By Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali
LAHORE – The mediation offer of US President Donald Trump on Kashmir issue has validated Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.
Pakistan has successfully reached a turning point as the US president has shown willingness to mediate on the issue.
Political and social quarters across the subcontinent hailed the offer. While lauding Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace, they said Pakistan had been helping the US a lot on Afghanistan and that the relations with the country were much better now.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) key leader Nazar Muhammad Gondal said that Prime Minister’s address and stance on Kashmir was a pure public representation, adding that Pakistani community in the US expressed great pleasure by according a historic welcome to the Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Gondal said that it was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a Pakistani leader had taken a firm stance on the long-standing Kashmir issue and the US president had promised mediation to resolve it.
Nazar Muhammad Gondal, while lauding the firm determination of Imran Khan on Kashmir, said that Kashmiris’ plight had once again got the attention of the world community and created a conducive environment for dialogue between the two neighbouring countries.
“The US, for the first time in the history, appeared to be at an advance stage to work closely with Pakistan for restoring peace in Afganistan through developing great relationship,” he added.
He said it was high time to accelerate efforts for highlighting the Kashmir issue at major global fora as President Donald Trump had indicated that India would also be willing to accept the US mediation on Kashmir dispute.
“Trump has voiced concern over the situation in Kashmir going on there for the last many years,” he added.
Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) President and Senator Sehar Kamran said that there were over a billion and a quarter people living in the subcontinent who had been held hostage to the Kashmir issue, adding that the US could help bring the two countries closer to each other.
It was a golden chance for India to come forward for dialogue, she said adding that despite the atrocities being committed by 700,000 Indian troops in the occupied Kashmir, the spirit of Kashmiri people for freedom could never be suppressed.
Sehar Kamran said that the indigenous struggle for the right to self-determination by Kashmiris was going on for the last 70 years, adding that despite deployment of a large number of troops and the use of every weapon to destroy the Kashmiris’ spirit, it had failed in the face of the bravery and unbending resolve of courageous Kashmiris.
“India has been using all tactics including dialogue, to divert world attention from the issue of Kashmir and the inhumane treatment being meted out to Kashmiris by its armed forces,” she added.
Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq said that India would once again make an attempt to escape dialogue and avoid taking the Hurriyat leaders and other stakeholders on board.
It was a welcoming sign that the US has expressed its willingness to play a role in resolving the 70-year-old Kashmir dispute, if both the neighbouring countries ask him for it, he added.
Siraj-ul-Haq said that the people of Pakistan stand firm with their Kashmiri brothers and sisters, adding that Pakistan would not turn a blind eye to Indian atrocities and continue its efforts to expose the real face of India.
He said that Narendra Modi government’s acts in Kashmir were not only a violation of basic human rights, as enshrined in the UN Charter, but a roadblock to regional peace and prosperity efforts as well.
It is pertinent to mention here that while addressing a joint news conference with the US president at the White House Oval Office on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the offer and said the entire subcontinent would pray for him if he helped resolve the dispute.
Indian Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omer Abdullah, in his 40-minute house speech at the J&K Assembly, had dismissed Modi’s remarks on rights and development in the state as “misleading” and “ignorant”.
He had then criticised Modi for not even mentioning once the problems of instability, terrorism and government oppression in the state during his speech.
After these happenings and increasing demand by various world forums, Modi attempted once again to create a smokescreen of dialogue with the Hurriyat leaders, without taking all stakeholders on board.
Noted lawyer Shahid Zaheer Syed said that Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Trump would usher in a new era of Pak-US relations as well as, Afghan peace process.
He said that it would be a great victory of the PTI government on the foreign policy front if the United States being the most powerful country in the world, played a role in bringing peace in the subcontinent.
Shahid Zaheer said that undoubtedly, all roads to peace in South Asia pass through Kashmir. The resolution of the Kashmir dispute was only possible by implementing the UNSC resolutions in letter and spirit, thereby enabling the people of held Kashmir to get their right to self-determination through a fair and free plebiscite, he added.