The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is working on a proposal to resolve the Kashmir issue, a top minister in the newly-formed Pakistan cabinet has revealed.
Speaking on Pakistan's Channel 24, Pakistan's new Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, expressed hope that her draft of the proposal will be ready by the end of next week. Once it's ready, it would be circulated, she added.
"We will circulate it to all stakeholders, show it to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister", Mazari said. When asked precisely what the proposal was about, she said that it is a 'model for conflict resolution'.
The Kashmir proposal from the Imran Khan-led government comes at a time when it is already being handed a reality check regarding the terrorism that is perpetrated from its soil, in both India and Afghanistan. This was clearly in evidence when in the same interview, Mazari was asked about the recent face-off between Pakistan and the US regarding the contents of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's congratulatory phone call to Imran Khan.
The Pak minister was first asked why Khan received the call from Pompeo in the first place, rather than insisting that US President Trump make the call. To this, Mazari said that Imran Khan accepted the call as a goodwill gesture, but added that the US State Department had vitiated said gesture.
Mazari was referring to the geopolitical storm that broke out over whether Pompeo had warned Imran Khan to act against terrorist elements on Pakistan's soil. Mention of this had been made by the US State Department, while the Pakistan government had issued a fervent denial. However, the US has stood by its statement, which reads as follows:
Secretary Pompeo's Call with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
Secretary Michael R Pompeo spoke today with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and wished him success. Secretary Pompeo expressed his willingness to work with the new government towards a productive bilateral relationship. Secretary Pompeo raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan and its vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process.
And here's what the Pakistan foreign office had to say:
Earlier, Pakistan had got into another foreign affairs snafu, this time with India, as the country's new foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory letter to Imran Khan and in ensuing communication between the two countries, there was an offer with dialogue and negotiation. Following India putting out the true contents of the letter, Pakistan was forced to issue a clarification.
While addressing a celebratory news briefing shortly after the Pak election results were announced, Imran Khan had batted for trade and ties between the two countries, adding, "Unfortunately, the biggest core issue between us is Kashmir". He continued: "We should attempt to resolve this. If we continue the blame-game and assume 'Pakistan does this' and what happens in Balochistan happens due to India, we won't get anywhere. Let's take the first step."
He concluded: It's important for the subcontinent that we have peace and that we resolve the issue through talks.