Dialogue on Kashmir at this time seems difficult with India focused on its upcoming elections
Pressure is building on the Kashmir front or so we would like to think after years of the issue being ignored on the global front. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Kashmir to follow up on development projects, he is met with protests objecting to his presence.
This is contrary to what New Delhi may have expected initially; instead of welcoming the initiation of development projects, Kashmiris demand that Modi leave with no appreciation to show for his uplift projects.
Indiscriminate killings and development schemes do not go together as the Kashmiris can easily see through the subterfuge. Supported by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association on the call by the Joint Resistance Leadership, including Mirwaiz Farooq, we and the Kashmiris agree that Modi’s visit is an insult to their struggle in the course of which the Indian army has committed acts of sheer brutality.
The issue has rightfully attracted attention of the UN as well as members of the British Parliament, which the PTI leadership will address at today’s International Kashmir Conference.
The timing of this event is sensitive. Today, Pakistanis are reminded of the atrocities in Indian-Occupied Kashmir as we mark Kashmir Solidarity Day.
Furthermore, in around two months, India is set to hold general elections. It is critical to expose those responsible for and those passively in support of the human rights violations in IoK so that Indian voters choose humanitarian leaders the next time.
We also need to see more responsibility on the part of other countries to hold India accountable for its injustice towards Kashmiris and other minority groups.
FM Qureshi’s stance on dialogue is commendable but we maintain that to go in for dialogue on Kashmir at this time seems difficult with India focused on its upcoming elections.
When the opposite side continues to kill and maim the oppressed Kashmiris, it is not ready to come to the table until significant external pressures are built.
The bloodshed ought to be stopped immediately. When the people of an entire region cry out for secession, the oppressors need to listen.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2019.