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An unfinished agenda

Kashmir: An Unfinished Agenda | Afzal Hussain

On August 21, 2015, the breaking news was that “India-Pakistan Talks Hang in the Balance over Kashmir”. Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz was scheduled to land in New Delhi for meetings with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. The reason behind the breaking news that was Ajit Doval, published by national and international media was that Mr. Aziz and Kashmiri Hurriyat (Freedom) leaders from the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) were also scheduled to meet at a reception at the Pakistan High Commission, New Dehli. The Indian government led by Hindu extremist party BJP hardened its stand against Pakistan’s decision to meet with Kashmiri leaders from the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Traditionally, Pakistani officials have been meeting leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference during their visits to India but in 2014 India cancelled talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries after Pakistani emissary Abdul Basit met with Hurriyat leaders. It is significant that a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and important members of the Federal Cabinet in Islamabad decided that India’s demand not to meet Kashmiri leaders is unacceptable for Pakistan. Therefore, in response to the Indian government’s threat to cancel the scheduled meeting of the National Security Advisors; Pakistan conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad that this attitude is not acceptable for Pakistan. The social media in Pakistan also followed the breaking news with tweets such as “Kashmir is Pakistan”.

Earlier in the week, Pakistan cancelled the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference (CPA) (53 States representative body), scheduled to be held in Islamabad in last week of September2015. The Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly stated the causes behind the extraordinary decision in press conference. He said that the CPA secretariat in London along-with other member states such as Speaker of the Bangladesh Assembly have requested him to officially invite the speaker of the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) Assembly but he has categorically refused and he had forwarded the UN resolutions on Kashmir, along with his written reply stating that Kashmir is a disputed territory in the light of the UN resolutions therefore, it is not possible for him to extend such an invitation. However, eventually, due to their persistence he has decided to cancel the CPA conference. Undoubtedly, it is not successful diplomacy but still the decision has conveyed a strong message to the international community regarding the Pakistan’s unflinching stance on the Kashmir issue.

We must not forget the reasons that led to the creation of Pakistan. The Partition of the subcontinent was one of the most significant events in the recent history. What was the agenda of Partition? To simplify, Pakistan was founded for the social and political empowerment of the subcontinent Muslims, who were a minority in a Hindu majority subcontinent. Our Founding Father, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to transform a piece of land into a progressive welfare state for subcontinent Muslims. Quaid-i-Azam had declared Kashmir as Pakistan’s jugular vein. It exemplifies the importance of the Kashmir for Pakistan. Kashmir was and still is part and parcel of the agenda of partition. Pakistan cannot obviously abandon Kashmir under any conditions.

Since independence to August 2015, it has been sixty-eight years but the objectives are not completely achieved yet. One basic reason of the failure in achieving the objectives of the partition is the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. The Indian occupation of the Kashmir led to three wars (excluding Kargil war) between the two countries. Resultantly, Pakistan had been obligated to entirely focus on its defence to counter Indian nefarious designs. Pakistan has a legitimate and lawful claim over the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir was and still is famous for its enthralling beauty and natural scenery throughout the world. However, after the partition of the subcontinent, unfortunately, the paradise has turned into hell, underlining a sad saga of human rights violations, extrajudicial killings and gang rapes. The Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is a heart-breaking tale of oppression, atrocities and woes; whereas, those who are living under the Indian tyranny have to face misery and anguish, and go through traumatic experience almost daily. The most melancholic feature of this saga is that the Kashmiris have yet to articulate their fundamental rights like the rest of the world. That is, to exercise the right of self-determination to decide their future; this was guaranteed by the UN resolutions. The Kashmiris are still awaiting the implementation of the UN resolutions regarding plebiscite in Kashmir but the world remain silent over the miseries of the Kashmiri people, who are being butchered by the Indian troops almost every day.

India has been trying its best to destabilize Pakistan by sponsoring terrorists groups in Pakistan with particular emphasis on Indian sponsored terrorist activities in Baluchistan, Karachi and Pakistani Tribal Areas (FATA).Unfortunately, over the last decade, Pakistan’s Foreign Office had miserably failed to appropriately highlight the Indian State sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Our diplomats have also failed inaptly representing the Kashmir issue before the international community in general, and governing world bodies in particular.

The Indian government led by PM Narendra Modi is all-out to undermine the legal Kashmir Freedom Movement and Pakistan’s legitimate claim over Kashmir. Kashmiris a disputed territory in the light of the UN resolutions. It is time that Pakistani diplomats must exercise extreme caution and they should vigilantly and vigorously work to secure Pakistan’s interest.

Pakistan’s unwavering stance on Kashmir issue was recently reiterated by our brave and brilliant Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at National Defence University, Islamabad. General Raheel Sharif said, “Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition. Pakistan and Kashmir are inseparable.” Therefore, if India is not willing to hold meaningful peaceful dialogue on the Kashmir issue than there will be no permanent peace and stability in the region. It is time to remind the Indian government and the world that another conventional war on Kashmir has the potential to turn into a nuclear exchange that could be disastrous not only for South Asia, but also for the world at large. Pakistan wants peace, and stability in the region but it is only possible, if the agenda of partition is accomplished. That is, “just resolution of Kashmir issue in the light of UN resolutions and as per the aspirations of Kashmiris”.

Source: http://nation.com.pk/columns/25-Aug-2015/kashmir-an-unfinished-agenda

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