WASHINGTON: “The people of Kashmir were heartened by reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would try to persuade both India and Pakistan to engage in a multilateral dialogue for a just and durable settlement of the Kashmir conflict. This is the most sensible, feasible and practical proposal put forth by the President of Turkey,” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, ‘World Kashmir Awareness Forum.’
Earlier President Erdogan during an interview with WION television channel has said “We should not allow more casualties to occur, and by strengthening multilateral dialogue, we can be involved, and through multilateral dialogue, I think we have to seek out ways to settle this question once and for all.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Gopal Baglay, a foreign ministry spokesperson of India said Turkey was told that Kashmir is a bilateral issue which needs to be resolved peacefully.
Dr. Fai expressed his serious concern that the mantra has been repeated not only by Mr. Baglay but also by some world powers that they have no alternative but to rely on bilateral talks between India and Pakistan to achieve a settlement. The experience of more than seventy years is ignored. No bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have yielded agreements without the active role of an external element. The missing element is sustained and coordinated diplomatic persuasion by peace-loving democratic powers.
“President Erdogan will hear in plenty from both India and Pakistan. The people of Kashmir would like to reiterate that the urgent goal of resolving the Kashmir dispute cannot be left to the two governments of India and Pakistan to achieve. It requires the engagement of a multilateral effort — one or two permanent members of the Security Council along with India, Pakistan, Kashmiri leadership and Turkey as the Chairman of OIC. The proposal may seem rather unconventional but we believe that it would be a striking demonstration of the global statesmanship which the United Nations can summon in the cause of peace, international security and human betterment.” Fai said.
Fai suggested that the world powers have two choices before them. One is to continue confining themselves to warning both Pakistan and India against going to war with each other. This policy bases the no war prospect in South Asia on a very precarious foundation. The prospect of a nuclear exchange in that vast Subcontinent cannot be dismissed in the event of hostilities breaking out between the two countries.
The second option is to play a more activist, mediatory role in regard to Kashmir as suggested by President Erdogan. This can take the shape of a multilateral dialogue or an appropriate use of the newly developed procedures and mechanisms at the United Nations. The U.N. would supply the catalyst that is needed for a settlement.
Dr. Fai can be reached at : 202-607-6435 or firstname.lastname@example.org