PM Sharif’s toxic language on Malik’s conviction belies hopes of normal ties
From an Indian perspective, the statements made by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after the conviction of proscribed JKLF chief Yasin Malik on terror charges, along with his foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto on Kashmir makes it evident that the more things change, the more they remain the same when it comes to India and Pakistan relations.
PM Shehbaz Sharif asked the global community to hold the Modi regime accountable for “fake terror” charges on Yasin Malik. The Pak National Assembly discussed the incarceration of the Indian extremist facing murder charges and passed a resolution at a time when Imran Khan Niazi and unruly PTI supporters held Islamabad to sword during his much-hyped long march to the Pakistani capital.
Not to be left behind, foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, following his mother’s footsteps, raked up the Kashmir issue in his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at Guangzhou on May 22. The Kashmir issue figured in the joint statement issued during the visit with Pakistan’s iron brother asking for a peaceful resolution of the dispute based on UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. Bilawal’s mother Benazir was a hardliner on Kashmir and used covert power to bring violence into the Valley in the late 1980s.
It is quite evident from the above statements that Pakistani politicians will continue to politically cash Kashmir by selling the pipedream to the public of the Islamic Republic in the hope that one day the Valley will be co-opted by force from India on religious grounds. Since Pakistan government continues to adopt a hard line on Kashmir, there is no meeting point with the Narendra Modi government, which wants Islamabad to put an end to cross border terrorism and Islamic jihad in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir as a precursor to normalization of ties.