Cong-led Panel applauds PM Narendra Modi’s Pak, Kashmir policy

Syed Junaid Hashmi

JAMMU, May 23: Contrary to the public posturing of Congress leadership over Jammu and Kashmir issue, a Parliamentary Panel headed by Congress Member Parliament Shashi Tharoor has urged the central government to become proactive and assertive about India’s rightful claim on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.

The panel on External Affairs which is headed by Congress Member Parliament (MP) and includes the Vice-President of AICC Rahul Gandhi in its sixteenth report has applauded central government for its aggressive stance against Pakistan and recommended that in the event of Pakistan not mending its ways, it is the time, the Government should become proactive and assertive about our rightful claims on PoK, including Gilgit-Baltistan.

The panel has said that India should firmly keep Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) at the top of the agenda along with terrorism and insist that Pakistan vacate the area under its illegal occupation as also the portion ceded to China, forthwith. It has urged the central government to launch a diplomatic campaign to explain India’s stand on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and expose Pakistan’s duplicity to all friendly countries.

Panel has said that this is all the more necessary now that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is being built through PoK in violation of India’s sovereignty. Panel has further noted with concern that Pakistan, through unsubstantiated and baseless allegations of violations of human rights in Kashmir valley, has been trying to create a false narrative about the Jammu and Kashmir. It has commended the central government and said that security forces have prevented a large number of infiltration attempts and have started eliminating the terrorists in the valley in a planned way.

Appreciating the BJP-led NDA government, the Panel has called the diplomatic outreach of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘intense’ and said that it has led to international community recognizing role being played by Pakistan in fomenting cross-border terrorism in India. It has desired that these efforts should till Pakistan is exposed internationally and it stops such activities and also till false narrative of human rights violations being created at international fora is exposed.

Panel has expressed serious concern over the growing sense of alienation in the Kashmiri youth, largely due to their radicalization by anti-national elements and lack of adequate employment opportunities. Panel has accepted that the series of attempts have been made by the Government of India to mainstream the youth of J&K by providing better education and employment to them but it has not yielded the desired results.

Panel has recommended that the state government should take all possible measures including infrastructural and economic developments simultaneously as confidence building measures that prevent radicalization of youth by Pakistani supported anti-national elements within Jammu and Kashmir. Panel has said that being nuclear armed states, any conflict situation between India and Pakistan attracts considerable attention at regional as well as international levels.

Panel has observed that nuclear doctrines of the two countries are quite contradictory. While the Indian nuclear doctrine is well articulated and specific, Pakistan has deliberately pursued an opaque and ambiguous doctrinal position refusing to abjure “first use” of nuclear weapons. Additionally, India intends to use nuclear weapons for establishing deterrence while Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is meant to compensate for conventional weapons asymmetry with India.

Panel has said that the serious doubts have been raised about Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure and installations for reasons enumerated in the preceding narrative. As things stand today, the Panel has said that it is in agreement with government’s assessment of the Pakistani nuclear threat and the possibility of inadvertent tactical nuclear weapons use, which would have serious implications not only on the region but across the globe.

In light of the expanding Pakistani nuclear arsenals and its deliberately ambiguous doctrine, the Panel has recommended that state government should aggregate its nuclear capability and enhance its deterrence capabilities. Panel has urged the BJP-led NDA government to internationally publicize the challenges and implications of the Pakistani mix of terrorism and concerns about safety of its current nuclear weapons and programme as a threat to regional and global security.

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