Daily Briefs

Photo : The Express Tribune

13 July 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.76

Pakistan must walk away from the 1972 Shimla Agreement, says an opinion

An opinion argues Pakistan must walk away from the 1972 Shimla Agreement, while Imran Khan expresses solidarity with the Kashmiris

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief

Pakistan must walk away from the 1972 Shimla Agreement, says an opinion
Kamran Yousaf says Pakistan silence on Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, was “inexplicable”. The then PM Nawaz Sharif registered a strong protest with India and took up the matter in the UN. Pakistan’s quiet is strange considering the issuing of postal stamps of Wani to commemorate his second anniversary. Mr Yousaf suggests a few reasons: first, the scrutiny of FATF; second, the 2017 US declaration of Hizbul Mujahideen as a terrorist organization; third, the government’s overall incompetence in acting against India; and last, the brewing Pakistan-India-China border dispute triangle which began escalating since India’s 5 August move. Kamran presents “walk(ing) away from the 1972 Shimla Agreement that declared Kashmir a bilateral dispute” as the “most practical proposal” to make a bold move by Pakistan.

He argues: "One of the clauses of the agreement is that the two sides would not unilaterally change the status of Kashmir pending the final settlement. Since, India violated the Shimla Agreement by unilaterally revoking Article 370, Pakistan is no more under obligation to abide by the accord. Pakistan as a first step can withdraw from the agreement as a result of which LoC will revert back to a ceasefire line" (“Time’s up for traditional Kashmir diplomacy,” The Express Tribune, 12 July 2020)

PM Khan expresses solidarity with Kashmiris on Martyrs’ Day
On the Martyrs’ Day, Yaum-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir, falling on 13 July, PM Imran Khan tweeted that Pakistan “salute(d) Kashmiris for their continued struggle against the illegal and barbaric Indian occupation of Jammu & Kashmir”. The “Shuhada of 13 July 1931 were the forefathers of today's Kashmiri resistance," he added. He wrote that the Shuhada’s descendants have sacrificed their lives for liberation and to combat the “Hindutva Supremacist regime bent on demographic engineering to wipe out the Kashmiri people & their identity”. Kashmiri Martyrs' Day commemorates the people killed during the revolt against the Hindu ruler in 1931. 13 July was declared a ‘national day’ post the 1947 India-Pakistan partition. However, with the 5 August revocation of J&K’s special status, 13 July was removed from the remembrance days. (“PM Imran in solidarity with the Kashmiri people on Martyrs' Day,” The Express Tribune, 13 July 2020)

NA to discuss privatisation policy and anti-terror financing bills
The National Assembly (NA) will debate on the privatisation policy of the government and taking up two crucial bills seeking amendments to the anti-terrorism act as the lower house resumes its session after a two-day recess. The 22-point agenda of issues by the NA Secretariat, the Minister for Interior will move the two bills seeking amendments to sections 2, 6, 9A and 110 in the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and insertion of a new section 11000 in it before the house for passage. These two bills were introduced by the government to meet certain requirements of the FATF and in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions No. 1267 and 1373. (Amir Wasim, “NA takes up anti-terror financing bills today,” Dawn, 13 July 2020)

Assistance from the World Bank worth $200 million to help fight the locust 
To assist Pakistan’s fight against locust the World Bank (WB) will approve assistance worth $200 million later this month. The fund will help Pakistan control locust swarms, restore livelihoods in affected areas, and strengthen the country’s food security monitoring and management system. The project is selected for emergency response financing amid the existing threat of food security and sustainability of the agriculture sector in the country. Desert locust breeding and hatching are progressing at an alarming rate in Pakistan, which carries important regional implications. Further, this project would be the first agriculture project in which the WB will work directly at the federal level. (Amin Ahmed, “$200m World Bank aid likely to help Pakistan fight locusts,” Dawn, 13 July 2020)

Another attack on security forces in North Waziristan  
On 12 July, four soldiers were martyred during an intelligence-based operation in the Miramshah area of North Waziristan tribal district. Four terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire. According to the ISPR report, the terrorists opened fire on security forces when they were conducting the search operation in the area. Security forces had reportedly surrounded several suspected compounds in the area, which led to a heavy exchange of fire with the terrorists. The region has witnessed a rise of attacks on security forces during the last three months. More than one dozen personnel, including officers, have been martyrdom in blasts and exchanges of fire with militants. (Pazir Gul, “Four terrorists killed in North Waziristan,” Dawn, 13 July 2020)

Election postponed
On 11 July, the Gilgit Baltistan Election Commission of Pakistan occupied Kashmir announced the postponement of its assembly elections and suspended the July 2ndissued election schedule. The suspension was in accordance with the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court decision following a petition filed by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member. (“G-B elections postponed,” The Express Tribune, 13 July 2020)

Gilgit-Baltistan to be made the fifth province: Opinion by Masud Ahmed Khan
In the editorial, Brigadier Masud Ahmed Khan said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan "want their identity with Pakistan." The local population insist that Gilgit-Baltistan be declared as the fifth province in the country and they are made "constitutional citizens" of Pakistan. According to the author, "the government of Imran Khan could give the people their full rights in Pakistan, by making Gilgit-Baltistan a province on a provisional basis, pending the implementation of UNSC resolution." India in 2019, abrogated Article370 and revoked the special status and has included the Gilgit-Baltistan region in the union territory of Ladakh. (“Gilgit-Baltistan as the fifth province”The Nation, 13 July 2020)

India-China faces off - Lt Col Khalid Masood Khan (Retd)
India and China share the longest border, for about 4000 kms, three boundaries: lines claimed by China, India and the Line of Actual Control. According to the editor, “Chinese aim had been achieved to punish the Indians for pursuing their ‘forward’ policy to push its military posts in Chinese territory”. He suggests, “China could opt to exploit its military gains and threatening the Siliguri Corridor at Dhoklam in the eastern sector while pushing forward in the western sector by capturing Leh and Kargil and a possibility to link with Pakistan army would be worth it”. (“The Sino-Indian conflict”The Nation, 13 July 2020)

PTI tweet on India to isolate Pakistan
On 12 July, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on twitter made a statement, "From thwarting Indian plans of isolating Pakistan diplomatically to becoming the voice of Kashmir and hosting foreign heads of State, PM Khan’s foreign policy makes us relevant globally “. The party also stated that the relation with UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK and the US have improved. The significant effort made under the hashtag “#PakistanStandsWithPMIK” has brought light on PM’s role in Kashmir and how he has made it an ‘international’ issue. (“India’s bid to ‘isolate’ Pakistan thwarted: PTI”The News International, 13 July 2020) 


"Today, on Yaum-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir, we salute Kashmiris for their continued struggle against the illegal & barbaric Indian occupation of Jammu & Kashmir. The Shuhada of 13 July 1931 were the forefathers of today's Kashmiri resistance...Today, every child in Pakistan and all the political and defence leadership is standing with you in your struggle for self-determination and will continue standing with you until it is achieved"

-  Imran Khan on Pakistan's support to Kashmir (Dawn)


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