Once again, Pakistan Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif brought up the issue of Kashmir in the United National General Assembly (UNGA) held on September 26, 2014 in New York. He said that the “veil cannot be drawn over the core issue of Kashmir. In a blatant attempt at brinkmanship he said that “many generations of Kashmiris have lived under occupation accompanied by violence and abuse of their fundamental rights, and called upon the UN to stand by its promise by hinting at the issue of plebiscite.”
What is important here to realise is whether the Pakistani PM was speaking his mind or was he merely reading out a script given by the Pakistan Army (PA)and its fundamentalist partners in Pakistan.
It seems, the foundation of this diabolic plan was laid immediately after the visit of the Pakistan premiere to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit had the media in raptures with talks of a new beginning where Kashmir will be sidelined in favour of building a larger trade based relationship.
The bold step taken by PM Sharif caused ripples of anxiety in the PA and its Jihadi partners led by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In this development they saw a burial of Kashmir policy they’d nurtured with great care over generations. As a consequence, the efforts of the Pakistani PM were met by a spate of ceasefire violations and infiltration bids on the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries.
The insecurity of the PA did not end here; foreseeing Sharif’s tilt towards India and some other domestic compulsions led them to conclude his wings would have to be clipped. This gave rise to the “Azaadi” and the “Revolution” marches that managed to besiege the PM and the pillars of the state in Islamabad. The plan fell flat due to the absolute support that Sharif got from other political parties
Because Government of India refused to be provoked by the mayhem unleashed along the LoC and in Kashmir and decided to go ahead with the scheduled secretary level talks in Islamabad, scuttling the talks became a prime objective of PA and they adopted a novel way of doing so-Pakistan’s High commissioner to India was directed to call the Kashmiri separatists for talks in New Delhi before the secretary level talks. The ploy worked and the talks were stalled due to the offensive act by the High Commissioner.
The enemies also used their assets in the valley to launch a massive campaign of misinformation to malign the effort put in by the security forces during floods in Jammu and Kashmir. Media was used extensively to give an impression that the effort made by civilians had been sidelined to give credit to the security forces. And the puppet government in PoK was made to issue statements requesting the UN to open up the LoC so that the people of Kashmir could be rendered “help.”
The final episode of this serial has now been played out in the United States in the backdrop of the UNGA meet. The Pakistan Foreign Office first took great pains to “leak out” to the media the intention of the Pakistani premiere to bring up the issue, and now Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Ajaz Ahmed Chaudhary went on record to state that there is no reason for Sharif not to raise the Kashmir issue in UNGA; definitely not the best of statements to make when both countries are putting efforts to improve the situation.
It also reflects that Nawaz Sharif is no longer in charge of the foreign policy of his government. He has forfeited it to the Pakistan Army and the fundamentalist forces, who’ve have managed to get their belligerent Kashmir policy to the centre stage yet again.
Keeping in view Pakistan’s past track record, it becomes apparent that ceasefire violations, infiltration bids and terrorism in Kashmir will witness an upswing in the coming months. Considering this, it would be best for India to take a pragmatic view of the development and be prepared for the worst.
Jaibans Singh? (The writer is Editor www.defenceinfo.com)