Arab states’ indifference to Palestine cause necessitates govt-opp cooperation for Kashmir  

Published: 03:43 PM, 28 Jul, 2021
Arab states’ indifference to Palestine cause necessitates govt-opp cooperation for Kashmir  
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It has now become a regular feature and there is no chance of any change in the unenviable pattern taking place in the foreseeable future.

Whenever the elections are held, the losing party refuses to accept the results on one pretext or the other, mainly that the process was rigged, non-transparent.

The same has happened after the July 25 elections for the AJK Legislative Assembly. (The electoral reforms needed to make election results acceptable to all parties are not being given due consideration by various parties).  

At the time of elections, the PML-N was in power in the state under the premiership of Raja Farooq Haider, a seasoned leader.  

But PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who had campaigned for the party under instructions from her father and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has refused to accept the outcome. (PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif stayed away from the campaign for reasons best known to him or other leaders).

As a result of these elections the PTI has won 25 seats against 11 of PPP and six of the PML-N. The Muslim Conference and AJKPP could get only one seat each.

Now the PTI has the mandate to form government in the state.  

After the elections, Maryam said in a tweet: "I have not accepted the results and will not. I have not even acknowledged the results of this fake government. Congratulations to the workers and voters. What will be the course of action on this shameless fraud, the party will decide soon, God willing."

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari alleged the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) resorted to violence and rigging in the elections and Election Commission failed to take action against PTI for violating electoral rules.

However, mercifully, the young leader refrained from rejecting the results, nor declared any future course of action against the government.

May be because the slot of the opposition leader in the AJK Assembly will now go to the PPP nominee.  

There are indications that the PML-N plans to launch a movement against these elections, modalities of which will be decided in the days ahead.

The PML-N, the PPP and some other parties had also rejected the results of July 25, 2018 because of alleged rigging.  

After those elections Mr Bilawal had labelled Prime Minister Imran Khan as “selected”, a term repeatedly used by other opposition parties against the cricketer-turned-politician.

The PML-N launched a movement against the PTI government from the nascent opposition alliance PDM’s platform, hoping that the Imran-led setup will come down before the end of 2020.  

The JUI-F, under the leadership of veteran Maulana Fazlur Rehman, staged even a long march on Islamabad for the same purpose.

However, both anti-PTI initiatives failed to bring the desired results.

As of now the Pakistan Democratic Movement is neither alive nor dead.

Now the opposition leaders have decided to wait for the completion of five-year term of the Imran government in 2023.

The results of the AJK elections, however, have provided the PML-N with another pretext to launch a movement against the new PTI government, which is expected to be installed shortly.  

The opposition’s new movement will be an unjustified step that will serve no useful purpose because of the situation the Kashmir cause is going through at present.

It will not be in national interest to work against the new setup, also because it is now crystal clear that the establishment is fully behind the PTI and seems to be in mood to withdraw its support.

In the prevailing circumstances the PML-N should rise above its personal interests and come up with ideas to highlight the Kashmir cause and get the Kashmiris their right to self-determination.

The inexperienced PTI leadership will be in a better position to promote the Kashmir cause with advice from the PML-N veterans.  

Three-time former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and former Kashmir Committee chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be doing a national service by giving ideas to the new government to garner world support for the Kashmir cause.

It’s an undeniable fact that India is a big market and many important Islamic countries will prefer to take economic benefits from it, giving little importance to the rights of Kashmiris. They will not like to do anything that could annoy the Modi government, despite the fact that it is perpetrating atrocities on Kashmiris.  

Nobody should forget that some of these countries have already established diplomatic relations with Israel, turning a deaf ear to the rights of Palestinian brothers. Others are also waiting for an opportune moment to follow suit.

This means that the countries, for whom commercial interests are more important than the rights of Palestinian people, cannot be expected to do much for the Kashmiris beyond lip service.

In this situation, the PTI leadership should also try to take important opposition leaders, both in Pakistan and AJK, along to devise a comprehensive strategy on Kashmir.

Petty personal interests should be shelved for the time being.

Categories : Opinion
Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.