Diluting a great cause

Published: 01:30 PM, 3 Aug, 2020
Diluting a great cause
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Pakistan will be observing the first anniversary of the annexation of occupied Jammu &Kashmir by India on Aug 5 as a Day of Exploitation. 

An announcement in this respect was made by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a news conference on Friday. 

He also gave details of the events planned for the day.  

“We need to jointly deliver a message to the Kashmiris that we will not fail them,” he said.

India, he said, tried to break the resolve of the Kashmiris through its oppressive tactics, but it failed to achieve its goal.

“My Kashmiri brothers and sisters we can feel your difficulty, we realize the oppression that you have endured. But, remember you are not alone. Every Pakistani is standing by your side and is raising voice for your cause,” the foreign minister said.

On Aug 5, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Muzaffarabad and deliver a speech at the AJK Assembly in which he will reiterate solidarity with the people of Kashmir and reaffirm Pakistan’s support for their struggle for freedom from India.

The foreign minister announced the renaming of Islamabad’s Kashmir Highway as Srinagar Highway and said Pakistan’s eyes were on Srinagar and the day was not far away when “we will offer prayers in the mosque of Srinagar with our Kashmiri brothers”.

Despite the news conference, it is not clear what made the PTI government to observe Aug 5 as a Day of Exploitation, which does not convey that it is against the illegal, immoral annexation of Occupied Jammu& Kashmir.

The exploitation of Kashmiris has been going on for decades and we’ll not be adding to the world’s information by repeating the same old allegations on Aug 5.

Annexation is a more serious crime committed by India and it can be equated to a similar step by Israel for Golan Heights.

The word annexation for Kashmir also establishes the nexus between India and Israel, both anti-Islam countries.

It is incumbent upon the PTI leadership to let the nation know how observing Aug 5 as a Day of Exploitation is better than observing it as a Day of Annexation.

The PTI’s failure to do much to highlight the Kashmir cause and elicit global support for it has exposed the commitment of this party, which emerged as an alternative both to the PML-N and the PPP in the 2018 elections.

The very fact that India chose the PTI rule to annex Kashmir says a lot. It clearly means that India did not expect much reaction both from the political and military leaderships.

After the ‘tragedy’ the foreign minister of Pakistan should have spent most of his time in foreign capitals to elicit world support for the Kashmir cause. But, unfortunately, he has ample time for the South Punjab politics, not Kashmir.  He feels as relaxed as ever.   

The role of opposition parties is equally disturbing. They can be called silent spectators. They just make statements on Kashmir on various occasions but have failed to come up with some effective measures the PTI government should take to get Kashmir back from India.

The leadership of the PML-N is dying to find some short cut – right or wrong - to return to power.     

The PPP, JUI, Jamaat-i-Islami are also doing nothing on this front except making some hollow statements.

What is a matter of serious concern for us as a nation is: While annexing Kashmir why was India not afraid of the nuclear capability of Pakistan? 

Had it the slightest fear that Pakistan could use this capability, it would not have dared take such a drastic step, that has neither legal nor moral justification.

It would not be wrong to assume that acquiescence has exposed Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence. Now for India Islamabad is just like any other regional state, our leaderships’ meaningless threats notwithstanding.

The political and military leaderships owe n explanation to the nation: If the nuclear capability is not to be used even against enemy India for the greater cause of Kashmir, when would it be used? Similarly, they should also let the nation know whether nuclear weapons have been developed for use against the enemy or just for the country to protect them?

If Pakistan’s leadership – both political and military – did not act like brave Muslims leaders of the past, the Kashmiris stand no future. Disappointed, they will have every right to map out their future course of action to protect themselves and get their rights. It would be naïve to expect that they would be satisfied by mere hollow statements made by various leaders and parties.   

Categories : Opinion
Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.