No more time to stand on ceremony


Zaheer Bhatti

WITH India finally revoking special status of its Occupied Kashmir of which it had made no secret, as deployment of over 1,50,000 additional troops in the held territory, clamping curfew and serving notice upon inhabitants to store rations, and cautioning travellers and Hindu Yatris to quit Kashmir besides heating up the Line of Control, was enough evidence of what was to come. The Indian decision is reflection of its jitters and frustration over the indomitable resistance by the people of Kashmir among which now even their puppets are no longer on the Indian side. This is moral victory of the Kashmiri resistance; So much so that noted Indian politicians for the first time have come out with scathing criticism of the BJP decision which portends doom and loss of Kashmir to India; among them West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, Chidambaram, Member Parliament [Rajya Sabha, and former Union Minister] and scores of others in the Lok Sabha who tore BJP to shreds, besides the State in nervous reaction detaining the outspoken novelist and analyst Arunadhiti Roy whose unbiased spirit never says die.
Joint session of the Pakistani Parliament though belatedly, has rejected the Indian move and called upon the UN and world leaders to intervene and reverse Indian tinkering with its own constitutional status given to Kashmir; Pakistan’s unanimous Resolution suspending trade and Samjhota Express with India, expelling its High Commissioner from Pakistan and holding back its own designated HC lowering the level of diplomatic ties between the two countries, declaring its Independence Day this time as a day of solidarity with Kashmiris and observing the Indian National Day as a Black Day, and alerting Pakistani Armed Forces to meet any misadventure from across the border sends out the message loud and clear. Banning Indian use of Pakistani airspace is another move which ought to have been actualised.
Except for Secretary General of the UN who has asked India to refrain from tampering with the status of Kashmir, and who along with Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have categorically stated that the issue ought to be resolved according to UN Security Council Resolutions, most others including the US have expressed concern and called upon both sides to stay calm. It is ridiculous to expect calm from Pakistan over such blatant violation by India rubbishing standing UN Security Council Resolutions which had outlined the future roadmap of the State.
It is mind boggling that even now with the inexcusable unilateral Indian move, the two nuclear-armed nations are being asked to settle the Issue bilaterally through dialogue for which with India throwing the Simla Accord out of the window time was now over. The only option that now remains is for the UN to make up for its criminal negligence allowing the situation to precipitate indefinitely, for which the World Body now ought to take suo motu notice and cause the plebiscite. If the UN does not act now, Hurriyat Conference veteran leader Syed Ali Geelani’s desperate appeal to the Muslim world calls for declaration of Jehad by the Ummah which particularly warrants that Pakistan move swiftly on diplomatic front besides gearing up its arsenal to meet any eventuality.
At this critical juncture without loss of time, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and carefully chosen emissaries from amongst the political divide in the country should by now have fanned out to world capitols to emphasize that double standards of the big powers and the UN are an affront to world conscience granting independence from Indonesia to a tiny East Timor with a Christian population of 1.29 million and an area of barely 14000 SqKms in a matter of months, but allowing 96% majority Muslim landmass of 2,22,236 Sqkms and a population of 15 million to languish for 72 years in Indian slavery without affording them their right to self-determination.
Pakistan must realize that standing on diplomatic ceremony including a third party intervention was now over with the latest about turn by India after asking Donald Trump to mediate over Kashmir. Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of the US State Department for South and Central Asia, having denied that India had taken the US into confidence about its annexation move, it was time that the US President questioned Indian intent and credibility over such misstatements and somersaults embarrassing Trump. In this backdrop, Donald Trump’s chemistry of late with Pakistani Prime Minister warrants a dispassionate introspection over their newly created equation and a litmus test of Trump’s sincerity to mediate over Kashmir and to actualise the UN Security Council Resolutions to decide Kashmir’s future through a plebiscite over which the American President holds the key.
Trump is rightly keen in withdrawing from the 18-year-old fruitless war dumping billions of American dollars into the bottomless Afghan pit, but must also recognize the fact that under the smokescreen of terrorism, India had been allowed to entrench along the Pak-Afghan border and carry out subversion in Pakistan together with Indian RAW and Afghan NDS. Pakistan must make the American President realize that it was not in the Indian interest to see peace in Afghanistan or Pakistan, which is why seeing Pakistan being recognized as a vital player in the Afghan peace process whose fruition will leave no Indian platform for subversion through Afghanistan, India redoubled its campaign to heat up the Line of Control in Kashmir and the Afghan border with Pakistan, and eventually moved to illegally annex the State of Jammu and Kashmir in an attempt to divert Pakistan’s attention from the peace process.
Pakistan must take the big five on board in agitating the Kashmir issue through a comprehensive dossier highlighting India running away from dialogue, its false flag Operations, genocide in Kashmir, settling non-Muslim Indians in Kashmir to change its demography on the pattern of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank to brace up for the inevitable plebiscite; steps which must be thwarted for the sake of global peace.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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