The ill-informed India’s External Affairs Minister Salman KHurshid brazenly stated that "the fight which is continuing in Kashmir has no base" (Reports Zeenews India on 6 August 2013). The international community, at the moment, is focussed on this long standing political and human problem and as understood, maintaining a status–quo is fraught with serious consequences for the whole world. United Nations Security Council, at various times, passed nineteen Resolutions asking for a plebiscite to decide future of Kashmir and yet the minister’s statement smacking of stubborn arrogance raised many eye-brows on international level. It is sincerely hoped that India is not allowed to hold the world as hostage.
Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian recently visited India to negotiate a deal to sell 126 Rafale Jets at a cost of US $ 10 billion and as reported the business deal made it incumbent upon the guest dignitary to add some diplomatic flavour by mention of a concern about terrorism infested Pakistan. The white paper on Defence and National Security issued by Embassy of France in India highlighted its concerns and set forth strategic priorities to protect French citizens and also assume international responsibilities contributing to peace and international security in the world, including Africa, Middle East, Indian Ocean and beyond.
The Republic of France with the world's fifth-largest military budget, as well as the largest military in the EU, the third-largest deployable force in NATO, the 26th-largest military in the world possessing the third-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons chooses to arm a country having the history of fighting wars with its neighbours. A country, guided by nostalgia, having a track record of intimidating and harassing its smaller neighbours right from the day it got its independence from British. The champions of democracy supporting people’s human and political rights conveniently looked the other way when the so called largest ´democracy´ walked into Kashmir to occupy and pin the occupied stone-throwing populace down with guns, grenades and curfews.
The principle of non-violence, a Gandhian discourse, it seems is dead and buried as the super power in making conveniently changed its priorities and preferences to seek military and nuclear power superiority engaging itself into an arms race in the region. Pakistan observing the development with anxiety and consternation was dragged into the race at a cost that it could not afford and for survival to maintain the balance of power became imperative and indispensable.
While twisting the statement of visiting French Minister of Defence, Indian media and intelligence agencies use Kashmir’s minority ethnic group remote controlled by India’s fascist terrorist organisations to drag in Kashmir’s popular uprising to taint it with fabricated stories of terrorism or ethnic cleansing. India till now managed to put lid on the atrocities committed on Kashmiris denying them their legitimate right of self-determination. The power block of the Republic of France does understand and remembers the times when Soviet Union’s vetoes were used to thwart unanimous UN Security Council Resolutions supported and ratified by French Republic as an important veto member of the UNSC. The world now is changing fast and works round the clock to make sure that our planet enjoys peace, harmony and security having no scope for any political mischief or any major conflict triggering a nuclear confrontation.
Deutsche Welle in the recent past reported that India has been flexing its muscles following a series of frontier clashes with Pakistan with a warning that "good bilateral relationship should not be taken for granted". India has also been harping on the stage-managed terrorism dramas on its parliament and Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, a conspiracy exposed recently to show the real face of Indian attitudes. The support due to allegations of terrorism against Pakistan to make political mileage on international level seems to be diminishing and the truth coming to light has given some respite to Pakistan and it is argued that a nuclear power pushed too hard could have dangerous consequences. India in the region is playing a game that can surely go out of hands with catastrophic outcome.
MailOnLine reported that Indian army warned people of Kashmir through posters to build bunkers and prepare for a nuclear war. The frequent occurrence of deadly skirmishes on cease-fire line orchestrated and designed in occupied Kashmir heightens tension between India and Pakistan as both are in possession of nuclear weapons. The posters advised Kashmiris to "expect some initial disorientation as the blast wave may blow down and carry away many prominent and familiar features". The usual scare mongering, fuelling atmosphere of fear later was brushed aside in a lighter vein by Indian army saying, "It is a normal exercise to raise general awareness among the public about disaster management".
The Obama administration respecting Indian sensitivities on Kashmir regarding third party mediation and on Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Pakistan, an accompanying officer stated that "We are in no way seeking to broker any sort of conversation on Kashmir" and added "but certainly we are very supportive of the moves in that direction". John Kerry’s last visit to India laid stress on continuation of the process of felicitation and improvement of relations between Pakistan and India. The powers that be in the world are quite aware of volatility of the situation recognising the importance of finding an amicable solution as per the wish of people of Kashmir.
Obama administration has shown huge concern about regular cease-fire line violations in Kashmir as there have been incidents of exchange of fire leading to Indian firing killing a Pakistani soldier recently. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressing his desire to improve relations with India is supported by US and all its allies. The world powers realise that peace is the only way to solve problems and browbeating through show of military strength is counter-productive and will not serve any purpose. The skirmishes on the ceasefire line with killings continue unabated.
The news that China carries out anti-missile test, followed by India firing missile from under the sea, its fourteenth in a row, sends out signals about a very scary scenario and threatening Kashmir’s defenceless population already facing the onslaught from one million army armed with the state of the art weaponry. The report of a large population suffering from psychological problems is shocking and alarming as Indian army in a deliberate attempt uses harsh methods, coercion, and intimidation to create a fear psychosis allowing the population no respite or space. India, unfortunately, with one pretext or another scuttles all efforts made globally whenever this vexed human problem nears a solution.
India was ruled by Her Majesty’s Government of British India for nearly two hundred years and Jalian Wala Bagh is the only unfortunate incident recorded in history that took place to leave a scar on British imperialism but Kashmir for the last 65 years experienced dozens of such incidents consuming tens of thousands of innocent people. On a good note, a large majority of Indian humanists, philanthropists and lovers of freedom support Kashmir’s right of self-determination giving hapless people of Kashmir feeling of optimism and encouragement. The current back-channel international diplomacy working on a solution needs to accelerate the pace so that Kashmir sees an early end to its misery and inflicted pain.