Days after calling the decision of the Indian government to abrogate Article 370 as India’s internal matter, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi took a U-turn. In a tweet on Monday (April 10), he claimed that the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an ‘internationally recognised dispute’ and as such cannot constitute India’s internal matter.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote, ” Let me be clear: Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute on the UN Security Council agenda. (The) final settlement of the dispute lies in UNSC resolution calling for (a) free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices. Nothing about J&K can be India’s internal matter.” However, just a few days ago, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had conceded that Article 370 was India’s internal matter.
In an exclusive interview with Samaa TV on May 6, the Pakistani Foreign Minister had stated, “Article 370 is their andhruni mamla (internal matter). The people of Kashmir are frustrated (supposedly) for breaking the promises made to them. We have seen the matter is still pending before the Supreme Court of India. People in India have challenged its constitutional validity.”
It is notable here that the primary requirement for the UNSC resolution calling for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir means the entire Jammu and Kashmir, including the PoK and Gilgit Baltistan. For a plebiscite to happen, Pakistan has to vacate the areas currently under its illegal occupation.
U-turn of Imran Khan and Pakistani government on resuming trade ties with India
Interestingly, the U-turn by the Pakistani Foreign Minister is truly characteristic of the government of Pakistan. It is imperative to note here that Pakistan, in August 2019, had unilaterally cut off trade ties with India unilaterally after India abrogated Article 370 to remove all riders for Jammu & Kashmir being an integral part of India. Almost two years after abruptly snapping ties with India, reports emerged about Islamabad resuming trade ties with New Delhi.
The Pakistan’s cabinet committee on economic affairs took a decision on importing sugar and cotton from India. However, the Pakistani government later took a U-turn. While explaining the rationale behind the decision, Pakistan NSA Moeed Yusuf had said that Imran Khan as Commerce Minister approved a limited resumption of trade ties with India on March 26 but as a Prime Minister he opposed it.
“He may be the same persons but wears two different hats,” was the bizarre reasoning given by the Pakistani NSA when asked about Imran Khan’s flip flop on trade with India. Speaking to a Pakistani news anchor, Yusuf termed Imran Khan’s decision as an example of the “strengthening of institutions.” This outlandish statement came on the heels of Imran Khan’s refusal of an official proposal of the Pakistan government to allow imports of cotton and sugar from India to control prices and cope with a shortage in the country.