Project Reports

Report of Seminar on Deadlock on Indo Pak Dialogue & Implications for the Region


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MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar titled “Deadlock on Indo Pak Dialogue & Implications for the Region” at National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad. Chairman of Senate Committee on Defence Production, Lt. Gen. (R) Senator Abdul Qayyum presided over the session whereas Chairman of National Assembly's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and Former Federal Minister, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari was chief guest in the seminar. Chairman MUSLIM Institute, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, former Ambassador of Pakistan in New Delhi Ambassador (R) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Former Secretary Ministry of Defense Lt. Gen. (R) Asif Yasin Malik, Ambassador (R) Asif Ezdi, Ambassador (R) Khalid Khattak and Convener Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu Kashmir Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi shared their views in the seminar. Heads of different thinks tanks in Islamabad, Ambassadors and Deputy Heads of Missions of different countries, professors of universities, researchers from defense and foreign policy research institutions, defense analysts, representatives of civil society and media personnel actively participated in the seminar.

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Salient points of addresses of honorable speakers are as follows:

The scheduled dialogue of National Security Advisors of Pakistan and India was cancelled after India laid down some absurd pre-conditions and objected to Pakistani delegation’s planned interaction with Kashmiri leaders before dialogue. Pakistan is maintaining stable and consistent stance to ask India to come for resuming composite dialogue. In fact India doesn’t want to come to the dialogue table until Pakistan accepts defeatism and India’s high-handedness in the region and comes to talk on India’s terms and conditions. Pakistan’s meeting with Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders was only used as pretext otherwise before this, it has been the tradition that whenever dialogue held in India, Pakistani leadership took into confidence the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders considering them the basic party of Kashmir issue. The UN resolutions which give right of self-determination to Kashmiri people, clearly mention that Kashmiris have right to choose for their future, and thus indicate that any dialogue between Pakistan and India should include Kashmiris’ voice to make the dialogue successful and effective. India tries to take advantage of its size and economic benefits to attract world powers and put aside Pakistani narrative. Pakistan’s stance about Kashmir is based on principles and UN resolutions and international community has supported Pakistan’s stance, the recent statement of German Foreign Minister reflects the reality. Kashmir remains the core issue between both countries. The importance of associating Kashmiri representatives for any diplomatic process and Kashmiris’ right of self-determination has been highlighted due to this deadlock.

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan’s successful strategy against terrorism, Pakistan’s role in bringing both Afghan Government and Taliban to negotiation table and stabilization of situation in Baluchistan and Karachi are major developments of recent months, indicating Pakistan is rapidly moving to achieve stability, security and economic growth. People are now optimistic about future of Pakistan. These developments have further raised Pakistan’s stature not only in the region but also at international level, forcing adverse reaction from Indian side. India doesn’t want this stability in Pakistan and statements expressing such views are given by higher hierarchy of Indian establishment.

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Another important factor to be noticed is that the BJP government in its election manifesto claimed to abolish special status of Kashmir in Indian constitution after coming into power. However, it badly failed to lure Kashmiri populace during elections in Indian Held Kashmir and could not form its own government there. Following such humiliation, it has resorted to use of force against innocent Kashmiris. Further it is trying to ignite tensions with Pakistan to pre-empt any internal backlash from its own people. In the same way, the economic agenda of BJP has not become realizations and Indian economy is not projecting on level that was expected. India is no more a secular India and today it is in grip of parochial Hindu party that is not only against Muslims but against all the minorities. There is unrest in its large areas including Gujrat, the home area of Indian PM. Anti-Indian movements are getting stronger and stronger. Pakistani flags are continuously being raised in Indian Occupied Kashmir showing that Kashmiris have totally rejected Indian status quo. In such an environment, violations of ceasefire on LoC and Working Boundary, and deadlock in Indo-Pak peace dialogue are indicative of a negative and hostile Indian mindset towards Pakistan.

It is noteworthy that use of aggression along LoC and Working Boundary is a usual ploy of Indian authorities to deflect public pressure. Whenever Indian government faces internal pressure on any count, it tries to tackle the same by increasing tensions with Pakistan especially on Kashmir issue and LoC. According to official statistics, India has committed more than seventy border violations over the past two months. Pakistan has shown the area near LoC to UN representatives that has been badly affected by Indian brutal attacks in violations of the ceasefire. Pakistan has further stated to raise the issue on international forums including the UN General Assembly. In such circumstances, India has no option except to back out of dialogue to deflect domestic as well as international pressure.

