Separatists have a reason to celebrate after Pakistan pressed India’s raw nerve by raising Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council ahead of the National Security Advisor (NSAs) level talks. Pakistan’s newfound diplomatic offensive comes at a time when New Delhi is already unhappy over Islamabad’s invite to Kashmiri separatists for talks with the visiting Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz in national capital on Sunday, the day he is arriving to meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval.
From moderates to hardliners, separatists are singing paeans of Pakistan for inviting them for talks and seeking mediation of UN and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“Collectively, and in cooperation with the UN, it has the capabilities to address and overcome these challenges including Palestine and other middle east conflicts as well as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” said Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative at UN, while speaking during an open debate on the subject of regional organisations and contemporary global security challenges on Tuesday.
Lodhi’s words proved to be music to the ears of separatists who were feeling marginalised after the joint statement between India and Pakistan in Ufa Russia recently.
“Pakistan has always been raising Kashmir issue in international forums. Be it UN or OIC, it has been consistent stand of Pakistan to seek world body’s help in resolving the Kashmir tangle,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference, told dna.
Mirwaiz, who is flying to meet Aziz on Sunday, noted that third party mediation has become imperative since there has been lack of mutual trust between the two countries.
“There is a need for effective engagement between the two sides and involvement of people of Kashmir. If it does not happen then third party mediation becomes imperative,” he said.
Hurriyat hardliners led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani too welcomed Pakistan’s aggressive stand on Kashmir saying it reflects the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kashmir is a core issue and Pakistan is a party to it. It has been consistently raising Kashmir issue in world forums which is very heartening and encouraging,” said Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Geelani led Hurriyat.
Geelani, who boycotted the Eid Milan party at Pakistan high commission on July 21 as a mark of protest against Islamabad for skipping Kashmir issue in the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa Russia, has mend fences with Islamabad and is scheduled to fly to national capital to meet Aziz.
“Geelani Sahab will meet Sartaj Aziz Sahab and apprise him about the prevailing situation of the state,” said Akbar.
Pakistan High Commission justified its invitation to Kashmiri separatist leaders, saying such meetings are not “unprecedented”. “We have been meeting and talking to them (Kashmiri leaders). There is nothing unprecedented about it. I don’t understand why there is so much hype,” Manzoor Ali Memon, Counsellor (Press) in Pakistan High Commission,
Islamabad’s newfound aggressive posturing notwithstanding, Pakistani army continues to vitiate the atmosphere on the borders by pounding the Indian forward positions and civilian areas along the line of control in Poonch district.