Pakistan should not encourage any calls for backing outlawed armed militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir, a key parliamentary panel has recommended to the government.
The standing committee on foreign affairs of the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, further recommended that the government should take “action against violent armed groups” to allay international concerns about Pakistan not doing enough to tackle such elements.
The recommendations of the committee , made public on Monday, are significant as the Pakistani security establishment has for long been accused of backing militant groups in Kashmir.
The committee suggested a series of measures for India-Pakistan relations, which were hit by the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot airbase that was blamed on the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“Pakistan should not encourage calls for active support of armed, banned, militant groups in Kashmir,” the committee headed by PML-N lawmaker Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said in its recommendations.
The government should allay “international concerns of not doing enough to tackle Alpha Elements working for the Kashmiri cause by monitoring and taking action against violent armed groups”, it said.
The panel said Pakistan should continue to work for the resolution of the “Kashmir dispute as the core issue between the two countries”. The government should pursue “proactive diplomacy” on Kashmir at all international forums and lend “solid moral and diplomatic support” to Kashmiris.
At the same time, Islamabad should work to institutionalise the 2003 ceasefire along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir and support a “tri-lateral peace process involving Kashmiri leaders, Pakistan and India”.
The committee said Pakistan should reduce the trust deficit between the two sides and seek comprehensive engagement with India on all outstanding issues. However, the panel said that if a comprehensive engagement is not possible, Pakistan should “selectively engage with India in four key areas” – Kashmir, water, trade and culture and communication.
“Selective engagement will not only help resolve issues that are critical to Pakistan’s long term sustainability as a nation but will do so by appealing to the needs of both countries and on a relatively equal footing,” the panel said.
(With inputs from agencies)