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Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Kashmir Conundrum: Policy Options With Pakistan

Kashmir has failed in breathing in an independent atmosphere since the decolonisation of the Indo-Pak sub-continent. The region has been a flashpoint between the two nuclear neighbours. The disputed has left hundreds of thousands innocent Kashmiris dead among a large number of injured. The Kashmir conundrum needs to be resolved since it has been a hovering danger to the regional and global peace along with the Kashmir.

Kashmir emerged as an independent kingdom under the leadership of Duralabverdhan of the Korkot dynasty in the 7th century A.D. It used to be a powerful kingdom of its era since it conquered a bulk of areas. That was the time when the Arabs invaded the Indo-Pak sub-continent.

The same region put forward many of its areas to be conquered by the conquerors in the 19th century. Ladakh was conquered and induced into the state in 1834. Baltistan was annexed after being conquered by the Dogras in 1840.

“Kashmir is a burning issue. Its solution is indispensable for durable peace- a solution that is in line with wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.”

The Anglo-Sikh war erupted in the period of 1845-56, ended with the decisive victory of British. As a result of the said victory, the Valley of Kashmir was annexed by the East India Company of British under the Treaty of Lahore.

However, moments later, the Valley was sold to Gulab Singh for 7.5m rupees under the Treaty of Amritsar. Thus, the forthcoming few decades of the Valley brought about unlimited atrocities and hostilities against the Muslim population of the area on behalf of the succeeding Sikh rulers.

The Third June Plan gave an end to the colonized status of Indo-Pak sub-continent. The partition plan stood for the division and accession of areas in accordance with the religious and geographical contiguity. The princely states were awarded with the choice to go for either of the two states or to remain independent if they desired so.

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Hari Singh intended to keep the independent status of Kashmir in fact 

Hari Singh delayed the accession to Pakistan which was about to conclude as per the partition plan. His intention behind the said move was to keep the independent status of Kashmir intact. Thus, it, along with the atrocities, prompted people to rise against the then ruler.

The uprising was joined by the tribesmen of the former FATA. Hari Singh being afraid of the upsurge, called for Indian support which would only be extended after Kashmir’s accession to India. The Instrument of Succession was signed on October 25, 1947, and Indian troops landed at Kashmir on October 27,1947. Following the insurgency, India took the matter to the United Nations on January 1,1948.

Read More: All Kashmiris aspire to join Pakistan: President AJ&K Masood Khan

UNSC resolution 

The UNSC passed a resolution which called for a free and fair plebiscite to let the Kashmiri people decide their future after their own will. The said resolution was passed by UNSC on April 24, 1948, following the formation of UNCIP. The upcoming four resolutions stood for the demilitarization of the region. The free and fair plebiscite has not implemented till to date.

Moreover, the dispute has observed the table  of negotiations decorated for more than once, but, unfortunately, none of them has brought about any durable conclusion to the Kashmir saga.

The said imbroglio needs to be resolved for which drastic steps must be taken by both claimants of the area. Pakistan should come up with such measures as economic oriented foreign policy, diplomatic, political efforts for the solution of the said dispute, role of media, sensationalising the Indian atrocities in IIOK, activation of Parliamentary committee on Kashmir cause, continuation of diplomatic and political support to the freedom fighters of Kashmir, replacing Pakistan’s hard face with its soft image among others.

Read More: Can Pakistan and India resolve the Kashmir issue?

Indian illegal annexation of Kashmir 

India unilaterally withdrew the special status of the Kashmiris ensured to them by the Indian Constitution via its Articles 370 and 35A. India showed its aim behind this move that it intended to mainstreamize the Kashmir and to revive it economically; but these were badly failed since the whole has been under siege since the withdrawal of its special status.

This unilateral revoke was followed by the National Register of Citizens, the Citizenship Amendment Act and the biased domicile law to change the demography of illegally occupied region. All these were triggered under the fascist and racist government of BJP. Kashmir has been breathing under the same suffocation since the repellent. Pakistan’s new political map vows to resolve the dispute via the UNSC’s Resolutions.

Notwithstanding the disarrayed and mired future of the Kashmir cause, Pakistan may have a sack of options to exploit for bringing about a longstanding solution to the Kashmir saga.

