Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the nation on 26yh August said “ Pakistan will go to any extent in support of the people of occupied Kashmir and will stay with them till the last breath whether any country stands with us or not.” His remarks exhibited the irrefutable reality and the abiding commitment that Pakistan has in regards to ensuring that the people of Kashmir get their legitimate right of self-determination promised to them by the UN, international community and the Hindu leaders at the time of partition. Reminding the UN and the world of their obligations towards the people of Kashmir he also sounded a word of warning to them that a likely war between India and Pakistan-- which were nuclear powers-- over Kashmir could be destructive for the whole world.

The scenario building up in IOK in the backdrop of the revocation of article 370 and the plans of genocide in the valley as also pointed out by some international organizations, have surely raised the prospects of armed confrontation between the two countries, although Pakistan is not considering war as an option and still wants the issue to be resolved through peaceful means with the help of the international community and the UN. It was due to this consideration that Pakistan opted for diplomatic offensive as a top priority. Due to its efforts the Kashmir issue echoed in the UNSC after fifty years; Pakistani leadership approached a number of heads of governments around the globe including friendly countries to sensitize the international community about the unfolding situation in IOK. However it also stands fully prepared to give a befitting reply to India in case it commits any indiscretion like the one it unfurled in the backdrop of Pulwama incident. The danger is that any such wrong move could easily push the two countries toward an armed conflict. It was probably that possibility the Prime Minister was alluding to

Modi by scrapping article 370 has not only violated the Indian constitution but also repudiated the UN resolutions on the issue. By doing so he has played his last card and whatever now needs to be done is up to the people of Kashmir, us and the UN whose resolutions have been nullified with all the disdain by India. There are three parties to the Kashmir dispute i.e. people of Kashmir, Pakistan and India. Since India has done the ultimate wrong its rectification will come by the other two parties in case the international community and the UN do not heed the warning. The Kashmiri leadership has already vowed to continue their struggle for freedom and the people of IOK are defying the curfews imposed by the Indian security forces to protest against the Indian action undeterred by the pallet guns, tear gassing and complete lockdown in the valley. They seem more determined than ever to take their struggle to its logical end. The move by Modi has spurred the movement and the resolve of the people of IOK to win their freedom at any cost. Freedom movements have their own momentum and cannot be subdued through the use of ruthless military muscle.

In addition to the diplomatic offensive around the globe Pakistan has decided to observe a day of solidarity with people of Kashmir once every week and the possibility of closing Pakistani airspace to India and blocking trade between India and Afghanistan through Pakistan territory is also being considered. Even within India Modi government is facing stiff opposition to what it has done in IOK. They are expressing fears about possible genocide in IOK. These fears got reinforced when the Indian government did not allow Rahul Gandhi to get off the plane at Srinagar and sent him back. Rahul wanted to meet the Kashmiri leaders detained by the government and see for himself the things on the ground. Modi’s action has also been challenged in the Indian supreme court which has already given a verdict that article 370 could not be scrapped as it had achieved permanence. So it will not be easy for Modi to remain unchallenged.

That is why there are apprehensions that out of frustration in case the situation in IOK goes out of hand the Modi government could resort to some aggressive action against Pakistan with unpredictable consequences for the entire region and the world at large. The warning sounded to the international community by Prime Minister Imran Khan has a considerable merit and international community particularly the UN as a peace making body is under obligation to take notice of the situation and create conditions for the implementation of the UN resolutions.

However it is regrettable to note that the countries around the world tend to support or oppose global issues based on their commercial and strategic interests rather than adherence to the lofty humane considerations, international laws, conventions and the Principles of peaceful co-existence enshrined the UN charter. Had it been otherwise the world would have been free of conflicts like Palestine and Kashmir. The people of Kashmir are waiting for the last 72 years to be given their right of self-determination but regrettably the international community and the UN have shown criminal apathy to their suffering. The countries which claim to be world leaders and upholders of principles of liberty and self-determination are actually the worst offenders. It is because of their hypocrisy that Palestine and Kashmir issues remain unresolved and human blood is being spilled with impunity.

President Trump who sounded so enthusiastic about playing a mediatory role in resolving the Kashmir issue has taken a complete somersault after meeting the Indian Prime Minister. Even some Muslim countries have failed to show solidarity with the Muslim brethren of Kashmir because of their commercial and business interests connected to India. Somebody has rightly said that not the principles and lofty ideals but the commonality of interests is the basis of strong links. However the ultimate reality is that legitimate causes have the last laugh. The Prime Minister is right in saying that those who are not supporting Pakistan due to their commercial considerations will ultimately be with us. The people of Kashmir are bound to win their freedom as they are not afraid of rendering sacrifices for their freedom.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

ashpak10@gmail.com

Freedom movements have their own momentum and cannot be subdued through the use of ruthless military muscle.