WEB DESK: Pakistan has asked the US to help resolve all outstanding issues with India. “I expect the US administration and Secretary Kerry will use his good offices to help in resolving bilateral issues between Pakistan and India,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reportedly said after his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York on Monday.
And there are quite a few issues that beset Pak-India bilateralism, the latest being the Uri attack by Kashmiri freedom-fighters which India blames on Pakistan. Given America’s growing clout in India, the prime minister’s call is indeed quite timely and should be heeded to by New Delhi.
Pakistan particularly expects of the US administration to intercede with New Delhi and help avert the blow-up the Indian leadership is talking about since the Uri attack. If India believes the Kashmiri militants’ retaliatory action is an act of terrorism let it be its outlook.
Pakistan is not part of it; it rejects terrorism as an instrument of state policy. “Pakistan has always fought terrorism as a moral obligation,” the prime minister told the US official. He also reminded John Kerry that the then US President, Bill Clinton, had promised to help resolve bilateral disputes and issues with India, and so was President Obama’s consistent stand that Pak-US ‘partnership was critical to ensuring regional peace and stability’.
Going by what has been emanating from Washington on tensions in South Asia one is not overtly optimistic about the expected American response to Prime Minister’s intercession. Regrettably, a country whose founding fathers laid foundations of an independent country on moral high ground tends to take a political stand, as Washington does on state-sponsored terrorism in Indian-held Kashmir, instead of taking a moral position.
Here is a clash between a people who are unarmed but strident about their right to freedom, which has been repeatedly upheld by the United Nations, and an armed-to-teeth repressive occupying force whose weapon of choice is brute force. More than one hundred people have been killed and thousands injured. Is struggle for freedom an act of terrorism? The United States owes an answer to this question.
Pakistan is for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes with India and one such dispute is Kashmir which has been internationally recognised as inter-state dispute pending settlement through a plebiscite in Kashmir. The same country which once wanted the dispute to be resolved through plebiscite has now occupied it and wants to keep it by force. That is not what the Kashmiris would allow.
Given determination reflected from the rising tempo of their resistance to India’s repressive misrule the Kashmiris are not going to surrender their right to freedom anytime soon. India wrongly, if not maliciously, accuses Pakistan of fomenting this conflict. Should it persist in its hostile narrative it would find Pakistan, as Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said the other day, “fully prepared to respond to entire spectrum of direct and indirect threats.”
And at one end of this spectrum is the nuclear deterrence, which can come into play to utter disappointment of the Cold Start protagonists. India should attack its own military base to deflect attention from ongoing freedom struggle in IHK as some say, then that was certainly a bad bargain.
Pity, for whatever political and economic considerations, the international community has yet to fully comprehend the amount of cruelty the Kashmiris are being subjected to by the Indian forces.
Time has come that the international community should rise above petty considerations and help defuse the crisis in Kashmir through dialogue. It must be said that should it not get resolved peacefully it has the right potential to ignite a much wider and destructive conflict in the region, with concomitant repercussions far and wide.
Source: Business Recorder