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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

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