UN REBUFF ON KASHMIR

Kashmir, undoubtedly, is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan; and that too, going by the fact that a part of this scenic landscape is with this country and another with the Islamic nation. Several UN resolutions in the past, and abortive attempts too to pass resolutions, are part of history. A fresh attempt by China, at the behest of Pakistan, the third in a row, to rake up the Kashmir issue at the UN failed to click; and understandably so.

It is not clear whether China was serious about what it was doing, or made a show to satisfy Pakistan about its friendly credentials. The Indian envoy to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin explained India’s actions vis-à-vis Kashmir, including the bifurcation and reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir state. All members attending the Security Council meet, other than China, agreed that Kashmir is a bilateral matter and UN need not take up this matter.

In a way, it is doubtful whether Pakistan itself saw this as a serious exercise at the UN fora. The silence of the international community over the changes New Delhi effected in Kashmir was significant. While some might argue that this was due to the diplomatic pushes being made by the Modi government to endear nations near and far, the fact is that the international community would not put its weight behind any issue linked to terrorism. Since Kashmir is affected by Pakistan-sponsored terror for long years, India earns both support and sympathy, while Pakistan, sadly, is seen in a bad light. Even China is faced with the problem of Islamic terrorism in its western province of Xinjiang, and separatist tendencies in Hong Kong in the east. Prime Minister Imran Khan is mindful of the image problem that Pakistan suffers, but even with his best intentions, it is not easy to eliminate terrorism’s breeding grounds there.

Still, the time is ripe for Imran Khan to act positively on the home turf itself, to change the image of Pakistan into a new and development-oriented nation. The generals who used to call all the shots in Pakistan are now a tamed lot – after the Balakot hit, when they were found blinking in the first phase, unable to drive away Indian fighter jets. The generals, though, saved “some face” after a ‘retaliation’ the next day in a fight over the sky above the LoC.

After the bold steps by India in Kashmir in August, nothing goes to show the scenario there is unmanageable as such. The positives apparently outweigh the negatives.

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