No Compromise

The economic value of the China visit aside, the high-level interactions, and the joint statement are significant when we consider how both countries extend complete support to each other’s territorial claims on disputed areas. It’s not just a statement; the reiteration of Kashmir and China’s firm support for Pakistan’s stance serve to give a message to the world, and India, that Kashmiris will have their way. The only way out is the UN-mandated plebiscite.

Coming from China and Pakistan, against India, this demonstrates the resolve of both parties. This is more than just the rhetoric of a ‘common enemy.’ After 2019, any reference to Kashmir is more important because India is hell-bent on making the world accept its unilateral action. The Kashmiri electorate has made itself heard in the general elections, and their single most demand is to annul the abrogation of Article 370.

The electoral outcome from Kashmir is a loud cry in itself. India must realize that there is hardly any way it can sustain its unilateral decision for long. Prime Minister Modi, though sworn in for a third term, does not have the majority he had in the last term. Coalition partners will now have a substantial say in Parliament. From Kashmir, the Parliament has already lost the members who let the abrogation happen and could not become the voice of Kashmiris.

Bearing this context in mind, the joint statement of China and Pakistan on Kashmir is very timely and much needed. Though generally, it is a necessary mention in all joint statements, coinciding with the new order in India post-elections, it is much more relevant. So while economic and business interests take the bigger share in the Prime Minister’s China visit, the unbending support for Kashmir from China is a big win for Pakistan’s diplomacy.

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