A former top Pakistani diplomat has said that because of India’s influence and economic power, countries are unwilling to raise the issue of Kashmir at international level, including at the UN. Masood Khan, former Pakistani Ambassador to the UN, who is now president of Pak-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), rued that India has veto on the talks between the two South Asian neighbours.
Khan is currently in Washington, for what he described is part of his effort to appraise the international community about current situation in Kashmir. “India has strategic alliances with certain countries. Because of the lucrative deals that it offers to powerful countries in the West, it has practically imposed a gag order on Kashmir,” Khan said on Monday in response to a question at the Atlantic Council, a top American think-tank.
Khan said that because of increasing Indian influence, “people here (in Washington DC), in Brussels, in London or other world capitals don’t talk about Kashmir, because this would have consequences… for these countries, like in terms of economic transactions, and strategic costs.” Responding to questions at the thinly-attended Atlantic Council event, Khan alleged that the UN is not acting on its own resolution because of India.
“The United Nations is not acting because of real politics,” he said. “The Security Council, first because of cold war dynamics, and now because of number of other factors is not taking cognisance of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which is regrettable because of mandate that is given to the Security Council by the UN charter under chapter six and chapter seven,” he said.
Khan argued that UN should be acting. “It should be proactive. It’s because of real politics. It is also because of two other factors,” he said. “One was that in the past 30 to 40 years, India and Pakistan have invested a lot of energy and time in bilateral talks. But these bilateral talks or dialogue have proved to be mirage for Kashmiris because it has produced no results,” he said, adding that these talks have been non-productive.
Because of these talks, India has “acquired two vetoes” he said. One on the agenda whereby they have in fact reduced the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir to a fraction of their whole agenda. It is one of 10 agenda items, he added.
Secondly, India has veto over the timetable. “They will start negotiations when it suites them and when they don’t like it they will blame Pakistan for terrorism. And that has just got scuttled the dialogue process,” he said. Khan claimed that there are no terrorist camps in PoK. “None whatsoever,” he said during the interaction.
“This is in fact a propaganda against the Kashmiris intended to demonie them,” he said, and claimed that there is no terrorism right now in Kashmir. Neither there is any cross-border activities. “This is not happening,” he said.
“Right now, India has fenced the Line of Control. There are two layers of the fence. In between there are landmines. There are motion sensors. They also have electronic surveillance, thermal imaging. If any crossing takes place they would be detected,” he added.