This is from the manifesto of the PTI party of Imran Khan:
“We are committed to initiating new policies rooted in
Pakistan’s priorities, including a conflict resolution approach towards improving our relation with our eastern and western neighbours. This will include work on a blueprint towards resolving the Kashmir issue within the parameters of UNSC resolutions. For lasting peace within our own region, especially with our neighbour India, conflict resolution and the security route to cooperation is the most viable.”
Imran has come to power only because a majority of Pakistanis desire peace with India as is the case with the Indians here. Yes, Pakistan’s ISI and the religious fanatics are major problems, but it is clear that Imran is trying to come out of the stranglehold of them like his predecessors were doing. It is in our interest to help him out.
His party manifesto wants to resolve the Kashmir issue within the parameters of UNSC resolutions, but the Simla agreement does not mention the security council resolutions at all. It simply says that ‘the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries”. On the other hand, it clearly states “the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them”.
In my view, bilateral negotiations have collapsed. What could be that “any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them”? It is evidently a means other than the bilateral one. It is in the interest of both the countries to find that elusive means. Now since India itself claims that all big countries other than China are with India, it can lay down its conditions of resolving the issue through this means which must take into account the aspirations of the people of the valley, including the Pandits. I am not saying that this was not tried earlier, but it doesn’t mean that it should not tried again. If our Government thinks that the bilateral route is still available, it should accept the offer of Imran and restart the dialogue, especially since he has offered to discuss the terrorist issue too.
By any logic, talk is the only way.