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Pakistan has a hard time identifying between Corona and Kashmir

India’s Proposal for a SAARC meet

The rapid spread of the coronavirus shows no signs of stopping — as the number of new cases is steadily climbing every day, with the virus continually showing up in unexpected places. According to the most recent figures reported by The New York Times, the coronavirus pathogen has now invaded 47 countries. As the virus continues to spread, countries worldwide are racketing up their containment methods and safety measures in order to slow the coronavirus down. In view of this pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the idea for a video conferencing among SAARC member states. His proposal was met with a swift response.

South Asian nations agreed on Sunday to evolve a common strategy to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic with India proposing the creation of an emergency fund with an initial contribution of $10 million to halt the onslaught of the disease that has so far claimed nearly 6,000 lives globally.

Pakistan’s stance on the issue

Where the whole world is urging the need to evolve a common strategy to handle such challenges Pakistan, once again, showed the world its true colours. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan didn’t have the courage or the seriousness to attend the SAARC meeting to combat the global emergency COVIDー19. Instead, they sent a junior colleague who was forced by Pakistan Army to rake up the Kashmir issue desperately during SAARC video conference, making a mockery of the state. Only Pakistan was represented by an official, Zafar Mirza, special assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, and not by the prime minister himself, something that did not go unnoticed in New Delhi. No wonder the terror state is isolated.

That is the reason why Pakistan has lost credibility on all forums and is recognized as a rogue nation. It was highly shameless for them to rake up the Kashmir issue at this forum where the entire agenda was to discuss issues regarding the Corona virus. It has now become their habit to cry for attention at every opportunity they get and this act exposes their fake eagerness to fight against Covid2019 on the global platform.

Their fake concern is also strengthened by the way Pakistan treated its students who were stranded in Wuhan after the news of the pandemic became global. No efforts were made to evacuate the hundreds of Pakistani students, who were stuck in China. The poor students made desperate pleas to the Imran Khan government to evacuate them but Pakistan refused to airlift the students from Wuhan, the epicentre of deadly coronavirus.

Using the forum to rake up the Kashmir dispute, Mirza said: “In view of the health emergency, it is imperative that all lockdown in the disputed territory (of ‘Kashmir) must be lifted immediately. Opening up communications and movement would facilitate dissemination of information along with distribution of medical supplies,” he said, referring to curbs imposed by India on the internet following the revocation of the special status of Kashmir in August.

It is said that it is wise in staying publicly mum on hot-potato topics like politics or religion, even when you so totally disagree with someone on a personal issue, but it is a whole different thing to throw someone under the bus as soon as you see an opening to blame the other, especially when others are not even playing this game. And that is what Pakistan did.

A skittish Pakistan sought to use the occasion that brought together the members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) grouping for the first time in almost six years to raise the Kashmir issue, calling for the lifting of embargos on communication in Kashmir to better tackle the spread of Covid-19. In the clip from the video conference, it can be clearly seen that the paper kept in front of Mirza was switched midway through the conference. A new piece of paper was slid to him and *boom* came the topic of Kashmir out of nowhere. Seems like Mr. Puppet Mirza had someone prompting him with a better script.

India’s offer to SAARC countries

Speaking at a meeting of the heads of countries of the SAARC grouping via video link, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered the services of a rapid response team of doctors and health workers armed with testing kits. Modi also offered online training for health workers in SAARC countries to scale up skills to beat Covid-19, which has so far infected more than 1,50,000 people in 142 countries, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins live dashboard of the disease.

“Any of us can use the fund to meet the cost of immediate actions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told regional leaders via video conference, adding that India would also offer rapid response teams and other expertise to deal with the crisis.

But a sordid Pakistan could only think of making yet another mockery of their Military–backed—puppet government who do not even know the right platforms for the right discussions.

Viewpoint

Over the years, Pakistan has vowed to take any measure necessary to “stand by” people in Kashmir. Pakistan has long prided itself on being a champion for Kashmiris, who are predominantly Muslim. But a closer look at its internal affairs reveals a lot about its own atrocities in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. And yet they think it’s their birth right to bring up an issue that doesn’t rather should not, concern them wherever possible.

Pakistan has been time and again embarrassed on the global front with their constant bickering about the Kashmir issue. And as if that wasn’t enough Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan “forcefully” raised the Kashmir issue before the international community during his address to the UN General Assembly. Their attempt to malign India for alleged atrocities has always backfired. But when a country is not intrinsically strong and capable itself, it resorts to such behaviour. After all, being a product of deep communal hate and violence, it is not unusual for them to indulge in subversive activities, in a vain attempt to justify their own cause of superfluous existence.

17 Mar 20/Tuesday                                                                                            Written By: Saima Ibrahim

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