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Kashmir: Unfinished business of partition
Since the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Kashmir dispute between them has become an intractable one. There have been three wars over it in 1947, 1965, and 1999, but still it remains unresolved.
SINCE THE partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Kashmir dispute between the two countries has become an intractable one. There have been three wars over it in 1947, 1965, and 1999, but still it remains unresolved.

The Peace conference was expected to promote a discourse on the challenging issue, to shape up the future Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between the two countries. The two countries signed more than seventy Kashmir related CBMs, but very few have actually been implemented.


Having said this, the CBMs mostly initiated by India have been abortive. None of the CBMs will succeed if both India and Pakistan do not reciprocate equally. Pakistan has asserted the demographic balance of Jammu & Kashmir and is least interested in reciprocating as it can use the proxy representatives of the area to further its interest. If these methods does not yield expected results in a defined frame, then there is a need to change the methods and adopt different approach.

 
For example India has tried to implement the peace process (algorithm) but it is still unproductive. And Pakistan would not come forward for a honest peace process unless it has its own interests. Also, economically, strategically and militarily, it benefits from the United States and China. The Kashmir militancy is indigenous which is maintained by Pakistan. Militants have also been accused of committing many human rights violations. For example, they were allegedly engaged in killing the moderate Muslim leadership and soldiers, raping women (especially in Kashmir) and bombing and booby-trapping railway bridges, passenger buses, and public buildings.

The question is how they are indigenous? While talking to media Pakistani Prime Minister has threatened India with terrorism. It is to be seen if India take any measures needed to counter terrorism. He also wants to remove any presence of Indian movement in Baluchistan. The question is that whether the Indian Government  care enough and has guts to take necessary steps to protect India or would it wait for the United States to give the go-head signal?


The  minority Pandits in Kashmir are accusing the separatists for their evacuation from the valley, which has led to loss of cultural, political and economic identity of their community. There was unanimity among the participants that all ethnic and religious groups within the state should be treated equally and with respect to ensure an amiable solution to the dispute on the proposal involving the talks regarding people of Gilgit-Baluchistan and opening Kargil-Skardo road. While India has allowed the free travel and trade across LoC benefiting the people of Kashmir valley and Muzaffarabad, it is Pakistan's duty to undertake the similar CBMs for the Nubra valleys, Baltistan, Kargil etc. Like Pakistan supports reunification of Kashmir valley and Muzaffarabad, it can also allow to reunification of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh. This can happen only if Pakistan withdraws its troops and civilian administrators from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.


Furthermore the article describes about the UN peace process. In 1948, the UN gave Pakistan 90 days to vacate these areas of J&K but its failure to comply with the UN resolutions the peace process delayed and led to invalidation of an opportunity which could have allowed the locals to express their views.


In spite of occupying Gilgit-Baltistan illegally for past 60 years, Indian government has failed to claim it yet. This action is not only encouraging terrorism but also provoking other militant groups within India like Maoists towards terrorism. Here the question is that whether the government of India taking steps to cede Kashmir to Pakistan?


If a particular method does not yield result in a defined time, then it means that both countries should try a different approach.


If peace is to return to Kashmir, the only solution is that the leaders of Kashmir valley change there attitude and speak for the interests of their own people rather than adding on to Pakistan's interests. In the past, they failed to condemn Pakistan for human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan, for giving more than 20,000 square kms of Jammu and Kashmir to China in 1963, for stealing water and mineral resources of Gilgit-Baltistan and building dams for the benefits of Punjab. There are various internal issues in the valley that need to be dealt with in a holistic manner. The politicians in the valley should learn to prioritize the issues and separate valley related micro socio-economic and political issues from broader national issues.


According to me,a problem will never be solved without a strict deadline. The issues need to be managed in proper streamlined manner so that peace can return to the region without a conflict. Hence, it is high time that our leaders wake up and act accordingly.
 

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