Jack Straw’s Flawed

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With Jack Straw’s previous and current visit to South Asia Britain’s antagonism towards Pakistan was once again scrupulously apparent from the British Foreign Secretary’s outbursts while he was on a visit to Islamabad towards the end of last month. His remarks were reflective of utter impudence and the crux of his answers � at a news conference � smacked of the old British colonial mindset.

Jack Straw parried all the queries relating to the implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir and instead termed Kashmir as a ‘bilateral’ Issue. He espoused the hoax of ‘elections’ in Indian Held Kashmir rather than a free, fair and impartial plebiscite, as enshrined in the resolutions of the UN Security Council. He explicitly endorsed India’ groundless allegations of ‘cross border terrorism’ and accused Pakistan of backing the gallant Kashmiri freedom fighters.

Paradoxically he did not speak about the Kashmiris right of self-determination and Indian brutalities in occupied Kashmir but simply promised to raise the issue of ‘human rights violations’ with the New Delhi rulers. It is satirical that Jack entirely forgot the historical perspective of the Kashmir dispute and the fundamental role played by the last British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten in truncating Pakistan.

Jack Straw � who, prima facie, became an MP chiefly through the fabulous volume of vote’s caste by overseas Pakistanis plus the dwellers hailing from the gorgeous and dazzling Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir with an out-and-out pledge that he (Jack) would support Kashmiris just cause if gets a slot in the House of Commons – must confess that Kashmir is not a bilateral issue as it is an unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub-continent. There would have been no Kashmir issue, had Britain acted judiciously and truthfully in implementing the Partition Plan. No sane can rebuff that Kashmir is on the agenda of the UN Security Council as a dispute between India and Pakistan with its resolutions calling for a plebiscite under the aegis of the world body. Jack Straw’s comments about the Kashmiri freedom fighters are � hence – untamable and unacceptable as the Kashmiris have taken up arms against India’s illicit occupation of their lovely homeland � that too – after waiting for a long time towards the realization of the pledges given to the people of Jammu & Kashmir � at diverse forums with UN atop – about their right of self-determination.

It is illogical to call the Kashmiris as ‘terrorists ‘.Such on perception is nothing except an act of deceit which visibly manifests the moral bankruptcy of the British foreign Secretary. Anyone � including Jack Straw � who thinks on these iniquitous lines, must recognize that the valiant people in Indian Held Kashmir are engaged in an indigenous struggle to bring the era of despotism to a permanent end by smashing the fetters of the Indian tyrannical rule, at all costs. Let there be no misunderstanding about this ground reality. To us Straw’s brazen assertion about ‘cross-border terrorism’ is a cognizant attempt to incite India to commit aggression against Pakistan, contrary to the declared intent of his voyage to the subcontinent that is ‘to ease the on-going perilous course.’

It seems that Jack Straw had not come to the South Asian region to get a better acquaintance of the military stand-off between India and Pakistan, but to ignite a conflagration. We are mindful of the inherent British love for India but cannot allow its outright tilt towards New Delhi in such a fashion � primarily in the wake of the intensity of the scenario � which is engulfed by the crisis with outsized potential of severe perils.

The author is a noted journalist, political analyst and ex-Director News Pakistan TV.

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