Home South Asia India There is no dialogue until Kashmir Curfew is lifted: PM Khan’s NYT...

There is no dialogue until Kashmir Curfew is lifted: PM Khan’s NYT article

In an opinion article written for the New York Times, Prime Minister Imran Khan has clarified that Pakistan will initiate dialogue only when India reverses the abolishment of Kashmir’s special constitutional status, ends the curfew and orders a troop withdrawal.

Kashmir

News Desk |

Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Friday, clarified Pakistan’s conditions to initiate dialogue with the Narendra Modi-led government of India, underscoring that dialogue will only begin when India “reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks.”

Prime Minister Khan highlighted these conditions in his opinion piece, published in the New York Times, titled ‘The world can’t ignore Kashmir. We are all in danger’. The article was published shortly after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to thousands of demonstrators who had answered his call of taking out one hour to stand in solidarity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Nuclear Shadow over South Asia

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his opinion piece for the New York Times, apprised the international community and opinion-makers of the looming shadow of nuclear destruction that threatens to erupt given the rapidly escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Imran Khan wrote, “With the nuclear shadow hovering over South Asia, we realize that Pakistan and India have to move out of a zero-sum mind-set to begin a dialogue on Kashmir, various strategic matters and trade.”

The national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir were played across radio and television channels, traffic lights were turned red to halt all traffic, even trains came to a brief halt.

Demanding the resolution of the Kashmir dispute as per the UN Security Council resolutions and in light of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, promises to the people of Kashmir, Imran Khan wrote, “On Kashmir, the dialogue must include all stakeholders, especially the Kashmiris. We have already prepared multiple options that can be worked on while honoring the right to self-determination the Kashmiris were promised by the Security Council resolutions and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.”

The premier noted that dialogue and negotiations can allow India and Pakistan to move towards a “stable and just peace” in South Asia and seek a viable solution to end the longstanding Kashmir dispute. However, Khan maintained, “But dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks.”

Read more: PM Khan on Kashmir Hour: India must know that Pakistan will not back down on the Kashmir…

Prime Minister Khan issued a stern warning to the international community, reminding them of the bone-chilling events and “appeasement” that led to the catastrophic destruction of World War II.

The premier warned, “It is imperative that the international community think beyond trade and business advantages. World War II happened because of appeasement at Munich. A similar threat looms over the world again, but this time under the nuclear shadow.”

He continued, “If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation.”

Highlighting the irresponsible statements made by Rajnath Singh, Imran Khan observed, “India’s defense minister has issued a not-so-veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan by saying that the future of India’s “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons will “depend on the circumstances.” Similar statements have been made by Indian leaders periodically. Pakistan has long viewed India’s “no first use” claims with skepticism.”

Read more: Pakistan Army takes foreign journalists to Kashmir

Modi Rebuffed Offers for Peace

Recalling his efforts to initiate dialogue and improve relations with India, Prime Minister Imran Khan noted that he mentioned his agenda of brokering peace with India in his very first televised address. Later, the two foreign ministers were scheduled to sit down for a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September 2018, which was cancelled by New Delhi.

He wrote, “That September I also wrote my first of three letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for dialogue and peace.”

The two foreign ministers were scheduled to sit down for a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September 2018, which was cancelled by New Delhi.

Describing India’s refusal to initiate dialogue, Imran Khan observed, “Unfortunately, all my efforts to start a dialogue for peace were rebuffed by India. Initially, we assumed that Mr. Modi’s increasingly hard-line positions and his rhetoric against Pakistan were aimed to whip up a nationalist frenzy among the Indian voters with an eye on the Indian elections in May.”

Commenting upon the war hysteria built up by India in the wake of the Pulwama attack, Imran Khan underscored Pakistan’s measured response, “We asked for evidence, but Mr. Modi sent Indian Air Force fighter planes across the border to Pakistan. Our Air Force brought down an Indian plane and captured the pilot.”

Read more: GVS Exclusive: Kashmir Solidarity Hour: How do experts view its implications?

“We struck back to signal we could defend ourselves but chose not to strike a target that would cause loss of life. I made a conscious decision to show that Pakistan had no intent of aggravating the conflict between the two nuclear-armed states. We returned the captured Indian pilot, with no preconditions.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan noted that after Modi succeeded in securing another term, he wrote another letter to his Indian counterpart, which went unanswered. Imran Khan wrote, “And we found out that while I was making peace overtures, India had been lobbying to get Pakistan placed on the “blacklist” at the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, which could lead to severe economic sanctions and push us toward bankruptcy.”

New India: Product of RSS

Imran Khan noted that Narendra Modi “had mistaken our desire for peace in a nuclear neighborhood as appeasement.” He added, “We were not simply up against a hostile government. We were up against a “New India,” which is governed by leaders and a party that are the products of the Hindu supremacist mother ship, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or the R.S.S.”

Condemning India’s decision to forcefully annex Kashmir as a federally administered territory, the Prime Minister wrote, “The move is illegal under the Constitution of India, but more importantly, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.”

He added, “And Mr. Modi’s “New India” chose to do this by imposing a military curfew in Kashmir, imprisoning its population in their homes and cutting off their phone, internet and television connections, rendering them without news of the world or their loved ones.”

“The siege was followed by a purge: Thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested and thrown into prisons across India. A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted. Already, Kashmiris coming out in defiance of the curfew are being shot and killed.”

Read more: Kashmir lockdown reduces tourism to zero

On Friday, the entire nation of Pakistan answered Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to observe Kashmir Hour in solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir after the Modi administration’s decision to abolish the special constitutional rights of the occupied Himalayan valley and impose an unprecedented lockdown and communications blackout.

From Punjab and KPK to Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and the tribal districts of Pakistan’s northern belt, the entire country came to a standstill as millions of Pakistanis poured onto the streets to stand in solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren. The national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir were played across radio and television channels, traffic lights were turned red to halt all traffic, even trains came to a brief halt.

Addressing the demonstrators outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, Imran Khan said, “Pakistan stands with Kashmir in this difficult time. Today, we send a powerful message to the world, as long as Kashmiris don’t achieve their freedom, we will stand with them.”

Facebook Comments