DESPITE clear signals of all-out rejection of Indian rule by the Kashmiris, India continues to play political games. Its idea of the APC was rejected by the Kashmiri leaders and now Indian lawmakers, on a “fact-finding” mission in Occupied Kashmir saw for themselves the level of resentment towards Indian Occupation when relatives of patients in a hospital heckled them and forced them to cut short their visit. Of course, Indian lawmakers, if they are honest with themselves, will concede that the facts of the dispute are already known to them and so is the reality of the ground situation with the latest intifada.
It is somewhat comforting to see the Pakistani leadership finally waking up to the Kashmir situation and moving more forcefully, at least on the diplomatic front. Prime Minister Gilani’s statement that Kashmir was Pakistan’s core issue is a recognition of reality. The level of violence being perpetrated on the Kashmiris by Indian security forces has also finally led the UN SG to break his silence and call for an end to the killings in Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan has called for result-oriented talks with India, but that is not enough and there is a need for Pakistan to move more strongly on the diplomatic front.
The Kashmiris themselves have also moved to stir the UN into implementing the UNSC resolutions by protesting outside the UN when the Indian Foreign Minister addresses the General Assembly next week. Pakistan needs to show activism to bolster the Kashmiris protest as well as arouse international capitals from their slumber as unarmed Kashmiris are gunned down by Occupying Indian forces. FM Qureshi’s appeal to the US to pressure India into resolving the core issue of Kashmir between Pakistan and India is also insufficient initself.
Appeals have to be replaced by stronger demands linked to quid pro quos. The PML-N Quaid, Nawaz Sharif’s appeal to India to hold talks with the Kashmiris is sane advice but equally important, India has to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan also. It is unfortunate that the Indian leadership continues to do a doublespeak on Kashmir. Indian Foreign Secretary, Rao declared in the US that Delhi was prepared to discuss all issues including Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. But in the same breath she went on to claim that Kashmir was an integral part of India – a blatant lie that is evident from the historic record available within the UN itself. But then, India has taken duplicity and deceit to new levels in its external relations, as is evident also from information coming to light that it continues to hold Pakistani soldiers prisoners from the 1965 and 1971 wars – despite the Simla Agreement. This also reveals the Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s ineptitude or simple neglect.
To our eternal shame, it is this rather cavalier attitude of the Pakistani bureaucracy and leadership that continues to damage the struggle for self-determination that Kashmiris have been waging relentlessly generation after generation – Nation