For the first time, Pakistan has linked peace in war-torn Afghanistan to the resolution of the Kashmir issue, saying a solution to both is required for peace and they cannot be “compartmentalized”.
According to the Times of India, Pakistan’s special envoy on Kashmir Mushahid Hussain Syed said: “Road to peace in Kabul lies in Kashmir in the sense that when you talk of peace, you cannot compartmentalise peace, you can’t segregate a section… ok you can have peace in Kabul and let Kashmir burn. That is not going to happen.”
“So you (US) talk of a comprehensive peace settlement, so let the people of South Asia not be hostage to the hostility of the past. Let them move forward,” said Syed, Chairman of the Pakistan Senate’s Defence and Defence Production Committeeid during a session at Washington-based think-tank Stimson Centre.
Shezra Mansab, a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, who was also at the session said: “Our core issue this time is Kashmir and no peace can prevail in the region, if this issue is not solved. It is an international dispute. It is not an internal problem. The stakes are very high now, we are nuclear neighbours so we need to have peace on the issue of Kashmir and then rest of the things can be solved.”
Mansab said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has offered peace talks “without any preconditions” but it has been consistently rejected by India.
“The way to move forward is negotiations. We are ready to talk on any subject. It is India which says that it is willing to talk about only one subject. We are ready to talk on that subject as well as other subjects,” she said.
The Times of India reported that Syed stated: “We request the U.S to intervene, because it has leverage with India to allow negotiations to start, to end human rights violations in Kashmir, to make sure that the UN resolutions are implemented.”
This comes amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan following last month’s attack on an Indian army base in the Kashmir region.