Carnage in Indian occupied Kashmir

In the Indian occupied Kashmir, 20 Kashmiri youth were killed by the government forces during cordon and search operation in Islamabad and Shopian districts on Sunday. Thousands of Kashmiris hit the streets, chanting ant-India slogans and demanding an end to Indian rule over Kashmir. Indian forces used pellet guns on the protesters and injured 300 people. Local residents said that soldiers blasted several civilian homes with explosives during the operation. As usual in a muted response to the Sunday genocide of Kashmiris, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned it and expressed sorrow over the recent loss of lives and condemned the Indian tyranny. He urged the United Nations Secretary General to appoint a UN representative for Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif in his tweet showed concern over the killings of Kashmiris and demolition of five houses but avoided strong condemnation of Indian brutalities in Kashmir. He blamed the international community for its docility on the atrocities perpetrated on Kashmiris, ignoring the complacency of Pakistan on the foreign policy front. On the other hand the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) gave a robust response to carnage in the Indian held Kashmir. Azad Kashmir President Mahmood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan expressed anguish and indignation over the recent genocide o Kashmirs. The AJK government observed a condemnation day to raise international awareness about the Kashmir dispute which had compromised peace. AJK Education Minister Iftikhar Gilani said that today’s anti-India protests are being held to show the people of India occupied Kashmir that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle of freedom. He said demonstrations will be held across all 10 district headquarters of AJK.

AJK government is also active on the diplomatic front. Azaad Kasmir President in his to the UK in July last year met 13 newly elected members of the British House of Commons. He emphasized UK role in the settlement of Kashmir dispute. Again in February this year, in his address to British Councilors, Lord Mayors and Mayors in London, Azad Kashmir President stressed that United Nations Security Council should intercede to take full cognizance of the situation in the Indian held Kashmir and “stop massacre, killings and illegal detentions.”

In sharp contrast, Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, headed by Maulana Fazlu Rehman is in a state of hibernation. A hefty amount of 60 million is being spent every year to meet the expenses of this Committee but the output is a big zero. In the past four years only three symbolic meeting of this Committee have been held wherein mere pleasantries have been exchanged among its members and no diplomatic initiative on Kashmir dispute was recommended to the federal government. The Committee had even badly failed to contribute a single line in the country, s Kashmir policy which is the most important issue of Pakistan’s foreign policy. The head of Parliamentary Committee has virtually undermined the collective efforts on Kashmir cause. The ongoing ‘Intifada’ of Kashmiris in the Indian occupied Kashmir need moral and diplomatic support from Pakistan for which a proactive diplomacy has to be launched. The foreign office official and diplomats posted in important world capital do have the capabilities to discharge this responsibility. It is the lack of political will of ruling leadership which hinders the utilization of great potential of Foreign Service.

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