1. Ex-diplomats say Pakistan must reform image to gain support on Kashmir issue

Ex-diplomats say Pakistan must reform image to gain support on Kashmir issue

Former Pakistani diplomats have said that Islamabad will have to improve its international image for its voice to be heard on the Kashmir issue....

By: | Islamabad | Published: July 18, 2016 1:47 PM
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi pointed out that the world is not lending equivocal support to the Kashmir issue as it doesn’t like Pakistan, which is the chief advocate of the issue. (Reuters) Ashraf Jehangir Qazi pointed out that the world is not lending equivocal support to the Kashmir issue as it doesn’t like Pakistan, which is the chief advocate of the issue. (Reuters)

Former Pakistani diplomats have said that Islamabad will have to improve its international image for its voice to be heard on the Kashmir issue and that it has to try out other ways to morally and politically support the uprising in the valley.

At a discussion hosted by Pakistani think tank, Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), on Saturday, to discuss the options Pakistan has to back the latest revolts in Kashmir against the Indian authorities, (Retd.) envoy Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, who served in the US and India, said passion on its own is not enough to change history, reports the Dawn.

“We require seriousness and truthfulness. No one is going to listen to us until Pakistan corrects itself,” he said, adding that poor governance in the country was adding to the problem.

Qazi pointed out that the world is not lending equivocal support to the Kashmir issue as it doesn’t like Pakistan, which is the chief advocate of the issue.

“We will be mistaken if we think the world will censure India because of morality and values,” he said.

Former foreign secretary Salman Bashir expressed solidarity with the thoughts of Qazi and said sincerity and truthfulness were needed in order to develop credibility.

He said statements from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the UN were also irrelevant because they did not serve to change the situation.

Director School of Politics and International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University Dr Ishtiaq Hussain said Kashmiris should be involved when making strategies for supporting the Kashmir cause.

“Kashmir is about its people and their aspirations and not territory, religion and culture,” he added.

SVI also presented a list of suggestions that Pakistan needs to repair its image for effectively advocating the Kashmir issue, which requires more than making inconsequential statements.

The recommendations called for greater public participation, particularly of the youth, in highlighting the ‘plight of the Kashmiris.’

It was also recommended that instead of just addressing the Indian government, Pakistan should engage with other opinion groups in India which do not necessarily share Delhi’s position on the issue.

The SVI president also called for reviewing the strategies used before for supporting the Kashmir struggle but have failed to achieve desired results.

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