Prime minister’s aide Moeed Yusuf today said that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India provided Kashmir would be included as a third party.
In an interview published on Indian media outlet The Wire, Yusuf revealed that India had expressed a “desire for conversation” but said that Pakistan’s agreement to talks would be conditional.
This is the first time a Pakistani government official has given an interview to an Indian news outlet since India repealed occupied Kashmir’s special status last year. Indian journalist Karan Thapar interviewed the premier’s special assistant virtually.
“What Kashmiris feel is a separate issue,” Indian Journalist
The conditions cited were the release of political prisoners, lifting of the crippling military siege in the valley, and a reversal of the illegal stripping of the region’s special status.
“What the Kashmiris feel is a separate issue,” said Karan Thapar, the interviewer, and Moeed was quick to correct him saying that,” If India thinks it has permanently changed the demographic and geographic status of the region and that is not against the UN charter then India is a rogue state.”
In response to a question where Yusuf was asked if it was hypocritical of Pakistan to protest the change of Kashmir’s status when it was itself changing Gilgit-Baltistan’s, Yusuf said “no decision has been made” regarding granting Gilgit Baltistan a provincial status but added that the matter was the subject of “public debate”.
“One: no decision has been made. Two: there is a public debate. The public debate has not been generated by the government of Pakistan. It’s been generated by the people of Gilgit Baltistan. They have been saying this for two or three years now. What are they saying? ‘We want to be fully integrated with Pakistan.’
He also said that the public debate had come up because the people of Gilgit Baltistan demanded it.
“If it was so confirmed and so done, where is the act?” Yusuf said.
“Now you tell me Karan, if a people is not treated well, would they ever want that? I’ve never heard the Kashmiri Muslims talk about this in the occupied territory,” Yusuf said.
In interview to @thewire_in to be aired 5pm today, Pak NSA says India approached for talks. But Pak wants Kashmiris to be third party to talks & want India to end siege in Kashmir & reverse 370 – these are impossible conditions to meet for Modi gov. Stand by for the interview!
— Pravin Sawhney (@PravinSawhney) October 13, 2020
He further said that Pakistan’s decision would be in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council.
Pakistan’s decision to be in line with UN resolutions: Moeed Yusuf
He said that Pakistan’s decision on the matter would be in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council. He also stated that India had never respected the UN charters of decisions and they should hold a plebiscite in the Kashmir valley to see the wish of the people there.
“If the resolutions bar a permanent change of territorial status, there will be no permanent change,” Yusuf stated, adding that the matter was being debated in Pakistan since “this is how democratic societies” work.
“Democratic societies, by the way, do not bring in 180,000 troops to change the status of a territory. That’s the difference between Pakistan and India right now,” Yusuf said, referring to heavy Indian military deployment in occupied Kashmir since August 2019.
The interview looked more like a debate, with heated arguments dominating the conversation. Thapar the Indian interviewer kept deflecting the insinuation that the wishes of the Kashmiri people be the deciding factor in the status of the region.
GVS News Desk