Resuming trade with India may help some self-serving business houses in Pakistan, but the decision would only damage the Kashmir cause, a Kashmiri rights activist said on Thursday.
Dr. Imtiaz A Khan, a US-based Kashmiri rights activist, said in a statement that by trading with India, Pakistan would severely hurt the Kashmir cause.
“It is very perplexing to think that current government wants to establish business relationship with a country whose rulers have inherent hate for Pakistan and are leaving no stone unturned to dismember it,” he said.
The statement has been issued following the Shehbaz Sharif government’s controversial decision of appointing a trade minister in Pakistan’s High Commission in India.
Dr. Khan said that trade was conducted in an environment of trust and not abhorrence.
“We Kashmiris strongly rely on Pakistan and hope that better sense will prevail and this horrendous decision is reversed. No trade with India until serious negotiations on Kashmir are pursued,” Khan maintained.
On August 5, 2019 Indian government in blatant contravention of United Nation resolutions abrogated article 370 and 35A that gave special status to Indian occupied Kashmir.
The government of Pakistan at that time retaliated by severing all diplomatic relations, with the condition that ties with India can be restored only if there is reversal of these decisions.
Although the government of Pakistan did not unleash a very aggressive campaign at international level, in fairness to them the issue was raised in important international forums like United Nations and OIC (organisation of Islamic countries).
Former prime minister Imran Khan was firm and unrelenting on his stand to freeze relations with India until article 370 and 35A are not restored.
However, one of the first steps of the Shehbaz Sharif government was to appoint a trade minister at the Pakistani High Commission, New Delhi.
“Imran Khan deserves encomiums for not succumbing to international and domestic quarters on this issue,” Khan stated.
He further said that residents of Indian occupied Kashmiris have given utmost respect to rulers of Pakistan irrespective of party affiliation and consider recent regime change as internal affair of that country but also unequivocally condemn their decision to re-establish trade ties with India and consider it as obsequious surrender to their hegemony.
“It is a flagrant betrayal of Kashmiri cause and amounts to perfidy to the people of Kashmir,” he added. Khan underscored that Kashmiris look to Pakistan as their savior, emancipator and champion.
“These are the people who bury their martyrs in Pakistani flag and cheer winning Pakistani cricket team on the streets in presence of heavily armed Indian occupation forces who need an excuse to kill them.”
“We understand that Pakistan currently is going through worst economic quagmire and trade with India may help to alleviate their problems,” he added.
Khan stressed that history is replete with examples when countries have gone through similar morass but with visionary leadership, motivated population, hard work, grit and determination have recovered with flying colors but added that with innovative measures by insightful leaders the country in minimal time was on the path of success.