Ambassador: Kashmir conflict is not just a political and territorial issue, it is also a human rights issue - INTERVIEW
- 18 April 2019
“Kashmir conflict is not just political and territorial issue, it is a human rights issue,” the Ambassador of Pakistan to Azerbaijan, Saeed Khan Mohmand said in an interview to ONA news agency.
- These two countries, India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed and they had been to war before what really captured the attention of the world. And this time when tension escalated between the parties the international experts, politicians warned that India and Pakistan are in the verge of the war. So, how serious was the situation?
- First of all, when you have to answer the question of this nature, you have to look back into history. Kashmir remains the core issue between India and Pakistan. There have been four resolutions on Kashmir in UN Security Council calling for self-determination of the people of Kashmir.
Of course, the world was so afraid because two are the nuclear countries. Any conflict between two nuclear power countries and even two neighboring nuclear power countries was the worst thing that can happen, not only to the region but also globally, because any nuclear conflict can affect far wider actually.
So, it was pretty serious and I can tell you a number of reasons why it was being done at this stage. First of all, we think, it was a false-flag operation which means that it was a deliberate attempt by India to do this. I can give reasons if you like.
-Yes, of course…
We have a new government in Pakistan that through election came in power in August, in the first speech our PM Imran Khan delivered, he invited India to have peace talks with us, especially on the issue of Kashmir, in his first speech he said “if you go one step we will go two steps for peace“.
You must have seen the international opinion polls and also opinion polls within India which clearly showed Mr. Modi's BJP which is a Hindu extremist party is on the losing side. It was sliding down and about a few months back there was an election in five very crucial Indian states in which his party lost the election, so there was a fear that Mr. Modi would be losing this election.
In Indian elections, Pakistan factor plays a great part. You raise the sentiments of people, especially when you are promoting an idea which means India belongs to the Hindus only, although there are others. There are 180 million Muslims in India, a large number of Christians, Sikhs living in India. But they want India for only Hindus and they wanted to play to their sentiments, then he can get the sympathy vote. So, he needed to have this kind of an incident in which Hindus would vote for them in greater number.
They always play the Pakistan card, but in our election, we know India card is never there because it is not a problem for us.
- Mr. Ambassador you mean that Modi’s government wanted to use this as a dividend?
- Yes, he was trying to cash in on this incident.
In addition to that, there are other reasons like since the uprising in Indian Kashmir was indigenous, it was local and they were unable to deal with it, they wanted to put the blame on Pakistan that it was terrorist activity.
In Kashmir, the indigenous uprising has been going on now for the last three years and India lost side what to do with it, all attempts at quelling this indigenous uprising failed.
Within five minutes they said it is Pakistan, and within five minutes of this thing happened the video was on social media. It cannot happen like that actually. How can it happen the video of this is uploaded within five minutes of the attack, all these ambulances appeared, where all the ambulances come from, within five minutes how they did know there were 350 kg explosives, why was not this car checked, there are three layers of security in that place and this car was coming on the wrong side, why was not this car stopped there. You see, these all questions which not only international media asking but also within India, their own people, their own politicians, the Congress are asking for all these details, how did it happen.
The third thing was that Pakistan had captured an India spy by the name of Mr. Kulbhushun, his case was in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, so they wanted to put pressure on all international media to look, “we have nothing, India is not a terrorist state. It is Pakistan that is doing all this.”
And this sergeant, we have captured in Pakistan, was carrying out all of these murderous and explosive activities in Pakistan.
So, these are all they said and we said, you provide us evidence, we will take action.
All of these are just primarily to get sympathy vote from India for his BJP party election.
The other thing is the Afghan case of Pakistan. Along with the USA, Afghanistan and the Taliban, was striving for peace in Afghanistan. India was not there. They want to subvert the attention, these peace talks. Because India very much wants US troops in Afghanistan, it helps their cause. Because they can attack us from Afghanistan from the western and eastern border to put pressure on Pakistan.
It was all very carefully planned to choreograph in Pulwama.
Our government warned India, if you ever do any adventure we will reciprocate and this is what we did. You know what happened on 26 and 27 February, Indian planes came into Pakistan that tried to bomb but our jets went after that and then they dropped their bombs on a forest, killing 19 trees. But the next day we said we will retaliate. Our fighters shot down one of the Indian planes in our territory, the pilot was captured and within three-four days we released that pilot and our PM said in the Parliament that we really released this pilot as a gesture of peace because we want peace in this region.
-Still is there strong tension between sides?
- There is tension, of course, and the tension will continue until the end of the election. But on our part, we are just prepared and we have never crossed the Line of Control. It was their aggression and we have continued to ask for them to give us the evidence. How can you within minutes give evidence that “this is done by Pakistan”?! How is it possible?!
As I said, all this is false-flag operation and this has happened before also. Any time if there is internal strife, an internal problem in India this is what they do, to put blame on Pakistan.
- There was international mediation in the de-escalation process?
