Millennium Post

Giving peace a miss

While India conspicuously kept away from broaching its sensationalised move on Kashmir with the dilution of Article 370 in New York, asserting yet again that it is India's internal matter, Pakistan's antics took another turn with their Prime Minister delivering an emphatic speech which, however, made no hint at either mutual peace or mutual resolution of the bilateral discord between the hostile nuclear-armed neighbours. Matters between India and Pakistan have hit a roadblock with Pakistan's notorious nurseries being the major impediment to any peace talks. Diplomatic ties having been downgraded drastically are another reason to allow Pakistan to launch itself in an all-out offensive against India on any international platform whatsoever. In its unbridled drive to consolidate global support against India, Pakistan has in a manner, gone on to ignore the elephant in the room. Internationalising Kashmir because of a mistaken UN intervention seven decades ago does not justify the position Pakistan is adamant on. In order to implement the supposedly internationally accepted solution to the occupation of Kashmir, Pakistan has to agree to withdraw its troops, but that is a futile proposition given how mired Pakistan is terrorism it sponsors and lives off. Ignoring the role of India in developing Kashmir to the extent that people thrive on their regular entrepreneurial activities when conflict does not rear its head is an unwarranted denial of India's positive efforts in safeguarding the region for its people. Pakistan is already home to 130 UN-designated terrorists; given this, it has still managed to urge forcefully to the UN that the international community must heed the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir created by the Indian government. The restrictions on movement and communication have been a preventive measure that are being eased out in phases. A restless concern for people in Kashmir because they are Muslims stands negated as the Muslims of China are far worse in their suffering but the concerned neighbour raises no voice for them. Moreover, talking to India would have been a more stately gesture but the fact that no efforts are made in this direction only means that peace and resolution are not the agenda, materialising Pakistan's interest is. Pakistan gave refuge to Osama Bin Laden; as India made a point in New York, Pakistan is a country that has built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate; it has done nothing about its own terror nurseries that are only known too well to the world. The deterrent threat of unleashing nuclear devastation is indeed a matter of brinksmanship. Interpreted as a hate speech, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan continues to be adamant that it is only the world that can save Kashmir, not India or Pakistan. A pertinent question also rings loud at this time: "Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al-Qaeda and Daesh sanctions list?" The diplomatic deadlock between India and Pakistan has only cornered Pakistan further.

The double standards of Pakistan over terrorism and playing the victim card before of the world have only pushed the nation further out of favour. The Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters. In the course of his speech on Friday, Imran Khan was confident to invite UN observers to visit Pakistan and see how it has eradicated all terror camps guerrilla warfare organisations which were created with the support of the US during the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. This is yet another point of criticism against Pakistan should the international community conclude otherwise upon their observation. With its state policy of fundamentalism, Pakistan has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23 per cent in 1947 to 3 per cent at present and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions. Emphasising that "India does not need lesson on communal harmony from a country that had indulged in systemic persecution and forced conversions of minority communities in Pakistan", Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary MEA exercised India's right of reply to Pakistan PM Imran Khan's speech and expressed that the "mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India's thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly underway." Pakistan's antics apart, Kashmir is presumably on its way to better times as the Indian government emphasises and for there to be lasting peace, it is Pakistan that needs to ensure a clampdown on its covert terror activities in the region.

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