The abrupt and illegal movement of MODI to annex itself to Jammu and occupied Kashmir was a moment of truth for Pakistan, the people of Kashmir, the "secularists" of India and the world community.
In Pakistan, those who believed that a compromise on Jammu and Kashmir would end Indian hostility and promote cooperation have had their eyes open. It is now clear that for Modi and his cohort BJP-RSS, a "final solution" for Kashmir (through demographic transformation) and hostility towards Pakistan are not mere electoral devices; they are part of their supremacist vision of a Hindu India that must be realized without mercy.
Pakistan has had to adapt quickly to this ugly reality. Prime Minister Imran Khan believes that his previous offers of dialogue, and Pakistan's moderation in military exchanges last February, were seen by Modi as signs of weakness and appeasement. He is now committed to defending the cause of Kashmir worldwide as the "ambassador" of the cashmere.
Pakistan's early diplomatic response was standard: withdrawal of ambassadors, termination of trade and approaches of the UN and human rights organizations.
The initiative to raise Kashmir in the UN Security Council was bold.
The "informal consultations" of the UNSC on Jammu and Kashmir, after a 50-year inter-term, agreed by the 15 members, represent a clear diplomatic victory for Pakistan. This stated that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and not an internal affair of India. The council, now actively engaged in the subject, will take into account the ongoing developments in Kashmir, controlled by India.
The legitimacy of the Kashmir struggle must be propagated on the basis of international law.
Strong expressions of concern have also emerged from the UN and world human rights organizations (except, strangely, from Pakistani organizations) regarding curfew 24 hours a day, the communications and news blackout, arbitrary arrests and violent and lethal repression of protests.
Islamabad has announced that Pakistan's Foreign Minister will denounce the human rights violations of India at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in early September.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated that he will vigorously propose the cause of Kashmir in his speech to the UN General Assembly (reportedly on September 27) and in his meetings with other heads of state and government.
Unfortunately, while the so-called free press of India has gathered around Modi's illegal measure to integrate occupied Kashmir, and covered up the ongoing mass repression there, sections of the Pakistani media have already begun to criticize the alleged failure of the PTI government to develop a Kashmir policy and secure external support, ignoring what has been achieved and the harmful impact of its criticism on the morals of oppressed cashmere.
There is no doubt that the Arab and Islamic world is weak and divided. The voice of the ICO has been silenced, not only in Kashmir, but even in Palestine, the raison d'être of its creation. Its unity and influence cannot be revived instantly by Pakistan.
Read: The OCI reaffirms the internationally recognized status of the Kashmir dispute, its resolution through plebiscite
However, Kuwait was supportive in the UNSC; Saudi Arabia has issued a statement of concern; as well as the ICO Secretariat and the Islamic Human Rights Council. Hopefully, the ICO will eventually come together to defend the fundamental rights of cashmere.
More important will be the positions of the main powers, especially the five permanent members of the UNSC. Geopolitics will play an important role in determining their positions.
So far, China has declared its support for Pakistan's position. Pakistan's strategy will have to be based on this critical support. Russia will walk a very fine line between its traditional relationship with India and its new strategic partnership with China and, by extension, with Pakistan. The United States will use the vulnerability created by India in Kashmir to keep it online, as it flirts with Pakistan to achieve the Afghan agreement with the Taliban. (Trump's mediation offer was not a start and should not divert Pakistan's attention.) France is desperate to replace Russia as India's main arms supplier and will continue to act as a substitute for India in the UNSC. The United Kingdom can sympathize with human rights issues but, like many others, will take refuge in the impotent defense of "bilateral" talks between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir dispute.
While building its strategy with the support of China, Pakistan would also need to ensure the acceptance of the United States for its Kashmir goals. For this purpose, Islamabad can use the leverage provided by its facilitation of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban. France must be neutralized by stronger diplomatic and other measures.
The compulsion for the Security Council and the international community to intervene in the dispute and promote a solution will depend on Pakistan's persistence in spreading the Kashmir cause in the face of threats and coercion by the Indians and, what is more important, of the resistance and strength of the community. Fight for the freedom of the people of Kashmir. The world will intervene if there is ethnic cleansing and genocide in Kashmir or if there is a real danger of another war between Pakistan and India.
Faced with Modi's attempt to eliminate the identity and autonomy of Kashmir, the occupied Jammu and Kashmir people have no choice but to resist. This will now be a universal feeling among cashmere. There will be few fence keepers or Indian collaborators. It is also likely that there will be greater support among cashmere for armed resistance. Militant organizations, especially indigenous groups like Hizbul Mujahideen, instead of Hurriyet's political leadership, will lead the new struggle.
Pakistan will need to take a clear and politically defensible position on the struggle for Kashmir's freedom. On the one hand, it must propagate the legitimacy of the struggle on the basis of international law and the numerous UN resolutions. On the other hand, Islamabad will need to distance itself from prohibited terrorist organizations that may enter the early fray in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Ultimately, if India faces an insurgency from Kashmir, a resilient Pakistan, international pressure and a deteriorating economy, it may agree to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement with Pakistan and the cashmere. But Hindu fascists may choose not to compromise. Bleeding in occupied Kashmir, they are likely to provoke another war with Pakistan, bringing Armageddon to southern Asia and much of the world.
Therefore, the international community must act now to stop them.
The writer is a former Pakistani ambassador to the UN.
Posted on Dawn, September 1, 2019