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SOURCE: AFI

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has once again brought the Kashmir issue to the forefront as part of its electoral strategy leading up to the national polls. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has pledged to prioritize the ‘Kashmir issue’ should the PPP come into power. Bhutto’s remarks come in conjunction with Pakistan’s annual observance of ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, a day dedicated to showing support for the people of Kashmir.

In addition to his focus on Kashmir, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also criticized his political rival and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for what he perceives as attempts to reconcile with India. Bhutto accused Sharif of seeking rapprochement with India, particularly highlighting Sharif’s recent statement expressing willingness to engage with India if it restores Article 370, which was revoked by Prime Minister Modi’s government in 2019.

The exchange of statements between political leaders underscores the complex dynamics surrounding the Kashmir issue and the broader regional relations between Pakistan and India. Bilawal Bhutto’s emphasis on advancing the Kashmir cause aligns with the longstanding stance of the PPP, which has historically been vocal about advocating for the rights of Kashmiris and highlighting their plight on international platforms.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif’s overtures towards India suggest a potential shift in diplomatic approaches, albeit one that is met with skepticism by his political opponents. Sharif’s proposition to engage with India conditional upon the restoration of Article 370 reflects the contentious nature of the issue and the differing perspectives within Pakistani politics regarding the best approach to address the Kashmir dispute.

Prime Minister Modi and his administration in India have been the subject of criticism from various quarters in Pakistan, with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari targeting India and Modi on multiple occasions. The rhetoric surrounding India-Pakistan relations remains a sensitive and divisive issue, often influencing electoral discourse and public sentiment in both countries.

As Pakistan prepares for national polls, the Kashmir issue is likely to remain a focal point for political parties seeking to mobilize support and galvanize public opinion. The discourse surrounding Kashmir reflects not only the complexities of regional geopolitics but also the deeply entrenched ideological positions and historical grievances that continue to shape the dynamics between Pakistan and India.