The gathering storm

Published: September 22, 2016
Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian government forces on Eidul Azha during a curfew in Srinagar on September 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian government forces on Eidul Azha during a curfew in Srinagar on September 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

The UN General Assembly and attack on the Indian military base which left 17 personnel dead have precipitated matters in the deteriorating relationship between Pakistan and India. Both countries have been engaged in a war of words which they had threatened to escalate during their respective visits to the UN General Assembly. Lobbying on both sides is now being reflected in statements issued by various countries that have begun to take sides on the Kashmir issue. Most recently, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has urged India to stop its hostile activities in Kashmir that have resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries over the past couple of months. The OIC has reflected Pakistan’s stance on the matter which focuses more on the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and the need to resolve this issue peacefully.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities continue to take an aggressive stance which has become even more evident in the wake of the Uri attack. No longer content with issuing threats to Pakistan, the Indian government now intends to gather evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in order to isolate the country from its international allies. In the immediate aftermath of the Uri attack there was talk of cross border retaliation, however, according to sources the Indian government now plans to use other options to pin the blame on Pakistan and exact retribution. The effects of this policy are already being felt. On September 21, two US lawmakers who are well known to be Indian lobbyists have moved a bill to declare Pakistan a “state sponsor of terrorism”. There is now an immediate need for both countries to make significant efforts to reopen diplomatic channels before this situation escalates any further. For the good of the Kashmiri people who are having to live through one of the worst periods of violence in recent times and for the collective good of both countries, diplomacy must be the only way forward. The international community too, must play its part in helping to improve relations between both countries rather than fuelling the fire over the coming few critical weeks.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2016.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • M. Emad
    Sep 22, 2016 - 2:36AM

    Yesterday Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina strongly condemns attack on Kashmir army base at Uri saying ‘the attack has deeply saddened’ her. Hasina extended her deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and bereaved families of the dead soldiers — ‘As a close friend and neighbour, we would continue to work together in our common endeavour to eradicate the menace of cross-border terrorism from this region and beyond’.Recommend

  • curious2
    Sep 22, 2016 - 3:22AM

    Dynamics are changing .. in the “old day” the USA/China/Russia would get together to tamp down the fires …. but things have evolved. USA is very unhappy with Pakistan and is unlikely to lead the charge as in the old days … China is unlikely to take an early lead roll and Russia doesn’t want to get in the middle of a dispute where it views there is no upside. That increases the odds of things getting out of hand – especially when you add Modi and history into the equation. Recommend

  • Rahul
    Sep 22, 2016 - 5:11AM

    Pakistan underestimated Indira Gandhi in 1971 and it is underestimating Modi now. Modi is going to find Pakistan’s weaknesses and exploit them like Indira did in 1971. Pakistan may have its Kashmir rhetoric but it does not change things on the ground.Recommend

  • Toticalling
    Sep 22, 2016 - 10:28AM

    Thank you for a very sensible assessment of the situation. Pakistan has an image problem which does not inspire even liberal people in the West to talk against the oppressors of Kashmiris. There are more than 600000 Indian army soldiers in Kashmir and in spite of that the situation is out of control. I am sure India will not be able to win the hearts of Kashmiris in another 100 years. India cleverly turns the blame on Pakistan for all the troubles. There was a time when Sikhs wanted freedom and India blamed Pakistan. It appears India has won over more Sikhs on their side and one may ask if Pakistan was involved, how come Punjab is quiet?
    But it should in Pakistan’s interest to make sure that no terror acts are done by anybody from Pakistan. Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Sep 23, 2016 - 6:54PM

    Thought for the day

    All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal. — John SteinbeckRecommend

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