Diplomatic maneuvering on Kashmir


Dr Muhammad Khan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has reached New York, to attend and address the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Owing to illegal annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir into Indian Union by India, Pakistan has decided to devote its entire diplomatic maneuvering for the cause of Kashmir during the current session of UNGA. In order to highlight the dynamics of Kashmir dispute, its illegal annexation, the massive human rights violations there and above all the continuing siege and curfew in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), Prime Minister would meet his counter parts, the key international personalities, simultaneously addressing the important forums.
The major activity includes the address of Prime Minister with UNGA on September 27, 2019, in which he will highlight the current situation in IOK. While Kashmir will be the central focus of Premier and his team during 74th session of UNGA, the scheduled meetings of Imran Khan also include participation in in high-level UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development. Prime Minister will also speak at high-level events like; countering hate speech and on environmental protection and poverty alleviation and a trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey on the side-lines of UNGA.
It is worth observing that, today Pakistan is the only country in the world which pursues the case of Kashmiris at every regional and global forum through all diplomatic means under which it can manoeuvre and persuade the international community. Unfortunately, there has been insignificant or no support at all from the ruling elites of over fifty Muslim countries, some of whom really matters in the international politics with a significant share in the global economy and economic investment. It is upsetting that, during the current crisis in IOK, where siege, curfew and killings of Kashmiris is the order of day in IOK, some of these Muslim states have advised Pakistan to accept the illegal Indian act of annexing the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Rather, these Muslim states pressurizing India through economic boycott, stoppage of fuel supply and returning its huge manpower employed there for ending the siege and return of pre August 5, 2019 status, there have been mega investments and award giving ceremony for Modi by some Muslim states. This speaks of callousness among the Muslim states on the issues of Muslim world, considered to be bounded by Islamic Brotherhood. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an alliance of over 55 countries, founded in 1969 was aimed to collectively highlight and pursue the issues of Muslim world. The OIC states comprise 31.66 million km² areas with 1.82 billion population form 21.0% of the global habitable and 24% of the world population.
In the post August 5, 2019 situation, Pakistan seriously desired to approach the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), make a reference of Indian atrocities to International Court of Justice (ICJ) and submit a draft resolution over human rights violation in IOK at United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). UNHRC was perceived as the most plausible option, since this sub organization of UN has already issued two reports on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, Pakistan could not submit the draft resolution at UNHRC owing to lack of requisite support of 15 countries.
This runs counter to the statement of Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who claimed the support of 58 countries, sequel to his address to UNHRC on September 10, 2019. On this statement of Foreign Minister, Prime Minister Imran Khan even commended these unknown countries; “I commend the 58 countries that joined Pakistan in Human Rights Council on 10 Sept reinforcing demands of the international community for India to stop use of force, lift siege, remove other restrictions, respect and protect Kashmiris’ rights and resolve Kashmir dispute through UNSC resolutions.”
Either this claim was toll or else these countries were later manipulated by India. Nevertheless, in either case it puts a question mark on the competence and trustworthiness of our diplomacy and huge diplomatic corps; Pakistan has all around the globe. In fact, Pakistani representative and huge delegates present at UNHRC failed to circulate a text to the UNHRC Secretariat by the deadline of 1 pm on September 19, 2019. This happened despite ‘over a dozen members of the OIC were present there as members of the UNHRC.’
Whereas, the Prime Minister is serious to pursue the Kashmir dispute at all international forums, global organizations and key capitals, there has been serious challenges with the diplomatic pursuits, the diplomatic community of Pakistan has made so far on the Kashmir dispute. In the absence of an effective diplomatic pursuit by Pakistani diplomatic community and those involved in the process, the world is obliged to accept the Indian deceit, rather accepting the ground realities, facing the Kashmiris in IOK.
— The writer, a retired Brig, is Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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