- Yes, our Foreign Minister called press conference and at this press conference he said that he rang up UN Secretary-General, our Prime Minister also rang up the President of the U.N. Security Council, the Foreign Minister called on his Foreign Minister colleagues in various capitals of the world, like Secretary of State Pompeo, in London, in Saudi Arabia those people who are friends of Pakistan and explained to them what was going on there.
We always said we want peace, we don't want war. In nuclear war what is called MAD - mutually assured destruction, both sides will be destroyed.
We have always wanted to discuss with India, too, but India refuses to talk with us on Kashmir, it refuses to talk with us on waters issue, it refuses to talk on Junagadh which is another problem that we have with India. But the core issue remains Kashmir.
They couldn't even face their press. They were shying away from the press because everything was exposed within minutes. It was a false flag operation to achieve election goals.
- International mediation or direct talks could be more effective in a finding of the settlement of the conflict?
- Kashmir issue is the unresolved agenda of partition of British India. So, it is since 1947, there are four UN Security Council resolutions and it is not being implemented.
And since that time more than 100000 people have been killed, children have lost their lives, women have lost their husbands, and even women are not being spared. This is happening on a daily basis. It is the world's worst concentration camp, the Indian atrocity.
If there is peace in Kashmir, what are 700000 Indian security forces doing there?
So, we have always said, it should happen in accordance with the U.N. resolution. It should have been in accordance with the will of the people of Kashmir. What they're asking for?! They are asking for a referendum on self-determination, to be given the right to self-determination. I think every individual has this right, every nation has this right to be given to them. The U.N. Security Council has passed the resolution calling for the withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir and holding a referendum in Kashmir which India does not accept. And it is a very belligerent stance. We have extended all kind of political diplomatic and moral support and we will continue to do this. Not just because they are Muslim, but because they are the oppressed people of the world on a daily basis. They are being killed on a daily basis, their businesses are being systematically destroyed. Every day there is a curfew in Kashmir India. We see it on television.
It is very unfortunate that most of the international media does not show this because of their economic interests with India, actually the West, which is a pity.
It is playing double standards. And we believe that Azerbaijan senses this because it has this problem on Nagorno-Karabakh. We believe that the Azerbaijan government and people understand our pain better because twenty percent of its area is under the occupation of Armenia.
We are supporting Azerbaijan everywhere on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. In our parliament we have passed the resolution, we have spoken about it on international forums on withdrawal of Armenian troops from this area. We are also thankful to people and the government of Azerbaijan for all the supports they extended on the issue of Kashmir.
Any sort of mediation, whoever does it, is always willing. But India is not prepared to talk with us. It is not prepared to sit with us. It thinks it is a big country with nuclear power. It can browbeat us into a sort of thinking and dumping us not to support the Kashmir freedom struggle.
It is an unfinished agenda of the partition of British India needs to be implemented.
- Mr. Ambassador, you mentioned the new government in Pakistan and its willingness. So, the government has a new policy on the settlement of Kashmir conflict?
- We have always said that the best way would be to accept internationally adopted the U.N. Security Council resolution. And is there any mediation done, honest mediation being done by any other, we can make proposals. But India, sort of, does not agree with it. They say that it is irreconcilable for the state of India, they say, “we will not give Kashmir”. We say, “we are not being to ask this. We are only saying to give them the right that they want to stay within India or not.”
According to the principles of the revision of Kashmir, the princely state, all those states which had Hindu majority would go to India and all those states which are Muslim majority would come to Pakistan. 85% of Kashmir is are Muslims, so, in accordance with this principle, Indian Kashmir would become a part of Pakistan. But in 1947 India sent its troops there and occupied it.
- In Modi’s election campaign promised that would remove decades-old special rights related to property…
All these are part of getting votes, to get more votes for him for his party although you know his party is lacking in opinion polls.
There was an article 35 of the Indian Constitution does not allow buying of property owned by others. In Kashmir they wanted to bring about demographic changes like more and more they were trying to resettle Hindus in Kashmir, to turn the demographic changes and make it to more Hindus there.
- Both countries, Azerbaijan and Pakistan suffering from conflicts. How justice can be attained?
- I think the best way is, of course, negotiations, peaceful amicable resolution and to keep this issue alive. Kashmir is kept alive, because of an indigenous uprising.
Unfortunately, we don't see it here, in Azerbaijan case, because they are all Armenian occupied, and Azerbaijanis are not there.
But in Kashmir case, there are Muslims that actually will rise against the Indian atrocities. As I said, if you have seven hundred thousand soldiers which are 60 percent of the Indian army are in one state of Kashmir. What are they doing there?! They are suppressing and killing people on a daily basis. They have ruined their lives, their economy is shattered actually, they are burning people’s houses, blinding people with pellet guns actually. You know, all these things are happening.
I think the best way is, of course, for the entire world to resolve these conflicts because with all these conflicts there will be no peace actually, either in this region or more in our region.
Because we are two very big countries, very powerful armies you know. This is a very dangerous precedent. One-third of the world population lives in this area in India, China, Pakistan and all three are nuclear-armed countries.