(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
In an unprecedented turn of events, Pakistan's close allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE have asked Islamabad to forget the Kashmir issue as the country is embroiled in other complex issues that need to be resolved.
“Don't cry for Kashmir” were the innuendos used by the Middle Eastern leaders when Pakistan Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently.
Nevertheless, in an unexpected turn of events, Pakistan's close allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE have asked Islamabad to forget the Kashmir issue as the country is embroiled in other complex issues.
Pakistan's 'Muslim brothers' Saudi Arabia and the UAE have clearly told Islamabad to forget Kashmir and end the dispute by mending fences with India.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two key supporters of Pakistan who come to its rescue when the chips are down.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have reiterated their stand as far as India is concerned and asked Islamabad to forget the Kashmir issue and maintain a friendly relationship with India.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have told Pakistan to stop“complaining” over India's revocation of the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under the provisions of the Indian constitution.
Several TV stations described Sharif walking out red-faced after the crucial talks.
It is a major setback for Pakistan as its ally Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has asked that Islamabad stop intervening in India's internal affairs.
Pakistan has been continuously raking up the Kashmir issue at the OIC, which is an international organization of Muslim countries.
India has accused Pakistan on several occasions of cross-border terrorism aimed at disrupting the Indian economy and its political equilibrium as a powerful nation on the global political stage.
The message from the UAE and Saudi Arabia is so powerful that Pakistan has to mend its ways about how it looks at its perennial political rival, India.
Meanwhile, In a recent interview with Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV, Pakistan PM Shabazz Sharif called for“serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on“burning issues like Kashmir.”
“We are both nuclear powers; if anything happens, who will tell what happened?” the Pakistani PM said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif has said that Pakistan wants to live in peace with India and called for“serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on“burning issues like Kashmir.”
During the interview, Sharif said that Pakistan has learned its lesson after three wars with India and stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour.
“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let's sit down at the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning points like Kashmir.“It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources,” Shabazz Sharif reportedly said.
“We have had three wars with India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people.”“We have learned our lesson, and we want to live in peace with India, provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems,” he said.
Sharif also raised the issue of Kashmir and said,“Pakistan wants peace, but what is happening in Kashmir should be stopped.”
He said that both countries have engineers, doctors, and skilled labourers.“We want to utilize these assets for prosperity and to bring peace to the region so that both nations can grow,” Sharif said.
Pakistan does not want to waste resources on bombs and ammunition.“We are nuclear powers, armed to the teeth, and if God forbid, a war breaks out, who will live to tell what happened?” he said.
In reference to the interview, a spokesman of the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office tweeted that Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif had consistently maintained that Pakistan and India must resolve their bilateral issues, especially the“core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” through dialogue and peaceful means.
“However, the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated on record that talks can only take place after India has reversed its allegedly illegal action of August 5, 2019; without India's revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible.”“The settlement of the Kashmir dispute must be in accordance with the UN resolutions and the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman added that Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif made this position very clear in his interview with Al Arabiya during his recent visit to the UAE.
Later, the Pakistani Prime Minister's Office said negotiations are not possible without India revoking its 2019 actions on Kashmir.
On the contrary, India has made it clear to the global community that the repeal of special status under Article 370 of the Constitution is an internal affair and has advised Pakistan to acknowledge this fact and halt its anti-India rhetoric.
The back-to-back visits of top military and civilian leadership from Pakistan assume significance as the cash-strapped country is battling to fix its economic and political fissures amidst a parochial political rivalry between former premier Imran Khan and the current government.
Pakistan faces a serious crisis as its foreign reserves have dwindled to USD 5.8 billion, which includes deposits worth USD 5 billion from Saudi Arabia and China with specific conditions of use.
Pakistan's economic situation is facing severe headwinds, with inflation being forecast to stay high between 21 and 23 percent and the country's fiscal deficit widening by more than 115 percent in the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year.
On August 5, 2019, the Parliament of India voted in favor of a resolution tabled by Home Minister Amit Shah to revoke the temporary special status, or autonomy, granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir-a region administered by India as a state that consists of the larger part of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute among India, Pakistan, and China since 1947.
Among the Indian government actions accompanying the revocation was the cutting off of communication lines in the Kashmir Valley, which were restored after 5 months. Thousands of additional security forces were deployed to curb any uprising. Several leading Kashmiri politicians were taken into custody, including the former chief minister. Government officials described these restrictions as designed for preempting violence and justified the revocation by enabling people of the state to access government programs such as reservation, the right to education, and the right to information.
As Pakistan is riddled with multifold crises, it has a bigger problem on hand since people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), who have been protesting for nearly two weeks now, want the region's merger with India.
This is an unprecedented demand that has completely turned around the narrative that Kashmiris want to join Pakistan.
Viral videos show protesters demanding the reopening of the Kargil Road that connects the two countries.
With Pakistan battling many setbacks-a wheat flour shortage across the nation, insurgency in Balochistan, border conflict with Afghanistan, attacks by the Pakistani Taliban, and a crippling financial crisis-people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir feel they have had enough and seek the stability of India.
Meanwhile, lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, Union Minister Kapil Patil hoped that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) would be integrated into India by 2024.
Speaking at an event in Bhiwandi town in Maharashtra's Thane district on Saturday, the Minister of State for Panchayati Raj said Modi did not become PM to bring down the prices of onions and potatoes and that people must come out of this mindset.
“So now let's wait.” Maybe something will happen by 2024. POK will get integrated into India. Should not be a problem in hoping that. Because only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can do all these things. But for that, we must come out of the mindset of this potato, onion, and pulse meal,” Patil said.