Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kashmir - An Indo Pak Irritant

The Kashmir problem has been a continuous eyesore for India ever since the days of India’s independence. It is worthwhile for us to understand why and how it became a problem for India and Pakistan. In reality, the problem of Kashmir was created at the very onset of Independence when this State was the only one to be given a special status. All the other princely States merged into the Indian Union but, Kashmir was granted a special status. The special status for Kashmir lay in the fact that, Kashmir could have its own Constituent Assembly and the Head of the State was Sadr – e – Riyasat, and not the Governor, like in the other States that had acceded to the Indian Union.
The problem with this backdrop of a special status, became more serious when, in 1947 only when in that year the areas where Muslims had an absolute majority was being eyed by Pakistan, as, a part of their country. However, at that time the ruler of the State was Hari Singh, a Hindu. This desire of Pakistan to take away Kashmir from India has shown itself in several series through the last fifty years.
In 1947 itself, Pakistan attacked Kashmir with the help of the Kabaili mercenaries, even though it did not declare war directly. Now the ruler, Hari Singh signed the document of the accession of Kashmir to India, and thus, for all practical purposes Kashmir had become anintegial part of India by its own will. However, Pakistan’s view regarding Kashmir is based only on religion – for obvious reasons, that, the majority of the population of Kashmir is of Muslims, and it is only this reason that, even now, after fifty years, Pakistan stakes its claim on Kashmir.
This was thus, the situation regarding Kashmir in the year 1947, that is immediately after independence. Ever since then, Pakistan has been fighting and laying its claim on Kashmir. In 1965 and 1971 Pakistan even attacked India when armed troops were sent to Kashmir and Punjab in the eighties, just to create an awe in those areas.
In 1971, the historic Simla Agreement was signed by the Pakistan Prime Minister Bhutto and Mrs. Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. As per this agreement, India and Pakistan have to settle all their disputes only through bilateral negotiations and discussions – and no third party can, at any stage be allowed to intervene or mediate.
The position of Kashmir to-day is still rather precarious as, now India and Pakistan have both displayed their nuclear might and this race for military might could be expected to take a heavy toll in Kashmir. Any time Pakistan with its might and the aid from China may muster the courage to attack India with the plan of annexing Kashmir to Pakistan. Thus Kashmir has defied any agreeable solution through these long attracted international attention, India insisting on making it only a bilateral issue and Pakistan seeking International intervention. Kashmir is now the most talked of region in the world to –day as, Pakistan believes that, it can not live without Kashmir and for India Kashmir is its organ and its pride. Thus the situation is now very tense and can deteriorate any time. However, a well planned settlement agreeable to both the parties could surely be thrashed out if Pakistan and India leaders with a nature and a straight forward thinking sit together and discuss. All this could surely be achieved without any further armed conflicts. For such a settlement both sides have to make some substancial compromises and if they fail to do so, this single issue of Kashmir could provide a spark to ignite the Third World War.
Pakistan has been continuously trying to Internationalise the Kashmir issue – against the very breath of the Simla Agreement. Pakistan has been putting great stress on their demand for an expansion of the role and strength of the United Nations. Military observers group in India and Pakistan, just as observers be deployed on the side of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir is the insistence of Pakistan just to prove to the world that, India is wrong when it says that Islamabad is sending support to the extremists operating in India mainly in Kashmir. This tactics of Pakistan has been the latest of its attempts to dislodge any semblance of peace in Kashmir. For the last eighteen years, Pakistan is fighting a proxy war in Kashmir, in the hope that, India will surely after a time give way to its designs. Pakistan is training and providing with arms the young extremists to kill and loot in the valley with the view that, when there is too much of bloodshed and destruction in the valley, India will have to succumb to the nefarious designs of Pakistan, and then it will present to Pakistan the valley of Kashmir on a platter. However, this has not come to be, so now Pakistan is indulging in a new modus operandi of trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue.
However, all these efforts also put up by Pakistan, to internationalise the Kashmir issue has failed upto now and so, Pakistan only continues to back up and support the terrorist activities in Kashmir in order to dislodge all semblance of a civilized life in Kashmir. Pakistan is probably hopeful that, by applying such tactics it may be able to cow down the Indian thinking and, at some later stage, to this tactics. Let us see what finally happens to this burning issue between India and Pakistan, all that we can do is just to wait and watch and pray that good sense prevails and the tangle gets sorted out to the satisfaction of both the parties, without the further destruction of the beautiful Valley, the pride of India.

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