A roadmap to peace


Addressing a joint session of parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has called upon the United Nations and the international community to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination to free them from Indian tyranny in the valley. The house was convened to discuss the situation in the Indian-held Kashmir, aggression along the Line of Control (LoC) and foreign policy in the wake of Narendra Modi’s government’s bid to ‘isolate Pakistan’. It is encouraging to note that all the mainstream political parties attended the joint session except Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers and their chairman Imran Khan, who had announced on Tuesday about boycotting it on grounds that “it would mean endorsing the prime minister.” The PTI leadership should have attended the joint session instead of adopting the path of solo flight in the political domain. On the whole, unity of politicians on national issues can only be welcomed.
Besides commenting on the atrocities committed by the Indian security forces against Kashmiris, the PM spoke about India’s intransigence to hold talks with Pakistan in order to resolve all issues including the main dispute over Kashmir. Pakistan’s official stance on Kashmir is that it extends all-out moral support to Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom, and would continue to raise its voice for their right to self-determination at every platform. On its part, India considers Jammu and Kashmir an Indian state with a special status, while Pakistan has declared it a disputed territory. For Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom to be authentic, it is important to refer to Kashmir as a ‘disputed territory’ and not the ‘jugular vein’ or the ‘integral part’ of Pakistan or India. It is imperative, in reiteration for respect for Kashmiris’ sufferings, not to make Kashmir a Pakistan-India fight and a power game. The primary and final victim of this conflict stuck in perpetuity is just one: Kashmir.
India’s intolerance of any infiltration or militancy in Kashmir has made it resort to efforts to isolate Pakistan at the international level. One such successful move by India is the postponement of the SAARC summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad later this year.