IN this hour of trial, as one salutes China, Turkey,Iran, Malaysia and all those nations which have stood by the humane principle, Pakistan’s thanks are due also to Russia which not only did not stand in the way of the UNSC session on Kashmir but also endorsed the Pakistani stance during deliberations alongside other permanent members to resolve the issue in accordance with UN Resolutions. It heartened all Pakistanis and Kashmiris to hear from the Chinese Permanent Representative at the UN that the Security Council meeting had expressed deep concern over tension emanating from the unilateral Indian action and cautioned the parties to refrain from taking any unilateral steps that may aggravate the situation; clearly hinting at the Indian action.
The fact that the meeting took place and took note of the unilateral Indian action of accession besides gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir as pointed out in the UN Human Rights Watch Report, negated Indian assertion that Kashmir was its internal matter. The Chinese statement was followed by a reassuring briefing by Maleeha Lodhi at the UN, later expounded upon by the Pakistani Foreign Minister who challenged India to prove that its step of accession was aimed at betterment of Kashmiris, by lifting the curfew and freeing all Kashmiri prisoners to see the Kashmiri reaction.
Not only has the UN negated the Indian stance, even the OIC has come alive demanding of India to lift curfew in Kashmir immediately. The UAE must by now have found itself in complete isolation for its support to India which it may now find hard to elaborate, besides the timing of its announcement of a 100 billion dollars investment in India. Unnerved by its failure to prevent the UNSC meeting on Kashmir and a unanimous world reaction against the unilateral Indian act, the Indian Defence Minister has committed yet another blunder exposing its intent threatening to revoke and review the ‘no first nuclear strike’ doctrine, raising global concern that one erratic decision could set off the nuclear flashpoint.
Ironically, days earlier one witnessed a TV discourse among senior journalists in which while blaming the politicians for their infighting rather than presenting a voice of unison against the illegal Indian attempt at annexation of Kashmir, one found the illustrious group of journalists themselves devoting the entire programme to petty internal political feuds, rather than engaging in dissecting and blasting the dastard Indian move and rallying public opinion against Modi as done during his Pulwama misadventure.But with the enemy attempting to choke Pakistan’s jugular vein, one was aghast listening to the opposition parties blissfully engaged in political point-scoring over an issue which should be a matter of life and death for every self-respecting Pakistani. While the PML(N) and the PPP were criminally guilty of doling out Chairmanship of the Kashmir Committee by turn to Maulana Fazlurrehman of the JUI(F) as a political bribe, whose performance during his decade-long wasteful tenure was next to nothing, Bilawal having the cheek to chasten Imran Khan to take the Kashmir issue seriously, and political nobodies like Javed Lateef of the PML(N) having no shame in harping on the absence of Kashmir in the last OIC Foreign Minister’s moot Resolution, and complaining that the Government doing nothing about it; conveniently glossed over what these Parties had themselves accomplished on the issue.
Whereas now even though by default of high riding Modi miscalculations, Kashmir has thankfully been internationalized, it would be unfair not to credit the present Government for keeping abreast and responding aptly to the enemy both on the political and military front and taking timely diplomatic and political initiatives. One must also credit Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the UN, who has made her presence felt at different forums and platforms of the World Body besides ably assisting Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who by now is a seasoned campaigner in the field. It has been noteworthy that in succeeding to attract attention of the UN Security Council in scheduling of its emergent meeting in response to Pakistani FM’s letter written after consultation with the Prime Minister, it is no less a diplomatic achievement though not anything to gloat about. Yes! Pakistan indeed worked hard to convince Russia not to oppose such a meeting nor the US against Pakistan.
Alienated by Indian segregation of Laddakh, China dismissing Indian attempts at appeasement and assuring all out support to Pakistan, London down town witnessed its biggest protest rally with ferocious speeches by Parliamentarians, legislators, human rights activists and overseas Kashmiri diaspora in front of Indian High Commission also joined by other nationalities notably Turks, and the Sikh community in London chanting Khalistan and supporting protest against illegal annexation of Kashmir by India, curfew, brutalities and clamp down upon its Muslim majority population, and so was the news from Brussels; all this an evening before the closed-door UNSC deliberations over Kashmir.
15th of August, India’s Independence Day was observed worldwide as a ‘Black Day’ by protesting Kashmiris and their universal supporters on a humanitarian plank. A comprehensive address by the Pakistani Prime Minister from the floor of the Constituent Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir probing world conscience to act in order to pre-empt and prevent a human catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, was responded admirably, notably by Amnesty International and 50 British Parliamentarians who also preferred a memorandum to the UNSC against Indian move to unilaterally change the status of Kashmir, a disputed territory pending resolution in accordance with standing UN Security Council Resolutions requiring a plebiscite among Kashmiris to decide where to belong. Be it the fallout of post-Pulwama Indian misadventure aptly responded, and now the miscalculated annexation move, it has found Pakistan alert and alive to the situation besides its defence forces and the political leadership making a sacred vow to defend Pakistan’s sovereignty at all cost and to uphold the Kashmiri cause as its own. The moral of the story is that united, we stand.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.