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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Changing Global Narratives and Kashmir: Dormant Yet Not Over 

The world, now used to violent freedom movements, is growing wary of Kashmir struggle and the global narrative on Kashmir is changing. Many different struggles that died out made the world reconsider their narrative which left little room for Kashmir struggle in their minds.

Opinion |

More than hundred days have passed, it is saddening to notice that Kashmir has failed to attract global attention against New Delhi’s recent ploy to strengthen its forced occupation of Kashmir. The unprecedented move on August 5th, 2019 by India is not only unconstitutional and illegitimate but it has also created a greater threat to regional peace and stability in the time when the global political panorama is already on the path of populism and hyper-nationalism.

So is the move by the regime in New Delhi that seeks its legitimacy through appeasing policies aimed for one group; extremists Hindutva, while simultaneously ignoring the multi-cultural, multi ethno-lingual and the most important of all multi-religious flavor of Indian society, the regime has deliberated for the hawkish, risky, dangerous path for the future. Yet the relevant question is, why the global nuclear Flashpoint has failed to secure serious response and immediate measures to normalize the situation?

The impetus given to the system encouraged number of nations in their struggle for freedom and liberty mainly form the European Colonial Powers

Entrapped into the dichotomy of religion and science the majority of the South Asian may ignore and ridicule the theory of evolution presented in ‘On the Origin of Species’. However, its social implications introduced and explained by Herbert Spencer can’t be ignored so naively. Spencer advocated in favor of the fittest of the human race and believed in the collective betterment of humanity through this process of natural selection. And fittest are those who quickly adapt to changing circumstances by assimilating themselves very sharply.

This very notion of fittest is perhaps not being understood neither by New Delhi nor by Islamabad as the former ignores autonomy as a contemporary global norm and the latter struggles to understand that the epoch of militant means is over. Consequently, both are gnawing dangerously over Kashmir. It may sound unprecedented to connect Kashmiri’s struggle with the concept of Social Darwinism. To understand it further let’s have a glimpse of history.

Reluctant to participate in the War-Theater, the United States managed to pressurize Britain to comply with the several principles of the United States’ perceived world order in return for its comprehensive participation on the side of the allied armies. These principles were well enshrined in the Atlantic Charter that comprises; the pledge about no aggrandizement i.e. territorial rights, liberty for sovereign rights and self-government famously known as self-determination, free trade and rest were particular to the war’s context.

Read more: International Law Supports Pakistan’s Narrative on Kashmir: Experts

Thus it could be derived that contemporary world order seeks its legitimacy in the post-war international system; whereby, the-then victorious parties led by the United States initiated for the international institutions like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank under Bretton Woods System.

The impetus given to the system encouraged number of nations in their struggle for freedom and liberty mainly form the European Colonial Powers. Thus, it was not a surprise to witness the emergence of nation-states at an accelerated rate. Within three decades number mounted to three times and more in the coming decades. However, this notion of new independent and sovereign state formation gradually reduced and finally the rate of new state creation dropped to the lowest level in history.

Reasons could be multiple; primarily it could be traced in the Trusteeship Council’s proud achievement for such arrangements from colonial territories to self-governing bodies across the globe. It claimed almost the entire planet has turned into a territory; either an independent state or a self-governing autonomous body, and the Council is no more required to keep its operation.

Freedom struggle through violent means had another setback in post-September 11 era and it became easier to link such moments with terrorism

Moving into the 1990’s it was evident that global political panorama appeared to have new goals to pursue under the United States’ led unipolarity. Now the ideas such as self-determination for independent territories sort less attention and devolution of power and autonomy surfaced as the next global mega narratives. This turning point however ignored by many nations and they remain aloof by keeping to old ideals of international politics. Consequently, in this new wave choices made by nations in of socio-political and socio-economic arena determine the future for them. Some remain nostalgic by hanging in the past and keeping those ideals as the path to development and some opted for new ideas so smartly to surprise the rest of the groups.

Freedom struggle through violent means had another setback in the post-September 11 era and it became easier to link such moments with terrorism. Though it did not work either, nationalities like Basque, Tamils, and Iraqi Kurds smartly pursued political means and abandoned old patterns for liberty and freedom; the long-vanished commodities. However, when such nations moved for freedom and independent status the global community rejected their plea and status quo preferred.

Take for instance Iraqi Kurdistan, a referendum participated by 3.3 million people out of which 92 percent favored for independence was met with bleak ends. Not only regional states but also global powers showed little interest to voice people’s aspiration. The last nail in the coffin for this project was the United Nations warning and opposition to having turn down any such change in the region that could have destabilizing impacts. Despite its all ills and fragile status central government in Baghdad stands as the core and Kurds have to accept autonomy against independence. Thus ‘Kexit’ remains a dream till date.

Read more: China Defended International Law By Condemning India On Kashmir

Though the developed world do not take such harsh measures as were taken against Kurds, yet one such case in Spain ended up with the same fate; the Catalonian referendum for separation from Spain. The north-eastern triangular region sort separation from Spain and showed popular aspiration of by people in a referendum which was labeled as illegitimate by the central government. With forty-three percent turnout number mount to ninety percent who favored a new state for themselves. Even the European Union; the most liberal project of the continent opposed the move and Catalans are part connected to Spain. Obviously, ‘Brexit’ could have been a major concern, which seems to be inevitable.

Simultaneously, Hong Kong and Chechnya are such hot waters for China and Russia respectively. Not to forget China’s worries in Tibet and Xinjiang are tantamount to the Kashmir issue for India. Thus, within the Asian landscape, none of the regional leaders are willing to support any daring initiatives regarding new regional arrangements. So is the recent most issue of Kashmir, which failed to draw global attention.

Though India has unilaterally revoked constitutional arrangements with the State of Jammu and Kashmir, followed by the worst curfew of recent times not to mention human rights violations and illegitimate use of violence by Indian armed forces. It seems change of global ideals has provided international leadership with little space over Kashmir; to advocate for peaceful dialogue between two nuclear nations and to support the people of Kashmir to seek an autonomous status both within Pakistan and India.

Read more: World Cries For Referendum In Kashmir Yet India Stays Oblivious

In the fallout of February 26-27, 2019 mounting tensions and mistrust were to be cooled down by summer, however, New Delhi’s dangerous drive on Kashmir has escalated the crisis into a new dimension. Hundreds of Thousands of additional troops deployed in the valley, one of the worst and prolonged curfew, shutting down of the telecommunications and internet, and unlawful dentition of political leader and civil rights activist has fewer examples even in nascent electoral democracies. An indigenous uprising is evident with more involvement of the youth.

It seems the mantra of the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions is being eroded with every new adventure both by India and Pakistan. The chanting for the UN-backed solution may appeal and sound soothing to the masses on one side of the border, the truth of the day is that it all depends now on the people of Kashmir who are equipped with their century-long resilience and unique ability to carry through such troublesome. Apparently this new gambit by New Delhi will improvise preparations of the people in Kashmir to get it done at the right time, which may not be too far in the future.

Dr. Shah Rukh Hashmi is an Assistant Professor (Current Affairs & IR) at the Department of Business Administration, Sukkur-IBA University, Pakistan. He can be contacted at sr.hashmi@iba-suk.edu.pk. Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.