorship, but Germany is okay even it gives asylum to the same chap! Besides, according to Isa, he has travelled to such democratic countries as the US and Japan.
Today, India looks like a loud bully—talking big, but turning tail at the slightest retort.