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With eyes on US help, Pakistan links Kashmir with Afghan peace

With eyes on US help, Pakistan links Kashmir with Afghan peace

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Aug 07, 2019 - 22:32

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Political affairs experts on Wednesday said Pakistani politicians wanted to link the Kashmir issue with the Afghan peace process in a bid to gain America’s support against India.

India on Monday announced scrapping the special constitutional status Kashmir enjoyed for the past seven decades and brought under direct New Delhi command half of the disputed land.

An indefinite curfew — that has entered its fourth day today — was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest.

By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in Kashmir and settle there permanently.

However, some Pakistani politicians in retaliation link the Kashmir issue with the Afghanistaninfo-icon peace process.

The opposition leader in Pakistani parliament, Shahbaz Sharif, told the lower house session yesterday that it was not acceptable to them that peace was being achieved in Afghanistan and bloodshed continued in Kashmir.

Former foreign minister and Pakistani Muslim League party leader Khwaja Asif said Pakistaninfo-icon had been successful in tying up the Kashmir and Afghan conflict, but Imran Khan turned everything upside down during his visit to Washington.

Political affairs expert Mushtaq Rahimi said Pakistan had always tried to get political and monetary benefits from the Afghan dispute and the country continued to pursue the policy.

He believed Islamabad would warn Washington of withdrawing its support in resolving the Afghans conflict if the US did not support Pakistan in the Kashmir matter against India.

“This is Pakistan’s old policy. During the Afghan Jihadinfo-icon, Pakistan breaded mujahideeninfo-icon in return for the US silence on the country’s nuclear bomb enrichment.”

Another political expert Shafique Hamdard said Pakistan and India had fought four wars including three wars on Kashmir since their independence 71 years ago.

In these wars, Pakistan could not gain what it desired and instead suffered further, he said. He said after the wars, Pakistani military and political elite reached the conclusion that they should respond to India by raising proxies.

He said Pakistan then sent thousands of trained militants to India and they carried out terrorist attacks including suicide bombings in many parts of India.

Hamdard said Pakistan arrested Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and acted against other militant outfits ahead of Imran Khan’s opening visit to Washington.

However, he believed India would not come under pressure from the US on the Kashmir issue because Kashmir had a strategic importance for New Delhi.

Now Pakistan would shrink its assistance towards the Afghan peace process in order to maintain the status quo. He said Pakistan could not directly anger the US but it would resort to covert actions to keep Afghanistan boiling on a certain degree.

Another expert Inayatullah Kakar said the Afghanistan conflict had entered a crucial stage and statements of American leaders showed Pakistan’s recent role had been positive.

He said Pakistan had limited options in relations with the US and its tension with India and the only applicable option with Islamabad in the current circumstances was Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan would use the Afghan peace process as a pressure tool to attain the US support on the Kashmir issue.

“But I don’t think this strategy of Pakistan will work because the US and Talibaninfo-icon had concluded their agreement and just its implementation remains.”

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