Invest In Peace

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Union Ministers
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None could have internationalized Kashmir more than Delhi itself after its major decision of downgrading Jammu and Kashmir State into Union territory followed by the massive constitutional changes on August 5. The recent misadventure in this regard was when a Delhi based shady NGO- International Institute of Non Aligned Studies (IINS) organized a Kashmir trip for members of European Parliament to assess the ground situation personally. An unofficial trip of the European members to valley was organized days after the conclusion of scrupulous hearing at US Congress Panel on Human Rights in South Asia.

At the summit, the US Congress acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells termed the Kashmir situation as “Humanitarian crisis”. She said that they faced tough questions from the members over Kashmir which continues to remain shut with no access to internet and prepaid cellphones.

Two days after this summit, six Lawmakers from US shoot a letter to Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shangrila seeking permission for American congressmen and foreign journalists to visit the valley and understand the situation personally. India has earlier denied permission to US Congressman Chris Van Hollen who wanted to see the situation himself on ground.

Back home, the opposition political parties were also disallowed to travel valley after August 5. Fewer politicians including Congress stalwart Ghulam Nabi Azad who also served Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister in past and CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury were allowed to enter in the erstwhile state on court orders and asked strictly not to politicize the situation.BJP has been maintaining that situation in Kashmir is under control but not favourable for the political visits.

The Modi government rather sought more time in Apex court for normalizing the valley where the spontaneous lockdown entered into fourth month with communication blockade partially lifted. Amid this melee, the members of European Parliament (MEP’s) landed in Delhi and met Prime Minister Narender Modi, and dined with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who is also believed to be an instrumental in August 5’s major decision on Kashmir. A day later, the group flee to Kashmir.

Before they landed in Kashmir, many politicians and journalists took to twitter and questioned the veracity of the group. Instead helping India to pitch its narrative at international forum with the help of this group, the delegation found itself in troubling waters. Asadudin Owaisi-AIMM chief on twitter wrote that the delegation comprises many fringe elements of Europe promoting Islamophobia.

Following the controversy revolving around the group, instead batting for India, the delegation tried to clear the misconceptions about themselves. One of the members during selective media brief had urged critics to know them better before targeting and ruining their image.

However, it is fact that many of the member’s in the group have a strapping anti Islam position in Europe and stand by the extremist ideology. Some have even vocally spoken against Islam. Nevertheless, this has among the liberals and Left’s in west served some food to double down their attacks on India over its Kashmir policy. What hit more to the India’s diplomatic efforts of “engaging internationally” on Kashmir, the group on their return offered the role for mediation? On 22 June when US President Donald Trump even asserted his position as mediator on Kashmir, India out-rightly rejected the offer.

One of the members Zimnoik told media that If Pakistan and India make a new attempt to normalize their relations; I believe that the European community should, if desired, act as an honest broker and mediator. Should India and Pakistan also seek a solution to the deadlock, I and my colleagues from the AFD, who I was travelling with, will promote and deploy for it if both sides are keen in incorporating us as a neutral mediator.

Zimnoik’s mediation offer to India amply clarifies how the diplomatic work over the trip of delegation was poorly conducted and how the West perceives “Kashmir problem”. Even the India has itself confessed that the Western media has more been ideological in reporting on Kashmir instead presenting its fair and true picture after August 5.

The Europe’s stance over Kashmir problem was further cleared by the key European power, Germany when it clarified that Germany wants both India and Pakistan to engage in bilateral talks and resolve the dispute peacefully. The country clarified its position on Kashmir a day before its chancellor Angela Merkel visited the country and signed multiple pacts in various sectors with Delhi.

Angela said that the situation on ground is certainly not good and this has to change.  The position of Germany on Kashmir remains intact despite its deepening economic and trade interests in Delhi. Germany is aiming to invest 1 billion euros in next five years in India on environmental mobility. Given to this unchanged stance of West over Kashmir, India needs better to invest on engaging in Kashmir to restore normalcy.

The peaceful Kashmir can only envisage India’s interests at global stage since the deep rooted democracies in West still face tough times in explaining their people its position of upholding human values.  The trump administration during the Congress summit on Human Rights in Asia even walked through a tightrope after members sought explanation how his administration perceive its relations with India given to prevailing political situation in Kashmir.

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