Pakistan’s moral case for Kashmir


The offer to the Indian government by Pakistan to initiate a comprehensive dialogue on Kashmir comes amidst heightened tensions between the two neighbours. Pakistan’s diplomatic support to the freedom movement in Kashmir has of course irked India, which in turn has tried to portray the Kashmiri struggle as the work of foreign-backed militants bent on creating instability in the valley. None of this is new as Pakistan and India have long adopted these positions, and not budged even the slightest from them. The stalemate on Kashmir has led to many lost opportunities to mend ties and work towards a more amicable relationship. The refusal to even engage with each other by pandering to jingoistic sentiment, which is rampant in the population of the two states, has naturally made matters worse. The latest opportunity to start a dialogue presented itself during the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s Home Ministers’ Summit, when Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh came to Pakistan to attend it. On the sidelines of the summit, Interior Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar could have offered to meet him, and this at the very least could have come as a friendly gesture. However, Nisar failed to make diplomatic capital out of it, and instead chose to engage in the same political point scoring as Rajnath Singh did in his speech.
The web of claims and counter claims has largely remained the same throughout the entire history of the Kashmir conflict. Pakistan relies on the United Nations Security Council Resolution to demand a plebiscite in Kashmir so that the wishes of the Kashmiri people can be ascertained. However, the fact that the resolution was non-binding leaves only a moral case to be made for the realisation to azadi (freedom) that Kashmiris have fought so hard for. As far as the mystery surrounding the accession of Kashmir is concerned, it is highly unlikely that it may ever be solved. Unfortunately, the intransigence of both Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute has greatly restricted the space for any diplomatic manoeuvring that would provide a solution acceptable to them.

The conflict of ethnic Uighurs who Thailand earlier sent back to China can also be one of the factors that let loose hell on Bangkok. There is a strong possibility that resentment among the Uighurs against the Thai government led to these unusual attacks in the Thai resort towns.
Whoever carried out these acts of terror, it is a reminder that no place is safe and the whole world is a target of terrorists. It is a very difficult situation as it is almost impossible to guard every place especially those where visitors come in large numbers. The deployment of troops to every venue is not possible. Only pre-emptive strikes can deter known terrorists who do not care for international boundaries while spreading violence. Security agencies need to conduct intelligence-led operations against perpetrators of violence before they come into action. In order to stop terrorists, a sensible approach as well as unity at the international level is required. All countries need to get united against terrorism. There is a need to form an international alliance against all terror mongers and extremist organisations like the Islamic State and the Taliban that pose a threat to world peace. Terrorism is a global threat, and only a collective global stance without any whatboutery could act as the real deterrent on a short and long-term basis.