LAHORE - Amid a crippling curfew imposed after New Delhi decided to strip Kahmir of special constitutional status, Pakistan needed to come up with a clear Kashmir policy. The situation demands practical steps, not just rhetoric, speakers said at a seminar at Hameed Nizami Press Institute on Monday.
PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal, Jamaat-e-Islami Vice Amir Farid Piracha, Editor of The Nation Salim Bokhari, Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz leader Uzma Bokhari and Media Studies scholar Dr Lubna Zaheer were prominent among the speakers. A large number of people from all walks of life attended the seminar titled ‘Kashmir and Our Responsibility’ at HNPIP.
Uzma Bokhari said Modi victoriously stated in his Independence Day speech that he did in 70 days what could not be done in 70 years vis-a-vis Kashmir.
“We are happy with the UNSC session and our FM Qureshi congratulates the nation daily. Just imagine how it hurts Kashmiris. The videos, which emerged from IOK after temporary relaxation in curfew, were disturbing. A mother said she could not take her kids to hospital due to curfew,” Uzma said.
She said Kashmir was a disputed territory but India annexed it through its unilateral and illegal action. “I don’t want to do politics on the Kashmir issue but we as a nation should do self accountability. We should not live in an illusionary world. Where is Pakistan’s Kashmir policy? Unfortunately, the Muslim world did not speak on Palestine, Yemen and Kashmir issues because of their vested interests,” she said.
It is questionable when Pakistan’s foreign minister said: “We knew India was going to do something but was not sure they would do it so fast! Prime Minister Imran Khan should take responsibility for this.” She said that Maryam Nawaz wanted to hold a public meeting in Muzaffarabad on August 15, but she was arrested.
Senator Waleed Iqbal defended the PTI government’s diplomatic efforts, which pushed the UN Security Council to hold a session on the deteriorating conditions in IOK. “I reiterated my government’s stance that war is not the first option. We have seen the havoc and destruction of nuclear attacks in Japan in WWII.
He was of the view that “we should not go for Mutually Assured Destruction, a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which both countries having nuclear capabilities will be completely annihilated by war.”
Waleed said Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared and the international community acknowledged that Pakistan has a stronger nuclear missile delivery programme and bigger number of nuclear arsenal when compared to India.
“India is unofficially applying its Cold Start Doctrine to Pakistan that includes quick, effective, punitive attack against enemy country. The Pulwama attack was an example of that doctrine that was responded outstandingly by Pakistan. The policy indicates, in case of retaliation from Pakistan, India will blame Pakistan for war escalation,” he said.
He said in Kargil war of 1999 he was in New York and then Indian FM Jaswant Singh’s propaganda machine alienated Pakistan at the international level.