Kashmir can guarantee regional peace
The race for conventional military might, nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction portrays a scary doomsday scenario pressing the panic button. A frantic effort on international level is on to find solution to some of volatile political situations bearing hallmark for potential threat of total annihilation. There is a lot at stake and fingers crossed any mishap can make explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like a game of fire-crackers.
Kashmiri leadership has once again forcefully reiterated that trade, cultural exchanges and sports between India & Pakistan is not an issue that concerns Kashmir but display of a clear intent to address political problem and allow Kashmir the right of self-determination as laid down in the United Nation Security Council Resolutions. In his address Muhammad Yasin Malik, at Srinagar´s Gaw Kadak massacre spot, where on January 21, 1990 fifty one people were butchered in indiscriminate firing by Indian army, said "Kashmiris have been offering unflinching sacrifices for freedom from India. India and Pakistan must focus on resolution of Kashmir dispute as the first priority" he added.
The priority conflicts Kashmir and Palestine on the agenda needing immediate global attention, Kashmir took remarkable precedence over all other issues in view of the global concern which if ignored, could conflagrate into world war III. The effort is on to put pressure on both countries to come on the negotiating table to sort this humanitarian problem out as the decimation of Kashmiri population cannot carry on unabated.
Yogesh Sagotra reports from Kashmir (January 18, 2014) that a seventy year old woman Hajra Bano wife of late Ghulam Rasool Bhat of Pattan Kashmir is denied her passport, to go on a life time journey of Haj Pilgrimage, on the plea that her son mysteriously disappeared and his whereabouts were unknown. Apart from nearly one hundred thousand people killed buried in various graveyards of Kashmir, thousands more have disappeared and many more bodies of tortured Kashmiris discovered in unidentified graves in the geographical boundaries of Kashmir State.
Kashmir facing death & destruction for the last 66 years adds to the numbers youth targeted in different states of India where students from Kashmir venture out to seek education in Indian Universities. In a series of killings, a fresh victim of systematic wanton killing of Kahlid Mantoo, pursuing an engineering degree course, in mysterious circumstances is reported from Punjab´s Hoshiarpur. The spate of incidents of such heinous crimes are committed to scare away and discourage young students from seeking knowledge and at the same time killing, it seems, gives perpetrators some sadistic pleasure.
Spain´s Catalonia referendum for independence set for November 09, 2014 or the expected September 18, 2014 referendum of Scotland, widely believed, will have considerable effect on similar situations around the world. Whatever the reaction of Spain; the reality is that a democratic process without any sinister political motive visible, is allowed to prevail which is part of the modern day global society based on principle of justice and political freedom.
Kashmir imbroglio is not any foreign sponsored intrigue to instigate a population who came in from some native land for economic or business reasons and indulged in terrorism to claim an independent country. Kashmir, an independent nation, was forcibly occupied on October 26, 1947, having its own flag, constitution, army, parliaments (lower and upper house), group of cabinet ministers and executives and a viable economy self-sufficient in all respects. The nineteen UNSC (United Nation Security Council) Resolutions have all along vouchsafed and stressed a plebiscite to allow people the right of self-determination.
BBC reports (December 26, 2013) that Indian army decided to start court martial proceedings against six soldiers over their involvement in the staged killings in Indian held Kashmir. Kashmir´s history is replete with such ongoing incidents right from the day of occupation in 1947 and the court marshals or any punishments promised for crimes committed have always been eyewash and conveniently brushed aside when the tempo dies down.
Pakistan has been desperately trying to seek stability on its western and eastern borders as the country is faced with a precarious situation of perpetual terrorism leading to economic instability and lawlessness. India, unfortunately, taking the advantage of Pakistan´s predicament of internal turmoil is using a carrot and stick policy. On the one hand the ruling Indian elite talks of trade, cultural exchanges, sports and on the other hardliner extremist political parties supported by Indian army use rhetoric spitting venom and the belligerent disposition with resultant skirmishes on ceasefire line in Kashmir.
The good neighbourly relations balance will tilt more in favour of India as India has a lot to offer than Pakistan which at the moment is busy fighting terrorism and has adverse internal political situation crippling its economic infrastructure. Pakistan could depend more on the import of Indian merchandize to feed its people and keep the government running.
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, in a press conference in New Delhi on January 04, 2014, revealed that the back-door diplomacy engaging secret envoys of India and Pakistan had almost arrived at an agreed resolution to solve Kashmir problem but the change in government in Pakistan stalled that process. Kashmir cannot wait indefinitely and expects the global powers to put more pressure on India to stop repressive measures and allow people to exercise the right of self-determination. Moreover, SAARC countries are also expected to play a role as all these countries have faced their bit of political misery at one time or another.
A prominent Indian lawyer, a civil rights activist and a humanist V. M. Tarkunde on February 19, 1990 stated "A grant of plebiscite to the people of Kashmir is the obvious solution. If, as a third alternative Kashmir becomes an Independent Democratic and Secular State, its territorial integrity should guaranteed by India, Pakistan and the UN. That would end the hostility between India and Pakistan and Kashmir will acquire the Status of the Switzerland of Asia. A Humanist cannot wish for anything better".