Pakistan sidelines Kashmir issue, to focus on TAPI “pipeline” business with India!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Obviously, India and Pakistan have been fighting each other because of Kashmir, known as paradise on earth, which they jointly occupy, showcasing their relative military might in order manly to terrorize the Kashmiris who seek sovereignty back from both. Apparently, these South Asian nuke powers, like USA and Russia, maintain secret links.
Ill-focused on Kashmir, Pakistan as well as India obtained nukes in order to retain their respective occupation of Kashmir, spending huge resources of common people. While Kashmiris depend on Pakistan for obtaining sovereignty from India in good faith, they now slowly understand Pakistan would not let Kashmir remerge as a sovereign nation as before 1947 when India and Pakistan as per UK plan invaded Jammu Kashmir and divided between them and Islamabad also would never vacate Azad Kashmir, a part of Kashmir under its occupation, and in order to retain the Kashmiri lands these neighbors maintain secret dialogues as Pakistan powers to “share” values, prestige, economic benefits, India now seeks a veto handle on the essentially discredited UNSC.
Pakistani government thinks it is not answerable to people of Pakistan and does not need to take them into confidence regarding its external politics. The government after government formed by the rich, corporate and aristocratic leaders just ignores people, especially the common people- and keeps them busy with cricket matches where Pakistani batboys get 100s and 50s as per mutual help policy with other teams. That is the reason why Pakistani does not promote any real sport on its soil. .
Pakistan under military dictator Musharraf brought on itself the worst kind of terror situation by inviting US led NATO to invade Afghanistan and later stay in Pakistan itself , killing Pakistanis, destabilizing the nations. Later, Pakistani government under US guidance began attacking the tribal Muslims in far off regions. Pakistani leaders have bought insult not only to Islamabad but also to Islam.
Pakistani regime is doing all these anti-Islam services only to get money from USA and EU. Now Pakistanis trying to get some money from India as service charges for allowing India to lay pipelines coming from Central Asia.via Afghanistan, if the pipeline project gets materialized.
However, the pipelines, if laid in Pakistan, would give India, like the USA has been enjoying in Pakistan, the authority to kill Pakistanis by officially calling them terrorists and that approach would be backed by USA and EU. Indian ambition thus would get fulfilled on payment basis.
As Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi met on July 10 with a warm handshake in the Russian city of Ufa on the sidelines of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation led by Russia, a joint statement read out by both Foreign Secretaries said their respective National Security Advisors will meet in Delhi to discuss \”terrorism\” although a date was not set. Importantly, the top army commanders of the Pakistani Rangers and India’s Border Security Force will meet in person in an attempt to de-escalate the tension along the Jammu and Kashmir border. In fact, in a surprise move, the Foreign Secretaries appeared together -a rare occurrence – to read out a jointly prepared statement on their own. The statement said the two governments would \”discuss ways and means\” to expedite the legal process, including the sharing of voice samples. So far, their contact is restricted largely to a weekly conversation over a hotline as mutual cross fires keep terrorizing the besieged Kashmiris between India and Pakistan. . .
Indian media claim that big breakthroughs were announced by Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan after a brief meeting today between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif including a meeting between their National Security Advisors to tackle terrorism, and a push for more frequent and face-to-face contact between senior army officers.
The joint statement issued after the meeting condemns terrorism in all forms. The statement makes no reference to Kashmir, nor was it brought up by Sharif, said sources, in what has been described as \”a brave move\” by analysts in Pakistan.
India has repeatedly expressed its frustration with delays in Pakistan’s trial of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, who was released from jail earlier this year.
PM Modi has accepted an invite from PM Sharif to travel next year to Pakistan to attend the regional South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit. India had previously refused to confirm Modi’s participation at the next summit of the , SAARC , which brings together the leaders of eight countries. Sharif attended PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony last year. But soon, the worst cross-border violence in Jammu Kashmir in over a decade left relations placed vertiginously. Then India cancelled talks of Foreign Secretaries after the Pakistani envoy insisted on hosting Kashmiri freedom leaders to ascertain their views on Indian occupational tactics ahead of the dialogue.
Political reactions have started to pour in and it is a mixed bag. While BJP has called the talks a breakthrough, Congress has questioned why PM is in hurry to talk to Pakistan when solders are being killed in the border. Congress questions Modi govt’s change in Pakistan policy. These are the same people who said that terror and talks don’t go hand in hand, what has changed?
