Independence for Kashmir: A Viable Idea?

In a surprise announcement, on the Kashmir Solidarity Day, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered option of independence to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, after they accede to Pakistan in a United Nations supervised referendum. This, however, is not the first time that Mr. Khan has alluded to it. In January, 2020, in an interview to DW, Prime Minister suggested giving people of Kashmir all the choices they wanted: India, Pakistan or independence. At that time, Mr. Khan’s remark went unnoticed. This time has been a different story, however.

Within hours, political parties, electronic and social media went wild with supporters lauding the ‘path-breaking statement’, and critiques reminding the Prime Minister and the government of Pakistan’s decade old stated position of seeking plebiscite as promised to the people of Kashmir in various resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). To clarify the position of the State of Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated, via a press release, that Pakistan seeks a settlement in accordance with UNSC resolution, which only allows the people of Jammu and Kashmir the right to accede either to India or to Pakistan. Read More…..

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The Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) is a nonpartisan, independent policy research institute based in Islamabad. Our goal is to undertake in-depth analysis of challenges and choices confronting Pakistan. We aim to help policymakers and public better understand the world, region and Pakistan-specific challenges and opportunities. We make efforts to engage government, civil society, private sector, media, academia in open debates and dialogue on the most significant developments in national and international affairs. We envision contributing to policy-making through periodic policy-papers putting forward policy-recommendations developed in collaboration with experts and stakeholders in each area. IPI takes no institutional position on policy issues.

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