The Pakistan government and military have been forced to exercise ‘restraint’ over India’s decision to revoke Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir due to the limited options before them, particularly a deteriorating economy and lack of support from the international community, including Muslim-majority countries.
Read Also: Article 370: Here is why the Arab response to Kashmir has been muted
Pakistan’s calculated response to India’s move has given birth to several theories. Of such theories, the one that comes into the limelight is that a deal was struck between the United States and Pakistan during Imran Khan’s recent trip to Washington in hopes of receiving financial assistance.
Many in Pakistan believe that the Imran Khan government had limited options when it comes to responding to the repeal of Kashmir’s special status and political experts are of the opinion that deteriorating economy and lack of support from the international community including Muslim-majority countries have played a part to Pakistan’s muted stance.
“A cash-strapped nation like Pakistan can’t even afford sporadic skirmishes on the border. Engaging in a war [with India] only means destruction,” said Zeeshan Bhutta, an assistant professor of International Relations at a university in Islamabad.
According to sources, Imran Khan has been irked by the dull response from Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over Kashmir. A cold response from Islamic countries prompted Pakistan to unleash ‘diplomatic emergency’ to garner support from the world, the sources pointed out.
IK sold future of Kashmiris: Sharif
While it wasn’t clear how Pakistan benefitted from Prime Minister Khan’s meetings with Donald Trump, a ruthless opposition accused the PM of doing away with Kashmir as a part of any deal he was trying to hide.
“You have sold the future of Kashmiris. Let us know the details of any deal [over Kashmir] you have done with them [the US],” Shahbaz Sharif, the leader of the Opposition in Pakistan’s Parliament, said in a speech last week.
Shahbaz Sharif told
101Reporters that Islamabad’s response to the Indian move of stripping Kashmir of its special status was confusing. “Not sure what restricted [PM Imran Khan] Niazi to take a firm stand on Kashmir. Look like he has sold Kashmir to India. For me, the government’s response to Kashmir is nothing more than paying lip service,” he said. UNSC move a futile attempt
Pakistan approached the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 13 asking it to hold an emergency session to address India's ‘illegal actions’.
The UNSC replied positively and held a closed-door session to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi didn’t expect much from the UNSC. “Don’t live in fool’s paradise. UNSC is not waiting for us with garlands in their hands. Any of the five permanent members can be a hurdle,” Qureshi said advising emotional Pakistanis to be realistic about Pakistan’s contentions regarding Indian decision of stripping Kashmir of its special status.
Qureshi’s remarks came a day after Russia came in India’s support to revoke Article 370 and said it was under the constitutional framework.
Pakistan didn’t respond to Russia supporting India. However, analysts believe it was another blow to Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.
Khalid Bilal, a former diplomat, told
101Reporters that the Russian statement [over Article 370] has exposed cracks in Pakistan’s diplomacy. Although Pakistan has launched a diplomatic offensive against India, the diplomats lack the skills and ingredients of effective diplomacy, he added. Govt says no compromises made
The Pakistan government had stated that it didn’t strike any deal with the US over Kashmir. Rather, it was exploring every possible way which may solve the issue.
It also denied the allegations of receiving financial assistance packages either from the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund in connection with its stance over Kashmir.
Speculations have been doing the rounds in Islamabad that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, due in November, has a bearing on Pakistan’ unaggressive stance on the abrogation of Article 370. However, Pakistani officials said they were just speculations.
“FATF has nothing to do with Article 370,” Abdul Razak Daood, the special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Economy, told reporters in Islamabad last week.
The author is a Rawalpindi-based freelance writer and a member of .
101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters