Aimen Chaudhary
“My view is that if India continues on its present course, then
consequences cannot be foreseen. I cannot say where boundaries will be drawn, but certainly
the present boundaries will be changed. India must be prepared to make a reasonable
agreement, then the process of partition begun in 1947 will be completed.”
— A senior Pakistani foreign policy official, Islamabad, a few days later.
Since the late 1989, Kashmir has been a dispute between Pakistan and India. A mutiny
has been between Muslims of Kashmir, living in the capital of Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar. This has been the main crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi. Every
country has the believe that dispute between Pakistan and India will lead to largescale war. A local crisis can take place between Pakistan and India that if one will
trigger the military response the other will overreact to that; that will lead to clash
between the forces. The war could escalate because of exchange of nuclear weapons,
although both countries are not nuclear powers. The secretary of United Nations and
the American officials has led to great deal of diplomatic activity (September,1994).
In this activity both Pakistan and India were urged to engage in additional
“Confidence building measures”- CBMs-that might would slow down or decrease the
escalation process.
“Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of
experience, or a state of experience, or perhaps an ideal”
For past years no changes could be seen of the dispute between Pakistan and India.
The Kashmir crisis is no closer to resolution yet but both countries are trying to
occupy Kashmir. Kashmir has been a conflict between India and Pakistan for more
than 70 years. Even before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in
August 1947, the area was hotly contested. Today, Delhi and Islamabad both claim
Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it – territories recognized internationally as
“Indian-administered Kashmir” and “Pakistan-administered Kashmir”.
Religion is one factor: Jammu and Kashmir is more than 60% of Muslims making it
only state within India where Muslims are in majority. There aren’t any high hopes
for peace in new century because India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire in 2003
after years of bloodshed along the de facto border. In 2014, India’s current Prime
Minister Narendra Modi came to power promising a tough line on Pakistan, but also
showed interest in holding peace talks. But a year later, India blamed Pakistan-based
groups for an attack on its airbase in Pathankot in the northern state of Punjab. Mr
Modi also cancelled a scheduled visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, for a
regional summit in 2017. Since then, there hasn’t been any progress in talks between
the neighbors.
Kashmir originally came into dispute because of a British failure of will when they
divided and quit India in 1947. The mechanism by which the princely states were
sorted out was inadequate. Each prince or ruler was to decide whether he would
accede to India or Pakistan, presumably taking into account the makeup and interests
of his population; but there was no adequate mechanism for ensuring that each ruler
would make a fair or reasonable decision, or to ensure that the “third option,”
independence, would not be a temptation (the British, the Indians, and the Pakistanis
all agreed that the further partition of the subcontinent would be wrong, and that the
princes had to go to one state or the other). In the case of Kashmir, a Hindu ruler
governed a largely Muslim population, but was also considering independence. While
there were other failures in the partition process, none so crippled the successor states
as Kashmir—and the British were no longer around to repair the damage. Indians and
Pakistanis have lived with the consequences for forty-five years, but currently blame
each other, rather than a faulty partition process. There is a Punjabi saying:
“Three things are improved by beating: women, wheat, and a Jut.”
The article allowed the state a certain amount of autonomy-its own constitution,
a separate flag and freedom to make laws. Foreign affairs, defense and
communications remained the preserve of the central government.
Kashmiris themselves—both Hindu and Muslim—have now tasted
violence of a sort never experienced before as they undergo a terrible ordeal. In both
countries the greatest hawks on Kashmir are journalists, politicians, academics and
some intelligence services especially Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). India
is using troops in Kashmir. They are losing battle of hearts and minds. It’s like treating
cancer with Disprin. Kashmir is not viewed in the same light by all Pakistanis and all
Since the Kashmir problem has been mismanaged by two generations of Indians and
Pakistanis (and Kashmiris must accept responsibility also, for their own errors of
omission and commission), there is no age-group, except perhaps among the newest
generation of South Asians, who believe that the time has come for a solution. And
the timing is crucial.
The Kashmiris need an outside perspective because Pakistani and Indian are locked in
a mindless competition over tactical advantage. Most of us think that Kashmir should
appear as in independent state. Most of the people over there are disappeared and their
families are hopeless till now. Almost 8000 families have lost their loved ones and
many married women are now ‘‘widows’ and that’s really heart breaking. Kashmir is
the most militarized zone in the world. Kashmir has been badly facing rapes,
brutalism, killings, torture cases and many other and even though the Kashmiri
children have also accepted this truth and they are now immune to this. In the absence
of a law, families often lodge “missing persons” complaints with the police to trace
those who might have been subjected to enforced disappearance. The crime
categorizations commonly used in the record books include “abduction”,
“kidnapping” or “wrongful confinement”. August 30 is marked as the International
Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.
~Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris. Not to Indians. Not to Pakistan.
Shahid Afridi
Aimen Chaudhary
Student of Riphah International University