The mindful and affirmative statements from Indian and Pakistani leadership show that the governments of both the countries have significant pressure, internally and externally, to move forward in the direction of seeking solution.
Since both the countries have established communication at different levels and opened borders for the people from different walks of life are interacting with each other graciously. The mutual and reciprocal activities are being conducted which indicate that the people of both the countries want to live in peace and harmony. Both nations are showing remarkable optimism to build strong neighbourly relations. Corroborating peoples’ aspirations, the government heads of both the countries are also found fervent in winning the game in their account
Prior to their first meeting, the two newly elected Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan –” Manmohan Singh and Shaukat Aziz – are expressing great deal of optimism in their statements. Mr. Manmohan Singh, commenting on Aziz’s visit to India, said that India was very serious about composite dialogue and wanted to see progress. On the other hand both Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz are also looking desperate to make a break through with India on the solution on Kashmir.
However, despite opening the arms of friendship and showing eagerness to talk on the issue, the leaderships of both India and Pakistan are yet to show any flexibility on their prime positions on Kashmir. During his first visit to Kashmir, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh loudly repeated Indian stand on Kashmir by recalling Kashmir as an integral part of India and refusing to accept any line of control in Kashmir. He also refused to talk on holding plebiscite among Kashmiris. On the other hand, though Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf is showing his extensibility by vocalizing various options but he didn’t seem formable on his stand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved according to the will of the people of Kashmir which signals to hold the plebiscite. Remember, the UN Security Council Resolution had passed a resolution on 21st of April 1948 which states; “both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”. However, India later denied acting on the resolution giving the reason as unfeasible for them.
In the present atmosphere, it is considered that Kashmir is the only but core issue between India and Pakistan. It is equally important to resolve for the rest of the world especially for the region to bring the stability and peace in South Asia. The other leaders of SAARC nations repeatedly endorsed demands that the future of South Asia largely depends on the relationship between India and Pakistan. Since the creation of Pakistan and India, unfortunately, both the nations have been in the status of war primarily due to the dispute on Kashmir. As the issue is deeply rooted among the two nations since their birth, it requires huge confidence, enormous trust, mutual understanding and maturity in their relationships at all levels before they enter into the phase of negotiating the solution on Kashmir.
It is good to see that the heads of both India and Pakistan are making efforts sensibly and cautiously to build friendly relations. However, the newly elected governments both in Pakistan and India are also looking keen to jump into the final phase as quickly as possible. The newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz who has just started his leading political career in Pakistani politics is looking for an opportunity next door. Only having few months in the role of Premiership, he decided to visit India to talk on the most critical issue of Kashmir. On the other hand, in India, Manmohan Singh, having spent only few months as a Prime Minister visited Kashmir and spoke on the issue. It seems that the Premiers of both the governments want to record their names in history books on their debuts.
However, the leaders of both India and Pakistan have to keep in mind that the people of India and Pakistan, by nature, are heart-warming, emotional, excitable, impassioned, susceptible and temperamental. As quickly they show love as quickly they can turn to animosity if the things don’t go their way. The half century old bitter and enmity relations will require time to develop maturity in the friendly relations and to understand each others’ stand points. Still more people to people contact is required at different levels. The steady and progressive interactions, for some time, in the fields of trade, technology, art and media are required to generate mutual interest and confidence among the people before talking on the crucial geo-political matters. Any pre-mature discussion on a sensitive issue of Kashmir will have a greater risk of miscarriage.
Half a century old critical issue cannot be resolved in few months’ political exercises and speeches. There is still a need of obtaining consensus from the people of India and Pakistan before their leaders commence for table-talk on the issue. More forums, debates and open discussions of the people of different walks of life are required to be held at different levels on the issue of Kashmir. There is a need for the governments of both the countries to provide opportunities to their thinkers, scholars, journalists and politicians to meet and discuss the Kashmir issue in a fair and free atmosphere and bring their suggestions to the public.
Most importantly, there is a need of engaging the people of Kashmir into the process of analyzing and seeking the solution. The leaders of both sides of Kashmir should be allowed to freely meet each other and pave way towards the resolution of Kashmir. Then there is a need of continuous tripartite dialogues between the representatives of India, Pakistan and Kashmir (of both sides).