Indo-Pak Affairs South Asian Affairs

Growing tensions in South Asia bring Kashmir back into focus

SRINAGAR: Amid growing tension in Indo-Pak relations following Mumbai and Lahore attacks, Kashmir is back on international agenda since various foreign groups have once again started to play their role in resolving the longstanding Kashmir issue.

The European Union (EU) delegation visited Kashmir a few days back and interacted here with cross sections of people including chairmen of both the factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The delegation suggested to the separatist leaders to restart the dialogue process with New Delhi.

The delegation during their visit said that they had come here with the intention to see the ground situation after the assembly elections so that they can form policies for the EU. The delegation left for Muzaffarabad to meet with the political leadership of Pakistan administered Kashmir. Their visit is significant in the sense that EU played a significant role for initiating a composite dialogue process between New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully.

Again when the composite dialogue process got derailed after Mumbai blasts, the EU has intensified its efforts to suggest to New Delhi to restart the dialogue process with the separatist leaders despite Indian leadership claims that high voter turnout in the assembly elections proved that people ignored the poll
boycott call of the separatists.

Another important conference sponsored by Pugwash is being held at Islamabad to push for restart of peace process between the two countries. The mainstream leaders of the state, including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti also attended the conference. After the assembly elections, this
is the first meeting in which both separatists and mainstream leaders are sharing the same platform.

In her speech during the conference, Mehbooba said that assembly elections had set stage for the solution of Kashmir solution. She also said that post election scenario has created an enabling environment for peaceful and amicable settlement of Kashmir issue.

The assembly election reflects the aspirations and views of all the communities, regions of the State. This institution is morally, politically and legally empowered to represent all stake-holders within the state in a dialogue process that aims at finding a permanent and lasting resolution to the problem, she observed. The former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf is also arriving in New Delhi today to attend a programme.

During the programme, he is expected to meet with the chief minister Omar Abdullah and other political leaders including some separatists of the state. They are among other things also to discuss the political developments in the state. Musharaff is expected to brief Indian leaders about his four point formula regarding the solution of the Kashmir issue. The four point formula has already being appreciated by various separatist leaders besides those at New Delhi.

The conference has provided yet another chance to chief minister to explain the autonomy resolution of his party and to convince Indian leadership about it’s important. The then NDA government had rejected the autonomy resolution despite it was passed in the state legislature. NC believes that restoration of internal
autonomy or pre 1953 position is the best possible solution to the Kashmir issue.

These important deployments about the solution of the Kashmir issue had almost got sidelined because of Mumbai and Lahore attacks. This is quit contrary to the past whenever there was a forward moment about the Kashmir it used to generate a debate and interest among people and political circles here.

It is expected that both Mehbooba and Omar will take up the issue of these conference in the coming parliamentary elections to convince people that their parties are serious about resolution of Kashmir issue.-SANA

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Omer Azam

Omer Azam is Social Media Marketer, very active on propeller; he is very much interested in International Politics.

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