Millennium Post

Globally affirmed internal matter

As much as Pakistan is restless to attract global attention to the Indian government's decision on its domestic affair of abrogating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the world powers at large are increasingly neutral arguing that a dispute over India's internal matter must be settled bilaterally between Pakistan and India. This general mood on the world stage points to two crucial facts: one, that India making a change within its territory and altering the status of one of its states with respect to the Indian Union is India's internal business; and two, the opinion of relevant countries reflects acceptance of India's rightful exercise with its northern state and any ruckus kicked up by Pakistan is not entertained as a global issue. The UNSC, Bangladesh, England, and now the USA acknowledge that any issue Pakistan has with India exercising its sovereignty is nothing more than a bilateral discord and must be settled mutually. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his opinion known on Kashmir telling Modi over a phone call that the issue was one for India and Pakistan to resolve between themselves and underlined the importance of dialogue in resolving matters. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi seems hopeful that France would "play its due role to ensure peace and stability in the region", as a statement released by the spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign Office informed. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Pakistani counterpart discussed the "illegal and unilateral actions of India to alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir in contravention of the international law and UNSC resolutions", over a telephonic conversation. On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron is set to discuss tensions in the divided region of Kashmir with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two will meet in Paris this week. Macron and Modi are scheduled to confabulate, meeting for a working dinner at the Chateau de Chantilly outside Paris today ahead of a G7 summit in France this weekend, where they will be joined by US President Donald Trump. Macron reiterate the fact that India and France have a strategic partnership and this implies having confidence in each other and having no room for aggression but definitely, talks explaining matters. While international attention does mount over the aggravated discord between India and Pakistan Donald Trump seems particularly inclined to try and calm the dispute between the two nuclear-armed nations. India, however, has repeatedly disallowed the involvement of any country over its Kashmir matter. Ever since India revoked autonomous rule of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, at least 4,000 people have reportedly been detained in Kashmir when authorities imposed a communications blackout and restricted freedom of movement in the region. On Monday, Trump spoke with his "two good friends", Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan, and urged them to work towards reducing tensions over Kashmir and advised Pakistan to "moderate its rhetoric with India" over Kashmir. This move assumes significance given the prolonged support Pakistan has had from the USA. In the 30-minute telephonic conversation Prime Minister Modi had with Trump, he stated that "extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace."

Pakistan has been making deliberate attempts to internationalise Kashmir by raking up the Article 370 issue in the United Nations Security Council and fell flat after most of the participating nations agreed that the ending the special status was a bilateral matter and the UN body refused to issue a press statement after closed consultations. A disgruntled and agitated Pakistan is now headed to move the International Court of Justice over its concern for Kashmir. Pakistan's foreign minister explains that this decision comes after considering all possible legal aspects. It is understandable why Islamabad is so struck with fury with India's decision to dilute Jammu and Kashmir's special status and making Kashmir exclusively an Indian government's affair by conferring Jammu and Kashmir the status of a UT. Since the time of Partition, Kashmir has been a politicised emotional issue, especially for Pakistan. For a homeland specially created for Muslims, a Muslim-majority province remained with India due to its non-Muslim ruler. An erroneous sense of entitlement has lingered with Pakistan ever since and is enforced on occasions such as the recent development in the region done by India. Further, as matters stand in Pakistan, the hostile neighbour is always in need of development, education, and well-being for its common citizens in general. But the military-run state has agendas that are distinct from welfare goals. A commonly endorsed political discourse in Pakistan is to seize Kashmir, a kind of toxic nationalism that the spewed and which also keeps attention away from its own internal matters that affect its own common people. As more people in Pakistan realise this, the Pakistani state will lose more ground over its Kashmir dispute. And as on the side of India, the increasing awareness of people, both inside and outside Kashmir, owing largely to social media is fast exposing the hollowness of politics surrounding Kashmir. With the abrogation of Kashmir's autonomous status, there is space created for fresh thinking after decades of bloodshed in the restive region.

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