WINDOW ON SOUTH ASIA

Published:  01:17 AM, 12 September 2019

Pakistan trying in vain to keep Kashmir issue burning

Pakistan trying in vain to keep Kashmir issue burning Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Badly hit with a dwindling and battered economy and being kept at a distance by a majority of Muslim nations is further frustrating Pakistani plans to internationalize the Kashmir related developments in the wake of scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gave a specially privileged status to the state of J&K.

This decision, carried on August 5 through legislation, was aimed at finishing discrimination and bringing all at par. It is, however, beyond any rationale on part of Pakistan which seems hysterical in its ongoing attempts to mobilize international support to draw global attention for alleged highhandedness against the Kashmiri Muslims in India.

In light of these happenings, Pakistan must remember the dark realities pre sling in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). It may be recapitulated that PoK was occupied by foul means in 1949 through a series of 'legislative and administrative' measures. By the same stroke, a large chunk of territory belonging to Gilgit and Baltistan was also annexed. And there is a concerted attempt to upset the predominantly Shia demography in the region by a sizable Sunni influx who, more than often, collude with the government agencies to carry on excesses against the Shias.

Also, the Al Qaeda operatives roam freely in the sensitive region, thought to be in collaboration with the ISI and its cohorts. Notorious Pakistan based terror outfit, Tehrik e Labbak Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), under the directions of Pir Afzal Qadri Mohammad, are carrying on a campaign for establishing a complete Islamic rule in the region. Meanwhile, other minority communities including Ahmediyas, Hindus, Bahais, Hindus etc continue to be persecuted.
These atrocities and a carte blanche policy of unleashing excesses on the minorities in addition to encouraging terror groups to breed and thrive in the region calls for international attention and subsequent intervention.

The UNHRC chief, Michelle Bachelet, who called upon (Geneva, Sept 9) Pakistan and India to ensure a cessation to human rights violations on both sides of the border needs to delve into the grim realities rampant in the PoK before passing any judgment. This high UN office should also be deemed to be fair and just as any partial remark or one sided would erode the credibility of an independent and neutral international body.

Pakistan is clutching to the last straw to save its skin from an international isolation as all major powers including a number of Muslim nations thought to be friends of Pakistan are now exercising abundant caution. This is expressly to ensure that they are not seen to be meddling in the internal affairs as India is dexterously moving ahead with its plans to justify with convincing reasons about the abrogation of Article 370, till now granting special privileges to the people of J&K. One has seen the comments from President Putin of Russia in his recent meeting with PM Modi making it very clear that legislation with regard to J&K was an internal matter of India.

This said, the presence of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor, in Islamabad on September 8 pledging support to Pakistan expressing friendship and solidarity with relation to J&K related developments. He met, the Pakistan President, Prime Minister Imran Khan and many cabinet ministers. Wang Yi and the Pakistani side reiterated that the time tested All Weather Cooperative Partnership between China and Pakistan is an 'anchor of peace'.

So, China appears to be the last straw for Pakistan to clutch on. It's in public domain that during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's China visit this July, it's the same Wang Yi who was asked to comply Hasina's request to visit Myanmar to prevail upon the latter's leadership to take back the Rohingyas, currently sheltered in Bangladesh. So far, there is not a single forward movement on this. Judging by this, it's not sure if Wang Yi would really meet Pakistan's requirements.


In the meantime, India has categorically rejected Sino - Pak recent statement on J&K. India, most crucially, on the other hand has strongly questioned the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the stretch belongs to India territory which had been forcefully usurped by Pakistan. India has also clarified most assertively that J&K being an integral part of India, would not accept any statement by China and Pakistan on J&K.

The ongoing developments are on a feverish pitch with India asserting its stand with consistency buttressed with cogent arguments further weakening Pakistan's stand ahead of the debate scheduled in the United Nations later this month.

Pakistan deep state, in the meantime, has released dreaded terrorist, Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) head, Masood Azhar from the prison ignoring all international pleas with specific instructions to foment terror in J&K. Intelligence sources also reveal that southern Indian states are also the targets keeping them on full alert along with Kashmir.

Indian agencies seem confident in neutralizing the fresh threats originating from Pakistan to vent its frustration. In view of these, this autumn looks fraught with political and military turbulence and Pakistan has to take the blame in case of any avoidable aggression.

The writer is a New Delhi based columnist and a security analyst.  He was also the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Mauritius

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