For Pakistan, the reality seems to be sinking in slowly. In the past week, it has shouted from the rooftops, seeking international support for its opposition to changes made by India with regard to Kashmir, only to find itself isolated. While its allies—the OIC nations in particular—don’t seem keen on toeing its line on Kashmir, big brother China hasn’t been too forthcoming either.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who wrote to the United Nations alleging violations by India, visited Saudi Arabia and China—the closest among Pakistan’s allies—in the past week. Now, he’s asking Pakistanis to be practical or, in other words, don’t expect too much.
“Pakistanis should not live in a fool’s paradise. The United Nations won’t wait with garlands to accept our objections. Any member of the P-5 nations can be a hurdle,” he told a press conference on Sunday.
The mention of P-5 nations is an implicit reference to Russia that has come out in India’s support, saying the changes made are within the ambit of India’s Constitution.
Rejecting Islamabad’s request to play his “due role”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has referred to the Shimla Agreement of 1972 (signed by India and Pakistan) that rejects third party mediation in Kashmir.
Appeals by Pakistan to the United States have been replied with appeals to both India and Pakistan to maintain calm in the region.
China seems bothered about Ladakh’s new union territory status than the abrogation of J&K’s special status.
Pakistan’s request for an urgent meeting of OIC contact group has yielded little other than a statement that talked about the customary “gross human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir” but called for a “negotiated settlement” through talks between India and Pakistan.
The UAE’s envoy to India came out in full support of India, calling the changes made to J&K an internal matter.
The world’s largest oil exporter—Saudi Arabia’s state-run Aramco— will buy a 20 per cent stake in Reliance Industries Limited’s oil to chemical business valued at $75 billion.
“There is a new realignment. It (India) is a one billion (dollar) market. A lot of people have made investments there,” acknowledged Qureshi.
Reacting to India’s J&K moves, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India, stopped two cross-border train services and cultural exchanges. For years, Pakistan has couched Kashmir as an emotive issue to whip up national frenzy. But it knows plans to garner global support will be tough. To put it in Qureshi’s words: “Giving vent to emotions is easy and raising objections is much easier. However, it is difficult to understand the issue and move forward”.
As we said, the reality is sinking in slowly.