prime minister last week Imran KhanI was not at all surprised when I learned that he was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to be demoted by a vote of no confidence. Because it is very rare for power to change hands through democratic methods in Pakistan. Military coups, coup attempts, political assassinations are very common. Recently, Zia ul Haq, Pervez Musharraf They accepted the coup. Nawaz Sharif Benazir Bhutto they had to leave the post of prime minister by undemocratic methods. Despite all the demands of the international community, including Turkey, the Prime Minister-elect Zulfikar Ali bhuttowas executed by the putschists. first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liakat Ali Khan and Benazir Bhutto, who served as prime minister twice, lost their lives in the assassinations they suffered. Zia ul Haq died in a suspicious plane crash. manage Musharrafwas sentenced to death in Pakistan, where he was tried in absentia, still lives in exile in Dubai.
75 years of uninterrupted democracy in India
While Pakistan has spent 33 years of its 75 years of independence under military rule, its enemy brother India has managed to maintain its democracy uninterrupted since 1947 when it gained independence. Even though it has a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and more problematic population structure 5-6 times larger than Pakistan.
The only thing that separates Pakistan and India from each other is their different religions. If you put Indians and Pakistanis together in a room, you cannot tell who is Indian and who is Pakistani. Britain gave independence by splitting its subcontinent colony in two on the basis of religion in 1947, and left Kashmir like a ticking time bomb in the arms of both countries.
India is a federal state consisting of 29 states and 9 “centrally administered units”. Don’t forget the state. The population of the state of Uttar Pradesh is 204 million. Almost three times the population of Germany, the largest country in the European Union.
Legislative elections in five states
Parliamentary elections were held in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjap, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa last February-March. Since the elections are held in seven stages, it takes a month for the results to be known. According to the official results announced on March 10, the decision of the Prime Minister. Narendra ModiThe ultra-nationalist and religious Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) won elections in four states. It seems that India, like Europe, has had its share of the rise of extreme nationalism.
The election results were read in some media as India slipped into fascism. Don’t worry, India has a deep-rooted culture of democracy and consensus. More than 100 political parties, mostly organized at the state level, have ruled the country in alliances for 25 years. The current government of the National Alliance for Democracy is made up of 16 political parties. In the 2004 elections, when I was ambassador in New Delhi, I saw the then ruling BJP hand over power quietly to the opposition leftist Congress Party when it lost the election. Supporters of the Congress Party did not take to the streets to claim victory.
There are approximately 900 million registered voters in India. In the last state elections, an Indian patient, who was being treated in the intensive care unit of a New Delhi hospital, voted in the state of Uttar Pradesh, 100 km away, with the tug of a tractor fitted with intensive care devices he provided. Look at the awareness of owning the vote among Indian voters who don’t say, “What does one vote out of 900 million count?” Could there be a better example of how India has been able to maintain uninterrupted democracy for 75 years while Pakistan is in the throes of coups?
Ukrainian and Indian War
The war in Ukraine has left India in a tornado between the United States and Russia. India buys more than 60% of its weapons, including the S-400s, from Russia. On the other hand, it became an alliance partner of the USA in the framework of QUAD with Japan last year. Due to the S-400s, it is not forgotten that the United States has not included India in sanctions under CAATSA so far. India, which abstained in the vote on the resolution condemning the Russian Federation at the United Nations General Assembly, bought 3 million barrels of oil from Russia in March. India’s attitude is of great importance for the embargoes imposed on Russia to be effective. The foreign ministers of Russia and Britain visited New Delhi on the same day on April 1, but not in a very procedural way. This week, a 2+2 dialogue meeting was held between the United States and India with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense in Washington. Minister Biden and Indian Prime Minister Modi attended the meeting via video conference. It seems that Russia and the West are embarking on a major diplomatic attack in order to lure India to their side. Ultimately, it should come as no surprise that India benefits from this activity. It is said to have already agreed with Russia to buy gas at lower prices and to trade bilaterally with its national currency, the rupee.
Turkey-India relations at rock bottom
Turkey-India relations are going through one of the worst periods in their history. High-level bilateral contacts are almost at a standstill. The last presidential visit between the two countries was made by Erdoğan in 2017. From India to Turkey, there has not been a visitor at Prime Minister level for 20 years, and at President level for 10 years . Contrary to the example of Israel, the coldness of political relations is also reflected in economic relations. In fact, our bilateral trade volume, which was far below its potential, entered a downward trend. TAİS, which was created with the partnership of a group of shipyard owners producing warships, won a $2.3 billion tender in India, which sat in the fridge for three years . One of the largest Indian holding companies, “Mahindra”, which plans to invest 300 million dollars in the field of endangered agriculture in Turkey, gave up this project at the last moment. Recently, a senior Turkish official took over “Air India”. This nomination could not materialize due to the reaction of the Indian media.
India is one of the countries where military spending has increased the most and can be an important market for Turkey’s defense industry products, which have recently made a huge hit in international markets. armament. At one time, ASELSAN even avoided selling radios to India in case we wanted to offend Pakistan.
Being brothers with Pakistan should not cloud our relations with India. Since our relations with Israel and Armenia have started to improve by putting aside foreign policy based on religion recently, India should be included in the normalization process as soon as possible without further delay. Our good relations with India will pave the way for us to contribute to the solution of the problems between Pakistan and India, such as in the war in Ukraine.