Shitanshu Shekhar Shukla
A parliamentary delegation from Pakistan took five-day visit to US to learn the hard way that there is no role for militancy in policy-making and non-state actors cannot be allowed to operate from the Pakistani territory. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sent his special envoys on Kashmir to US to lodge a complaint against India.
According to a report published by The Dawn, an English daily of Pakistan, the special envoys had to hear just the opposite. The Dawn has quoted Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, one of the two envoys sent to the United States to present Pakistan’s case on Kashmir, as saying at the end of the visit that there was complete consensus on this issue in Parliament, where all parties have jointly drafted a 22-point resolution, asking the government to end militancy. “There is no role for militancy in policy-making and non-state actors cannot be allowed to operate from the Pakistani territory,” he said according to The Dawn.
Syed’s unambiguous observation came forth when a mention was made about a Pakistani media report that the civilian government had sent a blunt message to the country’s military leadership last week, saying that Pakistan would be completely isolated if it did not stop cross-border militant attacks.
The team, according to the newspaper, told the media about US’ pushing and prodding for reducing tensions between India and Pakistan. Syed appeared so changed as to add in the report, “they would not be surprised if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally came to Islamabad to attend the SAARC summit “and embrace Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.
“There is no alternative for talks. And this is a message that the Americans are also sending to both India and Pakistan,” said the other envoy, MNA Shezra Mansab Ali, added the newspaper.
The Dawn quoted its reporter as saying that instead of speaking their heart out, the delegation had to hear about the militancy, particularly cross-border-attacks at each of more than a dozen meetings it attended in Washington. US officials and think tank experts reminded the Pakistani parliamentary delegation of the need to end cross-border attacks if Pakistan wants its stance on Kashmir to be heard, the newspaper reads further.
According to The Dawn, “In the US media, the Uri attack sidelined whatever sympathy the uprising in India-held Kashmir had attracted. In the initial days of the uprising, major US media outlets condemned Indian atrocities against civilians and stressed the need for resolving the Kashmir dispute. But after the attack, the coverage shifted to militancy, with some reports clearly blaming Pakistan for allowing militants to use its territory.”
The newspaper admitted diplomatic isolation of Pakistan at global platforms. Its reporter wrote,”Pakistan faced a similar isolation at the UN General Assembly in New York last month where Nawaz Sharif forcefully raised the Kashmir issue but failed to gain as much sympathy as he would have, had there been no militant attack.”
Adding to woes of Pakistan, the State Department issued a statement after Sharif’s meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that the top US diplomat “reiterated the need for Pakistan to prevent all terrorists from using Pakistani territory as safe havens”. Significantly, similar statements were issues by UN missions of other world powers, including Britain and France.
The Dawn Correspondent quoted the diplomatic sources in Washington to say that the Sharif’s envoys have noticed the damage the militancy has done to Pakistan’s image in general, and to the Kashmir cause in particular, and it is likely to figure prominently in their assessment of the current mood in Washington.