Pak missions multiply over Kashmir in Europe, make an offer to Sweden | Latest India News

The Pakistani side has reached out to Swedish politicians to accept their country’s bid to join NATO with Turkey in return for supporting efforts to internationalize the Kashmir issue

NEW DELHI: Pakistani Missions in Europe have stepped up their campaign on Kashmir, including informal outreach to Swedish politicians to intercede with Turkey over Sweden’s bid for NATO membership in return for mopping up the Kashmir issue .

The campaign peaked in the run-up to August 5, which the Pakistani government has dubbed “Youm-e-Istehsal” or the “day of exploitation” since the Indian government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. that day in 2019.

As part of this year’s campaign, the Pakistani side informally sensitized Swedish politicians about their country’s bid to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Turkey in exchange of support for efforts to internationalize the Kashmir issue. , said three people familiar with the matter.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but faced opposition from military alliance member Turkey, which claimed that the Scandinavian countries supported “terrorist” Kurdish groups. Turkey dropped its objections after the two countries said they would process pending deportation or extradition requests for suspected terrorists.

Turkey warned last month that it would freeze membership bids from Sweden and Finland if the Nordic countries failed to deliver on their counter-terrorism promises. One of the people pointed to Pakistan’s close ties with Turkey and said: “They are looking to use this to support their campaign in Kashmir.”

While most of the Youm-e-Istehsal-related activities in European capitals were allegedly organized by groups and organizations from Kashmir, there are strong indications of support for these events from the local Pakistani mission, said the people.

A letter sent by an official of the Pakistani Embassy in Stockholm to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on July 20 refers to several activities organized in connection with Youm-e-Istehsal, including a demonstration with speakers from the Swedish Parliament and regular contact with Swedish MEPs. “to begin discussions in the Swedish Parliament” on two motions already tabled on the Kashmir issue.

People also pointed to the role of the Kashmir Institute for International Relations (KIIR), an Islamabad-based organization that often spreads misinformation about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, in spreading Pakistani government propaganda on Kashmir. .