Srinagar: Former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has asked his country to move towards active diplomacy to revive the Kashmir issue at international forums.
He, however, observed that the events of 9/11 helped the government of India in “convincing” the global community that the “struggle for freedom in Kashmir was terrorism”.
Speaking at a seminar on Monday in Islamabad, Basit said, “Pakistan should abandon its apologetic stance on Kashmir.”
“Even though India wanted to start dialogue with Pakistan, it was not ready to speak about Kashmir,” he said, speaking at the seminar ‘Indian Designs to Change Demography of Kashmir — Violation of UN Resolutions and International Law’.
“We need to make a productive policy as the people of Kashmir are not ready to accept Indian control. We don’t have to start backdoor diplomacy as it will not be productive,” he said while maintaining that Kashmir remained a major bone of contention between the two countries as several wars had been fought over it so far.
On the issue of instability in Afghanistan, Basit stressed on “border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan along with reconciliation”.
“It was a fact that relations between the two countries were marked by contradictions,” he said about Pakistan’s relations with the United States. “The US wanted Afghanistan to remain in turmoil, which was a challenge for Pakistan. On the other hand, peace in Pakistan is linked directly to peace in Afghanistan. We need to convince the US media and their think tanks that there is no divergence in interests of Pakistan and the US,” he said.