Kashmir dispute in limelight


PRIME Minister Imran Khan’s successful visit to the United States has really helped brought the lingering Kashmir dispute back to the global limelight. Talking to the media men in Ohio, President Donald Trump of the United States once again reiterated offer of mediation between Pakistan and India on Kashmir dispute. However, the Indian response was not different from earlier ones. Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is resorting to complete silence on mediation offers made by the US President, his External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said he has conveyed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that any discussion on the disputed Himalayan region would be between India and Pakistan only.
One fails to understand as to why India is so much timid of third party mediation which in fact in many cases has proved to be very useful in conflict resolution. The Afghan peace process has gained positive momentum as a result of the efforts of different countries including the US, Pakistan, Russia and China. On the one hand it has so much intransigent position on mediation but then on the other hand it is also not responding to bilateral peace overtures of Pakistan and not ready to sit with it to resolve the outstanding disputes. Rather it has started building up its troops in the occupied territory and is also engaged in a nefarious design of changing the demographic composition of the disputed territory. It is transferring its population from different states to the occupied valley and is also working on plan to establish Pandit and Sainak settlements there. As stated by Azad Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan while addressing a ceremony on Thursday, this is complete violation of international laws and amounts to war crimes. India should be mindful of the fact that the Kashmiri people have never surrendered before the violence and tyranny of occupying forces continuing for the last many decades and they will not allow this demographic change happen. What is alarming is that this nefarious plot by the Indian side will only worsen situation in occupied Kashmir. Our Foreign Office needs to step up efforts to expose the Indian scheme before the world and our media should also play its role in this regard. India must also realize that it can no longer put the dispute on the back burner as the voices of Kashmiri people are now being heard far and wide. The very positive statements of Donald Trump about Pakistan and Kashmir indeed has earned him a great respect in Pakistan, and one expects that he will also use his influence on India to sit with Pakistan for early resolution of Kashmir dispute for durable regional peace and stability.

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