With elfin hopes–yet with an icon of optimism, as we move in the direction of resumption of dialogue with India, it is only helpful that we quietly clear the cobwebs that are a legacy of a past we better shed as good riddance.
Paradoxically, we have tended to be content moving in ruts, because we have lacked the courage to emerge out of the deceptive security of immobility. One such rut is the myth about the ‘Line of Control.’ Pragmatically, this line has no political import or status, hence no validity or relevance to any future dispensation. A dauntingly great deal remains to be discussed about the methodology of the discussions that lie ahead.
Amidst a clear-cut message, beamed by President General Pervez Musharraf with a focus on realism that there can’t be any relationship with India on any facet sans the settlement of the core issue of Kashmir [which has made New Delhi ‘upset’ as a truthful voice has once again emerged literally devastating the deceitful mentality of the Indian headship], a need for India to bend before the Atlas voice–peace in South Asia–has become all the more essential.
Nonetheless, if there is agreement on the basics of a solution to the Kashmir dispute, progress in search of a final settlement would be smooth and steady, if not exactly swift. In fact, any insistence on haste would be manifestly imprudent. Both sides should bring a high-minded and big-hearted commitment to bear on the negotiations. We cannot presume at this moment what exactly the solution would be. But we do know that only a fair solution will be sustainable with the sincere support of all parties concerned. In this context all concerned are, first and foremost, the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Only in the second position jointly stand the people of Pakistan and India. What all the parties concerned can agree upon straightaway is that whatever the solution, it has to be one that is seen by all concerned as just, fair and equitable to all. When placed in the parameters of the principles set out above, the ‘Line of Control’ ceases to have any relevance whatsoever. It has not been drawn by the Kashmiri people. Nor can Pakistan or India claim to be its authors.
As a matter of fact, both Pakistan and India have, in so many ways, expressed inability to maintain the inviolability of the ‘Line of Control.’ India stands self-confessed as unable even to mount an effective guard on this so-called ‘Line,’ though it has 700,000-plus troops standing by. Once we settle down to talk earnestly about a future solution of the core dispute–Kashmir, the “Line of Control’ would simply fade out of all reckoning. That would be the moment to address surpassingly delicate and sensitive issues, intertwined with which is the peace of almost a billion n’ half populace in this subcontinent–South Asia.
Virtually the ‘Line of Control’ is no line; it controls nothing of significance or substance. Not only that a resolution–still preserved in the top index of the UN–makes it crystal clear that no bar–whatsoever–can be imposed on Kashmiris’ mobility, as they were compelled by the India-backed ruthless n’ tyrannical Dogra Hari Singh rule to leave their ancestral abode in 1947 n’ in a few follow-up years, taking refuge in Pakistan, the grand n’ salient ‘Ceasefire Line Toor Doo’ [break the cease-fire line] movement by the apex Kashmiri Leader, late Ch. Ghulam Abbas in 1958 [in Sikandar Mirza’s regime] is still known to all world-over, which literally jolted the New Delhi warlords–as they have had no bona fide way to stop it, specifically in view of the all ready–aired global voice from the UN podium.
Nehru felt a sigh of breath when Field Marshall Ayub Khan–by virtue of the then political scenario–came in power n’ eventually convinced the fabulous n’ dynamic voice of Kashmiris, the late Ch. Abbas to put his crusade in abeyance for sometime as he [Ayub] would get the Kashmir Issue resolved in line with the aspirations of the dwellers of the fascinating Himalayan State. In a way he did try through diverse means including via the Tashkant Summit–yet the arrogance of India persists even today–which on the one hand speaks about ‘allure for talks’ yet on the other amplifies rather magnifies the magnitude n’ scale of its brutalities on the guiltless people of India-held Kashmir [IHK] with the advent of every dawn n’ applies one ploy or the other to get the realistic solution of the Issue delayed.
Hence New Delhi’s ‘zest for a dialogue’ seems nothing beyond a trick to hoodwink to world. With mounting pressure from every sane nation n’ more explicitly with the unfolding of the factual reports by world’s human rights champions focusing ‘the instant settlement of the core issue of Kashmir as the only way for ensuring a durable peace in South Asia to the eventual benefit of the globe’–India stands fully exposed–as naked as a natural reality.
The only n’ best course left for it is to bow before the ground realities by eschewing typical rhetoric like the so-called ‘infiltration’ as such a polluted mindset of New Delhi has not only been rejected by Pakistan time n’ again but simultaneously has been endorsed by every pragmatic nation the world-over. Above all such vicious alleges of India have no significance before the focal party–the Kashmiris, who have never accepted a Line in any silhouette–may it be a Cease-fire Line or a Line of Control. They are right in their outlook–as the UN commitments on Kashmir fully endorse this veracity–as clear as the coherent n’ translucent as the waters of River Jehlum-with a basis of flickering helix-like Spring of Vaeri Nag, flanking the eye-catching n’ charismatic-Srinagar.
This will have to be accepted as an image of the Kashmiris’ mood-as an exact truth as their kick against the Indian invaders will continue to swell-till the time the despotic manacles are splintered for all times to come.
The author is a noted journalist, political analyst and ex-Director News Pakistan TV.