Kashmir issue: policy options for Pakistan

saddam hussain samo
The writer is a columnist and researcher. He can be reached at saddam.samo@gmail.com

Since Pakistan and India are two nuclear countries, an option for Pakistan to invade India and get J&K does not exist. Besides, Pakistan is not an economic power. Therefore, it cannot punish New Delhi by imposing economic sanctions. In this scenario, Pakistan has limited options to propound Kashmir’s cause.

Although, Pakistan possesses the professional and well-trained army, it must improve its economic status. Gone are the days when a strong military helped countries to achieve their national interest. At present, states try to forge good working relations with economic powers and avoid annoying them. For instance, Muslim countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia did not oppose India over Kashmir issue because of their economic interest. Moreover, despite European signatories to the Iranian Nuclear deal disliked the unilateral decision of trump to withdraw from it, they chose to remain with the US and left Iran because of American economic might. It is therefore, recommended to PTI-led government to work hard on Pakistan’s economy.

Similar to an Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) and National Defense University (NDU), an institute for diplomatic studies should be established to train the officers and elected diplomats for effective diplomacy. This will ensure the circulation of Kashmiris’ right of self-determination at every diplomatic forum in a more effective way. It is a diplomatic failure of Pakistan that it fails to mount more pressure on India from Islamic world.

An association of Pakistani writers and authors must be formed to produce material in international magazines and newspapers to aware the world about plight of Kashmiris at the hand of India and their right of self-determination under UNSC resolutions.  Two articles were published by an Indian writer, in the Foreign Affairs website, in less than ten days gap, after India annexed J&K. Irony, the response from Pakistani writers was not satisfactory. Undoubtedly, the close partnerships of the US-India will make this task difficult for the writers, but, the media is free in the US and its freedom has made what the world calls America today “A Great Democracy.”

Pakistan should balance its relations with China and the US. Washington still retains the status of super-power. The US requires Pakistan assistance to solve Afghan conundrum while Pakistan needs American active support to prevent India from committing human rights abuses. Afghanistan can be used as a leverage to persuade the US to intervene in Kashmir issue.

Modi’s reckless move in J&K is in the violation of International laws. He has violated Hague Conventions 1907, Geneva Conventions 1949, and Genocide Act 1969. He has also gone against Shimla Agreement 1972 and the UNSC resolutions.

Pakistan should write to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) under Article 39, which deals with the threats to international peace and security, to prevent upcoming nuclear war between India and Pakistan that can affect the security of the region. Pakistan’s case is stronger under this Article, as Modi is turning aggressive along the LoC and his Defense Minister, Ragnath Singh, has hinted at altering “No First Use” nuclear policy of India.

 Pakistan should approach to International Human Rights Commissions like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International with evidences of human rights abuses in IoK. These commissions must be pressurized to record the atrocities against Kashmiris and publish them in their reports to aware the world about Indian brutalities against unarmed Kashmiris. In addition to this, Pakistan should also approach to the UN Security Council and ask it to impose its resolutions that call for holding free and fair plebiscite to solve the dispute of J&K.

Modi’s reckless move in J&K is in the violation of International laws. He has violated Hague Conventions 1907, Geneva Conventions 1949, and Genocide Act 1969. He has also gone against Shimla Agreement 1972 and the UNSC resolutions. The Hague Conventions prevent any country to deploy hostile army in the disputed region. Geneva Conventions restrict countries to change the demographic of the disputed territories. Besides, a country, under Geneva Conventions, should prosecute its soldiers for committing war crimes. However, no soldier is prosecuted by India despite being involved in sexual abuses and torture against unarmed Kashmiris. There is no doubt that India has initiated genocide in J&K. Under Shimla Agreement, Pakistan and India agreed to prevent any measure detrimental to the peaceful relations with them. Finally, India has not complied with the resolutions of the UNSC to carry a fair and free plebiscite. Thus, under these circumstances, Pakistan must lodge a complaint to ICJ and UN General Assembly against the violation of above-mentioned International Laws by India.

Pakistan must request the UNO to send peacekeeping force in J&k. Besides, Islamabad must mount more pressure on the UNO to get the entry of International Media and Red Crescent allowed in the disputed region.

In order to put more stress on India, PTI-led government must close airspace for Indian commercial airlines. It will not only increase the cost of the trip, but also cause more time for the Indian airlines to reach their respective destinations. In addition to this, the government should ban on the use of Pakistani land routes for India’s trade with Afghanistan. These measures will turn Indian business tycoons against the crisis perpetrated by BJP-led government in J&K.

Thus, Pakistan should act within the legal framework and continues to engage in legal battle with India over the issue of Kashmir.



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