IoK’s Lockdown & SCO’s Role
Although the government is using almost all the available means and resources to highlight Kashmir issue worldwide; Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others are making phone calls to their counterparts from other countries in a bid to highlight the aggressive designs of India as well as atrocities of committed by occupying Indian forces on innocent Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir.
Yet, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) may also be another useful forum for Pakistan to assert pressure on India to end continued lockdown of Kashmir as well as to relieve the depressed and tyrannized Kashmiris. In general, regarding conflict situations in bilateral relations, namely those related to border and territorial disputes, the SCO follows the principle of non-interference, believing that the basic principles of the Charter signed by its member states are enough to find compromise and agreement through existing bilateral mechanisms.
However, this does not mean that other member states must remain passive and indifferent, making no diplomatic efforts at bilateral and multilateral levels, naturally, taking into account the position of each conflicting side. Here, the main principle is do no harm, do not take a unilateral stance, facilitate a peaceful resolution of the conflict to your best effort.
The organization currently includes eight countries namely, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Four states, specifically, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, have observer status. That being said, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.
Since August 5, the day of repeal of article 370 and slash of special status of Kashmir in Indian constitution, the Kashmiris are bearing perhaps the worst and longest ever lockdown which has turned their lives miserable because they are denied of edibles tantamount to human crisis.
Moreover, India occupying forces and intelligence agencies are also conducting raids on Kashmiris homes, detaining young boys and sending them to jails out of Jammu and Kashmir. Till now thousands of young boys have made missing by Indian forces, the international community specially the major powers are observing criminal silence of the grave human rights’ violations and forced disappearances of Kashmiri youth by Indian forces.
In this scenario, Pakistani civil and military top leadership; Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa have expressed to support just freedom struggle of Kashmiris till the last breath and last bullet. This situation has created to a war like situation between both the nuclear neighbours Pakistan and India and this situation needs urgent attention of the world because Kashmir has become a nuclear flashpoint now.
It is responsibility of the world community to step in defuse tense situation between Pakistan and India, lest the whole world will have to pay unmatchable price of war between both the nuclear powers in South Asia.
Now as a positive development, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has expressed willingness to take on the responsibility for maintaining security and ensuring development in the region. India and Pakistan fully support the SCO approaches to countering terrorism and extremism as the main threat for regional security and stability.
According to SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov India and Pakistan co-authored the Bishkek summit declaration, supporting its key message which states that member countries find it important to use the potential of the region’s states, international organizations and multilateral associations in the interest of forming a wide, open, mutually beneficial and equal Eurasian cooperation space with the aim to ensure stable security and sustainable development. This means that the organization is ready to take on the responsibility for security and development in the region.
Before joining the SCO, India and Pakistan went through a long and serious stage, working with the organization as observer states. The launch of the procedure of joining the SCO supposed a step-by-step process of including these countries in the whole set of documents active within the SCO, which also describe the basic principles of long-term good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation.
Author is Editor of ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’
and ‘The Asian Telegraph’ can reached