ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that successful Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) would only be possible if the issue of Kashmir is resolved according to the political will of the Kashmiri people. The President made these remarks during the book launch of “Shaking Hands with Clenched Fists; The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India”, authored by senior faculty member of National Defence University (NDU), Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja, organized here at NDU.
Sardar Masood commended Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja for producing this seminal work which effectively covers all the dimensions of this complex and sensitive matter.
He said that CBMs will only be successful if Pakistan and India resolve their core conflict issues which include the Kashmir issue, manoeuvres to diplomatically isolate Pakistan and also recognising Pakistan as a nuclear state. He added that India till date has not even fully accepted the partition of the Sub-Continent and the formation of Pakistan.
CBMs, he reiterated are not a solution towards peace but rather a means to maintain peace. The same was utilised during the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe talks post World War II and now in the shape of the ASEAN, SCO and other summits organized with the aim to maintain regional and global peace.
President AJK said that while Pakistan is investing in peace and creating an environment of conflict resolution through constructive dialogue; India is substituting conflict resolution with CBMs, maintaining the status quo in Kashmir and diverting the attention of the general population and the world from the Kashmir issue. Indian, he said, is also creating a constituency of sorts within Pakistan and India which pressurises both governments to focus on promoting uncomplicated and elementary issues like people to people contacts and cultural exchanges. “Core issues of conflict between Pakistan and India can and must not be sidelined”, he said.
President Khan reiterated that CBMs can only produce results if there are genuine intentions from the Indian side. The Indian strategy is to use CBMs to diplomatically weaken Pakistan through its false rhetoric of terrorism and using the ‘no first use’ policy offer as a ploy to degrade Pakistani nuclear deterrence, he said.
The event was concluded with the presentation of the book “Shaking Hands with Clenched Fists; The Grand Trunk Road to Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India” to President AJK by Lt. General Majid Ehsan, President NDU and Dr Asma Shakir Khawaja.
The book launch was also attended by Lt. General (retd.) Nasser Khan Janjua, former National Security Advisor; Major General Samrez Salik, DG ISSRA; authors; researchers; academicians; faculty members and student of NDU.