Keep the Kashmir Issue in Limelight
By Sajjad Shaukat
One the one side, Indian new government led by the fundamentalist party BJP’s leader and Prime Minister Narindra Modi is deliberately trying to divert attention of international community from the Kashmir dispute, on the other, Kashmiri leaders and Pakistan have been keeping this issue in limelight.
In this regard, terming the support and advocacy of the right to self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmi (J&K), as historic commitment and duty for Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), stressed for settlement of the Kashmir issue, and offered Pakistan’s readiness to endeavour for the same through negotiations. He also reminded the international community of its pledge and responsibility for holding “plebiscite” in the Indian-held Kashmir, and resolves the issue in accordance with UN Charter. The speech generated appreciations from the political circles of Pakistan and Kashmir as well. It is also acknowledged that the speech is true reflection of sentiments of the people of Pakistan, who believe that peace and prosperity in south Asia is inter- linked with solution of core dispute of Kashmir between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan’s attempt to sensitize the international community on the unresolved state of Kashmir issue at the UNGA seems to have irked Indian political, diplomatic and journalist circles. Under the growing frustration, a notoriously controversial journalist affiliated with the Indian NDTV namely Barkha Dutt engaged Pakistan’s prime minister’s special advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and managed to create a controversy through aggressive posture to make him concede that Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meeting with the Kashmiri leadership in New Delhi was ill-timed, and affected Secretary level engagements. Majority of Pakistani media also covered the remarks of Sartaj Aziz in the similar fashion projected by the NDTV. No doubt, Barkha-Aziz episode has been projected by the Indian media as admittance on the part of Pakistani official that due to the meeting with Kashmir leader by High Commissioner in Delhi, India was justified to cancel Secretary level talks with Pakistan. An impression is also given that Islamabad was not serious about engagements with New Delhi.
However, the created controversy by Indian media is a deliberate attempt to discredit Pakistani leadership’s sincere efforts to remind the international community of their responsibilities on Kashmir issue. Moreover, Indian media created an impression that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by highlighting Kashmir issue made an effort to improve relations with Military establishment in the backdrop of the protesters of the sit-ins led by PTI and PAT. Indian Media also generated attached controversies of gray relations between political and military echelons of Pakistan. It may be recalled that on the pretext of boiling political situation, a segment of Pakistani media had suggested the prime minister to skip attending the UNGA’s session.
It is notable that BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, stated on July 12, this year that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.
Besides, India has intensified unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot to terrorize Pakistan, without caring for latter’s nuclear weapons.
Nevertheless, every Indian government due to international pressure found it easy to make false pledges that it was willing to engage in peace process to resolve all issues including Kashmir dispute with Islamabad. But, New Delhi earnestly endeavored to find excuses and pretexts to cancel peace talks, while shifting the blame to Pakistan. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India cancelled the ‘composite dialogue’ on the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks.
It is mentionable that on May 27, 2014 Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Prime Minister Sharif in the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues of terrorism as pre-conditions to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue to resolve various issues including Kashmir dispute. He said that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.
While, Indian prime minister ignored the fact that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.
In fact, it is a set practice of India to engage with Kashmiri leadership prior to any high level meeting with Pakistan. Kashmiri leaders are the central representatives about whom New Delhi and Islamabad will proceed to decide their fate through peace parleys.
Notably, Modi hurriedly decided to forcibly annex disputed territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, uncovering its intentions to wrap up the article 370 of the Indian constitution which ensures a special status to J&K. Therefore, United Nations Military Observer Group India and Pakistan in New Delhi was asked to vacate official accommodation, claiming that its role had become irrelevant.
Nonetheless, Maximum projection is required to be extended especially through Pakistan’s media to highlight that India played a mischievous role in the Indian-Controlled Kashmir from purported accession of Kashmiri Maharaja to neutralization of Sheikh Abdullah by Nehru, followed by increasing Army deployment there, and atrocities committed against the innocent people of an independence loving Kashmiri nation.
Indian mischievous activities in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir are also narrated and confirmed by an ex-RAW official R K Yadu in his book “Mission RAW.”
No doubt, Pakistan un-dauntingly supports self-determination struggle of Kashmiri people, and its political, military and public is in complete harmony in this respect, yet its top officials and media including the Kashmiri leaders must keep the Kashmir issue in limelight by showing to the internal community that being the usurper and occupying state, India is not sincere to engage in peaceful dialogue to resolve this issue with Pakistan.
The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Analyst.