Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday advised the government of India to accept that the Kashmir issue has no military solution, Dawn reported.
Chaudhry was addressing a seminar of the All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group in Islamabad Pakistan.
“Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi just announced that his government will give a package of billions of rupees to Kashmir,” Dawn quoted Chaudhry as saying. “But independence cannot be bought with money. Independence is a sentiment felt in the heart, a narrative of the heart,”Dawn reported.
According to a report published by Dawn newspaper, the information minister said that India’s allegation that Pakistan was instigating unrest in Kashmir had no foundation and the Indian government had only adopted this stance because it was unable to crush the struggle for freedom in the region. He urged Indian authorities to realise that “armies cannot conquer the narrative of the heart”.
The report quoted Chaudhry as saying that Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir was not inspired by the “beauty of Kashmir”.
“We don’t view the Kashmir issue from a territorial point of view. We look at it from a humanitarian angle,” he said, adding that the “pain of Kashmiris is felt by Pakistan”.
The Pakistan information minister further said that pro-Pakistan sentiment in Kashmir was very high and political parties which contested elections in the territory realised this.
“Kashmiri leader Umar Farooq told me that political parties contesting elections in Kashmir knew that if they adopted an anti-Pakistan narrative, their voter base would alienate them,” the report quoted Chaudhry said.
Quoting author Arundhati Roy, Chaudhry said, “The time when India controlled Kashmir is long gone; now the narrative of Kashmir dominates India.”
“He emphasised the importance of peace in the region, saying that friendly relations between India and Pakistan would lead to trade and an improved economy, which would benefit both countries,” the report said.
“As soon as Indian authorities and intellectuals realise that they will have to adopt a realistic approach towards the Kashmir issue and that it needs to be solved, we can move forward,” Dawn reported.