Bilal Bashir Bhat
Srinagar, Jul 26 (KNB): With the scheduled change of guard in Pakistan following the historical win of Cricketer turned Politician Imran Khan in 2018 national elections, the people of Kashmir have pinned hopes in 65-year-old former fast bowler to deliver in regard to the settlement of lingering Kashmir issue.
Even before his debut in politics, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan had been a popular face in Kashmir following his team lifting the Cricket World Cup in 1992, the same period when armed ‘struggle’ was at its peak in Kashmir. Till yesterday, women folk would use to mention Imran Khan in traditional wedding songs. The famous heater coils with Imran Khan’s photo on covers were used at first preference by every household in Kashmir.
“The problem with India right now is the issue of Kashmir. I give full marks to Pakistan for trying to get proper, better relations. But I believe we should have peace with India as the whole subcontinent is held hostage to the Kashmir issue,” Imran Khan said during the last leg of election campaign.
Besides, earlier in an interview, Khan accused the Kashmir Committee of “shameful failure on Kashmir”.
Though many people believe that the PTI’s Kashmir policy would be high on rhetoric but that is unlikely to change anything in practice, however, a majority of sane voices talking to Kashmir News Bureau pinned hopes with dynamic and non-dynastic Imran Khan.
“Kashmir has suffered a lot. I want to bring India on table for Kashmir issue,” said Imran Khan in his Victory speech.
“The emergence of Imran Khan as a liberal premier is a good omen for not only Pakistan but also for India, the liberal faces have acceptance in new world order. As such, we hope that the change of guard in Pakistan will bring a new era of cordial relations between India and Pakistan and the settlement of issues between the two countries including Kashmir issue,” says People’s Political Party Chairman Engineer Hilal Ahmad War.
“Imran Khan’s aura worked and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf was able to win the elections without using religion and anti minority card. The implications of Imran Khan’s coming to power will have some ramifications on Kashmir issue but it is too early to surmise about it. Further it needs to be witnessed how much influence of non state actors, religious and Jihadi groups Imran is able to curtail. Indo Pakistan relationship will not improve as in both countries there are political parties and groups who feed on hate of each other. India has not been able to contain these groups and it needs to be seen if Imran is able to do the same,” says Mushtaq ul Haq Sikandar, a writer-activist. (KNB)