It was vintage Narendra Modi -- virtually calling spade a spade and throwing a real-time bomb teaser to Pakistan. Balochistan is in news. Looking at the nervous response of sickular army on Twitter and Facebook, I am confident - Namo has hit the jackpot. He has struck where it actually hurts Islamabad and the sickular jingoists on this side of the border.
"The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them," Modi said in his customary address to the nation on the occasion of 70th Independence Day.
He said the way people from these Pakistani regions "wished me well, gives me great joy".
In thanking an Indian Prime Minister, "they have thanked the whole population of my country", he said.
"I want to offer my gratitude to these people."
In the all-party meeting last week in Delhi, Modi had said that it was time for Islamabad to explain to the world its "atrocities on people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan".
In effect, the game has begun.
BJP strategists believe, previous regime led by the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should have emulated Atal Behari Vajpayee's foreign policy. They feel China had abandoned its claim over Sikkim. This is a shining example of the BJP government’s skill at effective diplomacy.
In contrast, there is little to dispute that the UPA government under Manmohan Singh had perhaps done immense “dis-service” to the foreign policy handling and even forced compromising on general consensus – just to score brownie points in domestic politics.
Former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has termed Manmohan Singh's reference to Balochistan in a joint document signed with Pakistan as a "mistake".
Manmohan Singh regime had signed an Indo-Pak joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh. Many found the reference to Balochistan in the joint statement was uncalled for.
BJP was not alone in 2009 in attacking the government. Even left parties said such a reference was erroneous. Former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha charged the UPA regime in Lok Sabha with compromising on national interest and alleged that the Prime Minister had “walked all the way into the Pakistan camp”.
The signing of the joint agreement was also seen as ‘somersault’ by the critics of the agreement wherein Pakistan could rake up in future about India’s alleged involvement in Balochistan. “Balochistan will continue to haunt India,” is the refrain.
While some called it a “bad draft”, the then Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor was caught tongue-in-cheek stating that the agreement had no legal binding.
The External Affairs Minister S M Krishna compounded these when he said we agreed to the draft as “we had nothing to hide in Balochistan”.
Perhaps, Dr Manmohan Singh himself later called it a "bad draft"!
Now the table is turned. Modi has actually taken the Balochistan battle back to Pakistan.
However, all said and done; initial Congress reaction is both predictable and revolves around a line -- "this is not our party line".
Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who succeeded S M Krishna, slammed Prime Minister Modi for referring to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech.
"Balochistan is a different thing from PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir). We have every right to speak about PoK because it is our matter. Balochistan is not," Khurshid told TimesNow.
The former external affairs minister said Balochistan was an internal matter of Pakistan. "When the question is about a sovereign nation, we should maintain a sense of restraint.
"Do we allow Americans to speak about atrocities in our country? Do we express concern over the atrocities in Africa and Europe?"
What will Congress officially say - now remains to be seen! But Salman has perhaps overdone a bit -- something he could have avoided. But from his calculation, Salman is right as his comments have "secular merits".
Nevertheless - jingoists on both sides - India-Pakistan as well as "sickular India-and Modi Bhakts" will be playing up their respective cards and rhetoric.
What we have ahead is unknown. As the good old saying goes - the answer to this query lies in the womb of time.
The general refrain from the Ministry of External Affairs so far in Delhi used to be -- unless we have the appropriate capacity in all the three areas namely political, economic and military it is “more prudent” for India to remain low profile.
Modi has not only contested this. He has done so with vengeance. True -- Vision, Ambition and Necessity are the three basic elements those shape international policies of any country.
Modi is certainly the hardliner boy around. He is taking a calculated risk. Perhaps the world will to awake to know more about Balochistan vis-a-vis the gunfire and stone pelting stories of Jammu and Kashmir.
At the end of the day, one may sound bit skeptical; but one cannot help remarking that if a country which does not look at its past and present to draw a foreign policy is actually on a flawed road map. Prime Minister Narendra Modi --used to overdose of attack by 'sickular gang' in India is certainly aware of these.