News Desk |
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that successful Confidence Building Measures would only be possible if the issue of Kashmir is resolved according to the political will of the Kashmiri people.
The President made these remarks during the book launch of “Shaking Hands with Clenched Fists; The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India”, authored by senior faculty member of National Defence University (NDU), Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja.
During his address, the President commended Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja for producing this seminal work which effectively covers all the dimensions of this complex and sensitive matter. President Masood Khan said that CBMs will only be successful if Pakistan and India resolve their core conflict issues which include the Kashmir issue.
Indian counterparts sitting across the table have avoided talking on Kashmir and instead used one pretext or the other to scuttle talks.
He added that India till date has not even fully accepted the partition of the Sub-Continent and the formation of Pakistan. CBMs, he reiterated are not a solution towards peace but rather the means to maintain peace.
“The same was utilized during the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe talks post World War II and now in the shape of the ASEAN, SCO and other summits organized with the aim to maintain regional and global peace”, he added.
President AJK while talking to his audience said that while Pakistan is investing in peace and creating an environment of conflict resolution through constructive dialogue; India is substituting conflict resolution with CBMs, maintaining the status quo in Kashmir and diverting the attention of the general population and the world from the Kashmir issue.
Indian, he said, is also creating a constituency of sorts within Pakistan and India which pressurizes both governments to focus on promoting uncomplicated and elementary issues like people to people contacts and cultural exchanges. “Core issues of conflict between Pakistan and India can and must not be sidelined”, he said.
The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India”, authored by senior faculty member of National Defence University (NDU), Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja.
President Khan reiterated that CBMs can only produce results if there are genuine intentions from the Indian side. The Indian strategy is to use CBMs to diplomatically weaken Pakistan through its false rhetoric of terrorism and using the ‘no first use’ policy offer as a ploy to degrade Pakistani nuclear deterrence, he said.
The President said that CBMs have two main dimensions to it; one is the military aspect and the other is strategic. Military-related CBMs like not attacking nuclear assets, ensuring effective communications between the military leadership, prior intimation of missile tests and avoiding accidental use of nuclear weapons have seen a certain level of effective implementation, he said. While other issues under discussions like Kashmir have been ignored and instead India is focusing on non-issues like people to people to contacts.
President Masood Khan informed his audience that bilateral talks have never yielded any substantial results. He said that India has relegated core issues like Kashmir to low-priority agenda items; at times bringing it at par to religious tourism. Indian counterparts sitting across the table have avoided talking on Kashmir and instead used one pretext or the other to scuttle talks.
He went on to say that Pakistan has devoted itself towards peace and economic development in the region and beyond by investing in projects like the Belt and Road Initiative which will help promote interconnectivity and mutual reliance.