The writer is an
analyst and the
President of All
On the 19th of July of 1947, the real representatives of the Kashmiris gathered under the banner of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Srinagar and passed the resolution of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan and associated their future with Pakistan. On July 19, 1947, almost a month before Pakistan came into being, Jammu and Kashmir associated its political future with it that as Kashmiris had deep religious, geographical, and cultural bonds with the new Muslim state. Whereas, July 13 is being marked as Martyrs Day in Pakistan and Kashmir with homage being paid to the people of Kashmir who are Martyrs in the struggle for independent Kashmir. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is an unresolved agenda of Britain and a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Both the parties acknowledged the disputed status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the UN Security Council resolutions of August 13, 1948, to which on January 5, 1949, both the two countries are considered a party. UN resolutions are remained operative and cannot be unilaterally disregarded by either party. As agreed in the UN Security Council resolutions peaceful and bilateral negotiations would be made between India and Pakistan over the future status of Jammu and Kashmir. It, therefore, entails a fair, free, and internationally supervised plebiscite that should be aimed to secure the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. The current status shows both the positions on Kashmir, as, Pakistan is, in the favor of UN plebiscite as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Unending hostility between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute has been witnessed by the entire international community for the last seven decades. Kashmir is the most violent and volatile conflict zones between two nuclear rivals – India & Pakistan in South Asia. The conflict becomes more fragile when the stakeholders are nuclear-armed because it certainly risks regional and international peace. The continuing curfew in Indian-held Kashmir in the backdrop of revoking Article 370 and 35(A) on 5th August 2019, heavy military presence, media blackout, kidnapping of young boys, brutal patterns of violence, and suppression of masses’ voices have ignited a wave of protest and condemnation from the global community, which is emphasizing on a peaceful and sustainable resolution of long-standing Kashmir conflict.
Kashmir conflict needs a sustainable resolution. Regrettably, even the UN is not in a position to play any positive role without the support of the pro-Indian powers enjoying veto power. That is a stark reality. The international community and the UN, if they ever feel their obligation towards them as per the UN resolution that the Kashmir dispute could be resolved.
Since 5th August 2019, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35(A) has given Kashmir conflict a different dimension. It has not only changed the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) but also compromised the safeguard of the demographic status of J&K as a Muslim majority state in India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have been locked into continuous adverse relations due to the conflict in Kashmir and do not find a common ground to bring peace to the region. Therefore, peace is an urgent need to address and redress the grievances of Kashmiris. Kashmiris in India-occupied Kashmir (IOK) is going through an ordeal, of oppression due to massive human rights violations by Indian security forces. The conflict is becoming more protracted day by day and necessitates a systematic and sustainable resolution with the help of the international community and the United Nations. According to an analytical report, it said that the killing of 95,686 including 7,147 in custody from January 1, 1989, to September 30, 2020, speaks volumes about the ‘Goodwill gesture’ of the brutal Indian forces towards the Kashmiri people. The report also mentioned the destruction of 110,367 civilian properties including houses and structures and gang-rape/molestation of 11,219 women by the troop during the period to expose the reality of the Indian Army’s Sadbhavana-like operations. It said that the burial of martyred youth in military-run graveyards without funeral prayers on the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic is another example of the Indian Army’s way of treating Kashmiri people. However, India and Pakistan need to commit to peaceful and sustainable conflict resolution.
Geographically, India and Pakistan are the two most discussed nuclear powers of the world in South Asia. But unfortunately, both India and Pakistan, have experienced political, social, economic as well as human losses due to this protracted conflict. The strained relations are affecting the region enormously. Pakistan, at regional and international forums, and Kashmiris have raised voices to end violence and human suffering and let them utilize their right to self-determination through a promised UN-sponsored plebiscite. Pakistan’s goals on Kashmir are heavily dependent upon its stance on Kashmir. Pakistan’s foreign policy observes as to have peaceful relations with neighboring countries, however, Pakistan’s goals are: to support the Kashmiri people in their battle for freedom against Indian brutal rule to provide justice and freedom in Jammu and Kashmir, and achieve sustained dignity for Kashmiri people, and to have the complete resistance against violation of human rights and uncertainty in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. For India, Kashmir has great strategic value as bordering with Afghanistan and Pakistan; also it shares the border with China. Moreover, the importance of Kashmir cannot be denied due to the origin of the major rivers of the Indus Basin in the region. Whereas, Pakistan considers Kashmir as a zone of fellow Muslims and promoting the Muslim cause is a responsibility of Pakistan. The focus on the current situation is particularly on the two as that the human rights violation and terrorism by the Indian forces, as a result, and in retaliation, the birth of freedom fighters, ongoing protests against Indian authorities, clashes with Indian security forces, excessive persecution, increased violence in Kashmir, the youth’s deadly observation, and consequently, the deadliest incidents that reported in the past years.
Through cost-benefit analysis one may get to know about the cost observes as what India and Pakistan are costing from their active engagement in conflict. Since 1947 several proposals for the Kashmir conflict are being offered by analysts aiming to reach a resolution. The Kashmir conflict needs a sustainable resolution. The international community is responsible for sustaining world peace and resolving conflicts between and among the states, thus, succumbs to influencing the parties, India and Pakistan for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict. Nonetheless, leading the Kashmir conflict in the right direction is essential, only defining structural ways does not seem enough for the resolution. Therefore, a certain framework must be made that must be mutually agreeable by the parties. It evidently proved that Kashmiris are not satisfied with the Indian illegal control of Kashmiris, therefore, causing frequent protests in the area. The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35(a) has further worsened the situation in Kashmir and one can see strong reactions from the international community also. It is high time for India to look into its domestic policies vis-à-vis its minority, especially the Muslims. The world community is not only showing criminal indifference to the humanitarian crisis in IOK and the illegal Indian action to annex the territory but is also looking the other way at the anti-Muslim actions of the Modi regime within India. First, it deprived 1.9 million Bengali Muslims who were residing in Assam for decades before partition and now through the new citizenship bill which denies Muslims the right of citizenship. The bill which has racist and xenophobic connotations has already triggered protests in several states of India.
Had it not been so, Palestine and Kashmir issues would have already been resolved. We have seen muffled concerns expressed by different countries and world bodies on the situation in Kashmir demanding to end the lockdown but nobody has addressed the fundamental issue of self-determination and taken concrete steps toward the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in consonance with the UN resolutions. Indian move to annex IOK, continued lockdown, and echoes of claims on Azad Kashmir have created a radically new and dangerous situation. This heinous action by India could not have been taken without the secret nod of the powers which are in strategic partnership with her. The Indian leadership made a conscious decision knowing well that in the obtaining global environment they could easily get away with their inhuman actions and the defiance of the UN resolutions. Regrettably, even the UN is not in a position to play any positive role without the support of the pro-Indian powers enjoying veto power. That is a stark reality. The international community and the UN, if they ever feel their obligation towards them as per the UN resolution that the Kashmir dispute could be resolved. Pakistan for which Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition will and must continue to persist with its moral, political and diplomatic support to the freedom struggle in IOK as long as it does not succeed.
The writer is an economist, anchor, analyst, and the President of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation.