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WASHINGTON: There’s no role for militancy in policy-making and non-state actors cannot be allowed to operate from the Pakistani territory, says a parliamentary delegation from Pakistan, which completed its five-day visit to the US capital on Saturday.

In a briefing to Pakistani, and later an Indian, journalists at the end of their visit, the prime minister’s special envoys on Kashmir also said that the United States was doing “positive pushing and prodding” for reducing tensions between India and Pakistan.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, one of the two envoys sent to the United States to present Pakistan’s case on Kashmir, said that they would not be surprised if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally came to Islamabad to attend the Saarc summit “and embrace Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.

“There is no alternative for talks. And this is a message that the Americans are also sending to both India and Pakistan,” said the other envoy, MNA Shezra Mansab Ali, while explaining why she believed India and Pakistan would soon engage one another for reducing tensions.

A Pakistani media report that the civilian government sent a blunt message to the country’s military leadership last week, saying that Pakistan would be completely isolated if it did not stop cross-border militant attacks, also echoed at the briefing.

Senator Syed said that there was complete consensus on this issue in parliament, where all parties have jointly drafted a 22-point resolution, asking the government to end militancy. “There is no role for militancy in policy- making and non-state actors cannot be allowed to operate from the Pakistani territory,” he said

The militancy, particularly cross-border attacks, was an issue that the delegation had to confront at almost each of more than a dozen meetings it attended in Washington.

Since Sept 18, when militants attacked a military facility in Uri and killed at least 18 Indian soldiers, the US State Department, the White House and the Pentagon have almost daily spoken about the situation in held Kashmir and the consequent tensions between India and Pakistan.

In these statements, US officials regularly mentioned the Uri attack, calling it an act of “cross-border terrorism” and urging Pakistan to stop these attacks.

US officials and think tank experts also raised this issue with the Pakistani parliamentary delegation, reminding it of the need to end cross-border attacks if Pakistan wants its stance on Kashmir to be heard.

Uprising sidelined by Uri attack

In the US media, the Uri attack sidelined whatever sympathy the uprising in India-held Kashmir had attracted. In the initial days of the uprising, major US media outlets condemned Indian atrocities against civilians and stressed the need for resolving the Kashmir dispute. But after the attack, the coverage shifted to militancy, with some reports clearly blaming Pakistan for allowing militants to use its territory.

Pakistan faced a similar isolation at the UN General Assembly in New York last month where the prime minister forcefully raised the Kashmir issue but failed to gain as much sympathy as he would have, had there been no militant attack.

The State Department issued a statement after the prime minister’s meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that the top US diplomat “reiterated the need for Pakistan to prevent all terrorists from using Pakistani territory as safe havens”.

UN missions of other world powers, including Britain and France, also issued similar statements.

Diplomatic sources in Washington say that the prime minister’s envoys have noticed the damage the militancy has done to Pakistan’s image in general, and to the Kashmir cause in particular, and it is likely to figure prominently in their assessment of the current mood in Washington.

At their media briefing, the two Pakistani envoys, however, said that they did notice a strong desire in Washington to help defuse the current tensions between India and Pakistan. Americans see Pakistan as an important ally and want to retain strong ties with this country, they added.

Senator Mushahid Hussain hoped that the new US administration would be different from the Obama administration, “which hopefully would have more balanced, strategic, sustained and consistent policy”.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2016

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Comments (25) Closed

Bala Oct 09, 2016 08:08am

There won't be progress if there is no talk

And it's necessary that terror should not spoil this talk.

Mohit (US) Oct 09, 2016 08:21am

Wondering which administration will envoys prefer? Clinton or Trump?

Jawaid kamal Oct 09, 2016 08:27am

Actions and not words

Raj Oct 09, 2016 09:27am

Finally some positive thinking from Pakistan.

lordofthering Oct 09, 2016 09:25am

There is big difference between saying and doing it. Action do not reflect statements.

kiran Oct 09, 2016 11:24am

Honest article

SHARMAJI Oct 09, 2016 02:18pm

Welcome your thought Sir, Kindly act on the policy and give Peace a chance...

