- PM’s meetings in US
Imran Khan had proceeded to New York five days ahead of the UNGA to plead the cause of Kashmir. One had expected that he would make the best use of the short time available to him by focusing on key international figures including European leaders, important US lawmakers, editors of widely read newspaper and think tanks. One fails to understand the relevance of spending time on people like George Soros, David Fenton, President of International Committee of Red Cross and Chief executive of Uber. Even meetings with Secretary General Amnesty International and founder of Kashmir Study Group could have been postponed for the time being. FM Qureshi could have held talks with Zalmai Khalilzad rather than the PM. The only meetings that could be called useful were with US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham. But the PM should have interacted with more US lawmakers. Apparently our ambassador in Washington was not precisely directed about what kind of people were to be invited to meet the PM or most of them were not available. Mr Khan is now scheduled to address two think tanks and meet his counterparts from New Zealand, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal and attend a trilateral summit comprising government heads of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey.
President Trump’s recent comments on Kashmir and India-Pakistan relations have led to surmises about an indirect dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours during the UNGA, with Washington playing the role of a facilitator. The US President has already met PM Modi at the Houston rally. Will PM Khan be able to persuade Mr Trump about the need for immediately lifting of the lockdown and suspension of electronic communication and exercise of the right of self-determination by the Kashmiris?
A perception is fast growing that the government is concentrated more on optics for domestic consumptions than seeking any meaningful solution of the Kashmir issue. FM Qureshi claimed that over 50 nations supported Pakistan’s stance on IoK at UNHRC. We are told now that Pakistan failed to submit a draft resolution over the Kashmir issue condemning India at the forum because it could not even get the required 15 signatures of the member states.