Self-determination of Kashmiris remains core Pakistani foreign policy
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Pakistan’s never failing support for Kashmiris has never been a secret as entire world knows that truth. Pakistan sacrificed its people in order to defend Kashmir from Indian forces. Islamabad has always raised the issue of occupational crimes in Kashmir by Indian forces though India continues to claim Jammu Kashmir as an integral part of Indian constitution.
India and Pakistan have not been able to assume genuine relationship for years because of Kashmir issue. The repeated summit meetings by leaders of both nations as well as top level official level meetings have not achieved anything positive, except wars and cross border fires.
Each time the president or premier of either country makes a “historic” visit to neighboring nations, high hopes are raised about prospects of bilateral ties, but media blast suspicions about real intentions.
India has been quick to blame Pakistan for any terror operation taking place in India, thereby making any positive shift in bilateral relations impossible. Although Pakistan condemns the terror exercises in India, India plays its anti-Pakistan card well.
India claims the Kashmir issue is non-existent and irrelevant and asks India not to mix up Kashmir issue when bilateral issues are discussed. India objects to Pakistani ambassador in New Delhi meeting the Kashmiri leaders.
Even as Pakistan has condemned the terror attack at the Air Force Base in Pathankot and assured action on the leads provided by India on the Pak link to the strike Islamabad maintains that it would “continue to adhere to the principled stand of the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people which is the basis of its foreign policy”.
This was stated by no less than Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain when he a delegation of leaders from Pakistan occupied Azad Kashmir in Islamabad on Tuesday. President Mamnoon Hussain has said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including the incident at Pathankot however Pakistan would continue to adhere to the principled stand of the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people which is the basis of its foreign policy.
While the assertion was made to mark UN resolution on Kashmir on January 5 Islamabad’s position makes it clear that Kashmir would continue to top the agenda from their side in Indo-Pak negotiations while cross-border terror particularly Pathankot attack would top Delhi’s agenda. The Kashmir issue has been central to Pakistan’s policy towards India for decades.
Official sources here indicate that the Modi government is currently focusing on the cross-border link to the Pathankot attack which was carried out by banned terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. The PM and NSA have made India’s stand clear in their conversations with their Pakistani counterparts. The government here is awaiting a swift action against the planners and handlers of the attack and future engagement with Pakistan would depend on the type of action against the perpetrators.
As usual, India suspects Pakistani involvement in Pathankot attack.
President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain said Pakistan would continue to adhere to the principled stand of the right to self-determination of Kashmiri people, which was the basis of its foreign policy. He was talking to a delegation of Kashmiri leaders, who called on him here at the Presidency.
The president stated that founder of Pakistan – Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah – had said that the alphabet “K” in Pakistan denotes Kashmir and Pakistan was incomplete without Kashmir. He said the view of Quaid-e-Azam that Kashmir was jugular vein of Pakistan was a guiding principle for every Pakistani. He said the support for the right to self-determination for Kashmiri people was the basic principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The meeting was organised especially on the day of passing of the UN resolution for the right to self-determination of Kashmir and as part of commemoration of Quaid-e-Azam’s birth anniversary. President Mamnoon said that Pakistan would continue supporting the right to self-determination of Kashmiris because Pakistan considers Kashmir an unfinished agenda of the partition of the subcontinent. The President further stated Pakistan has raised the voice in support of Kashmiris on every political and diplomatic forum and it would continue playing this role in future as well. “President Mamnoon Hussain assured the Kashmiri leadership that there would be no change in the principled stand of Pakistan on Kashmir
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Muhammad Barjees Tahir, President Azad Jammu Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, Prime Minister Azad Jammu Kashmir Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, leaders of political parties of Azad Kashmir and All Parties Hurriyat Conference were also present. President Hussain said that Pakistan “would continue supporting the right of self-determination of Kashmiris because Pakistan considers Kashmir as an unfinished agenda of the partition of the subcontinent.”
President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan has raised the voice in support of Kashmiris on every political and diplomatic forum and it would continue playing this role in future as well notwithstanding the objections raised in New Delhi.
Hussain said that Jammu Kashmir was a Muslim majority area and the efforts underway in New Delhi and Jammu for turning their majority into a minority would never be successful. He assured the Kashmiri leadership that there would be no change in the principled stand of Pakistan on Kashmir and it would continue to support the just aspirations of suppressed Kashmiris.
Condemning the attack on an Indian airbase in Pathankot, the president said Pakistan was against all forms of terrorism. He said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. President Yaqoob, Prime Minister Abdul Majeed and other Kashmiri leaders also expressed their views on the occasion and highlighted the Kashmir issue.
Kashmiri seem aware of the fact that India is not thinking in terms of surrendering sovereignty to Kashmiris even after murdering over 100,000 Kashmir Muslims. JK government is just promoting Indian interests in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the BJP which now rules India and shares power with PDP in Jammu Kashmir seeks to expand it Hindutva base in Kashmir valley by popping up unhappy Kashmiri Muslims as its (paid) agents by providing them with favors. The Modi government would go all out to make a Hindu MLA as Kashmir’s “first ever” Hindu CM.