Efforts in the Kashmir Cause

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden noticed and expressed concern over Indian abuses against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir. He demanded an end to human rights violations there. India has attacked Biden over these comments on Kashmir. Nothing can be said for certain regarding President Donald Trump’s reelection, as his approval ratings are dropping. In particular, the U.S. media, health experts and political critics are raising serious questions about how the Trump administration is handling the coronavirus. But if the Democratic candidate wins the 2020 election, the policies his administration will adopt in relation to Kashmir will at least be opposed to India, and Biden’s recent statement has already dealt it a big blow.

Besides the United States, the European Union also strongly criticizes India’s policy on Kashmir. Members of the European Parliament have also strongly criticized India’s illegal attempt to annex occupied Kashmir. Additionally, the EU has also attacked India for keeping the Kashmiris in lockdown for a year. The United Nation’s Human Rights Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and international media organizations have repeatedly criticized India’s aggressive policies and atrocities against the Kashmiris.

My Kashmiri friend, Ali Reza Syed who lives in Brussels, asked me on the phone what our policy is on Kashmir. He meant that in Europe, India’s atrocities in Kashmir and India’s human rights violations are strongly met with anger. The human rights organizations here are also protesting the atrocities and injustices committed against the Kashmiris. Now the question is why Pakistan is so reluctant to launch an aggressive diplomatic campaign when Kashmir is facing these conditions. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and its diplomats should be taking full advantage of the current situation. China barricaded the Indian army in the Galwan region, and without the use of large-scale weapons, but only sticks, kicks and punches, smacked the Indian troops back into retreat. Considering that the Galwan region is very important strategically, India’s retreat indicates that India’s army cannot stand up to China’s military power. China has made it very clear to India that it will not tolerate any move by India that threatens China’s security, sovereignty or strategic interests, and that it will defend its national interests at all costs. Particularly on the issue of One Belt One Road, which the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is part of, no one is willing to compromise. CPEC’s important projects are underway in Kashmir and because of this, it will not give India a chance to destabilize Kashmir. CPEC has also made it clear that if India places any obstacles in its way, that it will pay the price.

Apart from Pakistan in South Asia, China is also busy strengthening its relations with India’s neighbors. It wants to remove India from any of the countries where India has had an influence. For example, India use to consider Nepal one its colonies, but now India-Nepal relations are very tense. India also considered Sri Lanka an instrumental state, but China has largely made it ineffective by making strategic investment in Sri Lanka. India has been trying to become a superpower in South Asia for a long time, but China has destroyed this dream.

China has made India diplomatically and politically helpless, making things increasingly more difficult for India. India’s Kashmir policy and its notorious Citizens Amendment Bill are unacceptable to the rest of the world. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has prevented Pakistan from engaging in the kind of diplomacy that was possible prior to the pandemic. Despite this, it will require hard work to effectively raise the Kashmir issue to the international level. Pakistan must take full advantage of the current global environment. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and its diplomats abroad need to utilize effective and aggressive diplomacy. It will have to lift the veil on India’s Kashmir policy in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. We might not be able to achieve our diplomatic goals through tweets and statements alone. But, with national spirit and commitment, we can present the Kashmir issue to the world in such a way that it is deadly for India. It is not difficult. We just need to commit to doing practical work for the Kashmir cause.

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