Dhaka, Bangladesh
Diplomacy stirs in Kashmir

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Diplomacy stirs in Kashmir

There is a distinct rustling in the diplomatic undergrowth that is attendant upon the resolution of the Kashmir dispute that has bedevilled relations between India and Pakistan. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is rarely noted for its proactive statements or interventions, but it has made a request to visit held Kashmir to the Indian government that has been denied. The OIC, like a good many others, has an interest in investigating human rights abuses in the Kashmir Valley, an interest that India does all in its considerable power to frustrate and deflect. Denial aside the OIC has declared itself in agreement with Pakistan in seeking a peaceful resolution in Kashmir, that Kashmir is at the top of the OIC agenda, and pressure will continue to be brought to bear in pursuit of a resolution. On the other side of the world, the Trump administration is finding its foreign policy feet, and a recognition that the Kashmir issue is the Gordian Knot that ties down regional development and disturbs stability is something the Americans are possibly having a re-awakening on. This has been sensed as well by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who if nothing else has been consistent throughout the PML-N incumbency in pursuing peace through thick and thin. In an interview with APP, the PM said that he hoped for a ‘proactive engagement’ with the new US administration in the future — which hitherto it had not, and America has stood back. Reading the diplomatic runes is a risky business. These two widely separated and thus far small and unproductive diplomatic stirrings may come to nothing. They are not convergent and widely differing interests are in play. But they do suggest a raising of awareness of the Kashmir imbroglio and the need to internationalise it because a bilateral, Indo-Pak, resolution is no nearer now than it has been for decades. Whether life can be breathed into the UN resolutions made in respect of Kashmir is doubtful given the current UN preoccupation with the Middle East. But with American Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley seemingly willing to crack heads to get results now may be the time when a mere stir becomes something rather more tangible. —The Express Tribune

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