ISLAMABAD: The statement of Indian defence minister, Rajnath Singh, that any dialogue with Pakistan now will be about Azad Kashmir is terrible and filled with a dangerous plan for the South Asian region.
“Some people believe that talks should be held with Pakistan but as long as Pakistan supports terror, there will be no talks. If there will be talks, it will be on PoK (Azad Kashmir),” Singh told Jan Aashirwad Yatra in the Indian state of Haryana on Sunday, apparently referring to statements made by China, Russia, US and other countries calling for dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi responded to Rajnath Singh, saying that he had seen the comments made by the Indian minister. “These are reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in, after its illegal and unilateral actions imperilling peace and security in the region and beyond,” he said.
“Equally condemnable is the completely indefensible lock-down of the entire population in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, that has gone on for two weeks, and continues to deepen the dire humanitarian tragedy as reported by the international human rights organizations and the international media. The world community, including the United Nations Security Council, have taken cognisance of this utterly untenable situation,” Qureshi added in a statement.
Rajnath Singh’s claim comes despite United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holding a historic sitting on Kashmir on August 16 falsifying Indian claims that “Kashmir is an internal matter”.
Singh, who is second in command in what Prime Minister Imran Khan calls “fascist, racist, Hindu supremacist Modi government”, needs to recall words of India’s envoy to UN in which he pleaded that his country – India – was bound to oblige all international and bilateral agreements it has signed.
Syed Akbaruddin, the Indian envoy in UN whose bogey of ‘internal matter was battered in to piece by UNSC meeting, showed the readiness of his country that India wants to engage with Pakistan in the spirit of Shimla Agreement.
To quote a line from Shimla Agreement, India agrees to: “To uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a most important CBM between India and Pakistan, and a key to durable peace”.
Singh’s statement, however, seems to prove his own UN envoy “wrong and a liar” who told the world community, after 90-minutes UNSC meeting ended last Friday, that India was ready for bilateral dialogue with India.
To put the record straight, the Shimla Agreement besides calling for resolution of disputes in the spirit of UN charter, says: “That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.”
UNSC has passed nearly 18 resolutions on united Jammu and Kashmir since 1948 until 1957 calling for a free and fair plebiscite in the disputed region to decide the political future of the region. UNSC asks both the parties — India and Pakistan — to maintain the status quo in their respective parties without changing the nature of the dispute.
It also needs to be recalled that Singh’s Azad Kashmir statement came after he revealed that India will review its “no first use of nuclear weaponry”.
While the statement reveals India’s aggression in the region, to which Pakistan has said that it will retaliate with full force, but voices of concern have grown from within India. “The defence minister’s statement does not provide any benefits for national security. Instead, it taints India’s image as a responsible nuclear power. An official clarification could recover lost ground,” Delhi-based online publication The Wire said in a detailed piece on “No First Use” by former Indian general Prakash Menon.