Bilateral

Failing Kashmir

Aug 18, 2017
To please the Indian Government, the United States has declared Hizb ul Mujahideen a terrorist organisation. We have seen in the recent past that resistant organisations in Kashmir are getting banned one after another, labelled as terrorist organisations.  Though the Foreign Office of Pakistan has criticised the US decision sharply, it will not change the attitude of US towards the region. For the United States, India has the same significance in the region as Israel has in the Middle East.
Thus the fate of both people will remain the same as long as the US is the leader of the world.
 
However, it is also important to bear in mind that our governments have failed to highlight the Kashmiri cause on any international forum, especially, after Pakistan chose the American camp under General Musharraf. While India capitalised on the 9/11 attack by labelling the Kashmir Movement as a foreign funded terrorist movement, Musharraf, failing to absorb the international pressure, didn’t direct the foreign office to counter Indian moves. Under his rule, different resistance groups were banned, and their assets were frozen. Thus, Kashmir was no more Pakistan’s priority. But then again, ten years have passed, and we are no closer to creating a better image for ourselves or for Kashmir.
 
The locals resisted the Indian occupation with every possible mean available to them. The situation got worse when Indian forces killed a young fighter, Burhan Wani. The whole valley poured out on the streets. India had to suppress the anger of the people. India resorted to force. The world witnessed something unique. Indian forces, to disperse the crowds, relied on pellets resulting in thousands of casualties. India accesses were the highlights of global media. The US and UN remained silent.
 
Pakistan Foreign Office’s performance remains pathetic as far as Kashmir is concerned. It can be safely said that Pakistan’s Foreign Office has failed in creating a strong lobby in Washington to tell the world about the Indian record of human rights abuses. The bigger and badder Indian lobby has very successfully painted the legitimate struggle of Kashmiri people as a militant movement driven mainly by religion.
 
The recent uprising in Kashmir Valley had set the perfect field for Pakistan’s Foreign Office to highlight their sufferings.
Whenever a Kashmiri organisation is banned, the tone of our Foreign Office becomes more and more apologetic.
Enough is enough. Talking to news correspondents in a weekly media briefing on Kashmir will bring nothing to Kashmiri people.  The Pakistani Foreign Office needs to convince the world, that like any other group of people, Kashmiri people also hold the right of self-determination.
 
Nation, August 18, 2017

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