Kashmir Diplomacy | Editorial
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir’s recent diplomatic engagements in the United States stand as a testament to Pakistan’s proactive stance in addressing critical regional concerns and advocating for the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people. During his visit, General Munir engaged in crucial discussions, notably meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York, conveying Pakistan’s concerns over the situation in Indian-held Kashmir and the escalating cross-border terrorism originating from Afghanistan.
The COAS’s meeting with António Guterres reaffirmed Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute, urging the United Nations to honour its commitment to enabling the Kashmiri people to determine their future through a plebiscite. With Pakistan alarmed by the Indian Supreme Court’s endorsement of the occupied Kashmir merger, these diplomatic efforts aim to draw global attention to the plight of Kashmiris, emphasising the need for a peaceful resolution in accordance with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Pakistan’s concerns regarding the surge in cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan were earnestly conveyed during these diplomatic exchanges. The nation seeks international support to curb this rising threat, as highlighted by former US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s acknowledgment of the crisis in relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. General Munir’s discussions with top US officials centred on bolstering counter-terrorism cooperation and defence collaboration. Such collaborations are pivotal for fostering regional stability and combating the menace of terrorism that jeopardises not only Pakistan but also the broader South Asian region.
General Munir’s engagement with overseas Pakistanis is a commendable move that underscores their positive role in the nation’s development. Encouraging investments through mechanisms like the Special Investment Facilitation Council, the COAS highlighted the vital contributions of the Pakistani diaspora towards the country’s progress. Emphasising the significance of the United States as Pakistan’s largest export market, General Munir dispelled misconceptions regarding visa issues and detentions, fostering confidence among overseas Pakistanis.
The engagements with key stakeholders both in the US and at the United Nations reflect Pakistan’s proactive and multilateral approach in advocating for regional stability, emphasising the Kashmir issue, combatting cross-border terrorism, and harnessing the positive potential of the overseas Pakistani community for the nation’s development.