Fate of Kashmir?

With an atypical diplomatic style, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Masud Khan has-“at last-“given a hint, what he phrased as; ‘Kashmir solution can be achieved on the basis of give and take for which various options are being explored.’

In his weekly briefing in Islamabad on the onset of this week, Khan said that ‘the two countries will have to move from their stated positions to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris and acceptable to both India and Pakistan.’

If analyzed with a pragmatic approach, this perception of the Khan, in a way, not only negates his own avowal as on the one hand he talked of a ‘shift in the stated positions’ and on the other speaks of ‘in accordance with the wishes of the people of the Himalayan State of Jammu & Kashmir,’ who by all norms of justice, fairness and egalitarianism are the only key party to the Kashmir dispute, a veracity, which has been admitted-“with one voice-“by the United Nations through its’ over a dozen resolutions on Kashmir [1948-1957].

No doubt that a lot of water has passed down all the bridges-“standing over River Jehlum which originates from the Spring of Vairi Nag in held-Kashmir and River Tawi-“roaming aside the city of occupied-Jammu turned red with the blood of martyrs-“yet Kashmiris’ standpoint remains-“as solid as the peaks of the charismatic State and as towering as the mighty range of the mountains, flanking this realm. And this is their pledge; to seek their birth right of self-determination-“at all costs.

As the folio of history reveals, instead of finding an amiable solution-“hallmarked with a sane and cogent approach, Kashmir issue has-“paradoxically-“been complicated, one way or the other, with the passage of time.

If accepted that logic of ‘give and take’ can alone take the two countries towards the settlement of the dispute that has soured their relations since their independence in 1947 then what was the wisdom for getting into skirmishes during the gone-by half-a-century-“a course, which resulted into nothing except fetching ill-fated scenarios, not only for the people of Jammu & Kashmir but equally for the two nuke-neighbors of South Asia, India and Pakistan.

What’s, however, vital is that the fundamental principle of Kashmiris’ aspirations should be upheld in any solution to the problem. President Musharraf and Dr Manmohan Singh have-“already-“vowed to explore all options for the resolution of this festering dispute. Any option deemed to be acceptable to both sides should, of-course, revolve around Pakistan’s specific national interests-“but more exclusively in line with the Kashmiris’ wishes.

Let us presume for a moment that there can be no headway vis-à-vis the ongoing composite dialogue between the two countries without moving from their stated positions, but it’s important that-“such a flexibility should be on reciprocal basis and certainly not a one-sided affair.

Peace-“is ought to be sought with dignity and honor-“with no compromise on principles. The entire word knows that Kashmir is the core issue between Pakistan and India and it has always been recognized as South Asia’s nuclear flashpoint by the world community.

A special responsibility, thus, devolves on India to rise above its rhetoric of ‘Atoot Ang’ [so-called integral part] and acknowledge the ground realities in occupied Kashmir, where Kashmiris have sacrificed over 90,000 lives for the sake of freedom from the tyrannical Indian rule.

Not only that India has imposed-“almost a million troops, the highest number of deployment anywhere around the globe-“in occupied Kashmir to bulldoze the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle, yet has wretchedly and miserably failed to win over-“the hearts of the gallant Kashmiri people.

They [the Kashmiris] are being subjected to worst kind of State terrorism and colossal human rights violations. Death and destruction is order of the day while carnage-“explicitly-“the custodial killings by the Indian occupation forces are unabated in the forcibly occupied State.

If India is actually serious and sincere in the resolution of the Kashmir issue, it’s incumbent upon New Delhi to stop its State terrorism in IHK-“at-once to pave vistas for a solution of the Issue-“yet only the logical one.

To this effect, we would like to point-out that realists do believe in such a mode. A noted intellectual from occupied-Jammu, Krishan Dev Sethi said the same words at a function in Mirpur [Azad Kashmir]-“last week. He said and we quote; ‘Ceasefire along LoC would not bring any meaningful upshot, unless the Indian troops, posted in Kashmir [IHK] bring about a cease-fire in the [held] State, bring the reign of bloodshed to an end.’

We are well-aware of the fact that global environs have changed with the advent of the new epoch-“the new centenary. More specifically after the Nine/Eleven tragedies in the United States. Yet would like to point-out that the master of today’s world, the US is ought to use an identical parameter vis-à-vis the caged nations-“with the people of Jammu & Kashmir atop.

The smaller nations should not be punished-” without any fault on their part but, striking the benchmark of equilibrium-“should be helped to the optimal so that they too can accumulate fruits of freedom from the aliens. Similarly, it is the moral obligation on the part of the United Nations [even if it has, now limited powers] to fulfill its commitments on Kashmir-“lest it meets the fate, alike the League of Nations.

Pakistan is well aware of the Indian egotistical mindset. It knows that apart from fanatical compilation of arms and arsenal from every-where [with Israel atop]-“the hideous propaganda crusade, unleashed by India-“on global level via diverse means-“ever since the birth of Pakistan persists even today. Not only that India’s print, electronic and E-media is endlessly engaged in this spiteful crusade, even the overseas sources of news and views dissemination, markedly in the West-“are being used to clutch India’s anomalous ‘goals of malevolence,’ Amid such an obvious setting, how can we expect a ‘message of goodwill’ from New Delhi? Yes, Pakistan should move forward on CBMs and composite dialogue, provided India brings such a detrimental practice to an eternal end.

As for Kashmir, there should-“in no mode or manner-“any communication be beamed, like ‘give or take’-“at this stage. Even if Pakistan has evolved a strategy to get the issue resolved-“any solution, being contemplated has to be in line with a realistic standpoint-“the dignity and honor of Pakistan as the foremost.

To accomplish the goal Pakistan should, first of all take the Kashmiri leadership into confidence. Such an objective can be achieved through a round-table conference, to be participated by apex Kashmiri leadership from both sides of the LoC. If India refuses the participation of Kashmiri leaders, having abode in IHK-“it shall, once again, stand exposed before the world.

Till such time that the Kashmiri headship of IHK is enabled to partake in such a moot, the top Kashmiri leaders of Azad Kashmir as well as those dwelling in Pakistan are ought to be given a day-to-day [or weekly] briefing on the swiftly changing situation in South Asia. Any decision sans the consent of the representative assemblage of the Jammu & Kashmir State shall prove-“nothing more than a pointless exercise.

Nonetheless, we feel optimistic that Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman shall take into account the ground reality; that the fate of Kashmiris rests with the people of the State alone and that they are the solo authority to determine their destiny. And, with this authenticity in mind-“the Khan shall come out with an elucidated statement on Kashmir, when he meets media men on Monday-“next.