A matter of life and death

Mian Nawaz Sharifs statement that a long-lasting relationship with India cannot be formed until and unless all outstanding issues including Kashmir are resolved should be welcomed. Although his critics might think that he has used the issue as a political football in preparation for elections, one would earnestly hope that this time around his intention is not to gain political mileage. Mian Nawaz also rightly stated that with positive progress leading to the settlement of the dispute other issues of contention would automatically start to get resolved. The Indian leadership should get the message that Pakistan is still fully committed to taking up cudgels on behalf of the Kashmiris and their unremitting struggle for the assertion of their right to self-determination. Under no circumstances can Pakistan abandon them. This must also be a big disappointment for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who recently advised that Pakistan should forget about Kashmir. Indeed as rightly stated by founder of the nation Quaid-i-Azam, the valley constitutes the jugular vein of Pakistan. It is a matter of life and death for us. While the Kashmiris are still facing the fury of the Indian security forces, New Delhi is cutting off our share of the Indus waters in gross violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Mian Nawaz was talking to a group of Indian parliamentarians in Lahore. The delegation yet again was seen beating about the bush by proposing that apart from official round of talks, other confidence building measures should be utilised to improve the relationship. This approach has already been tried; it failed because it amounts to putting the cart before the horse. The only way forward is to first settle the Kashmir dispute. Besides, if the Indians are talking about using certain platforms to normalise the Indo-Pakistan equation, why dont they remember the UN that has already passed resolutions calling for a free and impartial plebiscite in the disputed state.

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