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February 9, 2020

A warning for Modi

Opinion

February 9, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) legislative assembly on Kashmir Solidarity Day, and a public rally in Mirpur, expressed Pakistan’s unswerving resolve to stand with the people of Kashmir in their freedom struggle.

The PM said that the decision by Modi government to revoke the special status of Occupied Kashmir was a big mistake for India which would lead to the independence of IOK. Referring to the threat by Modi to conquer Pakistan within 10 days, he rightly cautioned the Indian PM that it would be his last mistake. It was a rare show of solidarity with the people of IOK as well as an unmistakable assertion about Pakistan’s capability to deal with any aggression motivated by the hate philosophy of ‘Hindutva’.

Modi by scrapping Article 370 has not only violated the Indian constitution but also repudiated the UN resolutions on the issue. By doing so he actually has internationalized the issue and though the West was still not showing real interest in the resolution of the Kashmir issue, it has expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in IOK and is urging India to end the lockdown. The UNSC has twice discussed the issue since August 5 last year, and reiterated that the solution of the Kashmir dispute could be found through the relevant UN resolutions on the issue. Thanks to the diplomatic offensive launched by Pakistan, particularly by Prime Minister Imran Khan, India has failed to sell its contention that Kashmir is its internal matter.

There are three parties to the Kashmir dispute, the people of Kashmir, Pakistan and India. Since India has done the ultimate wrong, its rectification will come by the other two parties in case the international community and the UN do not heed the warning.

The Kashmiri leadership has already vowed to continue their struggle for freedom and the people of IOK are defying the curfews imposed by the Indian security forces to protest against the Indian action – undeterred by the pellet guns, tear gas and complete lockdown in the valley. They seem more determined than ever to take their struggle to its logical end. The move by Modi has spurred the movement and the resolve of the people of IOK to win their freedom at any cost. Freedom movements have their own momentum and cannot be subdued through the use of ruthless military muscle.

The scenario building up in IOK in the backdrop of the revocation of Article 370 and the plans of violence in the valley as also pointed out by some international organizations, has raised the prospects of armed confrontation. Pakistan has shown remarkable restraint against India’s belligerent posture and continued provocations as it wants the issue to be resolved through peaceful means with the help of the international community and the UN. Nevertheless it also stands fully prepared to give a befitting reply to India in case it commits any indiscretion like the one it unfurled in the backdrop of the Pulwama incident or foists a full- fledged war on Pakistan.

Pakistan is a nuclear power and will not be a walk-over for India. Attacking Pakistan would prove to be a fatal mistake for India besides leading to disastrous consequences for the entire region and the world at large. Only a mad man would go such an option.

The Modi government is under tremendous pressure due to the fierce opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act within India and the continued resistance by the people of IOK. As feared by Prime Minister Imran Khan, India could have the temptation to launch a false-flag operation like the one it did after the Pulwama incident to divert the attention of the world community.

But the danger is that even such an eventuality could lead to unpredictable consequences for the entire region and the world at large. The warning repeatedly sounded to the international community by Prime Minister Imran Khan has considerable merit. It is obligatory on the international community and the UN as a peace-making body to take notice of the situation and create conditions for the implementation of the UN resolutions.

It is regrettable to note that the countries around the world tend to support or oppose global issues based on their commercial and strategic interests rather than adherence to the lofty humane considerations, international laws, conventions and the principles of peaceful co-existence enshrined the UN charter. Had it been otherwise the world would have been free of conflicts like Palestine and Kashmir.

The people of Kashmir have been waiting for the last 72 years to be given their right of self-determination but the international community and the UN have shown criminal apathy to their sufferings. The countries which claim to be world leaders and upholders of principles of liberty and self-determination are actually the worst offenders. It is because of their hypocrisy that the Palestine and Kashmir issues remain unresolved and human blood is being spilled with impunity.

President Trump who sounded so enthusiastic about playing a mediatory role in resolving the Kashmir issue has taken a complete somersault after meeting the Indian prime minister. Even some Muslim countries have failed to show solidarity with the Muslim brethren of Kashmir because of their commercial and business interests connected to India. Somebody has rightly said that it is not principles and lofty ideals but the commonality of interests that is the basis of strong links. However, the ultimate reality is that legitimate causes have the last laugh.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is right in saying that those who are not supporting Pakistan due to their commercial considerations will ultimately be with us. The people of Kashmir are bound to win their freedom as they are not afraid of rendering sacrifices for their freedom.

The writer is a freelance contributor.

Email: [email protected]