Indo-Pak Dead-End

INDIA on Wednesday slammed Pakistan as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for raising the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Commission. India’s response which was delivered by first secretary in India’s permanent mission in Geneva Pawan Badhe at the 48th session of the human rights council called Pakistan “a failed state.”  He said that Pakistan has been globally recognised as a country openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists including UN proscribed terrorists as a matter of state policy. Padhe further said that Pakistan has failed to protect the rights of its minorities, including Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyas.

As for the OIC, Indian diplomat said that the group has no locus standi to comment on internal affairs of the country. He pointed out that “the OIC has helplessly allowed itself to be held hostage by Pakistan, which holds the chairmanship of their Geneva Chapter, to sub serve its own agenda”.

Earlier Pakistan on Sunday unveiled a dossier, claiming that it contained details of the alleged human rights violations committed by India in Kashmir. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi along with National Security Adviser Moeed Yousaf and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari launched the 131-page document at a press conference in Islamabad. The dossier has even named the Indian security officials.

If anything, the bitter exchange at the UN and Pakistan's dossier once again underlines how far the two countries have drifted apart since their failed attempt at a back-channel dialogue early this year.  After the agreement on a ceasefire along the Line of Control early this year, the two countries have failed to build on the goodwill. There have been no further measures, nor does it look likely there will be any in the near future. New Delhi feels little need to relent. Nor does it want to push the current engagement with Islamabad beyond a point. The unmistakable signal to Pakistan is to temper its expectation about the extent to which India can accommodate it on Kashmir.  As always, India wants terrorism to be the central issue and wants Islamabad to stop supporting militancy in Kashmir. Pakistan doesn’t accept it backs terrorism.

Both the countries are putting onus on each other to take the first step towards resuming engagement. Islamabad has made any re-engagement with India conditional to New Delhi reversing the August 5 move or at least providing a roadmap for doing so. New Delhi continues to insist on end to cross-border terrorism before talks begin. And as things stand, neither country is, in a position, to meet the condition.  As of now it is the evolving situation in Afghanistan that remains the focus. There is thus little hope that the two neighbours will get back any kind of engagement in near future.

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