Former Pak envoy to UN Hussain Haqqani moots status quo in Kashmir

29 July 2016

Husain HaqqaniAmidst rising frustration among the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir over the political sabotages taking place and the alleged rigging of elections in favour of parties in power in Islamabad, former Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations Husain Haqqani has advised India and Pakistan to keep their parts of Kashmir without interfering in the other.

With protests erupting in PoK over alleged rigging of elections in favour of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PML(N), Haqqani said the problems emanating from Gilgistan and PoK should be left to Pakistan to be taken care of, while the part of Kashmir that India has, should be handled by India alone.

Only then would it be possible to have some peace in Kashmir, he asserted.

''I have heard that some people have complaints with regards to PoK that the elections did not take place as expected. But, I think that the problems emanating from Gilgistan and PoK should be left to Pakistan and the part of Kashmir that India has, should be handled by them alone, then there can be some peace in Kashmir,'' ANI quoted Haqqani as saying.

He also conceded that the internal situation in Pakistan is not conducive for it to have any meaningful dialogue to take place between the two countries.

''I don't think that Pakistan's internal political condition is that stable so as to allow any leader to ensure cordial relationship between India and Pakistan,'' he stated.

Commenting on Prime Minister Sharif's remarks describing Kashmir as 'unfinished agenda' of the United Nations, Haqqani said, ''If someone says that something is an 'unfinished business', so they should remember that Kashmir is an unfinished business for last 69 years and will remain so for another 69 years and no further action would take place.''

''I believe that it would be better if India and Pakistan should first try to be friends and then talk about their disagreements. But as of now, it doesn't seem to be happening. As far as terrorists and people like Hafiz Saeed are concerned, I believe that they can only increase hatred and cannot increase Pakistan's prosperity and happiness,'' Haqqani said. ''Similarly, if in India, some people say that only enmity with Pakistan is the only solution, then also it would not benefit the bilateral relationship of both the countries. I think all the disagreements should be kept aside and emphasis should be put on friendship,'' he added.

Pakistan prime minister's foreign policy advisor Sartaj Aziz, meanwhile, said the former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani was lobbying against Pakistan's interests.

''A former Pakistani ambassador is working against his own country in the US,'' Sartaj Aziz said during the National Assembly session on Tuesday, adding that Pakistan's diplomatic mission in the US is facing challenges due to the former ambassador's campaign.

Haqqani reacted strongly to Aziz's 'allegations', saying he was not lobbying against Pakistan's interests.

The former ambassador said he knew Aziz was talking about him because another minister had attacked Haqqani by name with similar claims, and because government officials were ''looking for scapegoats to divert attention from criticism at home.''

''I am now a scholar in the US, not a lobbyist,'' Haqqani's statement said.

Haqqani is the author of two books on Pakistan  - Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, and Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

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