Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir and India’s fixation over it is withholding them both from recognising Kosovo as an independent state.
A Foreign Office official told The Express Tribune that although Pakistan is eager to recognise Kosovo, “(it) finds it impossible to translate its desire into a reality.”
“Islamabad is willing to recognise the Kosovo Republic, but the situation in Balochistan does not allow us to do so,” the official said.
India is also in a similar bind, the source said, adding: “Delhi is (also) willing to recognise … Kosovo, but the situation in disputed Kashmir has barred it from doing so.”
Pakistan, he said, “is being pressed by several Muslim states and the United States to recognise the republic”. Also, the people of Kosovo, whom it had been supporting in their freedom struggle against Serbian occupation, “are also eagerly awaiting recognition by Pakistan”.
As many as 75 UN member countries, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, have recognised it “but we are sorry we can’t do so,” the official said.
“The reason is that Kosovo had declared its independence unilaterally after a long struggle against the republic of Serbia … Pakistan fears that a parallel could be drawn between Kosovo and Balochistan, even if a few Baloch (insurgents) were to declare independence unilaterally.”
A leading Indian daily The Hindu cited several US embassy cables, according to which the US was pressing India to ‘quickly’ recognise Kosovo’s independence, but New Delhi was worried that a parallel would be drawn between Kosovo and Kashmir.
The cables, declassified by political counsellor Ted Osius of the New Delhi embassy, were accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.
On July 22 last year, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not violate any international law, which its president said contains no “prohibitions on declarations of independence”.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.