Muslim Oct 09, 2016 03:09pm

Nice article, keep it up dawn

M.Jamal Oct 09, 2016 05:55pm

We are always ready for humiliation but are not willing to treat our cancerous state.Finally the wrong policies have hurt indigenous Kashmir uprising as well as isolating us from the world as stated in the article.

Ahsan Gul Oct 09, 2016 07:49pm

Pakistan must suppress and eliminate any religious groups, or people inciting others. If Pakistan has to progress then all people involved in terrorism acts must be dealt swiftly and appropriately to discourage wannabes.

Shekar Kurudi Oct 09, 2016 08:28pm

I appreciate and respect Dawn because how much better it is compared to some poor quality of the Indian newspapers at times. Also enjoy the beautiful pictures published in this newspaper and trying to be moderate views. Also I'm educated about the state of shrinking population of religious minorities in Pakistan. Keep it up Dawn.

Gary Oct 10, 2016 12:19am

They are not telling the truth.

Suraj Oct 10, 2016 02:46am

Terrorist attacks have never worked before and will never work. In the past Pakistan has always said that it will never allow its territory to be used for attacks on other countries. Now after few set backs it has finally decided to come clean. These so called "non-state" actors have only brought pain and shame.

Bin Adam Oct 10, 2016 04:25am

No peoples elected Govt and its PM in Pakistan or India will ever allow any militancy or terrorism from Pakistan's soil on Indian soil and vice versa. This will be like hitting the shovel on own foot by any elected civilian leader. But most of the elected leaders and Govts both sides, because of their weakness or vested political interest, have played like silent spectators in the vicious hands of the most influential forces of hate, hostility and aggression who been ruthlessly engaged at all possible levels in de-stabilizing each others since the very inception of both the Countries. This is the opinion of a great political observer. One need not to have a rocket scientist brain to visualize that continuous policy of hatred and hostility between two neighboring countries is highly detrimental for both the nations except the evil chauvinistic forces of hostility who build their fortunes on the sufferings of the billions of peace loving victims, at both sides.

Osman Oct 10, 2016 04:26am

These militant groups arise because the corrupt Pakistani government doesn't do anything and doesn't present to the world the plight of the oppressed in India.

sam Oct 10, 2016 04:29am

who is going to implement. speak one thing and do another thing

Dr. Malek Towghi (Baloch) Oct 10, 2016 05:02am

The senator and his colleagues needed to go to Rawalpindi -- not to Washington, D.C. -- to convey the message that 'there is no role for militancy and non-state players in policy-making '. That journey would have been much less expensive for Pakistan taxpayers.

Boss man Oct 10, 2016 05:03am

I hope pakistan has learnt it has only hurt them in economy, friendly relationship with neighbor and the Kashmir cause. Everything is down the drain due to these rats called LeT and JUD.

Arvind Oct 10, 2016 05:12am

As long as, in Pakistan the military has got a major role in deciding the foreign policy, the militancy, will continue to have a role in Pakistan's policy.

numbersnumbers Oct 10, 2016 05:16am

@Gary What part of article is not the truth in your opinion? You somehow left that part out of your comment!

downunder Oct 10, 2016 05:41am

I remember many years ago Musharaf pledged the same thing and what happened? Why do they have to pledge it again? Why the world should trust you this time?

Axomiya Oct 10, 2016 06:35am

"US officials regularly mentioned the Uri attack, calling it an act of “cross-border terrorism” and urging Pakistan to stop these attacks." The world knows what's going on, Pakistan is maybe trying to trying to eliminate militancy on its western borders but it is supporting and nurturing militants on its eastern borders.

D.K. PAMNANIK Oct 10, 2016 09:42am

Hope the words of Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, will be taken care in Pakistan so that relationship between two brothers (India and Pakistan) improves at a faster speed. Let us hope for the best.

Sonu Oct 10, 2016 10:03am

Action speaks louder than word. Need action to be taken.

arslan Oct 11, 2016 06:57am

World is not interested in resolving Kashmir issue or stopping Indian oppression period. World only cares for economic interesr and nothing else. From 1947 till 1990 there was no militaincy in Kashmir, did world care for Kashmiris plight then? Why the World rushed to create East timor out of Indonesia or now South Sudan? I think answer is crystal clear.