September 2016 News

With Blood On Its Hands, Pak Heads To UN To Talk Kashmir

18 September 2016
Times of India
Chidanand Rajghatta

Washington DC: Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif arrives in New York on Sunday intent on raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations, where he is scheduled to address the general assembly on Wednesday. Just a few problems with that effort: Pakistan has plenty of blood on its hands, not just in terrorist attacks on India but also in the US, and on the very city where it is seeking to raise the Kashmir issue. Besides, Islamabad is in violation of the very resolutions of the UN where it is seeking to raise it; and the Uri terror attack will be fresh in the minds of the international community. 'The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir during the early morning of September 18. The United States is committed to our strong partnership with the Indian government to combat terrorism,' the State Department said in a swift reaction to the Uri attack, which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based Jaish e-Mohammed. Preparatory to the Sharif's push on Kashmir, Pakistani mandarins launched their familiar diatribe about Indian 'violations' in Kashmir, which were similarly responded to by Indian diplomats even as the UNGA members watched on with visible boredom. But unlike the public tutored by official narratives, they are rather more familiar with the UN Resolution on Kashmir, which enjoins Pakistan to withdraw from the Kashmir territory it has occupied before a plebiscite can beheld. According to Indian diplomats, Pakistan has rendered even that non-binding resolution infructuous by gifting a large part of that territory to China to buy Beijing's support, in addition to contaminating the dispute with multiple wars, infiltrations, and terrorist attacks. Ahead of the diplomatic push at UN, Sharif dispatched 22 Pakistani Parliamentarians to various world capital to make the case on Kashmir. But nothing has been heard of their efforts, described a useless, multi-crore junkets in the Pakistani media, even though the media itself has been lathering up the 'Kashmir masla' over the past few days. Efforts to draw Washington into the matter have also drawn a blank. 'Nothing is changed about our view that we want to see India and Pakistan work this out bilaterally,' State Department spokesman John Kirby intoned when asked to define the US policy on Kashmir. The way the Indian side sees it, Pakistan has forfeited its Kashmir position at the UN by repeatedly committing to resolve it bilaterally with India through the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, both of which are outcomes of the Pakistani military trying to settle the issue militarily - and losing on every occasion. Despite the heavy cost it has had to pay at home due to its well-chronicled fostering of terror groups, from al-Qaida and Taliban to India-specific groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, nothing seems to have been learned by the Pakistani military, which directs the anti-India operations, and increasingly the country's foreign policy itself. The military's intelligence wing ISI was also implicated in the court proceedings in the U.S involving the Mumbai terrorist attack planner David Headley and in funneling money to Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulam Nabi Fai, both ISI stooges eventually going to prison. Despite this, the US administration has refrained from taking punitive action against Pakistan other than to lately whittling down military aid mainly on account of Congressional pressure, amid fears that excessive sanctions and punishment will drive it into China's arms. Aside from China's occasional support, Pakistan currently stands isolated in the world community, and is at odds with its principal neighbours - India, Afghanistan, and Iran. Islamabad blames India for its poor ties with its Islamic neighbors despite their saying that Pakistan's nurturing of terrorist groups is the problem. Few important foreign leaders have visited Pakistan in recent times, and Pakistan is considered inconsequential and troublesome in most countries. India is now expected to step up pressure on Pakistan through the international community, taking advantage of its growing strategic and economic heft. While recent terrorist attacks on western interests, many of which have Pakistani fingerprints, make this a relatively easy job, Pakistan has also made it easy for India by giving UN -designated terrorist a free run and refusing to arrest or prosecute them for terrorist attacks. Its hosting of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar make also makes it inevitable that it is seen as the world's terrorism central.

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