Lobbying for Kashmir

A car is seen damaged after a night of clashes between protesters and security forces in Srinagar as the city remains under curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir, August 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

In what was perhaps considered to be an inspired move, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on August 19 the appointment of 22 parliamentarians as his emissaries who will highlight the Kashmir issue in various countries around the world. Their job is to build awareness and support for a resolution of the conflict in Kashmir that will be the central focus of the prime minister’s speech at the United Nations this September. The prime minister feels that these emissaries will help to “shake the collective conscience” of the world regarding what he termed the UN’s most persistent failure. The government ostensibly believes that with the support of both Kashmiri and Pakistani people as well as the government of Pakistan, these emissaries will be able to fulfil their agenda of lobbying for Kashmir. However, this assessment is based on one crucial assumption: that diplomats and politicians in other countries will take the word of our parliamentarians seriously.

     it will take more than a shaken conscience for the world to pay attention to atrocities being committed in indian-occupied kashmir

Due to a long series of foreign policy missteps, our dependence on international aid and the continued threat of terrorism, Pakistan is by no means a popular country. There are too many who view our role in regional geopolitics as a problematic one, some even accusing Pakistan of being a rogue operator assumed to be providing tacit support to terrorist organisations.

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