Parliament talk — Widodo style

Indonesian President Joko Widodo believes countries can resolve conflicts through dialogue without much of a need for weapons. Never mind the millions of dollars of weapons exchanges every day; he maintains that competition over military power is futile in the struggle to resolve disputes. President Widodo’s recent remarks at the joint sitting of parliament in Islamabad would be well received in an overall utopic world, but despite his good intentions, their relevance to our present-day world is little with some of his comments being rather flowery — and even naïve.

Primarily, the president’s reference to negotiations between Pakistan and India did not once refer to Kashmir — which has been the epitome of the Pakistan-India conflict since the Burhan Wani murder in 2016. This is highly perceived as the Indonesian president carrying a standoffish attitude towards the plight of the Kashmiris. The irony is that he discussed the support received from Pakistan during the Indonesian independence and vice versa, but ignored mention of the Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom. His reiteration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum, in which both Pakistan and Indonesia take part, was apt but his comment on the nations being the reason for regional stability is a tad unrealistic considering that leaving Pakistan aside, even just the core Asean countries are hardly stable, be it economically, politically or otherwise. At the very least, an acknowledgement or even just a mention about the Kashmir issue should have been made. Furthermore, he seemed rather emphatic about Pakistan supporting Palestine — an imperative issue, nevertheless — even though Pakistan has always sided with the country regardless.

Although Pakistan could always use more friends in support of its struggles, despite the terrible handling of resources by our leaders, more realism is in order. We support that weapons and war are unethical and cruel without consideration for innocent lives. However, dialogue can only work if undertaken with tact, which is not a strong suit of our parliament. It can host the talks but too often, they are inconsequential and without efficacious results.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2018.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

Pak envoy to UN counters Israel’s move to shift turmoil in Middle East to Iran

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrives in Islamabad

    The visiting dignitary will address joint session of Parliament today

    More in Editorial

    Original news :