By Sardar Khan Niazi
Ned Price, US State Department Spokesperson has said that Kashmir is an issue between Pakistan and India and they need to solve this issue with each other. He should know that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet responded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s offer to resume negotiations with New Delhi.
A significant warm-up is unlikely if the international community refrains from pressing India for meaningful talks with Pakistan. Talks with India can only take place after the country reverses its illegal action of August 5, 2019, aimed at illegally altering the demography of the Muslim-majority state of Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Regional stability in South Asia is possible only if India decides on the range, speed, and nature of any talks with Pakistan. The greatest interests of the respective populations in the region demand India must change its cruel behavior toward the Kashmiris.
In Indian-Occupied Kashmir, flagrant human rights violations are taking place day in and day out. India has usurped any semblance of autonomy, given to the Kashmiris under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. On August 5, 2019, India revoked that autonomy.
India is persecuting minorities. India must stop this to give a message to the world that the country was ready for meaningful talks. Pakistan has consistently maintained that it wants to resolve the bilateral issues through dialogue and peaceful means, but India is not responsive.
The main prerequisite for negotiations with India is the revocation of its illegal step taken on August 5, 2019, which stripped the valley of its legitimate status. Until the reversal of that unilateral step, there could be no discussions between the two states.
The settlement of the Kashmir dispute must be in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
In an interview with Al Arabiya Prime Minister Shehbaz reminded the world that India and Pakistan are neighbors and they have to live with each other. It is up to both countries to live peacefully and make progress or continue quarrels with each other, and waste time and resources.
Islamabad and New Delhi have fought three wars that brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people. Pakistan has learned its lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems.
We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities, and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition that is the message the prime minister gave to India. Both countries are nuclear powers, armed to the teeth. In case another war breaks out who will live to tell what happened?
The, US State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price is certainly aware of the BBC documentary that focuses on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cruel behavior toward the country’s Muslim minority. The documentary charts Modi’s political rise through the ranks of the Hindu nationalist party BJP.
It focuses at length on the 2002 Gujarat riots, one of the worst outbreaks of religious violence in India’s recent history that took place while he led the state. After a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in the state killing 59 people, grieving citizens blamed Muslims. Revenge attacks led to over 1,000 deaths.
Horrific violence followed. Mobs systematically attacked Muslim-owned businesses, burned Muslims’ homes, and raped Muslim women. A killing of a former member of parliament took place in front of his home.
The documentary highlights an unpublished report from the U.K. Foreign Office that claims Modi was directly responsible for the climate of impunity that enabled the violence. Against this background, the international community must pressurize India to solve the Kashmir issue.