The sad state of Kashmir

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By Umair Arif
Just after Partition, the Pakistani state claimed the complete Kashmir as its legitimate territory
which should be certified by a plebiscite by the Kashmiri people based on the fact that majority
of its inhabitants are Muslims. “Kashmir humari sha ragh hay” is the major slogan sung by
Pakistanis and the claim that the letter “K” in Pakistan is for Kashmir.

On the contrary, in 1963, the Pakistani side under Field Marshal kashmir-and-gb-mapGeneral Ayub Khan announced giving Kashmir’s 13,000 square miles land to China on Kashmir’s border with the Chinese region of Xinjiang. It means we were ready to give some part of our vital land as gift to China. Then in 1972, PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto accepted the Line of Control (LOC) as an almost official border and in 2006, president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf gave a proposal which included two major points. Firstly, borders between Pakistan and India remain the same and secondly, Kashmir be given autonomy but not independence. These chronological events clearly show that Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir has been going back slowly and steadily. This means that the “sha rag” is no longer considered as such practically but only remains so in speeches and slogans. The people of Kashmir on the Indian side have not accepted Indian domination even after more than 68 years. Interestingly, India has millions of Muslims living peacefully in other parts of India but continuous wave of revolts and protests against the Indian regime can be seen in Kashmir. Either it is because of the continuous and deliberate interference of Pakistan in Kashmir or the brutal and inhumane behaviour of the Indian regime which includes pallet guns, disappearances, extra judicial murders etc., or maybe it is because of the nature of the people of Kashmir to not bow down against injustice and stand for their freedom.

Whatever may be the case, the Kashmir issue should have been properly handled rather than going again and again on the negotiating table when things get hot on the roads of Kashmir and betraying the hopes of the people by slowly stepping back from the initial claims. As far as the UN resolutions are concerned, which is the prime route Pakistan intends to take to resolve the conflict, it seems that since the UN has failed miserably for the last 68 years, expecting it to intervene and resolve the issue ahead is nothing but self-deception. It can be safely stated without any exaggeration that UN has been an absolutely useless platform when it comes to issues related to the Muslim world which include nations like Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, chachnya, Syria, Libya etc.

Similarly, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has always discussed this issue but never taken any practical steps for its resolution. It could have become a strong force in dealing with resolving conflicts of the Muslim world by using its massive influence. But it chose to remain an incapable platform. Now then, with negotiations, we are losing Kashmir, the UN and OIC are not doing anything about it. We have also tried small military operations like Gibraltor and Kargil and have failed in them miserably because of lack of political will.

Having said that, it seems that in order to seriously liberate Indian occupied Kashmir, a sound political and military strategy is required with a sincere and determined will. Secondly, any demotivating claims like “India and Pakistan are both nuclear states and therefore we cannot do much about military solution with India” are outcomes of a politically weak mindset. Have we not seen two nuclear superpowers in cold war where America came out triumphed? Secondly, have we not seen how India took out Bangladesh from Pakistan? Why is it not possible then with a serious visionary leadership to turn the tide of history?

The question would still remain, What if we do get the Indian occupied Kashmir, can the current Pakistani regime yield to the demands of the Kashmiri people? The Pakistani regime is already responsible for massive atrocities on its own people in places like Balochistan, Fata region, Karachi etc. Will the people of Kashmir really accept such an attitude from Pakistan? Or would they then demand independence and would be dealt with the same fate as that of the people of Bangladesh?

And finally, let us assume, we give up the “sha rag” and India gives up the “Atoot Ang” and both nations decide to let Kashmir become an independent state. Would that be really good for the Kashmiris or would they become colony of either India or Pakistan or china because of inability to take a firm stance in front of these giant neighbours? Consequently, it means that an independent Kashmir would also not prosper much, would remain in turmoil and therefore will not be in a position to make its own

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