The Indo-Pak initiatives announced were attacked as a mere formality by the opposition Congress saying PM’s stand is weakening and that talks should not be resumed unless Pakistan stops pushing the “terrorists: into Kashmir and ends shooting at Indian soldiers. Using the words ‘breakthrough’ and ‘historic understanding’ is laughable,\” Congress leader Anand Sharma said, adding, \”India is expected to make a statement which has depth and maturity\”. The government, however, said that Pakistan had been told again about the need to tackle terrorism.
Shortly after welcoming today’s meeting between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, leaders and the media in Pakistan have criticised the government over the absence of any mention of Kashmir in the joint statement. After Sharif met Modi in the Russian city of Ufa on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation program, India and Pakistan issued a joint statement that mentioned terrorism and the need to expedite the Mumbai trial but left out the crucial Kashmir issue without whose resolution peace is not possible, however, was not mentioned, which leaders and media in Pakistan have criticised.
Senator Rehman Malik of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that Indian PM Modi was disrespectful towards Sharif and behaved like a Tsar, forcing the Pakistani premier to walk through a long corridor to come towards his \”throne\”. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, former foreign minister and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), told Pakistan’s Express TV channel that Kashmir should have been mentioned in the joint communiqué. \”It is quite strange that Kashmir has not been part of the statement,\” he said. “Modi didn’t show the slightest courtesy under diplomatic norms for his Pakistani counterpart to walk a few steps forward to receive him,\” he said. Talat Hussain, a prominent anchor of Pakistani news channel Geo TV, said that it was Sharif’s failure to get Kashmir mentioned in the joint statement. He said it looked as if Nawaz Sharif was just trying to please Narendra Modi.
The statement, only mentions the Mumbai case trial, but fails to highlight the lingering Kashmir dispute which is a lost opportunity. \”Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and the resolution of the Kashmir dispute lies at the heart of future prospects for regional peace and stability,\” she said.
Starting a new chapter of cooperation in diplomatic ties perhaps was the big focus of the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa. But since PM Modi raised India’s concerns on terror and the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi he evades diplomacy. .
Sidelining the most contentious Kashmir issue by India and Pakistan may sound a nice exercise in diplomacy but that is not going to work wonders especially after all the bloodshed in Kashmir- India forces have murdered over 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims in order to silence them.
In fact, India now requires Pakistan rather than the other way round. India is interested in the pipeline connectivity from oil-gas rich Central Asian states through Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, USA has been waging a fascist war in Pakistan and Afghanistan only to clear the pipeline routes from tribal living on the line.
Indian PM Modi undertook a tour to Central Asia and Russia to ensure the pipeline and oil-gas flow to India. And India cannot do that without the support of both Afghanistan and Pakistan; while Afghanistan, now controlled by USA, is ready cooperate with India on pipeline but Pakistan perhaps is demanding more service charges from New Delhi. And now it appears Islamabad is willing to shelve the Kashmir issue in order to get huge money from India as service charges. USA which regularly pays money to Pakistan as charges for its service to NATO in Pakistan and Afghanistan, may have mediated the deal between the two South Asian nuclear powers.
The question is why Sharif played second fiddle to New Delhi, rather willingly and voluntarily. This puzzles many Pakistanis and pro-Pakistan Kashmiris who feel threatened by Pakistan’s new approach. India says only peaceful and stable Afghanistan and Central Asia would help with the pipeline project.
India focuses on TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) project. The TAPI gas project is an over 1,800-km pipeline with design capacity to supply 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Narendra Modi, by using “terrorism” as a common problem for India, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, has now openly pitched for early implementation of the $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project during his talks with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov as both countries inked seven pacts to ramp up engagement in key areas, including military.
Terming TAPI project as a significant initiative in relationship between the two countries, Modi also seemed to have conveyed to President Berdymukhamedov that multiple options including the possibility of land-sea route through Iran for the pipeline should be explored. The pipeline is expected to be operational by 2018 and will carry gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field that holds gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet. Modi also emphasized the need for enhancing connectivity, calling it a key aspect of the relationship.
Noting that the pipeline project could transform regional economic cooperation and bring prosperity along the route, Modi underlined the need to implement it \”quickly\” besides expressing readiness for India’s long-term investment in the energy sector in Turkmenistan.
Modi returned to New Delhi arrived last evening after his “successful” three-day visit to Ufa in Russia where he attended the BRICS and SCO Summits besides holding bilateral talks with leaders of Pakistan, Russia and China. Modi has already visited Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and is going to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as part of his eight-day visit to Central Asia.
Not surprising at all that Pakistan’s Foreign Office has not commented on the absence of any mention of Kashmir in the joint statement. Nor does it is honest with its own people about the TAPI project and Pakistani monetary gains from the pipeline connectivity between Central Asia and India.