NEW YORK: Kashmir issue must be resolved in the context of the “domestic and political” environment between India and Pakistan, the head of the UN peacebuilding commission has said as he underlined the need for respecting the primacy of the political situation on the ground.
“The Indian Kashmir issue (with) Pakistan is an old issue. It has been there for a very long time. It will be resolved in the context of the local, domestic, political environment between Pakistan and India,” Peacebuilding Commission Chair Macharia Kamau told reporters at a news conference here yesterday.
Asked by a Pakistani journalist on how any peacebuilding in the area can go forward without resolving outstanding issues like Kashmir, Kamau said that the peacebuilding commission will be looking to see that “we respect the idea that they must sustain peace, so that the situation cannot be allowed to deteriorate.”
Outlining the expectation and ambition that the commission has for the issue in the region, he added that the “primacy” of politics, “the fact that we have to respect the local, political conditions that drive the negotiations has to be respected and we reach out to as many of the institutions within the subcontinent to support this process moving forward.
“That is the ambition that we would have for that process on the subcontinent,” he said.
He said while such an approach will “absolutely” compliment the process it will “unlikely” have an “overnight fundamental impact” that will change everything on the ground.
“That is unlikely precisely because the situation on the ground is driven by different forces other than the ones that we are looking to ourselves to address,” he said.
On whether the outcome of any resolution on Kashmir will be dependent on India’s willingness to talk to Pakistan, Kamau asserted that this is not the case.
“I wouldn’t go as far as to say that. What I want to say is that the situation on the ground has to be respected and it isn’t about any one country. It is about all the political players on the ground that is the issue,” he said.
When asked that the UN resolution on Kashmir has been there for decades, will its objectives ever be met, he said “we never say never in our business. That is not the way in which one approaches the pursuit of peace.
“The whole idea of pursuing peace is to always seek solutions and to look for the historical moments and opportunities that will avail you the opportunity to engage and to bring the instruments that are now available to us in the context of these resolutions to bear on the situation keeping in mind that we have to respect the primacy of the political situation on the ground.”
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