Kashmir issue can only be resolved through dialogue : Experts

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DG ISA presenting souvenir to Former Secretary Foreign Affairs, Riaz Mohammad Khan, Special Guest Speaker of seminar organized in connection with Youm e Istehsal, in Islamabad on 5th August 2022.

ISLAMABAD:Experts at a panel discussion Friday on the plight of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) unanimously agreed that the resolution of Kashmir issue could be reached only through dialogue and engagement.

The panel discussion was organized by the Information Service Academy (ISA) here at the ISA auditorium in observance of Youm-e-Istehsal, condemning Indian atrocities against the people of IIOJK.

August 5 is remembered as the Youm-e-Istehsal as it was on this day three years ago the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian government revoked articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution abrogating the special status of Jammu & Kashmir.

Former secretary foreign affairs Riaz Muhammad Khan, while delving deep into the root-cause of the problem, termed Kashmir an unfinished agenda of 1947 partition. He said: “For Pakistanis, Kashmir is not only a matter of principled position, but they have emotional involvement with the Kashmiri brethren.”

He said Pakistan’s historical position on Kashmir was based on two things – UNSC resolutions and Simla Agreement. He said he did not see any chance of the revival of a dialogue between the two countries as long as “there is Modi-led BJP in power,”. He said the Congress party had a different position on Kashmir’s self-government and autonomy.

He concluded his argument by saying Pakistan needed to create political cohesion and achieve economic stability first so that it could effectively raise its voice for the Kashmir cause.

He pointed out the power differential between Pakistan and India and asked why it was gradually increasing to which his own answer was: “In my view, one of the factors is that Pakistanis are confused about Westernization and modernization. We need to promote education, and science and technology as progress cannot be made on the basis of just one’s belief system.

Munawar Hussain, Assistant Professor of Quaid-e-Azam University, gave a brief scholarly overview of the dynamics of power and theories of international relations with reference to the Kashmir dispute. He questioned the basic tenets of various schools of thought and also the character of international society.

“Is Kashmir not a part of the international society?” he asked, referring to the state of ethnic and religious minorities in India and the treatment meted out to them by the BJP-led government.

“The way India treats Dalits and Sikhs, and people from Nagaland is not hidden from anyone,” he said, adding the neo-liberal order was collapsing mainly because of American and Indian indifference towards the ideals of democracy and self-government.

In the end, he urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play its role as there was a power vacuum left as a result of the emergence of multiple centers of power.

Earlier, ISA’s Arfa Abdul Razaq gave a brief overview of the political and social changes in Kashmir due to the Indian action on August 5, 2019. She also listed some of the steps taken by the Pakistan government after those changes were made.

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