‘Indian officials reluctant to recognize Kashmiris’ right to choose’
Long-simmering tensions between India and Pakistan have been inflamed by a recent attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that left 17 soldiers dead. Press TV has spoken to journalist and political commentator from Islamabad, Matiullah Jan, and professor of law at Washburn University in Kansas, Liaghat Ali Khan, about this latest escalation.
Liaghat Ali Khan is of the opinion that despite all efforts made by Indian and Pakistani politicians to normalize the relations, there are still a lot of potential reasons for conflict, one of which is the independence of Kashmir.
“It seems that there is a deep-seated distrust on the part of India that Pakistan would never be a friend of India and that Pakistan will continue to foment violence in Kashmir in order to destabilize the region,” he said.
“On the other hand, it seems like India has never accepted the existence of Pakistan, because the territory that constitutes Pakistan has Indian civilization and it has been an integral part of India,” Khan argued.
“So, it seems like a deep-seated mutual distrust between these two countries and Kashmir is the flashpoint that erratically erupts.”
Meanwhile, Matiullah Jan pointed the finger of blame at the United Nations for not exerting enough pressure on India to uphold the terms mentioned in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on April 21, 1948, which demanded that the Indian officials form a coalition cabinet.
He noted that the Indian officials have repeatedly promised the people in the Indian-administered Kashmir to give them the right to choose between Pakistan and India, but so far, they have refused to address this public demand.
“They [Indian authorities] feel that whatever happens in the Indian-occupied Kashmir is happening because of support of Pakistan, whereas it is a fact that in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, there is a young generation, a new generation of freedom fighters, who are educated as well as very well aware of their history. They have taken the freedom struggle that was once blamed on Pakistan,” he underscored.
“There is almost little or no element of foreign interference in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.”
Indians are reluctant to accept the fact that there is “an indigenous struggle” for freedom in Kashmir, Jan said, adding that now is the time for the Indian media to open their eyes and reflect on the Kashmiris’ demand for freedom.