By: Naveen Kapoor
Washington D.C., Sept. 21 (ANI): Pakistan’s former envoy to the United States, Husain Haqqani, on Monday said that Islamabad’s attempt to raise the Kashmir bogey at meetings of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and at the United Nations in New York would be an exercise in futility.
He said that both New Delhi and Islamabad should first try to become good neighbours before discussing issues of dispute.
Speaking to ANI, Haqqani also said that hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s presence at the OIC meeting would be inconsequential in terms of the Kashmir issue.
“OIC is not a substantive body in any sense, people will talk there. Mr. Geelani is welcome to talk there, but I don’t think that will internationalise the Kashmir issue. I think it is best for Pakistan and India build good relations and go ahead with trade, go ahead with travel and become good neighbours, and then, start discussing the disputed issues,” Haqqani told ANI.
“Bringing Mr. Geelani to the OIC is not going to really change much, it will only become headline in Pakistani media, and maybe, in the Indian media,” he added.
The former Pakistani envoy further said that Islamabad’s attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue has not served his country well. He said that Pakistan should instead focus on its internal development.
“I think that the attempt to try and make Kashmir an international issue, just as it was in the 1950s is definitely an integral part of the policy in my country, and I think, it has not served my country well. Pakistan will do much better by focusing on developing its economy, ensuring internal security, not becoming a nation that is criticised by so many countries led by India, but not only by India,” he said. (ANI)