Kashmir crying for global media campaign
CURRENTLY there is lot of talk about backdoor negotiations between India and Pakistan appearently facilitated by a Middle Eastern country, the UAE.
There is more than what meets the eye, as a miniscule nation like UAE has a limited clout to persuade the two nuclear powers to participate in a peaceful dialogue.
Most likely some back door manoeuvrings conducted by a major superpower broke the ice between these nations and they were coaxed to at least interact with each other.
Under normal circumstances as a resident of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) who has been witness to protracted suffering of the population there, I should relish that there is a thaw in the relationship between the two countries and there is a chance that the parleys may help establish the ground work needed for the resolution of tangled problem of IOK.
Unfortunately, that is not the case and like majority of Kashmiri Diaspora, I am deeply anguished by the news of this interaction and information that several meetings have already taken place in Dubai, London and Bangkok.
Although, there is very little information about the agenda included in these talks but they are doomed even before they have begun which will be calamitous for the cause of Kashmir.
Let me discuss the rationale for the inference that why this interaction will be nothing but an unmitigated disaster unless initial spadework is performed.
(i). To state in very simplistic terms, one fails to understand what is so unique about these negotiations.
Similar bilateral summits between the two nations, with failed outcomes have been held previously and current one apparently is not a departure from the past.
The primary reason for these unabated failures is lack of sincerity and seriousness on Indian side.
All along as regards to Kashmir issue India has been disingenuous in the past and their attitude has not undergone any radical change. Any individual thinking otherwise is living in an illusionary world.
(ii). As a keen observant of Indo-Pak talks in the past decade, if you think little deeply, one can see a pattern.
The talks are initiated at the level of mid-officials with the promise that they will be upgraded in the near future.
This is followed by bomb blasts or so-called terrorist attacks on Indian soil (Mumbai, Pathankot, Pulwama).
Highly efficient Indian agencies that are unable to prevent these attacks lose no time in blaming Pakistan or ISI and claiming that they have inconvertible evidence of their involvement.
Pakistan is put on defensive and their repeated pleas for the access to the evidence collected by India is denied.
Instead India has the chutzpah to dictate Pakistan and clamour that the so-called “suspects “be handed over to them. As expected, Pakistan refuses to do so and there is cessation of parleys for a long time.
There is no reason to believe that India will not continue to pursue this strategy of one step forward and two steps backward.
It does not take an in depth analysis to reach the conclusion that this dilly-dally process adopted by India is part of their game plan. The country is aggressively pursuing the policy of strengthening her grip on IOK.
This involves (a) introducing fresh draconian laws on a daily basis to further subjugate the people of IOK (b) bring in Hindu officials from India who will cooperate in executing their designs and most important (c) ensure that demographic changes are accomplished so that IOK is transformed from Muslim majority to minority state.
As alluded earlier, the mistrust between India and Pakistan is so deep that bilateralism will never work. It has failed to yield tangible results in the past and it is puerile to think that the future will be any different.
Neither India nor Pakistan have jurisdiction or locus standi to compromise on this issue and any agreement made without the participation of the genuine or bonafide leadership of Kashmiri people should be held null and void.
In short, Kashmir issue cannot be used as a bargaining chip between the two countries for other unresolved matters.
Having stated some of the points which outline the futility of current Indo-Pak negotiations let us get into recent faux pas by Pakistan which has harmed Kashmir cause and calls for important damage control.
It is very disappointing to observe that in response to the changed scenario after August 5, 2019 Foreign Ministry of Pakistan has not re-evaluated their strategy as regards to Kashmir.
One would expect that the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to plead the case of Kashmiris at important world capitals rather than in the gatherings held in Multan or other cities of Pakistan.
(iii). The recent hoopla in Pakistani news channels about Modi’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the “National Day” was upsetting. Needless to say that this kind of attitude is playing to Indian agenda.
To construe this very minor step as “new beginning” is a juvenile approach and needs to be avoided.
This gesture is a part of Indian machinations and wilful agenda to deviate world attention from Kashmir issue and the atrocities they are inflicting on the population.
Due to the paucity of space, I will not be able to make exhaustive suggestions about the steps that Pakistan needs to take to counter the onslaught of Indian propaganda.
Unfortunately, Indian machinery is well geared up and to a large extent they have been successful in distorting the image of Pakistan.
India recruited several agencies in Europe and America and presented Kashmir issue as an outcome of terrorist activities perpetrated at the behest of Pakistan.
Kashmir issue is screaming and screeching for the media campaign that needs to be launched to spread the voice of innocent Kashmiris who are being subjected to the kind of atrocities never witnessed before. Some of the following steps may prove to be helpful.
(a). One doesn’t get the glimpse of the suffering or the struggle of Kashmiri people on the streets of Pakistan.
There are no billboards or giant size posters depicting the Indian monstrosity and subjugation of Kashmir population.
(b). It is my suggestion that Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with the guidance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs should seriously consider to produce a feature film on real life incidents that illustrates the Indian atrocities in IOK. (c).
Ministry of Information should hold a yearly painting and news exhibition which depict the sufferings, miseries and enslavement of the IOK population.
—The writer is from Indian Occupied Kashmir. He is Professor at George Washington University Medical Centre, Washington, DC.