In an interview with the Telegraphic India, Basit said that unrest in Kashmir had been triggered by the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahuddin leader Burhan Wani. “One thing is for sure: Pakistan has nothing to do with the Uri attack,” he said bluntly.
“We were on the right track even after Pathankot, but then July 8 happened, and you know what has happened in Kashmir since. We lost momentum,” he said. He said Indian accusation of sponsoring terrorism were ‘verbosity’ and they can come up with catch phrases but it would not solve any purpose.
Basit reasserted that the people of Kashmir should be given a chance to decide their future, as it involves twelve million people and is not only about territory but a territorial dispute. He said that it was “important for India to understand” that Kashmir is the factor that keeps “bedeviling our relationship and bringing mistrust between us”.
The envoy admitted that relations between India and Pakistan were in a tough place, but denied that they are thinking about war. “War is not a solution, war creates more problems. We should not allow war hysteria to dominate our discourse. We have to be mature,” he said.
He said the both countries can afford to not talk to each other for some time, but addressing the challenges can only happen through peace and dialogue. He expressed hope to retrieve the ground diplomatically.”I am a diplomat and an optimist. I hope diplomacy wins,” he asserted.
He denied accusations that the Uri attackers had infiltrated from Pakistan, and said that will never let their territory be used for violence anywhere in the world. He said that fiery speeches against made against each other, but this does not drive foreign policy.
He emphasised that this was not about Burhan Wani but about Kashmir, and it is more important to deal with the problem. He said that thousands of people came for his funeral and the subsequent happenings in Kashmir are serious and spontaneous.
“You cannot brush Kashmir under the carpet, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be given the right to determine their future at some point,” he reminded. This is issue which needs to be resolved and has also been accepted by various political parties of Kashmir as well.