Read More:  Future of the Kashmir Issue

One cannot have a blind sight to the bulk of problems Pakistan

One cannot have a blind sight to the bulk of problems Pakistan is coming across. Sinking economy is one of them. It would not be out place to say that the main driving force behind Pakistan’s diplomatic failure in Kashmir cause is its deplorable economic conditions. China can support Pakistan’s narrative vis-a-vis Kashmir under the banner of UNSC resolutions. Russia has been a close partner to India on dint of Indian purchasing power and having one of the largest consumer markets in the World.

Pakistan may get Russia on its back through implementing trust building measures with Russia to terminate the earlier trust deficit atmosphere. It can be made possible only  with the extension of military and economic cooperation towards Russia. India is one of the largest consumer markets in the world and is attractive to the outsiders on dint of this reason. Most of the Arab countries have signed agreements and MoUs of billions of dollars with India.

They are also hosting a large number of Indian diaspora. Kashmir has persistently been failing in obtaining the nod of most of the Muslim world. The crux of all this cries for the stable economic posture of Pakistan to avoid of its dependency on others and to get many at its back vis-a-vis Kashmir cause. The recent warning to KSA­­-led bloc about clarifying its stance on Kashmir issue is a move by Pakistan to remind them of the steps Pakistan took in their best favour ,e.g., skipping KL Summit.

Likewise, Pakistan should keep sensationalising the blatant violation of human rights in Kashmir on behalf of Indian armed forces. It needs the activation of the parliamentary committee on Kashmir to hold to the cause actively. A separate Kashmir desk should be built up at Pakistan’s foreign office.

Read More:  Violence Against Kashmiri Women

Diplomatic front 

The diplomats of Pakistan should continue their efforts of letting the countries- where they are appointed by Pakistan- know very well about the Indian atrocities and brutalities in the IOK. The foreign minister of Pakistan should continue its sittings with his counterparts vis-a-vis Kashmir dispute in order to get India pressurized by them to put the blatant human rights violation in Kashmir down and to join the table of negotiations against its counterpart, Pakistan.

Pakistani media should also launch a massive coverage of the Indian atrocities and let the outsiders know about them.

Moreover, Pakistan should launch unending efforts to bring the world media, international human rights watchdogs and observers to the areas thereby to  portray Indian brutalities in the IOK via their respective mediums.

Pakistan is needed to promote its soft image thereby to counter the Indian narrative about Pakistan being a terror- sponsoring state. It is one of the main driving forces behind the week position of Pakistan at the international front vis-a-vis Kashmir. India has one of the strongest lobbies in the world which is lobbying consistently India in the West and other parts of the world for its Kashmir narrative.

Read More:  365 Days of Kashmir in Lockdown

Pakistan’s soft image 

Pakistan is supposed to keep moving on with same posture of promotion its soft image via tourism, posing peace gestures, e.g., Kartarpur corridor, etc.The return of sports to its barren grounds, the internationally recognised achievements in the field of tourism and the UN’s Secretary General visit to Pakistan and his offer for playing a role of a mediator in the Kashmir saga and complying with the fourteen points out of the total 27 given by FATF are the areas which show the improvement of Pakistan vis-a-vis its security sphere. Therefore, it may help Pakistan in understanding the world about the seriousness of the Kashmir dispute.

Likewise, implementation of Confidence Building Measures mentioned in the above paragraph can also edge Pakistan regarding the future of Kashmir cause. They may be proved fruitful as they did in the case of the Isreal-Jordan peace pact. Moreover, Pakistan should take the regional players on board to pressurize India to show seriousness in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

In a nutshell, Kashmir has failed in breathing in an independent atmosphere since the decolonisation of the Indo-Pak sub-continent. The region has been a flashpoint between the two nuclear neighbours. The disputed has left hundreds of thousands innocent Kashmiris dead among a large number of injured. The Kashmir conundrum needs to be resolved since it has been a hovering danger to the regional and global peace along with the Kashmir.

The writer is an analyst of current affairs and has done his MA in English Literature and Linguistics from NUML, Islamabad Pakistan.