Dubai signs deal with India to build infrastructure In J&K; triggers Pak
An agreement was signed between the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the government of Dubai at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar on Monday. The agreement covers real estate development, industrial parks, IT towers, multipurpose towers, logistics, medical college, super specialty hospital, and much more.
The MoU is a success to the Narendra Modi-led central government to signal that the mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir, through development and investment initiatives, is on course after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Geo News reported that the Former Pakistani diplomat Abdul Basit said the UAE’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for development projects is a “major success for India”.
What has made Pakistan more unhappy over the MoU is that the UAE has a powerful presence in the OIC, an alliance of currently 56 countries in which Islam plays a significant role, with Islam as the state religion, or countries where Muslims form the majority of the population, the report said.
Abdul Basit, a former high commissioner of Pakistan to India, said in his YouTube vlog that the details of the pact are not yet known, adding that no one knows whether the investment will be made in the ‘occupied’ territory or not.
Criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s foreign policy, Basit said, now that the MoU has been signed, it’s clear that Pakistan is losing control over the matter.
“There should be efforts to find a solution. But is it acceptable that everything is one-sided and the ground has been ceded to India. Now, the condition is that Muslim nations are signing MoUs with India,” Basit said.
Basit said the recent dossier presented by Pakistan, highlighting the atrocities of the Indian government in ‘occupied Kashmir’, failed to work.
“Presenting the dossier isn’t enough. Pakistan is weak on follow-up on a sustained basis. There is no reason why we don’t achieve the results (when it comes to Kashmir). Maybe, we failed to strengthen our civilian platforms to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” he said, the report added.
As India’s business and diplomatic ties with nations like the UAE grow, Basit said, “At this rate, it’s a possibility that soon the UAE and Iran may open their consulates in Kashmir. If this is the state of our diplomatic efforts on Kashmir, this can happen.”
Pakistan has attempted to keep Srinagar isolated in various ways in the past. More than a decade ago, it had lobbied strongly against the UAE opening a visa office there, the report said.
They also sabotaged the move to turn Srinagar airport into an international destination.
The airport was designated as an international airport in March 2005. Also, Air India Express started weekly flights to Dubai. Soon, Pakistan denied permission to fly aircraft from the airport over its airspace. The detour meant longer flights and this made the flights economically unviable, the report added.
“This (signing of MoU) is a major success for India in the context of both Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir as OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) members have always kept Pakistan’s sensibilities on Kashmir at the forefront,” Basit said.
“In the past, they (OIC member nations) have never done something to make Pakistan feel that Muslim nations and the OIC are not standing behind us on the Kashmir issue.
“They may not have been very vocal, but have ensured not to work against our sentiment on Kashmir. That’s why we saw many times that representatives of the OIC nations used to refrain from visiting Kashmir. Many times, even if they were invited, the OIC nations kept in mind the feelings of Pakistan,” he said.
The MoU papers were signed by Ranjan Prakash Thakur, the principal secretary in the Department of Industries and Commerce, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, director general of The Ruler’s Court, Government of Dubai.
The agreement signing ceremony witnessed the presence of Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman and CEO of DP World, a global leader in supply chain solutions specializing in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said, “This MoU gives a strong signal to the entire world that the way India is transforming into a global power, Jammu and Kashmir is having a significant role in that as well.”
He further added, “This MoU gives a strong signal to the entire world that the way India is transforming into a global power, Jammu and Kashmir is having a significant role in that as well.”
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to flag off a direct flight between Srinagar and Sharjah on October 23. This will mark the arrival of Srinagar on the international flight map.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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