PTI govt’s another failure on Kashmir front

By Ashraf Mumtaz

October 20, 2021 02:09 PM

In what can be called a serious setback to Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, Dubai, one of the UAE's seven emirates, signed an accord to build infrastructure in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). 

No figure for the value of the accord has been given. 

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) by Dubai is said to be the first investment agreement by a foreign government in the disputed region following the withdrawal of IIOJKs autonomy and the division of the Muslim-majority state into two territories directly ruled from New Delhi.

According to the Indian government, the agreement signed with Dubai will result in infrastructure building, including industrial parks, IT towers, multi-purpose towers, logistics centres, a medical college and a speciality hospital. 

“The world has started to recognise the pace [at] which [occupied] Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon,” Indian trade minister said in a statement. 

The statement said different entities from Dubai had shown keen interest in investment in the occupied valley. 

On the face of it, signing of the MoU is a routine business activity. But, in fact, by signing the agreement the Dubai government has stabbed Pakistan in the back. 

The world knows that Kashmir is a disputed territory and even the UN recognizes this. Pakistan has repeatedly raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations with a strong plea for rights to the Kashmiri people. Islamabad even rejected the repeal of the special status of the territory by India in 2019, and made it clear that talks with the eastern neighbour would not be held on any subject unless the step was reversed. 

The UN recognizes the disputed status of Kashmir. 

It may be recalled that when the rotational Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August this year was with India, TS Tirumurti performed the role.   

At a news conference in that capacity he was asked to explain India’s commitments to UN Security Council resolutions that provide for a plebiscite in the disputed territory. 

In response he claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was “an integral part of India.” 

Then, responding to another question about New Delhi’s Aug 5, 2019, action of illegally annexing the Jammu and Kashmir region, Tirumurti said: “Any change or modification to article 370, like any other provision of the Constitution, is the sole prerogative of the Parliament of the Republic of India.” 

The Indian representative was speaking from the world body’s platform but in fact highlighting his country’s unilateral claim about Kashmir.   

Realizing that the UNSC platform was being misused by the Indian representative to highlight the country’s disputed claim, the spokesperson for the secretary general immediately clarified that the UN position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute has not changed. 

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked about the UN position on this 70-plus years’ old dispute. 

“Our position on Kashmir is well established and has not changed. I will leave it at that,” Mr Dujarric said. 

When a journalist asked him to repeat the official UN position on this issue, he said: “You will find it in relevant resolutions. I’m not going to go and repeat it, but ours is unchanged.” 

A stronger rejection by the UN of India’s unprincipled claim, unilateral measures taken in occupied Kashmir and vindication of Pakistan’s consistent and principled stand on Kashmir was not possible. 

In these circumstances the MoU signed by Dubai government with India for projects in the disputed territory will be a setback to Pakistan’s consistent stance on Kashmir. It indicates that Dubai is interested more in promoting its ties with the tyrant Modi government than playing any role to get the Kashmiris their rights. 

Needless to point out that UAE is among the countries that have already established diplomatic relations with Israel despite the fact that the Jewish state is in illegal occupation of Baitul Maqdas and is also denying the Palestinians their rights. 

Maybe it is just a coincidence that all negative developments in Kashmir are taking place during the PTI rule.  The annexation of occupied Kashmir was also announced during the PTI rule. 

It may be said without a fear of contradiction that the PTI government has not done much on the Kashmir front. The chairman of the Kashmir committee (Shehryar Afridi) is a person who, so far, has failed to perform any role he was supposed to. 

If Pakistan really wants to do something for the Kashmiris it should send parliamentary delegations to other countries to highlight the Kashmir situation and win the host countries support. Former foreign secretaries, senior diplomats and people like ex-AJK president Masood Ahmed Khan can bring the desired results.  

Parliament should discuss the Kashmir issue at length and work out a comprehensive strategy for the liberation of what Pakistan calls its jugular vein.    

Prime Minister Imran Khan should try his best to persuade the Islamic countries to boycott India till it gives Kashmiris their rights under UN resolutions. 

In case the prime minister failed to take urgent measures on this front the PTI would be remembered in history as a party that surrendered Kashmir to India hands down. 


Written By

Ashraf Mumtaz

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