“There should be some resonance of reciprocity from New Delhi as well,” said Pakistan’s US ambassador, and a former president of Azad Kashmir, while addressing a meeting in Washington. “It takes two to tango. It can’t be a monologue. It needs to be a dialogue.”
Addressing a summit in Islamabad earlier this week, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had expressed his willingness to hold talks with India.
On Aug 3, the US also backed efforts to resume India-Pakistan talks. Asked to comment on Mr Sharif’s offer, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said: “As we have long said, we support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on issues of concern.” India, however, has rejected Pakistan’s offer, saying that Islamabad needs to create an ‘environment’ for peace before the talks resume.
Ambassador Khan, however, reiterated the talks offer at a meeting called to mark Aug 5 as the “day of usurpation”.
A large number of Pakistani and Kashmiri Americans, members of civil society and human rights activists attended the event. Messages from President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Sharif reiterated their unswerving commitment to the Kashmir cause.
Videos highlighting the struggle of Kashmiri people and Indian atrocities were also played. Pakistan released a set of documents, authored by human rights groups and media activists, showing the situation in the Indian-occupied territory.
Britain’s Shadow Minister for Legal Aid Afzal Khan said Labour MPs had urged the government not to abdicate its historical responsibility and to play its part in promoting sustainable peace and prosperity in the region. Human rights activist Shamim Shawal said that 9,000 girls were missing since 2019 and 181 children were missing since 2022.
‘Adapt and innovate’
Muzammil Ayub Thakur, president of the World Kashmir Freedom Movement, advised the people of Kashmir to “learn to adapt and innovate” to make sure that their struggle for freedom succeeds.
The Chancellor of East West University, Chicago, Wasiullah Khan, urged Kashmiris to continue their peaceful struggle for freedom.
Senator Abdul Qayyum said peace-loving nations must stand with all oppressed people of the world, including the Kashmiris.
Mohsin Ansari, the president of Islamic Circle of North America, offered continued support of his organisation to the people of Kashmir.
Professor Imtiaz Khan of George Washington University said the people of India should learn to look beyond the rhetoric of their government and see how it was suppressing the Kashmiri people.