- Need for meaningful response
The unanimous resolution passed by Parliament condemning the Indian annexation of Kashmir should have encouraged the government to boldly move ahead to take necessary measures in defence of the Kashmiri people and their rights. So far, the PTI administration has not gone beyond theatrical but ineffective measures that neither cause any discomfort to the Indian government nor generate confidence among the Kashmiris who are facing the Indian atrocities. It doesn’t hurt India a whit if its ambassador is sent back, the Samjhauta and Thar Express trains are cancelled, the paltry bilateral trade is suspended and a ban is imposed on the screening of Indian films.
On the foreign front, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s telephone calls haven’t drawn any promise of support except from Malaysia and Turkey. In case the PM knows how to influence the West, this is the time to display the talent. The only productive move so far has been Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s visit to Beijing. As always, like a sincere friend, the Chinese government has supported Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir.
One fails to understand the hesitation on the part of the government to take some of the much-needed measures. The Senate Committee on foreign affairs has called on the government to prepare an action plan to internationalise the Kashmir dispute and expose Narendra Modi’s “fascist and racist policies reminiscent of Nazi Germany.” The panel urged the government to support parliamentary diplomacy for the promotion of the Kashmir cause in a sustained bipartisan manner. There is a perception that the government is unwilling to take the opposition on board in any action plan of the sort. The government has done little to mobilise tens of thousands of Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates in Europe and Northern America to denounce Indian atrocities in Kashmir and pressurise their governments to support the Kashmiris’ right of self-determination.
The US badly needs Pakistan not only to extricate itself from Afghanistan but also because Pakistan alone can help whatever government comes to power after the foreign troops’ exodus to fight the IS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks. Can PM Imran Khan tell the USA there is no deal on Afghanistan if Washington is unwilling to restrain India in Kashmir?