Sarwar urges UK, EU MPs to play role for de-escalation

Published March 4, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for peace despite Indian aggression. — Reuters/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for peace despite Indian aggression. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has called upon the international community to play its role in defusing tensions and mediating peace between Pakistan and India.

“Sense should prevail and differences be resolved through dialogue and negotiations,” he suggested.

The governor, on Sunday, has written a letter to the British and European parliamentarians explaining Indian premier Narendra Modi’s war hysteria that pitched the both nations’armed forces against each other.

While Pakistan is already in contact with the international community to mediate peace, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a news conference on Saturday lauded Governor Sarwar for his suggestion in the letters to the House of Commons and European Union parliamentarians.

In his letter titled “Pakistan India Tension”, the governor stated that Pakistan and India’s relations had reached a critical stage after Pulwama incident that demanded international community’s role in de-escalating the rising tension and saving the world from a war.

He stated that as a goodwill gesture and to de-escalate the situation between the two nuclear powers, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered release of the captured Indian pilot Abhinandan. However, he said, India was continuing escalating tension at the Line of Control.

Despite Indian aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, the governor stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan had been calling for peace and making it clear that Indian premier Modi’s attempts to spread regional unrest were aimed at gaining political mileage and win the upcoming general elections.

Mr Sarwar said that Pakistan’s offer of investigations into the Pulwama incident, if India provided any actionable evidence, was still on the table. “Pakistan’s desire for de-escalation and peace should not be misconstrued as its weakness,” he said and added Pakistan had developed a comprehensive National Action Plan to deal with the terrorism threat.

A former member of the British parliament, Mr Sarwar stated that the British government as well as Pakistan’s European Union partners had always played a key role in addressing international issues. “Britain and EU can play a pivotal role between Pakistan, India and Kashmir,” he said. Stating that the situation in Kashmir did not seem to be abating, he asserted that Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination needed to be acknowledged as per the United Nations resolution.

He said both countries possessed nuclear capabilities and any further escalation could destabilise the whole region with catastrophic loss of life. “We know from the past that it is easy to start a war, however once triggered there could be no control over it as seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine etc.,” he said.

“We urge the international community to play its role in diffusing tensions and mediating peace between Pakistan and India,” he said.

He stressed that the British and European partners should rise to the occasion and coerce India into holding talks and easing the current situation.

He said Pakistan’s initiative to open Kartarpur Corridor was also aimed at building bridges and starting a new era for the two countries. “Regional peace and security is Pakistan’s priority,” Mr Sarwar concluded.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2019

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