Breaking the Kashmir Jinx

Arshad Khan

The hangover of partition looms large over the two countries and Kashmir, caught in context is paying the price. According to Arshad Khan the two countries need to realize that military approach has not and will not pay. It has been said that Lahore Declaration and Agra Summit were two occasions, when consensus had been reached and a road map worked out to resolve lingering dispute. But some vested interests sabotaged the process. Let the two countries institutionalize the dialogue process in order to develop a mechanism for resolving Kashmir imbroglio.

Excerpts:

 

Paying the price:

“In the year 1947 India and Pakistan were born as free countries from the yoke of imperialism. However soon afterwards separated siblings went to war.  By 2018 two countries have fought three bloody full-fledged wars and in 1999 they nearly exploded nuclear bombs on each other. Ironically, instead of having remorse for the human suffering caused by these conflicts, both countries boast about showing each other down in the battles fought. Seventy years on, when world has turned into a global village with country after country abolishing barriers, India and Pakistan remain in the state of war. The hangover of partition looms large over the two countries which house almost one fourth of humanity with teeming millions even without food and shelter. Kashmir caught in the vortex continues to pay the price for the stubbornness of the leaders of these two countries. Both blame Kashmir for keeping the fire of animosity burning and being the core cause which has burnt all prospects of peace and prosperity of the region so far. In spite of the historical lessons that no conflicts have been resolved by violence, two sides remain adamant to settle the issue by military means. Both especially New Delhi still appears to be nursing the belief that ‘Might is Right’ formula can deliver it from Kashmir quagmire. The Pakistan side should realize that their military approach has not frightened India and the Indian side should acknowledge that Pakistan is no quisling that can be browbeaten by military might. History perhaps bears no lesson for the leaders of two nations that after every bitter war the rival parties return to the dialogue tables to resolve issues amicably. Hence, dialogue should have been the first priority for these countries to resolve the disputes and issues of contention but they never seem to be inclined towards such peaceful means. They seem to have not learned any lessons from the historical blunders they have committed”.

 

Institutionalizing Dialogue Process:

“The recent history provided them with many opportunities to resolve the pending disputes. The Lahore Declaration and Agra Summit were two occasions where it is thought that a consensus had been reached and a roadmap was worked out to resolve the lingering Kashmir dispute. Unfortunately, on both the occasions, as was case in the past as well, the adamant and stubborn attitude of some politicians and vested interests, never allowed that to happen. They perhaps felt insecure with the peace and friendship of two neighbours. Now, when a new dispensation under the leadership of sports-legend turned politician, Imran Khan, has taken over the reins of the government in Pakistan, it should be viewed as a fresh opportunity to resolve all the pending issues and disputes between two impoverished neighbours. Both the countries should immediately initiate some confidence building measures and start an unconditional dialogue process. It is never too late, as is said, and the same holds true about these two neighbors divided by unfortunate events of history. The Indian government under leadership of Narendra Modi, which enjoys unprecedented support of numbers in the Parliament and the state legislatures and the Pakistani government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan have the potential to change the course of history provided there is a will and determination to undo the wrongs of the history. Both can break the jinx and institutionalize the dialogue process in order to develop a mechanism for resolving Kashmir imbroglio. We have seen this happen in the Korean peninsula where North and South Korea have moved forward and there is no reason why the heavyweights of the subcontinent can not do the same. Let sanity dawn on the two countries and let them declare Kashmir which is God’s gift to mankind, as a zone of peace where people from both sides can visit and relax in its divine and salubrious environment”.

 

[Courtesy: daily Kashmir Observer, Srinagar, Kashmir, September 05, 2018].

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