Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has offered his Indian counterpart talks on all controversial issues, including the Kashmir issue.
Shahbaz Sharif, however, has named the United Arab Emirates as a facilitator for these talks.
“My message is to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sit at the negotiating table and talk with us about the burning conflict like Kashmir.”
Pakistan’s prime minister said in an interview aired on state television. Have a serious conversation with me.
Shahbaz Sharif gave this interview to the Al-Arabiya television channel, which was also broadcasted on Pakistan’s official TV channel.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan said that he had raised this matter with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, during his recent visit to the Emirates.
Shahbaz Sharif says, “He is Pakistan’s brother and has good relations with India as well.”
He can play a significant role in bringing both India and Pakistan to the negotiating table.”
The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet responded to this offer by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Why Did Shahbaz Sharif Give This Statement?
Shaista Tabasim is a keen observer of international affairs and a professor at the International Affairs Department of Karachi University.
She said that the statement of the Pakistani Prime Minister gives the impression that Shahbaz Sharif is making such an offer while rejecting the possibility of a confrontation with his nuclear-armed neighbour.
Dr Tabsum said, “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s offer has two main motivations.
One is that recently the United Arab Emirates has given an aid package to Pakistan, which has increased from two million dollars to three million dollars.
There may have been an understanding that Pakistan would resolve its issues with India or move towards a dialogue or peace resolution.
Pakistan has offered dialogue to India before, but this time the important thing is that Pakistan has asked the UAE to play a role as a facilitator in this regard.
Why Did Pakistan Finally Choose The UAE As A Facilitator?
Dr Tabsum said, “Firstly, the United Arab Emirates has agreed to a package for financial support with more money for Pakistan, which is the result of a bargain or understanding.”
Secondly, until now, the kingdoms of the Arab Sheikhs were considered important only for entertainment and tourism. Now they are eager to play an active role in international politics.
In such a situation, it is very unusual for the Pakistani Prime Minister to highlight the role of the UAE as a facilitator.
Dr Shaista Tabsam further says that UAE has very close diplomatic and political relations with India.
At the level of economic and human power, both of them work very closely together. UAE has a large number of Indian workers as well as Pakistanis.
From this point of view, it is difficult to say how the UAE will facilitate negotiations with India. He said, “India never wants to involve any third party in the dialogue in this regard.
Pakistan has made such an offer in the past as well. No positive response can be expected from India.
‘Offering Negotiations Is A Non-Starter’
Similar views were expressed by another scholar of international affairs and analyst of Pakistan, Dr Monis Ahmar.
He said, “This offer by the Prime Minister will be a non-starter. India is not interested in negotiations.
The New Delhi government has achieved its goals in Jammu and Kashmir by repealing Article 370 /35A.
India does not need Pakistan’s offer of negotiations. This is a feeler left by Pakistan.
If India is serious, it should respond positively. But I don’t think he considers it his need.
Since independence, the two traditional rival nuclear powers have fought three wars over this disputed Himalayan region claimed by both states. Both India and Pakistan control half of Kashmir.
The two neighbours came to the brink of another war in 2019 when India launched an airstrike inside Pakistan that New Delhi said was a training centre for militants.
Ali Raza Syed is the Chairman of the Brussels-based Kashmir Council of the European Union. He welcomed the Pakistani Prime Minister’s offer to India for talks on Kashmir and other sensitive issues.
He said that the Kashmir Council Brussels appreciates every initiative to establish permanent peace in the region and improve the people’s lives there.
However, he says that it remains to be seen how India responds to this offer. He says, “Today if the UAE is playing a role in this, we would like that the most important role should be the opinion of Kashmiris.”
Today, if the UAE plays a role in this, we wish that the most important role should be the opinion of Kashmiris. Kashmiri people must be included in any negotiations.
The solution to the Kashmir issue is impossible without the participation of the Kashmiri people in any negotiation. A temporary peace may be seen, but permanent peace can never be established.
Shahbaz Sharif “We Want To End Poverty”
Pakistan’s offer of talks to India and UAE’s role as a facilitator in the process is a positive sign. But most analysts believe India will not react.
It should be noted that since the suspension of talks between the two countries, ‘back door diplomacy’ has been going on in some form or the other.
Even in 2021, efforts were made to resume talks between Islamabad and New Delhi through the mediation of the UAE.
Apart from this, the Pakistani Prime Minister also said in his interview that the wars between the two countries could not give anything but misery, unemployment, and poverty.
Shahbaz Sharif said, “We want to end poverty, we want to achieve prosperity.” We want to provide the masses with education, health facilities, and employment.
We do not want to waste our resources on bombs and ammunition. This is the message I want to convey to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.