Comparing Kashmir to Palestine (Video), and the Webinar in Riyadh

IRSHAD SALIM — Last year at this time, DesPardes published an insight and quoted a senior Pakistani defense official in the Middle East saying, “India is trying to copy the Israeli Model”.

In his opinion “this Indian act can (further) trigger Kashmiri struggle for freedom”.

Fast forward June this year, DesPardes quoted (along with comments) on an opinion piece which said: “Today, a pathway is being paved for replicating the Israeli model of occupation and colonization of the West Bank in Kashmir towards disempowerment and dispossession of the locals, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, to exercise hegemonic control through new settlers.

Today, the Middle East Eye published a video on social media comparing the situation in Palestine with occupied Kashmir and the Israeli model being stepped up in the Himalayan Valley:

Will it work, or can it work? May be not. To quote a South Asia analyst based in Washington DC: “One year on, New Delhi may like to believe that it has ‘normalized’ Kashmir. But Kashmir continues to seethe and refuses to accept that it’s become a formal part of a nation that it wants no part of.” – Michael Kugelman

Here’s another insight from him: “I recently spoke to a friend from the Kashmir Valley about the idea of India one day winning the trust of Kashmiris. My friend, who is quite mild-mannered and soft-spoken, had this response: “We’d have to have no brains or eyes for that to work.”

Adding all these up are significant as it indicated how the crisis is getting internationalized both up north and in the Middle East –just as Palestine has become.

Both issues have one constant though: Silence among the leadership of nations that matters for world peace and order.

Having attended a Webinar today on Kashmir crisis (moderated by the Pakistani ambassador in Riyadh), the biggest takeaway for me was this: Pakistan is ready to go all the way. Kashmir is its jugular vein and an unfinished agenda of the 1947 partition, it says. Independent observers agree.

That in the Webinar, I heard two Saudis and a US-based scholar speaking in favor of a resolution was another big takeaway.

The Webinar was held in Riyadh on one year of lockdown in Kashmir and as Pakistan updated its political map showing the valley part of the country. The move takes all territorial issues straight to Delhi’s doorstep. “And will not wait for 5 years to settle the matter, but in weeks and months”, said two key speakers.

It could be a long hot summer pandemic notwithstanding.

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