ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad-based think-tank says the Middle East (ME) peace plan presented by US President Donald Trump will have a negative impact on Kashmir issue.

A concept paper issued by Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) states that US president’s plan for ME legalises state terrorism, brutal suppression and demography change by Israel and the same was being carried out by India in held Kashmir.

CPGS President Nasir Sheerazi said the US patronage had already encouraged the incumbent Indian government to give constitutional cover to their illegal occupation of Kashmir.

“Only two countries, Israel and India, behave in this manner in occupied Palestine and occupied Kashmir respectively,” Mr Sheerazi said.

The concept paper highlighted that Pakistan’s stance on Palestine conflict had been clear from the beginning.

“Pakistan does not recognise Israel and has always been vocal for the rights of Palestinians and public sentiments in Pakistan have always been with the people of Palestine,” the paper said.

Support for Palestinian cause is deeply rooted in the ideological basis of Pakistan as it was with the Kashmir issue.

CPGS said like Palestine, Kashmir is also under illegal foreign occupation.

The paper said Pakistan had never conceded Indian claim on occupied Kashmir, and it did not recognise Israel as a state.

Pakistan has always reiterated that it supported a two-state solution to Palestine conflict as conceded by multiple UN resolutions.

The CPGS slammed the recent move by US president saying the so-called “Deal of Century” has the potential of initiating political crisis leading to diplomatic failure and violence.

The paper said that pro-US bloc in Middle East will be weakened because peace plan will be represented as a historic compromise. “It will invite chaos and disorder in population of Middle East even if the governments choose to support the plan,” it added.

CPGS president said taking recent history of Middle East into account, public pressure does not sit well with regimes in Muslim world and chaos becomes inevitable in the region.

The Palestinian cause was taken by Muslims as a religious issue and a large number of civil activists consider it a humanitarian issue; similar situation was visible in Kashmir and the conditions could open doors to repetition of violence and conflicts.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2020