Zardari reinvents 1,000-yr war rhetoric

Kashmir bomb

Zardari reinvents 1,000-yr war rhetoric

Asif Ali Zardari: Ideological war with India over Kashmir will continue for 1,000 years.

Zardari’s sabre-rattling, which comes at a time when his personal integrity remains under a cloud and his country in the throes of a terrorism-related violence, was reminiscent of Bhutto’s obsession with a nuclearised Pakistan, a programme which the then prime minister had said he would pursue in his thousand-year war with India.

At that time, Bhutto seethed in anger in the wake of the 1971 Indo-Pak war which gave birth to Bangladesh and led to Pakistan’s dismemberment.

‘The Daily Times’ quoted Zardari as saying that the war over Kashmir was one of ideologies and would last for generations. Addressing a joint session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly and the Kashmir Council, the Pakistani president said democratic governments played a key role in moving forward on the Kashmir dispute.

But Zardari was cautious enough to avoid bellicose words, toning his address down with references to dialogue and negotiations. Clearly rhetorical, Zardari said: “When Zulfikar had spoken of waging a thousand-year war, he never said he would not do it through talks or negotiations.” President Zardari said regional peace was inextricably linked to the settlement of the decades-old dispute over Kashmir.

“We cannot de-link regional peace from peace in Kashmir. We have highlighted this thinking in the world and will keep projecting it,” he said. Describing Kashmir as the “jugular vein” of Pakistan, the president said, “Soon the time will come when the world will take important decisions regarding Kashmir”.  Zardari said Pakistan and India should learn to live in peace.

Echoing Zardari’s sentiments, Pakistan National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza said the Kashmir issue could not be put on the “back burner” and the PPP-led government as well as the country’s parliament was committed to resolving the issue peacefully. Mirza reiterated that Pakistan “wants a resolution of the issue by granting the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir under UN resolutions.”

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