Don’t shut the window

Let the fresh air come in

Binoo Joshi
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 24 2018 11:18PM | Updated Date: Sep 24 2018 11:18PM
Don’t shut the windowRepresentational Pic

Diplomacy is a  delicate task. It requires  deep thinking about the consequences of each word spoken and each action  taken  while negotiating  critical issues. No one can be  punished to negotiate.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan  has been hailed for his offer of talks of  peace with India and  also riled for his jibe “small men occupying high offices.”  If he were a  real sportsperson –politician, he should have been careful in choosing his words. This applies to the men in  responsible positions in India, too.

Talking peace is very  important. Its importance  is more when the distrust characterizes the relationship between the two neighbouring countries  that share the common history and have been the part of  common geography for centuries together before  a new nation of Pakistan surfaced on the map in 1947.  The unfortunate legacy of this is the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. To be precise, the issue relates to some sections of Kashmiri Muslims.

The contesting narratives what is wrong in the relations between two nuclear-powered neighbouring countries have suppressed the yearning for peace  by the peoples of the two countries. This yearning is widespread and limitless.  In fact, the desire for peace is insatiable.

But when it comes to J&K, the two countries have failed to find a middle ground. The efforts of reconciliation  swing between hope and despair. In less than 48 hours, the hope for peace turned into a  cry for war.

India  claims Kashmir as its integral part like any  other part of the country. The State is part of the political map  of the country. It is governed by the  governments that are elected under the Indian electoral system. The country is  diverting huge amount of taxpayers’ money  to manage things in the Valley. It  also is spending incalculable amounts of money in the place for the developmental activities and promoting the  youth  to get into  constructive  activities.

It is nothing short of a perfect story  that Delhi wanted to script in Kashmir.  It results in imperfection. That is a mind-boggling question. Kashmir is  undergoing intense troubles. These never ending acts of violence have  changed the whole landscape.

The more worrying factor is that it is now  threatening the  very social fabric of Kashmiri society, the cohesiveness of which had stood in a pleasant  resistance to the attempts to cause fissures in  it on the political and sectarian lines. These attempts did not succeed because Kashmiri bonds were strong  enough to resist  all these moves to tear the society apart. But now it  is changing.  If  some of the recent unfortunate  incidents are any pointer, there is an imminent threat of it imploding from within.

Delhi has single-lens answer to all what is going wrong in Kashmir.  It blames Pakistan for everything  that has resulted in the destruction of Kashmir.  Delhi insists : “Pakistan is creating troubles in the Valley.” The argument goes that Islamabad wants to annex Kashmir by force. And, when its  previous attempts to do so by waging wars  failed, it launched a proxy war.

The charge is not quite unfounded.  Ironically, the substance to the whole thing has been provided by Pakistani leadership itself.  A glaring example is  when Pakistan launched  Kargil war, the world came to know that  Pakistan was seeking to widen the trouble. In Kashmir with the help of its army. India lost more than 550 soldiers  to uproot  Pakistani soldiers  from the Himalayan heights. Pakistan  had to eat   words of the  non-involvement of its military in the  war when it  conferred bravery awards  to Pakistani soldiers killed in Kargil war

 Pakistan has been squirming  after it lost East Pakistan in 1971. The whole thing was aided and abetted by India that had become home to  more than 10 million refugees from the place, which  is now known as Bangladesh.. Pakistan  had vowed to avenge its dismemberment.

Secondly, Pakistan wanted  to complete what it  always called “ unfinished agenda of Partition,” wherein, according to it,   the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir  should have been the natural part of new nation for Muslims. India has more Muslims than Pakistan, a fact  that Islamabad ignores.

The correctness of these  arguments  has been judged by the history and historians. There are some of the unfortunate  and unforgiving incidents  that have  drafted the recent chapters of  history of the two nations. But, Delhi cannot obliterate the facts that there was something wrong with its policies too  that made Pakistan to interfere in J&K  the way it did. That part has been ignored.  Delhi should  see that how Pakistan  has  become a  part of the problem or no  Kashmir solution is possible without it. The house is not in order. That is where Pakistan is taking advantage.  Both the countries are playing hawks and doves at the same time. That may be part of the new brand of diplomacy of arm-twisting  and arm resting at the same time.

But  the two countries should know that they are neither America nor China. They have their limitations. Kashmir  wants to get rid of the  violence of all sorts. There is a way out  there.  The need is to open the windows to let the fresh air in.







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