Few days back TTI had the honor of interviewing the Ambassador Munir Akram who laminated on Kashmir, CPEC, FATF and relations of Pakistan with other developed and neighboring countries.
When asked about his opinion on Kashmir issue and peace between India and Pakistan, he said that living together was never going to be possible, because the partition of the subcontinent had a strong logical foundation. That logic being Muslims could not get along and prosper within a Hindu majority country, and time has shown us that logic proved to be correct.
“The two-nation conclusion was reached much earlier than the creation of Pakistan. I think that the subsequent history has proved the correctness of the conclusion that was reached by Pakistan’s founding fathers.”
He further said that these conclusions were immediately confirmed after the partition, as India held back our money, migration riots, and later killings. Still Pakistan is fighting for the right of Kashmir in United Nations Security Council.
There was some hope at the partition of a friendly Subcontinent. The sentiments of bridging the gap or living together or creating a monetary or customs union, all these were possible because the economies were self-dependent and people knew each other, the leadership of both countries knew each other, the bureaucracy knew each other.
While talking about how Pakistan appears globally, he said that Pakistan has become Islamic and more fundamentalist, that’s true we are more Islamic, but on the other side, India is much more Hindu. The people of India are not only the people who led the Hindu Muslim riots, but they are also the same people who killed Mahatma Gandhi because he was considered too soft on the Muslims.
He further said, “I think the division that happened in 1947 has been exasperated by political disputes, by military competition, by the strategic competition and but also because the nature of the two countries has changed, India is much more Hindu and Pakistan is much more Islamic.”
The compulsions for a peaceful relationship, even if it’s not a friendly relationship, is much higher on Pakistan than on India, because, as a country, we cannot deploy the same resources for military, or the economy, etc. However, there are certain fundamental problems, which will not go away unless we address them.
On mentioning the fundamental problems between the countries, he said that the first problem is the Indian oppression in Kashmir, the Pakistani public will always object to that. There will always be people in Pakistan wanting to help the Kashmiris no matter what the governments think, or whether one wants to believe that it is the ISI who is doing this or that. The sentiment on our side will always be such that people will want to go and support the Kashmiris.
So, some way we need to eliminate the oppression in Kashmir, even if the problem is not fully solved, there has to be some way to stop the killing in Kashmir.
The second problem, which has compounded the problems between the two countries, is the fact that Indians have used and are using Afghanistan as a base for subversion and terrorism in Pakistan. They consider it as a payback for Kashmir.
When asked about his views on Pakistan China relations, he said that he was hopeful that these two countries are having good friendly relations. CPEC first phase projects are complete; United Stated does not participate in it. Second phase of CPEC is starting in which focus will be on investments, industrializations, manufacturing and creation of economic zones etc. Project is on track it is preceding and it will proceed, we will achieve our objectives with regard to the implementation of CPEC in accordance with the time table between China and Pakistan.
“In the current Pandemic situations financial assistance is the main problem for developing countries to keep their economies afloat. Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed five point agenda for the developing countries which had been appreciated by all.”
At the end of the interview, TTI asked Mr. Munir on how he observes Pakistan’s current position regarding FATF, he said that they had proposed fourteen point’s countries where these illicit financial flows go out. They should cooperate with us in order to identify these illicit flows which they are holding to return those flows. “We will be negotiating this with General Assembly resolutions decisions by the economic social council in order to these safe heaven countries to cooperate in return to stolen asset for the country.”