But the question arises, does he really mean it and has he done anything during the last four years to establish his credentials as a promoter of peace in the region and engaging Pakistan in a meaningful dialogue to find an amicable solution to the core issue of Kashmir which is the real cause of continued strained relations between the two countries? The answer unfortunately is in the negative.
In the same interview he impliedly claimed Kashmir as an integral part of India when in reply to a question on situation in Kashmir and the need for dialogue with the Kashmiris he reportedly said “ dialogue does take place with every Indian citizen and it will continue” How can you resolve an issue when you deny its existence? Relations between Pakistan and India are strained because of the non-resolution of the Kashmir dispute which is an unfinished agenda of the partition and over which the two countries have fought three wars. For reaching to a point where the two countries can cooperate with each other and make a new beginning by burying the hatchet, it is imperative to resolve the Kashmir dispute in conformity with the UN resolution and the Indian commitments for allowing the people of Kashmir to exercise their right of self-determination.
The reality is that the PML (N) government has made several positive overtures towards India during the last four years to choreograph amity between the two countries convinced of the ultimate inevitability of ending mutual hostility, earning the taunts of being excessively pro-India by its detractors. But instead of responding to those initiatives in a positive way the Modi government has upped the ante against Pakistan and has never let go an opportunity at the global level to isolate her besides making relentless efforts to portray Pakistan as a state sponsoring terrorism in the region and beyond, which unfortunately found some buyers like US and its allies who seem to have closed their eyes to what India was doing in Kashmir and the acts of terrorism that it has been sponsoring within Pakistan besides fomenting insurgency in Balochistan. The arrest of Kalbhusan Yadav is a ranting testimony of the Indian involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Dossiers on the Indian involvement were handed over the US and UN but to no effect.
India has kept the Line of Control and working boundary hot for the last more than one year now. It committed nearly three thousand violations of the ceasefire agreement during the last one year including 228 during the last month resulting in 254 civilian casualties.
The Indian stance on Kashmir has no legal or moral basis as the following developments would prove. While accepting the instrument of accession by Maharaja provisionally, Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten said “The question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.” It is quite evident that under the prevailing circumstances it was a provisional accession and the Governor General intended to settle the question of accession of the state with the consent of the people of Kashmir. Similar commitments were made by the Indian leaders and perhaps it would be pertinent for the benefit of the readers to make mention of some of them.
Mahatma Gandhi in a prayer meeting on 26th October 1947 said “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so. They should be left free to decide for themselves”. It is also worthwhile to mention that even Jawahar Lal Nehru in a telegram to the British Prime Minister and repeated to Prime Minister of Pakistan on 27th October said “ Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in my disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to it” In yet another telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 31st October, Jawahar Lal Nehru said” Leave the decision regarding the future of this state to the people of the state. It is not merely a promise to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world”
After the war between India and Pakistan in 1948 over Kashmir, the former took the matter to the United Nations. The UN adopted 23 resolutions on the subject including seeking cessation of hostilities and settlement of the question of accession through plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nation. These resolutions made it obligatory on Pakistan and India to create condition for holding of the plebiscite but unfortunately the Indian non-cooperation did not let that happen and the UNICEP Chief Lord Owen Dixen a jurist from Australia resigned as a protest against the Indian attitude.
In the meanwhile, the Indian government kept on repeating its promises. As late as 18th May 1954, in a statement in the Indian Council of States Nehru said “So far as the government of India is concerned, every assurance and international commitment in regard to Kashmir stands”
However the Indian government reneging on its promises and commitments in 1957 had a resolution passed by the constituent Assembly of Occupied Kashmir for accession of the state to India and also incorporated it in the constitution of the state. Both these moves were categorically rejected by the UN through its resolution numbers 91 and 122 unequivocally stating that the question of accession of Kashmir could not be settled by any means other than the plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN. India paid no heed to these resolutions and since then is claiming that Kashmir was its integral part. Indian intransigence led to war between the two countries in 1965 and 1971 after which the two states singed Simla Agreement in 1972 in which India accepted Kashmir as a disputed territory and along with Pakistan committed to resolve the issue through bilateral channels.
In view of the foregoing facts and what India has been doing under Modi he needs to be reminded that he has to prove it through deeds recognising the ground realities that he really means what he has said.
The arrest of Kalbhusan Yadav is a ranting testimony of the Indian involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Dossiers on the Indian involvement were handed over to the US and UN but to no effect.