New Overture

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Jun 2017 15:17:04

HAVING failed to elicit much response to its effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue through the United States of America (USA), Pakistan is now trying to enlist the services of other countries like Russia. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mr. Nafees Zakaria has said reportedly, “We welcome UNSC Permanent Member Russia’s attention and intention to play a role in this long-standing issue on (Kashmir) the UNSC agenda”. It is more than obvious that Pakistan is trying to cook up a story that Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin offered his help to Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of Shanghai Summit a little while earlier. India has responded candidly that Russia is well aware of India’s insistence on bilateral resolution of all matters as regards Kashmir, and therefore would not interfere. 

That Pakistan will keep making such attempts, is well known to the world. These efforts come as part of Pakistan’s bigger strategy to keep pushing its Kashmir as much as possible for international attention. For its part, India also has made its position clear time and again because it has the support of a United Nations resolution to that effect. In spite of the fact that the United States had taken some interest in resolution of Kashmir conflict, it did not cross the line to insist upon getting included in the zone of negotiations. Its leadership made it clear from time to time that all the US could do was to help the two sides come to the negotiation table but not participate in the process further. The United Kingdom, France and many other nations also have followed suit, refusing to cross the line.

Despite all this, Pakistan is now trying to rope in Russian support to its cause. And this effort is quite consistent to Pakistan’s stand -- to make Kashmir an international issue. Circumstances have helped it to some extent over time. For, when things came to a head, even India sought to explain its position on Kashmir to the world. And Pakistan has tried to pick exactly that point up to extend its circle of play on the matter.

Because Indian position is well known to the world and because there is a UN resolution in India’s favour on this count, most nations have chosen to stay within the line and only to urge the two sides to sort out things amicably. This marks Pakistan’s clear failure to enlist global support to its cause. Obviously, the world also considers Pakistan -- very rightly -- a rogue state supporting terrorism as a tool in its foreign policy. Though it is itself suffering on that count, Pakistani leadership has refused obstinately to learn the right lessons.

Even as the Pakistani effort to enlist Russian support to its Kashmir cause went on, United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres has warned clearly that any country that supports terrorism will pay a ‘high price’ for its indulgence. He has urged Mr. Nawaz Sharif to keep the dialogue open with Afghanistan President Mr. Ashraf Ghani to open a joint front against terrorism. Mr. Guterres expressed satisfaction that on the sidelines of Shanghai Summit, Mr. Ghani and Mr. Sharif met to discuss the issue. Mr. Guterres has hoped, these meetings would continue.

The trouble is mostly with Pakistan whose leadership has refused to see sense in international opinion that has tilted against terror so clearly. Obviously, the Pakistani leadership is in the grip of terror lords who do not allow any loosening of their grip on Pakistan’s internal affairs.

The latest effort of Pakistan to rope in Russian support is part of that internal reality. On one count, Pakistan appears almost helpless, only following the diktats of the clergy and terror lords on every issue, including Kashmir. The hope now is that the United Nations would be able to exert appropriate pressure on Pakistan to see a correct sense in global opinion.