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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

06 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.98

Pakistan's continuing Kashmir frenzy



Kashmiris will "end up in their freedom" says Imran Khan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Pakistan's continuing Kashmir frenzy
Kashmiris will "end up in their freedom" says Imran Khan

PM Khan says Kashmir’s freedom is not far off
During Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special session at the “Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)” (part of PoK) Legislative assembly on 5 August 2020, to mark Yaum-i-Istehsal and commemorate one year of the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government, he said Indian PM Narendra Modi’s decision to revoke J&K special status was a “strategic blunder” which would soon lead to the liberation of Kashmir. He said, “the Almighty is passing the Kashmiris through a phase that will end up in their freedom”.

Speaking at length regarding the importance and role of principles and law in the rise and fall of nations, Imran Khan presented four assumptions based on which the Modi government would have resorted to the move: first, mustering strength for the Kashmir move after winning the second term with a landslide victory based on “his Hindutva base”; second, the expectation of Pakistan’s PTI government to remain mum like the former PML-N government; third, the idea that global community would not want to sever ties with the second largest world market of 1.35 billion for the sake of Kashmir; and fourth, Mr Modi’s belief that the “world would also remain silent because it wanted to use India against China”. On the occasion, Imran Khan also announced Pakistan’s decision to honour Syed Ali Shah Geelani with the country’s highest civil award, Nishan-i-Pakistan, on 14 August. (“Kashmir’s freedom is not far off: PM,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

FM asks OIC to stop procrastinating the meeting on Kashmir
On 5 August, an unusually charged caution was made by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to the Saudi Arabia-led Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asking the latter to stop dragging its feet on the convening of a Council of Foreign Ministers meeting on the Kashmir issue. Mr Qureshi said: “I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris.”

The FM said that Pakistan had omitted the Kuala Lumpur summit (headed by Turkey and Malaysia and considered by Saudi Arabia as an alternative to the OIC) on KSA’s request and was now seeking in return that Riyadh “show leadership on the (Kashmir) issue”. Pakistan has been calling for a CFM meeting of the OIC ever since the revocation of Article 370 by India on 5 August 2019. (“Qureshi asks OIC to stop dragging feet on Kashmir meeting,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

Dawn analysis asks where Pakistan’s Kashmir policy stands today, points out fissures in the foreign policy establishment
In an analysis, Fahd Husain argues that Pakistan’s Kashmir policy has had a monolithic policy with little or no evolution over the decades. According to the author, the only time a significant change occurred was during General Pervez Musharraf period when he presented the four-point formula in the UNGA. But the policy disappeared as soon as Musharraf was out. Pakistan’s traditional policy on Kashmir – “revolving around the utility (or lack thereof) of proxies” – had mostly nothing on the ground post “Jaishes and Lashkars were put to pasture in the last few years”. But with Modi’s 5 August 2019 move, Pakistan was forced to revamp its approach. 

Husain identifies “three different strands of ambiguity” within the foreign policy establishment that is incongruent on this matter. First, the debate as to whether Pakistan must adjust to the new normal post 5 August 2019 or stay put on the traditional position; the new reflects the former. Second, “Kashmir banay ga Pakistan” vs right to self-determination of Kashmiris. Last, should Islamabad adopt symbolic gestures or concrete steps? Husain says that these debates have created fissures regarding Kashmir policy where none previously existed and says that within the Red Zone influential voices prefer a proactive approach that causes a greater non-military pushback from the Kashmiris. He says ground realities of “repression, custodial killings, brutalisation of women and children, financial crisis, rising unemployment and internet blackout” helps further this approach. (“RED ZONE FILES: Mapping options,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

Editorial calls the cartographic changes a psychological move
The Dawn editorial says the inclusion of the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistani territory is the greatest development or change in foreign policy with respect to the new political map (“the first step” to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute) released a day before the observance of Yaum-i-Istehsal. The article says the “cartographic changes are a psychological move designed to pay India back in the same coin”; a response to the new map released by New Delhi in 2019 that showed PoK as part of Indian territory which was rejected by China, Pakistan and Nepal. The article urges the government to consider certain pertaining questions: first, the timing of the release of the map; and second, the capability of the move to further the Kashmir cause. The author says that the Pakistan government must reiterate “a final solution to the dispute can only be achieved after Kashmiris express their will in a democratic manner”. (“New map,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

An opinion warns India on an inevitable international intervention
Ahmed Quraishi calls US President Donald Trump’s mediation offer in the India-Pak Kashmir issue “a turning point”. He says due to the lack of de-escalation and conflict resolution, “international intervention is inevitable”. The president for American Jewish Congress, Jack Rosen, earlier called for American intervention in the Kashmir dispute. Ahmed says the world is running out of patience with respect to Kashmir is not willing to give India any more time to set its house in order, due to the growing environment of religious and political extremism in India. The article also appraises theories of India misusing Kashmir for larger interests, linked to Trump’s 2020 midterms and Afghanistan. The article further says that India is facing unprecedented global isolation and that Modi is being compared with Milosevic and Hitler by the global media. (“The world’s biggest land grab - Part III,” The News International, 6 August 2020)

