When President of India signed the historic “Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019” on August 9, 2019, it took Pakistan by surprise as the Act removed the Special Status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, making it an integral part of the Union of India. It would come into effective from October 31, 2019. Also there has been widespread global reactions to this.
The biggest reaction was of Pakistan who thought that like the past 70 years, no govt in India had the courage to repel Article 370. Kashmir is of utmost importance to Pakistan who calls it as its most important nerve. Reason is simple, 80% of the water of Pakistan comes from Kashmir, its economy is now dependent upon CPEC which passes through Kashmir & the strategic location of Kashmir makes it a junction point between East, West and South Asia.
Soon after the act was passed, Pakistan decided to counter this because it would have hampered its efforts of bringing international powers to mediate over Kashmir. While Imran Khan led government was fully aware that after Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore declaration of 1999, no country will meddle in the affairs of India.
The only hope it had was with China, United Nations and OIC. On the same day Pakistan rushed its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). Pakistan expected that at least OIC can take a cognisance of this issue in the name of Islam and issue a strong rebuttal of India’s “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019”. This would have prompted other countries too to react in favour of Pakistan, but our neighbour conveniently forgot that the Arabian Peninsula does about 100 billion USD trade with India annually. OIC is led by oil producing Arab Nations and they can not compromise their business interests for a country which cannot give them anything.
The reaction of Saudi Arabia was surprising. It urged both the countries to restrain themselves and resolve the matter mutually. Four other major countries of Middle east- Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain did not issue any statement at all and irony of the day was the statement of UAE which openly favoured India stating it as an internal matter of India.
Pakistan’s ally in various forums – Turkey issued a mixed statement. While it did not issue any rebuttal, it just expressed concerns over the act which could increase further tensions. Iron Brother China too did not issue any strong statement though it took up the case for a closed-door discussion in United Nations Security Council which is due to sit in next few hours.
Primarily there were four types of reactions on this issue, first considering it an internal matter of India, second is a bilateral matter to be resolved by mutual consent of Pakistan, third is urging both countries to exercise restraint and fourth is expressing concern over Kashmir and issuing a loose statement.
Except Turkey all the countries who reacted fall in the first three categories. This shows the sheer failure of Pakistan’s efforts towards Internationalising Kashmir issue. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Independence Day Speech was full of disappointment and fear. While he was getting continuous support from Pakistan Army, his own existence is under threat. History is evident that no democratically elected leader who lost a war with India survived any further. While Ayub Khan died a quiet death, Bhutto was hanged, and Nawaz Sharif is rotting in prison.
Imran Khan knows well that in the current scenario, there is no possibility of a prolonged or Nuclear war. Whatever can happen will be swift, momentous and decisive. With India’s cold start doctrine, Pakistan can lose miserably. So, it is a big challenge before Mian Sahab to keep maintain good relations with Army, internationalise the Kashmir issue while avoiding the conflict with India. How will he succeed, is a big question mark? If he fails, Pakistan Army will not leave him.
After failing on international forum, Pakistan urged China to use its permanent member status to invoke the matter in United Nations Security Council. While all the sensitive and important matters are taken by UNSC for an open hearing, this matter was not taken. Since it was proposed by a permanent member, UNSC had no option but to discuss it and this discussion is kept as an informal consultation in the closed room.
Usually in the past several consultations of such kind have happened, and no outcome was given in public. The discussions started in closed room and end in closed room. The proceedings are kept secret and no revelation is made to public. Icing on the cake is that UNSC president did not even allow Pakistani Representative to be part of this closed-door discussion this time.
While there are chances that China may push the case against India, other friends of India like France & USA are surely going to negate that move. Since there will be no statement or release of the proceedings in public, the net gain will be a neutral statement from UNSC to urge both the countries to exercise restraint & resolve the matter bilaterally.
It will be clear in next few hours that Pakistan will achieve nothing in this closed-door consultation at UNSC and it will be like another foot in mouth incident for our rogue neighbour.
After this discussion is over, it will be clear to Pakistan that there is no one on the international forum supporting its deeds. Only option left is to crack down on terrorism, understand that there is no good or bad terrorism and come out of the image of a terror producing nursery.