In order to make the world more peaceful and united, there must be a paradigm shift from all the stake holders so that the resolution of Kashmir conflict becomes a reality
Many conflicts in the world are not provided with adequate media coverage, as much as there exist a need to. One of such contemporary conflict exists in the South Asian region that is Kashmir, a flash point between India and Pakistan and one of the longest unsolved disputes since decades. This long-forgotten conflict has consumed countless innocent lives so far.
The history of conflict can be better understood if we move back quickly to 1947, a time when the Indian subcontinent was divided between the present day neighbouring states of Pakistan and India, whose relations are mostly based on Kashmir conflict. It is generally believed on either side of the border that it is Kashmir that tends to be the root cause of problems that exist between India and Pakistan. Based on facts this turns out to be absolutely right since the two states have fought three wars over Kashmir in 1948, 1965 and 1999.
It is important to understand two important points related to this conflict; firstly it is essential to consider the instrument of accession, secondly, bindings of the ‘International Law’ should be adjudged by the international community.
Since 1990s intensity of the violence has rapidly increased, from 1989 till present day nearly 100,000 people lost their lives due to the nature of conflict. Evidence of unmarked graves has added another chapter of misery and extreme ramifications of- living in a conflict state. Also the massive concentration of security forces across the length and breadth in Kashmir has created a feeling of ‘war zone’ among the people at large.
Kashmir conflict has given rise to merciless violence and the immense brutality that is pushing the young generation against the wall of despair. With every passing day, Kashmiris are seeing a cause to live and fight for. All this, has led to the birth of a newer generation that are getting alienated every passing day and are opting for extreme options to register their anger and dissent.
It is the Indian government or the top policy makers that need to do ‘self introspection’ more than anyone else. The misuse of Special powers like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) are examples of two such draconian laws that have been criticized not only by Kashmir’s but by the Indian civil society as well. Apparently, the purpose behind the existence of such laws is to provide impunity to the security forces so that to boost their morale in countering militancy in Kashmir.
Now the question arises, what can make Indian policy makers to bring change in attitude towards the Kashmir conflict? As of now they see this conflict through the prism of ‘law and order’ which is adding insult to the injury. The Indian policy makers must come out of the ‘cocoon’ of handling Kashmir in the mundane way. All these efforts have failed miserable in the past and don’t hold any relevance in the present scenario.
In order to make the world more peaceful and united, there must be a paradigm shift from all the stake holders so that the resolution of Kashmir conflict becomes a reality. Indian policy makers must realize the fact that Kashmir conflict is consuming countless innocent lives day in and day out. The need of the hour is a sincere and result oriented approach in order to solve this dispute in an amicable way. The most important thing in this particular regard is that Indian policy makers need to consider Kashmir conflict on priority basis and must come up with new approach and strategy that can pave way in solving the dispute. Indian government must take bold and sincere steps and show courage in solving this long pending dispute as early as possible. The confidence building measures should be implemented at an earliest so that the lost trust can be build up again among the masses particularly in Kashmir.
Dots when connected lead to the point that Indian government needs to establish interdependent relations with Pakistan, which would lead a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir conflict. Resolution of the dispute would stop the extreme hostilities between the two nuclear armed countries. Thereby, concluding that the resolution of this conflict is not in the interest of the India and Pakistan only but for the betterment and common good of the people of Kashmir as they are the worst sufferers of this conflict so far. May good sense prevail!
(Author is Researcher in Defense and Diplomatic Studies)