Bone of contention: Talks necessary for Kashmir solution, says Sartaj

By APP
Published: October 22, 2014
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Sartaj Aziz says nation needs to be united to tackle its challenges, including LoC skirmishes.  PHOTO: REUTERS

Sartaj Aziz says nation needs to be united to tackle its challenges, including LoC skirmishes. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said on Tuesday that meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India on the crunch question of Kashmir was critical to finding a solution to the problem.

Sartaj Aziz said the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited India for the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi with the objective to revive the dialogue process and normalise the relations.

He added that the Indian prime minister wanted to normalise ties with Pakistan on India’s terms, which was based on the view that the issue of Kashmir should not be given importance and be put aside as a non-issue. That is why, Sartaj Aziz said, the Indian side cancelled the foreign secretary level meeting on flimsy grounds.

The advisor on foreign affairs said forgetting Kashmir on the pretext that it was not an issue was not acceptable for Pakistan.

“If Kashmir is not an issue, why you have deployed 700,000 troops in Occupied Kashmir, why the troops from the two sides are sitting eye-ball to eye-ball on Line of Control (LoC), and why are Kashmiris still agitating for their rights?” he remarked.

Aziz said this issue could not be wished away. “If meaningful talks are held, we can find a solution which is acceptable to the Kashmiris.”

He said it was not just an issue between India and Pakistan but it was a matter of self-determination by the Kashmiris.

Aziz called for greater unity to effectively tackle the challenges faced by the country, including the situation on the LoC and relations with India.

“The whole nation will have to be united and tell India that we will never accept Indian supremacy or hegemony, will never forget the rights of Kashmiris and will protect our vital interests,” Sartaj Aziz said in a PTV programme Nuqta-e-Nazr.

India has to be told that Pakistan in terms of military or defence has the capability to protect its vital interests and there should not be any doubt in this respect, he said.

The adviser on foreign affairs said parliament would also debate this issue in a couple of days and guide the government and the foreign ministry on how to tackle the current crisis in the light of country’s national interests. He said it would also send a strong signal to India, as well as the whole world.

To a question, Sartaj Aziz said he saw ties with India at a low. However, he added, Pakistan would do its best to keep the relations normalised with no increase in tension, as the two countries could not afford it.

To a question, he said if the tension at LoC escalated, it could affect the economic future of entire South Asia.

Sartaj Aziz, however, hoped that in the coming days, India would realise that this tension would tarnish its image at the international level, as the world was already disappointed over the cancellation of foreign secretaries meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2014.

 

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Raj - USA
    Oct 22, 2014 - 10:13AM

    The Indian troops are there to ensure that Pakistan does not venture into any adventurism or try to infiltrate terrorists.

    If Modi has said that Kashmir should not be given importance in bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan, he is only telling the truth based on ground realities. India is not interested in gaining even an inch of Pakistan controlled territory nor would it give an inch of territory under its control to Pakistan. Independent Kashmir has some support 15 years ago but not now. With the arrest and sentencing of Dr. Fai, US signaled change of its position. Independent Kashmir is out of question now as it will become a sanctuary for terrorists from all over the world, just like Waziristan and FATA. USA, UK and even China will oppose Independent Kashmir. China already has problems from infiltrating terrorists and has stationed 15,000 of its troops within Pakistan itself, in the GB region. They have faced Kunming attacks, car bombings and slaying of Imam of its largest mosque. For the same reason, open borders will also be not acceptable to India. After 9/11, we are in a new world order. Kashmiri separatists have no support in Kashmir itself. If they had any support they would have participated in elections. So, only option available for both India and Pakistan is to accept the territory each controls as theirs and make it an international border.

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  • Alladitta
    Oct 22, 2014 - 10:18AM

    what is the definition of “world” in pakistan. From international media here in Europe there has not even been a single word uttered by any government. May the issue is widely reported in Africa, America and Australia?

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  • Prem
    Oct 22, 2014 - 10:50AM

    Self-determination is good, but Kashmir has historically had close ties to both Pakistan and India. Moreover it has high strategic value to both Pakistan and India due to the headwaters of the Indus and its tributaries flowing through it. Hence complete independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan would lead to a strategic loss to both countries. Moreover Kashmir has a lot to gain from staying part of the subcontinent. Between Pakistan and India the Indian state is in a better shape than Pakistan. Hence I don’t think it is beneficial at this point to consider making the whole of Kashmir part of Pakistan. Best is to retain the status quo, lower tensions, eliminate terrorism, reduce army presence etc. We should work toward this goal. Once a certain level of development is reached, the border issues will be quite irrelevant. Not just Kashmir, the entire border between India and Pakistan will become more of a formality.

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  • kamal
    Oct 22, 2014 - 11:01AM

    Can not stop laughing when he says “world is disappointed”. Whether world starts in Pakistan and ends with Pakistan ? Tell me the name of one country which has supported Pakistan on this issue. Not even China.

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  • mumbo jumbo
    Oct 22, 2014 - 11:06AM

    “If Kashmir is not an issue, why you
    have deployed 700,000 troops in
    Occupied Kashmir,

    Who are you to question this, princess?

    why the troops from the two sides are
    sitting eye-ball to eye-ball on Line
    of Control (LoC),

    you can pull back your troops any given day. Rest assured, Indian troops will not enter the other side to inherit more problems.

    and why are Kashmiris still agitating
    for their rights?”

    I don’t know about this. Why are people in Pakistan agitating against their government?
    I mean, why are you fighting the Taliban anyway? just let them rule Pakistan, we’ll how it goes.

    “The whole nation will have to be
    united and tell India that we will
    never accept Indian supremacy or
    hegemony,

    Whole nation? WHOLE OF PAKISTAN??….don’t do this please, just a word from president or prime minister is good enough. you will be wasting your time, not even 1% of India will listen to what whole of Pakistan will say.

    will never forget the rights of
    Kashmiris and will protect our vital
    interests,”

    hahaha……keep it going, baby!

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  • chandran
    Oct 22, 2014 - 11:48AM

    then respect the both countries parliamentary resolution
    and both countries need not accept it. there is different between
    respect and accept it.

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  • kaushik
    Oct 24, 2014 - 11:20AM

    Indian troops are sitting because we do not believe pakistani army and the lunatic NS (Your PM).In kargil pakistani army in shadow of the bluffer (Gen. PV. Muff) and of course this NS, ventured .You too are getting fired from Iran(Why?), People understand that Pak is a terrorist promoting country.Indians do not get fired from China, nepal, bhutan, bangladesh, srilanka etc.
    What has happened to PAK. Fires from Afganistan, Iran !!!!!!!

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