Has the govt taken a U-turn on Kashmir? Sherry questions


ISLAMABAD JAN 24 (DNA) : PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan met President Donald Trump in Davos this week but on an important international forum he clearly said his first priority was Afghanistan, not Kashmir. Has the government taken a U-turn on Kashmir? Should the pain and anguish of Kashmir not feature first in that scale of priorities? Unless it was one of our PM’s usual slip of tongue moments, it indicates a major shift in terms of our foreign policy, yet parliament has not been informed about it”.

Rehman added, “Instead of keeping parliament away from the making and unpacking of crucial policies, the Prime Minister should share priorities and knowledge with the parliament because it has the right to know as well as the right to move policy. The PPP has always respected the parliament’s right to decide because we believe in its supremacy. It was after parliamentary consultation that the PPP dealt with the Salala tragedy by insisting on an apology from the US and shutting down the Shamsi airbase and supply lines for seven months.

Now that President Trump has again insisted on mediating between India and Pakistan, we ask what terms of reference our side offered for such a critical discussion. My issue or question is not with the US administration but from our own government as to what such discussions lead to, and what do they convey. After the government’s celebrations on President Trump’s earlier offer of mediation, we saw no movement on any issue, because it seems we are only interested in headlines. This was followed by India’s arbitrary annexation of Occupied Kashmir”.

“We want to know what happened to solidarity with Kashmir?  Does anyone remember what happened to Fridays for Kashmir? Where did that go? What has emerged in its place? Our political parties have roots in Kashmir and we are asked questions about what we are doing. I certainly hope there has not been a shift in our policy towards Kashmir but it is clear that there is absolutely no transparency on the discussions that take place with any of the global leadership and what exactly our ask for a just peace in Kashmir  is squared with his generous and frequent offers for mediation. Either we are not able to take it forward or we exchange such goodwill for other concessions, we do not know, “she concluded.