Pakistan

Expert Voices

Pakistan is harnessing Western media in the wake of the Kashmir crisis

Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Asad Majeed Khan.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Asad Majeed Khan. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Responding to India’s August annexation of Kashmir, Pakistani officials are using interviews, op-eds and social media to emphasize that Islamabad is taking a diplomatic, not military, response to the dangerous religious zealotry that is driving Indian policy.

Why it matters: Pakistan is betting a global public relations campaign can help address the Kashmir crisis in the short term and realign South Asian politics in the long term — paving the way for economic gains and better relations with the West.

Pakistan struggles to rally the world against India's Kashmir crackdown

An Indian paramilitary trooper on an empty street in Srinagar. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Two weeks after India announced major constitutional changes in Kashmir, a communications blackout continues, political leaders remain locked up, and the unrest India feared when announcing the drastic steps is still threatening to break loose.

The flipside: Pakistan, India’s fierce rival, has been attempting to rally international condemnation of India’s moves in Kashmir, which it also claims and partially controls. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly compared India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Nazis and warned without evidence of an “impending genocide” in Kashmir.