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Pak PM seeks dialogue on  Kashmir sans terrorism  makes it hollow

24/09/2022 at 3:38 PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Arun Joshi

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his maiden speech at the 77th session of  the United Nations General Assembly  on  Friday  raked up Kashmir issue , it was both surprising and unsurprising . Surprising because  he talked about the Kashmir issue  at a time when one-third of his country is underwater and  more than 33 million people are suffering from severe food  and shelter crisis inflicted by the floods of biblical proportions .  This  unprecedented grim situation should have  guided him to speak only and only of the sufferings of the people back home.  He did speak about the ravages of floods in his country , where he played a victim card , why did it happen to Pakistanis, who are not responsible for even one percent of green gas emissions that has turned the environment topsy turvy . True, as that may be, but the fact is that there were certain manmade factors  that brought Pakistan  face to face with the  catastrophe .

His reference to Kashmir  was unsurprising  as it is the compulsive  in the nature of Pakistani leaders to spotlight the areas and ideas of conflict and contest between India and Pakistan , to feed the domestic audience  with  what they believe is  their staple diet  to keep them alive and aware of the issue. The underlined idea is, to tell the common Pakistanis that they are talking about it , and this is an annual  ritual that they must perform at the UNGA, in particular while at all international for a they bring K issue to tell the world that they are not only talking about it, but also pushing it as a mission.

Sharif  attempted a balancing act, and that too,  keeping in with the traditional style of almost all of his predecessors – the  sole exception was in  2003  when President Pervez Musharraf , the military ruler had not made a reference to K issue owing to the improving ties between India and Pakistan , particularly after then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had extended hand of friendship to Pakistani from Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir .

  Pakistani premier sought peace with India, but  promised nothing in return .The hyperbolic  expressions that   he  would be “ most forthcoming to sit down and talk to our Indian counterpart to pave the way forward for future so that our generations do not suffer so that we spend our resources in mitigating miseries , on building structures to face these floods and outbursts of clouds ,”  and added : “ We want to have  peace with India  but long-lasting and enduring peace  can only be guaranteed  through a just and fair  solution of Kashmir . Providing  rights to the people of  Kashmir under UN  Charter according to  Security Council   resolutions “ .

 Peace between India and Pakistan is not a one-way ticket.  India has suffered a lot, and in fact continues to because of  Pakistan backed terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir . All the deaths and destruction in Kashmir are India’s loss .  This loss, as such  should not be seen through the prism of deaths of nearly 10,000 security forces personnel , targeted by terrorists , or during gun battles with terrorists in anti-terrorism operations , the wider prism  reveals that  more than  99 per cent men and women who died in the past 33 years  were Kashmiris , and all of them were Indian citizens . This is  grim reality, which India is facing on daily basis for the past 33 years , all due to Pakistan’s machinations  and brazen acts of terror  it sponsored and instigated in Kashmir ..

The official Indian response to Pakistan Prime Minister’s speech  has spotlighted all the terror tactics that the neighbouring country  executed in Kashmir . By avoiding the reference to Pakistan’s terror campaign in Jammu and Kashmir , and instead trying to shield the structure and support to terrorism, Sharif has legitimized terrorism . Terrorism and talks cannot go together.

As for his call for dialogue  with India is concerned for peace in the region , Pakistan PM should  have turned the pages of history  and that would have revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not only  invited his elder brother  Nawaz Sharif ( then PM of Pakistan)  to  his first swearing-in ceremony   in May 2014 to  open a new chapter of dialogue and trust between India and Pakistan, he had also visited Lahore in December 2015  to attend the wedding of Sharif family. In return , India got attacks on Indian  Air Force Station in Pathankot in  less than a week after his Lahore visit , and then  a series of acts of terror on the Indian soil , particularly Kashmir .

The first thing that PM Sharif should have talked about is  shutting the machinery of terror first before urging India to resume dialogue . The absence of terrorism at the roots of the problem is missing the basic point at the roots of the whole conflict.

About the Author:

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, and The Tribune. He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.

DISCLAIMER

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with those of prameyanews.com

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