TFounded by: Editor in Chief Executive Editor Email: editorial@ pakobserver. net ( Sitara- i- Imtiaz) HE way Kashmiri people have remained firm and steadfast in their just movement for right to self determination despite facing colossal persecution and atrocities of all sorts at the hands of Indian troops over the last seven decades, wile people of Pakistan continue to act as a strong advocate of Kashmir dispute at world forums. Every Pakistani share the pain and agony of the Kashmiri people and this is the reason that today pro- Pakistan slogans and flags are being hoisted in the occupied Valley where occupying forces have broken all records of brutalities under Modi government.
On the occasion of Kashmir solidarity day being observed today, the people are holding rallies, gatherings and seminars to pay tributes to the valiant struggle of Kashmiri people. This is meant to convey to the world in emphatic terms that Pakistanis will never leave their oppressed Kashmiri brothers and sisters alone in their just struggle, come what may. Formation of human chains at different points will again symbolise the unbreakable relationship that exists between the people of Pakistan and Kashmir that India has failed to break regardless of its ruthless campaign and conspiracies. It is however deplorable that the so called champions of human rights who were quick to raise their voice for the rights of people of East Timor and South Sudan have turned their back to the plight of Kashmiri people. Few voices do emanate from different quarters off and on but no practical step has been taken to fulfil the commitments made with the Kashmiri people by UNSC through several of its resolutions. The discriminatory approach on part of some major capitals is just making the world more insecure and unsafe with each passing day. The truth of the matter is that because of India’s implausible and uncompromising state of mind, peace in entire South Asia is at stake. We, therefore, will urge western world to shun their political and economic expediencies, join Pakistan in expressing and communicating functional solidarity with the oppressed people and play their due role for the resolution of outstanding disputes involving Muslims including Kashmir if they are really interested to leave this world peaceful for future generations.
THIS blessed planet of ours continues to be in a state of sixes and sevens. As one looks at images of the devastated landscape of the once hustling, bustling lands that are flashed across the TV screens, the one thought that comes readily to mind is that the United Nations Organisation has not exactly covered itself with glory, Nobel Peace Prize notwithstanding. Given the mayhem let loose by the War on Terror, one hardly ever hears mention of the World Body in the discussions of the sages. Lest the aforesaid lead the reader to the conclusion that this is another one of those self- righteous pieces, one would hasten to clarify that this is not so and that one’s intentions are strictly honourable. To be fair, the United Nations – with all its faults - is not entirely devoid of good points. Let us take one aspect. Those of us who have had the privilege of sitting Pakistan’s alternate delegate, one had been elected the Rapporteur for the Session). The United States’ delegate had managed to ruffle the feathers of the Soviet Union’s representative by playing up the sensitive issue of the detention of some dissidents in the USSR. The Soviet Union’s representative happened to be one of the last of the great breed of diplomats of the era, Valerian Zorin. Mr. Zorin took the floor and in a classical display of fiery oratory carried all before him. He spoke in Russian, of course, but the interpreter matched his oratory - not just the language but also the flair, the flow of rhetoric and the atmospherics. One was left with the eerie feeling that one was listening to his intervention in original. Such is the power of a good interpreter, and the United Nations could boast of quite a few!
Now for a small diversion! Call it what you will, it is the urge to talk - or the absence thereof - that sets various communities apart. A former Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan ( a close friend) disclosed once that two or more Japanese could spend hours together without uttering a word, unless there was something worthwhile to talk about. Idle gossip, it would appear, is not the forte of the Japanese. This said, it is also a fact that some of Japan’s neighboring nations have no such qualms about small talk. So, one can hardly pin it down on regional or climatic culture. In the good old days, to take another instance, the English race had a reputation for aloofness. So much so that it was reputed that two Englishmen ( or women) would not exchange a word unless and until they had first been properly introduced. In other words, presence of a Third Party was a prerequisite to getting a conversation going. Not any third party, mind you, but one well acquainted with both the parties of the first order. Across the channel, though, there were no such inhibitions!
A cursory glance at the idiosyncrasies peculiar to different nations may be relevant at this stage. Some peoples are mild and soft- spoken; others are rough and gruff. Still others ( like the French) convey as much through their hand gestures as their tongues. Different peoples express same things in entirely different fashions. Then there are those - particularly in the Far East for instance - who would go to ridiculous lengths to avoid having to saying ‘ no’; even when they mean it. This leads to embarrassing and, at times, to amusing situations.
Here follows the true story relating to a Pakistani officials’ delegation’s visit to Japan in the 1950s to negotiate an economic accord. The delegation would call at the concerned Japanese office day after day, each time returning with the impression that the matter was under sympathetic consideration. After five days of this charade, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Tokyo was urgently summoned to the Japanese Foreign Office. The Japanese wished to be informed as to why the Pakistani delegation insisted on calling again and again when the Japanese side had made it clear in the second session that no progress was possible. It turned out that the Japanese side ( true to their national characteristic) had not found it expedient to say ‘ no’ directly, since ‘ they did not wish to hurt the sensitivities of their guests’. What they did instead was to drop broad polite hints to this effect. The guest delegates simply failed to decipher the message. The rest is history.
Reminds one of what a senior minister of Indonesia once remarked off the record, when reminded that his countrymen were just too polite to say ‘ no’. He explained: “My advice to you would be to take great care. We have seventeen different ways of saying ‘ yes’; nine of them mean ‘ no’!” The aforementioned all goes to underline the truism that international communication is not as simple as a layman would be led to believe. The mere services of an interpreter, however efficient, still may not suffice. Several diverse variables enter the fray to complicate issues before one is in a position to form a definitive opinion. Gives one food for thought that; does it not? — The writer is a former ambassador and former assistant secretary general of OIC.
Faisal Zahid Malik Gauhar Zahid Malik