Ruling parties and those sitting in the opposition are considered two sides of the same coin in the democratic dispensations and their basic role is to work for promoting the well-being of the people and protecting the vital sate interests. The oppositions may be critical of the government policies in certain areas but on vital issues of national interest, there is always a consensus and bipartisan approach. But unfortunately, in Pakistan opposition means opposition for the sake of opposition. The opposition relishes having a dig at anything done by the government and this tendency often descends into the realm of cynicism.
Kashmir is an issue of paramount importance for Pakistan and requires impregnable unity among all the segments of the nation as well as the government and the opposition parties, particularly in the backdrop of the unfolding situation in IOK as a result of scrapping article 370 of the Indian constitution by Modi government. But regrettably the opposition parties have failed to show the required solidarity with the government on the issue. Though they claim that they are all united on the issue of Kashmir but in reality their conduct has discernibly been very negative, which is very disappointing for the nation.
Their reaction to the speech made by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the UN General Assembly smacks of the usual venom and narrow-mindedness at the cost of national interests. Both the PML-N and PPP the major political parties instead of appreciating his effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue after almost fifty years; unmasking the Indian designs in IOK; inviting world attention to the emerging humanitarian crisis in the valley; sounding the world about the dangers posed to peace and security in the region by the fascist ideology of RSS ; urging the international community for immediate intervention to prevent the likely confrontation between the two nuclear states and demanding right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir granted to them by UN, they are doing their best to find faults with it.
The comments offered by Bilawal Bhutto are, particularly very disappointing. Talking to media persons at Sehwan he said that it was a pre-scheduled speech that he knew he will make even before Indian move of 5th August and he did not emphasise the disputed status of Kashmir which will give the impression that they have accepted the status quo. Bilawal also said that he did not make a strong case for the plight of Kashmiris, simultaneously taking a swipe at the media by saying that the speech of the Prime Minister was being lauded by the selected media and commentators at the instance of the government like it was done North Korea.
To be honest the propositions made by him are simply preposterous. Either he did not listen to the speech or said what he said showing the cynicism he was suffering from. The conduct of the opposition reminds me of an anecdote which goes like this. A husband and wife were always at odd with each other and the wife never appreciated the husband for anything. The husband thought of doing something novel to impress his wife. He attached wings to his body and flew over his house and made some acrobatic manoeuvres. When he returned home the wife told him that she saw man flying who was making beautiful manoeuvres. The husband thought that finally he had been able to get the appreciation of his wife. He told her that it was him flying in the sky. The moment she heard that she said that is why you looked a little crooked.
The reality is that the speech made by Prime Minister in the UN General Assembly was the most effective and passion-laden discourse and his major thrust undoubtedly was on the plight of the people of Kashmir. When he mentioned UN resolutions on Kashmir and giving right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir promised by the UN he was undoubtedly emphasising the disputed status of the state.
His speech at the UN General Assembly has received unqualified applaud from the entire nation as well as the people of Kashmir. Even the pro-Indian Kashmiri leaders like Mehbooba Mufti have showered words of praise on him. The fact is that no other Pakistani leader has ever before made such a moving speech in the UN though former Prime Ministers have also been mentioning Kashmir in their speeches at the UN General Assembly as a reminder to the world. It is because of the efforts of the diplomatic offensive launched by PTI government and the Prime Minister through his interaction with the world leaders and international media that the situation in Kashmir has caught the attention of the world and more and more countries have shown their concern on the situation in IOK. He has done whatever was possible in the given situation. Though no visible initiative has come forth by the major powers who matter and the UN at this stage in regards to the resolution of the Kashmir but it has not been a voice in the wilderness. People have shown concern on the situation in IOK and many including USA have urged India to lift curfew and ease the situation for the people of Kashmir. Reportedly curfew has been lifted in some areas.
Let us accept the fact that Kashmir issue is not going to be resolved very soon. It will be a long and hard struggle without any doubt. What matters is that the Prime Minister has vowed to fight till end for the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. It will not be easy for the Modi government to get away with what it has done. The people of Kashmir are determined to win their freedom. They have been defying the curfew while the Indian security forces fired at them leading to some casualties on daily basis
Let us accept the fact that Kashmir issue is not going to be resolved very soon. It will be a long and hard struggle without any doubt. What matters is that the Prime Minister has vowed to fight till end for the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir. It will not be easy for the Modi government to get away with what it has done. The people of Kashmir are determined to win their freedom. They have been defying the curfew while the Indian security forces fired at them leading to some casualties on daily basis. May be the world is not paying the required attention to the gravity of the situation now but with the passage of time and further tragedy unfolding in IOK as apprehended by the Prime Minister in his speech, it will have to do something about it.
There is also glimmer of hope for the reversal of the action taken by the Modi government, as the Supreme Court of India has taken up petitions against the scrapping of article 370 on which it has already given a ruling that it could not be done away with. The High Court of IOK has also given a similar ruling on the issue. It is indeed a test of the independence of the Indian judiciary as it will be very difficult for it to go against its own ruling. Nevertheless, even if it does that the people of Kashmir and Pakistan will not let the issue die down till the UN resolutions are implemented and Kashmiris win their freedom.