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Kashmir solution imperative for global peace

When history is erased, people's moral values are also erased. -- Ma Jian

The Hindu reported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressing on peace efforts with Pakistan as the keystone of his foreign policy (4 January 2014).   Dr Singh also said that he was eager to visit Pakistan and hoped the visit could be possible before leaving his office in view of the upcoming elections. He said, "The progress made in resolving Kashmir issue was stalled due to the events in Pakistan as then President Pervez Musharraf had to make way for a different set up and I think that led to the process not moving further".

Pervez Musharraf, many believe, is paying a heavy price for looking straight into the eyes of Indian belligerents and the threat to his life is compounded by Nawaz Sharif´s hobnobbing with powers at the helm in India who, as believed, was put in the PM´s seat in Pakistan by design with the help extended by USA. The swift turn of events enhancing Pakistan´s chances of becoming a ´failed state´ are construed as miss governance, nepotism and rampant corruption of the past and present ´elected´ ruling elite unable to contain terrorism and lawlessness in the country.

The statement, that Kashmir resolution a historic deal was almost arrived at during Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf´s rule, unnerved political hardliner BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Arun Jaitley, frontline BJP leader sought modus operandi and detailed explanation from Dr Singh about the claimed agreement reached between the two governments. The BJP leader seeking answers for an apprehension that India moving in the direction of Pakistan for Kashmir resolution in the context of demilitarisation and a tripartite arrangement being part of this breakthrough as surmised, is an approach that BJP does not approve of.

Jaitley chanting the mantra of integral part "perhaps divinely sanctioned" unanimous resolution passed in Indian parliament in 1994 and the dictum wrapped in arrogance that third party intervention will not be permitted, declared that India with great difficulty managed to de-internationalize the Kashmir issue and the gains made would not be allowed to squander. Pakistan´s advocacy for an interim resolution calling demilitarisation, allowing people to move freely in divided Kashmir, and a tripartite joint mechanism about resolution of Kashmir were unacceptable.

India with a clear intent managing to keep international community out of Kashmir resolution harps on bilateral talks and keeps Pakistan engaged in goodwill gestures based on trade, cultural exchanges, feature films and even all these less important issues significantly favouring India as Pakistan to India´s advantage is busy with internal political turmoil, economic instability and terrorism. Many believe that India is putting her heavy foot on the accelerator to make sure that Pakistan is unable to come out of the quandary.

Pakistan, at long last, has perhaps realised that so called "aman ki asha" is an extension of an intrigue to use carrot and stick policy to get desired results through soft and conciliatory approach on one side and the hawkish and belligerent attitude involving right-wing parties and army to apply pressure to create a doomsday scenario for Pakistan. Unfortunately for Pakistan, the present Nawaz Sharif government does not get along very well with army; initially due to power held by Sharif family tending to corruption and an urge for absolute power corrupting the powerful ruling elite absolutely and secondly vendetta against ex-president Pervez Musharraf on framed charges for treason has worsened these relations.

A G Noorani, noted author and a political commentator speaking to media in Srinagar revealed that last Viceroy of British India Lord Mountbatten had offered plebiscite in Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad but the incidents were dealt with ´differently´. Making his point Noorani mentioned that army in Kashmir is occupying educational institutions, including colleges, Universities and tourist places though its primary aim is to "protect people".

Kashmir, a sensitive issue sitting on a volcano ready to erupt anytime with serious consequences, needs a solution as early as possible. US exit from Afghanistan this year puts a bigger burden on the powerbrokers to take stock of the situation and persevere quarters dangerously poised to sit across the table and thrash out a durable solution as per the wish of people of Kashmir. A futile effort to maintain the status-quo using methods to delay the process and divert the attention of world community will only result in more deaths and destruction.

The right thinking people in India do realise that India cannot survive on its own and sees the ground reality that Pakistan is a sovereign nation with nuclear capability and has every right to exist on the world map. India needs resources, energy and business with outside world and Pakistan provides a corridor to have such an access. India has big future in establishing direct business relations with Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia and rest of the world and for that Pakistan can provide such facility providing a good, unhindered lasting friendly relationship is developed between the two countries.

It is widely believed that after US exit Taliban headed by Mulla Omar are to assume a pivotal role in Afghanistan and as believed Pakistan is bound to have a huge clout with the new government which again would be helpful for India to continue having its business activities promoted in the region. Kashmir shifting from gun to stone-pelting changed the course from militancy to intifada resulting in international pressure forcing India to change its outlook on Kashmir imbroglio and develop new diplomatic discourse on Kashmir.

In order to maintain peace and harmony in South East Asian region, Kashmir question has to be addressed honesty and with clean approach. The time for political intrigues, machinations using delaying tactics with a false hope to break the will of Kashmiri people to accept a status-quo, has lost its transgressed vigour and the concept has become obsolete and outdated.


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