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In May this year, Indian Defence Minister indicated the use proxy war but success of Pakistan against the terrorists is eliminating the Indian proxy war options. Pakistan has assertively claimed having proofs of RAW’s involvements in fomenting terrorism and insurgency in Pakistan and also announced to hand over dossiers of the same to Indian side during talks between National Security Advisors. Indian PM himself accepted India’s role in breaking Pakistan in 1971. Indians are asking they are ready for surgical strikes and these are provocative statements coming from so-called biggest democracy. Such irresponsible statements are coming from India which is looking for permanent membership in UNSC. Democracies believe in dialogue, sorting out issues on table, but India is walking away.

History has clearly shown us that bilateralism in dialogue with India, has never worked. Both the countries have always resolved their issues in the presence of a third party whether it is United Nations, US or former Soviet Union as a moderator. Therefore, there should be international involvement and facilitation for meaningful dialogue. Pakistan should maintain its open door policy for meaningful dialogue on all issues with India but it should not be apologetic. Issue of terrorism should be included in dialogue with India because Pakistan is victim of terrorism which is many times backed by RAW. Quaid-e-Azam while talking about foreign policy described it as having friendly relations with all countries of region, no aggressive policy against anyone, dependence on honesty and fair play for International Policy, to go with UN Charter and rights of people and to stand with every oppressed nation irrespective of their religion or faith. Currently, Pakistan is picking up the best available options based on research and analysis, to strategize and launch a strong Foreign Policy for countering the Indian half-truths. We should proceed according to the vision of our Quaid.

It is high time to come forward for meaningful dialogue and solve the oldest outstanding core issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen, to have durable peace, as well as, for economic growth in the region. Stability is necessary for economic growth in the region which can only be achieved by trust building and resolving the outstanding issues through meaningful dialogue. Pakistan should wait to favorable international environment to press the Kashmir issue in UN Security Council. We want to talk to make region peaceful which is only possible if talks go on and issues are resolved on table. Pakistan should build CPEC on faster pace for its economic growth and to have high status among the international community.

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Interactive Session

During the interactive session speakers and panelists responded to different points raised by the participants. Gist of the same as under:-

Statement of Indian Army Chief regarding attack on Pakistan was made in regard to the Cold Start Doctrine to achieve wide front in very short time and not giving international community the reaction time. Pakistan’s strategic response, which developed since start of Cold Start Doctrine, has made this claim invalid. War in nuclear region is no more an option.

Pakistan needs to safeguard its long term interests. It needs to transform its governance by people dominated instead of elite dominated. Indian mindset is that India is great power in region and Pakistan seems to them an exception. This mind set has cost India very much in terms of economic and trade losses as well but they don’t regard these as vital fundamental costs and don’t want to follow laws, principles and morality considering themselves as a big power of the region.

People of Indian Occupied Kashmir have decided that independence from Indian clutches is the first and foremost thing for them. They have transformed the movement on diplomatic, political, media and other fronts and are fighting against illegal and military occupation. New generation is carrying on the movement and fighting for their freedom. ‘No solution’ is better than ‘bad solution’ and Pakistan has to carry on standing firmly on principles.

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Recommendations

Salient recommendations extracted from speeches and discussions made in the seminar are as follows:

 

 

» Pakistan’s stance on NSA talks is based on principles and any kind of Indo-Pak dialogue must contain Kashmir in its agenda.
 
» Considering the basic party of conflict, Kashmiri leadership should always be taken into confidence before Indo Pak dialogue to ensure that any progress on Kashmir is done with the consent of Kashmiri people.
 
» Pakistan should continue moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people fighting for their freedom and right of self-determination. It should mobilize international community and friends to pressurize India to resolve the issue according to UN resolutions and withdraw more than seven hundred thousand Indian occupied troops from Kashmir so that mass graves, extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances, unlawful detentions, house arrests and mental and sexual assaults of women can be stopped.
 
» Statement of Indian Army Chief about war against Pakistan is condemnable. Pakistan should be ready to deal with any such aggression from Indian side.
 
» Pakistan should take issues of Indian aggression on LoC and RAW’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan to United Nations and other international forums to make them take notice of Indian aggression and illegal activities for taking appropriate actions to stop Indian atrocities.
 
» Stability is necessary for economic growth in the region which can only be achieved by trust building and resolving the outstanding issues through meaningful dialogue. International community should realize the fact that bilateralism will not work and there should be third party arbitration, facilitation or mediation to help resolve issues between India and Pakistan.
 
» Pakistan’s foreign policy should remain consistent based on principles and international laws as per vision of Quaid for relations with India and to resolve outstanding issues.

 

 


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