PPP scorns government's reaction to Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir

Updated 27 Feb 2020

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a photo opportunity with sheriffs from across the country on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a photo opportunity with sheriffs from across the country on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party has disapproved of Islamabad’s move to welcome US President Donald Trump’s offer for mediation on Kashmir, saying that the enthusiasm being shown by the government was misplaced as Washington was certain to favour India.

“President Trump’s role as a mediator in the Kashmir dispute will undoubtedly favour India. The tone and tenor of his press conferences in India clearly indicate that Washington wants New Delhi to act as a policeman in the region,” former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said in a statement on Wednesday.

He pointed out that during his visit, Trump had made no statement regarding the lockdown and genocide being committed in India-held Kashmir. “Those who seek a mediator’s role for Trump, forget reality. He is the person who recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He is the person who recognised and legitimised the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights.

“The recent US plan for solution of the dispute between Palestinians and Israelis robs the Palestinian people of their historic and international rights and clearly weighs in favour of Israel. Is this the type of mediation that the government wants for Kashmir,” Senator Rabbani said.

The foreign minister had said in his statement on Tuesday that the US president, in line with his assurance held out to Prime Minister Imran Khan last year, had taken up the Kashmir issue with the Indian prime minister.

“Keeping in view the alarming situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the world reaction to it, the fresh offer for mediation is a negation of India’s narrative,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in his statement.

He said the Indian media had tried to use President Trump’s press conference for its objectives, but he minced no words in praising Pakistan’s role in the war on terrorism and calling Imran Khan “my friend”.

FO SUMMONS INDIAN DIPLOMAT: The Foreign Office summoned a senior diplomat from the Indian High Commission on Wednesday to register Islamabad’s protest over ceasefire violations by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nezapir sector on Tuesday (Feb 25).

A 40-year-old civilian, Muhammad Bashir, resident of Mandhar village, sustained serious injuries during the indiscriminate and unprovoked shelling.

The Indian occupation forces have been persistently targeting populated areas along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary (WB) since 2017. They have committed 384 ceasefire violations so far this year alone and a total of 1,970 over the past three years.

The deliberate targeting of populated areas is deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws, the Indian diplomat was told. “The ceasefire violations are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.”

Pakistan urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate them, instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and in spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the WB.

It was emphasised that by raising tensions along the LoC, India won’t be able to divert attention from the worsening human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad called upon New Delhi to allow the United Nations Military Observers Group to play its role in defusing tensions in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2020