Former Pakistani diplomat Abdul Basit said the UAE’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for development projects is a “major success for India”, Geo News reported.
What has made Pakistan more unhappy over the MoU is that the UAE has a powerful presence in the OIC, an alliance of currently 56 countries in which Islam plays a significant role, with Islam as the state religion, or countries where Muslims form the majority of the population, the report said.
Basit, a former high commissioner of Pakistan to India, said in his YouTube vlog that the details of the pact are not yet known, adding that no one knows whether the investment will be made in the ‘occupied’ territory or not
Criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan’s foreign policy, Basit said the MoU has been signed, it’s clear that Pakistan is losing control over the matter.
“There should be efforts to find a solution. But is it acceptable that everything is one-sided and the ground has been ceded to India. Now, the condition is that Muslim nations are signing MoUs with India,” Basit said.
Basit said the recent dossier presented by Pakistan, highlighting the atrocities of the Indian government in ‘occupied Kashmir’, failed to work.
“Presenting the dossier isn’t enough. Pakistan is weak on follow-up on a sustained basis. There is no reason why we don’t achieve the results (when it comes to Kashmir0. Maybe, we failed to strengthen our civilian platforms to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” he said, the report added.
As India’s business and diplomatic ties with nations like the UAE grow, Basit said, “At this rate, it’s a possibility that soon the UAE and Iran may open their consulates in Kashmir. If this is the state of our diplomatic efforts on Kashmir, this can happen.”
Pakistan has attempted to keep Srinagar isolated in various ways in the past. More than a decade ago, it had lobbied strongly against the UAE opening a visa office there, the report said.
Then, for example, it sabotaged the move to turn Srinagar airport into an international destination. The airport was designated as an international airport in March 2005. An expanded terminal to serve both domestic and international flights was inaugurated on February 14, 2009, by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. On the same day, Air India Express started weekly flights to Dubai. Soon, Pakistan denied permission to fly aircraft from the airport over its airspace. The detour meant longer flights and this made the flights economically unviable, the report added.
The MoU has been signed to enhance real estate development, building infrastructure, industrial parks, IT towers, multipurpose towers, logistics, medical college, super speciality hospital and more in Kashmir.
“This (signing of MoU) is a major success for India in the context of both Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir as OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) members have always kept Pakistan’s sensibilities on Kashmir at the forefront,” Basit said.
“In the past, they (OIC member nations) have never done something to make Pakistan feel that Muslim nations and the OIC are not standing behind us on the Kashmir issue.
“They may not have been very vocal, but have ensured not to work against our sentiment on Kashmir. That’s why we saw many times that representatives of the OIC nations used to refrain from visiting Kashmir. Many times, even if they were invited, the OIC nations kept in mind the feelings of Pakistan,” he said.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.firstname.lastname@example.org)