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‘Once Curfew Is Lifted, India Will No Longer Be Able To Hide The Kashmiri Freedom Struggle’

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In the wake of revocation of Article 370 in the Occupied Kashmir Valley and fresh wave of state brutalities against the Kashmiris, Pakistan’s response to the crisis has been under discussion. Naya Daur interviewed Rabia Akhtar, Director Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research at University of Lahore about the Kashmir crisis and its possible solution.

Naya Daur: What should be Pakistan’s diplomatic response to the Kashmir crisis? Can Pakistan realistically afford to talk to India from a point of aggression?

Rabia Akhtar: Pakistan’s diplomatic response should be to rally the international community, jolt them up and push them to call out India for its illegal and illegitimate move in J&K. The government should move United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and try to push the P5 to make India realise that it cannot forcibly change the status of disputed territory unilaterally which is still unresolved.

ND: PM Imran Khan has called on President Trump to mediate. Do you think the US can help resolve the crisis?

RA: The US can help as part of the P5 at the UNSC when the session is called. Pakistan would expect its support there, but I think we shouldn’t be too certain about it. China, however, has assured Pakistan of its support at the UN.

When PM Imran called Trump to mediate initially, ground realities were different, and the situation today is completely different.

Winning the US or Russian support at the UN is not going to be an easy task for Pakistan and would be quite challenging simply due to the nature of politics and their bilateral relationship with India.

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ND: Is there a possibility of Kashmiri militants regrouping after the recent crisis? If yes, what will be its implications for the region?

RA: We have recently seen a video by the Taliban supporting the Kashmiris. This is just the beginning. I foresee Muslims all over the world standing with the Kashmiris in days and months to come. Once the curfew is lifted, Kashmiris will hit the streets and tell India their verdict on this barbaric decision.

The people of J&K will receive support from all over the world, and for that ‘militants’ qualification will not be required. The ruling party in India has not really thought through the consequences of their decision.

Curfew cannot remain in place forever. And once lifted, the Indian government will not be able to stop the entire world from supporting the Kashmiri freedom struggle in whichever way or form. Chaos and unrest will not let settlements plan prevail. It’s only a matter of time. Let’s wait and see.

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