Senator’s commentary calls for forceful UN action against India
The article by Senator Lt-Gen Abdul Qayyum talks about the failure of the United Nations like its predecessor the League of Nations; and says that “there have been bloody conflicts the world over, many in which Muslims were the main victims”. Qayyum calls India and Israel rogue countries that commit “blatant human rights violations”, “unprecedented state terrorism”, “gross violations of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and other international law”. The Senator calls for the forceful implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir as stipulated in the UN Charter’s chapter 7. He urges the global community to take steps such as “diplomatic isolation (and) slamming economic sanctions.” (“Kashmir: an open wound,” The News International, 6 August 2020)

Other related developments on Kashmir: President's address, Punjab Assembly resolution...
Meanwhile, a Punjab Assembly resolution, expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris, was moved by Law Minister Raja Basharat and passed during a session on Youm-e-Istehsal-e-Kashmir (“PA resolution shows solidarity with Kashmiris,” The News International, 6 August 2020); while addressing the 3D project show organised to mark the Youm-e-Istehsal, President Dr Arif Alvi said PM Imran Khan has proven himself to be an ambassador of Kashmiris through his actions. He said Mr Khan “talked about Kashmir issue wherever he goes around the world". (“PM proving himself as ambassador of Kashmiris: Alvi,” The News International, 6 August 2020)

Local media claims that the Chinese support Paksitan
Also, on 5 August, China supported Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir when China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said that China has been closely following the Kashmir issue. He said “our position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left over from history between Pakistan and India that is an objective fact established by the UN Charter, Security Council’s resolutions and bilateral agreement between Pakistan and India.” (“China backs Pakistan’s position on IIOJK,” The Nation, 6 August 2020) 


In Brief
INTERNAL
Parliament to sit for a joint session today to discuss FATF bills
The parliament will be sitting for a joint session today intending to pass other crucial bills. This joint session comes a week after two FATF-related bills passed separately from the two houses of parliament successfully. On 5 August, the National Assembly Secretariat issued a one-point agenda for the joint sitting which contains only the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matter) Bill 2020. The government had managed to get the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matter) Bill passed from the National Assembly on 6 January after overcoming resistance by the opposition parties. However, the bill could not sail through the Senate, within the 90-day constitutional time frame, forcing the government to get it passed through the joint sitting. (Amir Wasim, “Parliament’s joint sitting today” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

PIA to resume flights partially to the UK   
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced that it would partially resume its flights to the United Kingdom from 14 August with a hired plane. PIA spokesman stated, “The PIA has hired a plane and crew from a European company to operate flights using PIA call sign and slots,” further adding, “Due to public demand, the national flag carrier is resuming its flights.” This agreement was signed between Portugal’s airline and the national carrier. Further, the spokesperson stated that PIA would operate flights with an Airbus A330 which has a seating capacity of more than 300 passengers. Further, passengers will be able to travel to London, Manchester and Birmingham from Pakistan under this new arrangement. (Mohammad Asghar, “PIA to partially resume flights to UK from 14th,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

70th Anniversary of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists
According to the analysis, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists will be celebrating their 70 anniversary this week. The sole aim of the organization was dedicated to ideals of a media free from bondage to the government, remain simple and non-controversial. PFUJ not only survived but worked fearlessly and can look back with both satisfaction and mortification. It had also set up a body to categorize newspapers according to their financial strength and draw up pay scales for journalists in 1960. It further says, “It is time common sense prevailed and all PFUJ factions realized it is only through journalists’ unity that press freedom can be collectively defended.” (“PFUJ at 70,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

ON INDIA
Foreign Office condemns the construction in Ayodhya
On 06 August, the foreign office criticized the construction of ‘Ram Mandir’ in Ayodhya saying it as part of India's journey towards ‘Hindu Rashtra’. Also said, “The flawed judgment of the Indian Supreme Court paving the way for construction of the temple not only reflected the preponderance of faith over justice but also the growing majoritarianism in today’s India, where minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, are increasingly under attack.” The FO acted worrisome over the “the rising tide of the divisive and extremist ideology” in India that would pose a threat to regional peace. (“Pakistan condemns temple’s construction at Babri mosque site,” Dawn, 6 August 2020)

Pakistan committed to following the ICJ in Khubhushan Jadav case
According to the analysis, the appointment of three legal counsel for Kulbhushan Jadav by IHC seeks to provide convict protection under international laws. It aims to ensure ‘no one in the international community can ever blame Pakistan, for the mishandling’ of the case. The next hearing is adjourned for 03 September. It also highlights, that maybe Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan, still after the ‘Indian government for a reaction to this alludes to the possibility of them completely abandoning the case’. (“A generous approach,” The Nation, 6 August 2020)
 

 


"I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris...We have our own sensitivities. You have to realise this. Gulf countries should understand this"

-  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (Dawn)

 

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