ISLAMABAD - Senior Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Rehman Malik has said that no one can divide Kashmir into two parts and Pakistan should engage in aggressive and pro-active diplomacy to raise the Kashmir issue internationally.

In an exclusive panel interview with The Nation and the Nawa-i-Waqt here at his residence, the lawmaker said that Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s peace doctrine was still applicable.

The interviewing panel was led by Editor The Nation Salman Masood and comprised Resident Editor Nawa-i-Waqt Javed Siddique and senior journalists Shafqat Ali, Imran Mukhtar and Rizwan Malik. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Question: There have been rumours that Kashmir may be divided between Pakistan and India. Is it a possibility?

Rehman Malik: Absolutely not. Kashmir cannot be divided by anyone. No individual has the right to take such a decision on behalf of the Kashmiris who have laid so unprecedented sacrifices. These are all rumours and have no substance.

Question: Army Chief’s military diplomacy has been credited for averting regional conflict. How you view the ‘Bajwa Doctrine’ with regards to Kashmir?

Rehman Malik: The Bajwa doctrine, attributed to army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, is aimed at peace. It is still applicable. Pakistan wants to resolve all issues through dialogue. Pakistan armed forces are invincible and our defence is in safe hands. The desire for peace is aimed at stability in the region. Our armed forces have proven time and again that no one can beat them, but they can always surprise anyone.


Question: Do you see the resolution of the Kashmir issue in the near future?


Rehman Malik:  It will take time. There is a lot of work to be done. Our foreign policy has not been up to the mark. We have given a chance to India to have its way. We have unfortunately not done enough to plead the case despite having the right stance.


Question: What can be done to raise the Kashmir issue effectively?


Rehman Malik: I have written to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi more than once and urged him to file a lawsuit in International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team for their crimes against humanity and genocide in Indian occupied Kashmir. The Foreign Minister should follow the precedent set by Gambian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Abubacarr Marie Tambadou who picked the courage and presented the case of Rohingyan massacre before the ICJ and won it proudly. If a small country like Gambia can stand for Rohingyan Muslims why can’t Pakistan go for their own oppressed Kashmiris in ICJ and ICC. I would like to place on record highest appreciation to Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Republic of the Gambia for filing lawsuit against Aung San Suu Kyi, Ruling Leader of Republic of Myanmar for the massacre of Rohingyan Muslims in Myanmar.’  The Indian government is also involved in Killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group. In addition, the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his military associates should be dragged to the International Court of Justice.


Question: Do you think a verdict from the ICJ or the ICC will force India to give up its claim on Kashmir?


Rehman Malik: The verdict will be advantageous for Pakistan in any case.   We cannot ignore the unprecedented crimes against humanity in terms of mass murders, mass blinding, enforced disappearances, torture, rapes, political repression, and suppression of freedom of speech of Kashmiris which are being committed by India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an active member of extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The RSS is involved in the massacre of Muslims since its inception.  India is committing violation of all the global treaties by not allowing the human rights bodies to access Kashmir to observe and report the human rights violations there.


Question: Prime Minister Imran Khan had expected Narendra Modi to resolve the Kashmir issue after the recent elections in India, but he has done exactly the opposite. Was it wise to expect any good from Modi?


Rehman Malik: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an internationally declared terrorist as he publically appeared in ‘Top Ten Criminals’ and he remained banned in the United States for a decade for the massacre of Muslims in Ahmedabad and Gujarat. He is an established killer under the name of Butcher of Gujarat. He also incited the Hindu extremists to demolish the Babri Masjid in which hundreds of Muslims lost their lives. Modi is also involved in the cleansing of Muslims by settling RSS trained families in Kashmir by allotting them lands and houses in Kashmir. Modi has done nothing as per the expectations of Imran Khan but illegally merged Kashmir into its union territory.


Question: How do you think Pakistan should go about the Kashmir issue? What should be done?


Rehman Malik: We need to have an aggressive foreign policy. Just speeches and meetings will not bring any results. Modi is hurling threats for Pakistan at all possible fronts and in such a situation the government has to predict the situation and to frame a counter-strategy while taking the opposition into confidence. The Indian forces along the Line of Control and working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populations with artillery fire and automatic weapons, which is highly condemnable and sheer violation of international human rights and the UN laws. I have been exposing the anti-mind set of Modi against Indian Muslims and Kashmiris which Modi demonstrated by revoking the special status of Kashmir, imposing the longest curfew, allowing construction of temple on the place of Babri Masjid and now by bringing discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act-2019.  Prime Minister Imran Khan must call an All Parties Conference on Kashmir.


Question: How do you see the discriminatory laws being introduced by India?


Rehman Malik:  The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 passed by India and curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir are examples of what we should expect from Modi.


Question: US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate on Kashmir but India refused it. How far can Trump help Pakistan’s cause?


Rehman Malik: The US needs Pakistan in Afghanistan. The Kashmir issue is in the interest of the western world. They need this tension for their own reasons. Pakistan should instead ask the US to drag it out of the Financial Action Task Force’s gray list. This is what Trump can do for Pakistan. On Kashmir, he will hardly deliver.


Question:  India has been threatening an attack on Azad Kashmir. Do you see it as a real risk?


Rehman Malik: India knows it can’t win against Pakistan. The threats are hollow. They should learn from the last year’s attack when our forces taught them a lesson. Attacking Pakistan will only mean problems for India.


Question: What were the achievements of the PPP-led government on the Kashmir issue between 2008-13?


Rehman Malik: Our government raised the Kashmir issue at all the available forums. We founded the ‘Friends of Pakistan’ to gain international support on the dispute. During our time India never had the courage the merge occupied Kashmir into its territory.


Question: What do you think is the real weakness of Pakistan in effectively raising the Kashmir issue globally?


Rehman Malik: Our economy has been the key irritant. When we seek loans we cannot expect the borrowers to support us for our causes. The government needs to fix the financial issues and improve foreign policy. It is a failure of our foreign policy that we have not been able to convince other countries to support us for a just cause.  The bloodshed in occupied Kashmir is no secret. We just need to work in the right direction.