A crude exhibition of the typical cheap brand of low-cunning possessed by Indian political elites in their rhetoric, yet by Pakistan’s standards this amounts to nothing short of a brilliant chess move by India. It panders to audiences and opinion-communities the PTI doesn’t even know exists.
The move would also not have been as cunning as it is if the PTI had not been following a fruitless (for those who think past the initial glee of merely seeing Kashmir make headlines) strategy of complete pandering to the Western liberal mainstream media.
Little in the broader global opinions-and-analyses landscape is more discredited and reviled today than the Western liberal mainstream media, which has long coated media support for wretched policies and wretched politicians under nauseating liberal platitudes.
‘Anti-liberals’ are, in short, much more credible and buoyant in the modern day and India’s FM has presented Pakistan as a state pandering to their mortal enemies in the NYT, Washington Post and CNN. Which it very much is.
But the PTI hasn’t seemed to become aware of this and has pandered to the liberal order to the extent of repeatedly even presenting the BJP-RSS and ‘Modi’ as the occupiers of Kashmir while occasionally praising India’s Congress figures such as Nehru and Gandhi. The latter, after all, simply looked and sounded more ‘Westernized’ and ‘liberal’ than the RSS-BJP does.
Its faith in the Western liberal order – which India with its successful integration into the Western tech industry and promotion of neoliberal culture via Bollywood is already on better terms with – is self-sabotaging and it seems the Indian side now understands the potential to exploit this.