South Asian Peace linked to Kashmir Issue
15 October, 2013
By Zaheerul Hassan
Since couple of decades, South Asian masses are undergoing various types of troubles starting from poverty to interstate conflicts. Instead, alleviating the life of poor people and respecting their rights, the countries' interests mainly revolve around; piling up of arms, hegemonic desires of controlling natural resources and achieving regional domination. Moreover, major regional countries are dagger drawn on the issues of Water, terrorism, territorial and border disputes.
Nevertheless, Indo-Pak Conflicts over Kashmir, Siachen, water and Sir Creek issues, Indo-China border dispute, Indo-Sri Lanka problem of Tamil Nadu, Indo-Nepal Energy Crises, Indo-Bangladesh water and border conflict, Pak-Afghan dispute over Durand Line and presence of American troops against the will of the masses are some of the serious threats to regional security. But out of mentioned conflicts, the severity of clash over Kashmir is much more than others dispute. It can become the flash point of nuclear war between India and Pakistan, thus poses direct threat to regional and as well to global peace.
Therefore, peaceful settlements of disputes demand an unequivocal foreign policy, mainly towards its neighbouring countries in the modern era of renunciation of war, economic development. But contrary to it, India is a country that is openly been acting upon an ambivalent approach, violates the interstate pacts and does not respect UN Resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 , both these resolutions clearly spell out the terms of conditions of settlement of Kashmir dispute.
According to the resolutions, both the countries had to carry out cease fire with effect from 1 January 194 and later on free and impartial plebiscite would have been conducted by the administrator nominated by UN. First part of the resolutions related to the cease fire became effective but the later concerning to the plebiscite has yet to be implemented as result of Indian deliberate ignorance of the UN resolutions. Thus, Kashmiri living around the globe including both sides of LoC observe October 27 as black day as a protest against Indian occupation on the same date of 1947. India always tried to crush the Kashmiris through brutal actions of their armed forces but failed to stop their struggle for self determination.
Pakistan always morally supports the Kashmir cause and demanded that the most dangerous burning issue be resolved according to the locals' desires under UN resolutions. But unfortunately, UN probably failed to force India on the implementation of its own resolutions. In this connection, former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari while addressing 67th session of UN forum stated that Jammu and Kashmir was a sign of UN "failure".
Again, on 27 September, 2013, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has urged the UN to play a critical role in resolving the issue of Jammu and Kashmir while giving the rights of self-determination of its people. He further added that the suffering of the people cannot be brushed under the carpet‚ because of power politics. He called upon the international community to give an opportunity to Kashmiris to decide their future peacefully‚ in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. He stated that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was presented to the Security Council in January 1948 and yet the issue remains unresolved after nearly seven decades. The Prime Minister said he has an aspiration for regional peace and stability. He said he shared this vision with leaders in our neighborhood.
Interestingly, on 29 September 2013, Pakistan and Indian Prime Ministers held a meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN summit. Afterwards, Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters "both agreed that the precondition for forward movement in the relationship, which they both desire, is really an improvement of the situation on the Line of Control." He pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz also raised the issues of Siachen, Sir Creek, Kashmir and Indian interference in Balochistan. However, their dialogue ended with optimistic note, since in his speech in the General Assembly on September 28, Prime Minister Singh had allegedly said, "It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down." Showing New Delhi's contradictory approach, he also said that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, and in this context there could never be a compromise."
Nonetheless, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid recent statements have exposed Indian dual face while alleging Pakistan for targeting police station and a military camp, killing 14 personal of army and police. In another waving statement Salman Khurshid said, "the two neighbouring countries have not reached a stage where we have done something like so-called resumed talks." He explained, "It is not clear when the political level dialogue will take place." Khurshid added that the recent incidents at the LoC were "upsetting" and not conducive to normalisation of ties.
In fact, Indian political and military leaderships at all are not serious in resolving issues with Pakistan. Both Congress and BJP are trying to come into power at the cost of Pakistan's' enmity. It would not be wrong in stating that Indian External Minister Suleman Khurshid has almost worn-out the Nawaz-Manmohan talks when he blamed Pakistan's ISI and the army in this respect. On the other hand, quite opposite to his earlier statement, PM Singh remarked that such attacks by the non-state actors would not be allowed to derail efforts to find solutions of all problems through peaceful dialogue. But quite contrarily, he remarked on October 12 that despite a confidence building meeting between Nawaz Sharif and him in New York, last month,
The recent tension over Line of Control (LoC) has manifold the danger of conflict between Indo-Pak. The main cause of increasing tensions is the Indian Army Chief Beneral Bikram Singh who allegedly said on October 9, this year that the Pakistani army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) "needs to be made accountable of supporting jihadi factories to wage a covert war against India…Pakistani army's support to the 42 terror-training camps still operational across the border." In response, on October 11, Gen. Pervaz Kayani termed Gen. Bikram Singh's accusations as unfortunate, unfounded and provocative. He expressed "Pakistan Army is exercising restraint, but it should in no way be used as a pretext for leveling such baseless allegations that vitiate prospects of regional peace." But actually, India is fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and other areas of Pakistan.
Disturbing Indo-Pak relationship is further deteriorated because of Indian negative attitude towards the core issues of Kashmir and water. Will Kashmir issue be solved in near future? Will inhabitants of Kashmir be able to use their rights of self-determination under the UN Resolutions? Will India be ready to forego with illegal claim of accession of disputed Kashmir valley? Will South Asian masses comes out of clouds and enjoy peace? Will foreign power roll back and leave the Afghan region in the near future; will South Asian governments prefer economic developments instead pilling up of arms? Are those questions which are aching up every peaceful. In short, the global community should come forward and intervene in resolving the major conflicts including issue of Kashmir since without addressing these guarantee to peace could not be given.
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