Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif has said a “peaceful” solution to the Kashmir issue with neighboring India is “essential.”
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for congratulating him on his election as Prime Minister, Sharif said on Tuesday that Islamabad “wants peaceful and cooperative relations” with India, prompting hope that his election will provide a new opportunity for diplomatic dissolution between the two nuclear powers. Armed neighbors.
“Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the congratulations. Pakistan wants peaceful and cooperative relations with India. It is imperative that the outstanding issues, including those of Jammu and Kashmir, be resolved peacefully, ”Sharif, who was elected Pakistan’s 23rd prime minister on Monday following the defeat of Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote, took to Twitter.
“Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism are well known. We will maintain peace and focus on the socio-economic development of our people, ”he added.
Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the congratulations. Pakistan wants peaceful and cooperative relations with India. A peaceful solution to the pending issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, is essential. The sacrifices of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism are well known. Let’s keep the peace and .. https://t.co/0M1wxhhvjV
– Shehbaz Sharif (MSCMSshehbaz) April 12, 2022
Following the end of British colonial rule on the subcontinent, the Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two nuclear rivals since 1947.
The beautiful valley is partially occupied by Pakistan and India, but is fully claimed by both. China also owns a small part of Kashmir.
Since separation in 1947, the two countries have been engaged in three full-scale wars – 1948, 1965 and 1971 – two of them on Kashmir.
Separatist groups in Indian-administered Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or to unite with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed in clashes in the region since the beginning of the armed uprising against New Delhi in 1989.
Tensions have escalated since August 2019 when the Modi government removed the special autonomy status of India-administered Kashmir, which angered Pakistan.
Reactions to the Sheriff’s report
Pro-India political parties in Indian-administered Kashmir say they have always been supportive of talks between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“The National Conference has always been a referendum on dialogue between India and Pakistan. We will reject it in the end, ”Imran Nabi, a spokesman for the region’s oldest political party, told Dar al – Jazeera.
“It is the people of Kashmir who are suffering from the enmity between the two countries. We want the two countries to sit down and resolve all issues, including Kashmir.
However, Siddique Wahid, an educator and political analyst from the region, described the sheriff’s statement as “a routine from Islamabad”.
“At this juncture, I consider the demand of the new Sharif in Pakistan for a ‘peaceful solution to Kashmir’ as a regular ritual in Islamabad. That is because it is difficult to imagine New Delhi talking to a caretaker government in Islamabad that will stagnate until after the elections, ”he said.
But Praveen Chaudhry, a security expert and editor of Force magazine, said India should respond positively to the Pakistani leader’s statement.
“India needs to start talks. There must be some kind of silence. Diplomatic relations need to be normalized … I see that both sides are interested and that negotiations should begin, “he told Al Jazeera.
Sheriffs are found near New Delhi
Nawaz Sharif, the elder brother of the three-time Prime Minister of Pakistan, sought to build economic and trade ties and improve overall relations.
In 2014, Nawaz Sharif, the then Prime Minister, visited New Delhi for Modi’s inauguration in a rare gesture of peace between the two countries.
And for his part, a year after the inauguration of the Hindu nationalist leader, the Sharif made a surprise trip to Pakistan to attend a family wedding.
The sheriffs belong to an elite political family in India that is seen as a compromise towards New Delhi and are ready to settle disputes through negotiations – unlike Imran Khan, the immediate predecessor.
During Khan’s government, diplomatic relations were downgraded and direct trade ceased following controversy over India’s 2019 move in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Khan was also critical of Modi and his Hindu-nationalist ideology and called for international action to stop calls for the genocide of Muslims by Hindu groups in India.
The continued silence of the Modi government at the extremist Hindutva summit on the genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 million Muslim community, raises the question of whether the BJP government supports the call. It is time for the international community to take action
– Imran Khan (mImranKhanPTI) January 10, 2022
Imtiaz Gul of the Center for Research and Defense Research in Islamabad said the Sharif siblings generally had “pleasant relations” with Indian leaders.
“This is a good entry point for India to resume talks,” he added.
Unusually for a senior Pakistani politician, Shebaz Sharif visited India as Punjab Chief Minister in 2013 – a split between the two countries in the 1947 bloody partition.
The sheriff went to his family’s ancestral village on the Indian side of the border and met then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi with other officials.
With Sharif now in office, analysts say the new Pakistani leader will announce a diplomatic rift between the two arch-rivals after years of tensions.
Ajay Darshan Behera, an international research professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, said, “He is not someone who goes to great lengths to fight India.