The region of Kashmir has been in the news a lot recently. There has been an upsurge in resistance to the Indian presence there by the people of Kashmir. This has involved rioting and state sponsored killings of protesters. The Indian air force conducted airstrikes on the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, in what they claimed was an attempt to destroy Kashmiri rebel strongholds there. Pakistan then launched retaliatory strikes in Indian-controlled Kashmir. This tit for tat culminated in the downing of an Indian jet fighter and the capture of the pilot, who was then returned to India in an attempt to defuse tensions. But why has this territorial dispute erupted at this time and is there any chance that it will escalate into a full scale conflict between two nuclear powers?
The following article takes us through what is happening in Kashmir, a land on the brink.
That is a rather simplified version of what I shall say is nothing less than one of the most complex geo-political disputes in history however the effort must be praised for its unbiased stand and putting through an objective question for those who have little knowledge of the issue. Yet context is everything and nothing is ever absolute hence the sheer simplification, which was of course necessary given the choice of medium, does tend to obscure the fine and vital aspects.
The entire process which is claimed to have led to the alleged signing of the Instrument of Accession with India by Raja Hari Singh was a historic drama. The details that constitute the drama are nothing less than shocking in revealing how the Congress leadership pushed the whole thing. Krishna Menon warned the British of ‘dire consequences for Anglo-Indian relations if the State of Jammu Kashmir was allowed to accede to Pakistan’. The British did not want the Northwestern border to go to Pakistan anyways hence it was a two-some. An Anglo-Indian conspiracy, that led to this never ending dispute. Deceit sits at the core of the plight of the people of Kashmir. And yes it is the spirit of the two disputes, Palestine and Kashmir, that is so similar.
As an end note I’ll add for Pakistan Kashmir is more than water. It is a symbol of the Two-nation Theory that sat at the core of the division of India in 1947. And the people of Kashmir have kept it alive. The very simple fact that the body of all freedom fighters – terrorists in Indian eyes – is buried wrapped in a Pakistan flag even under the occupation of 700,000 Indian security personnel, making it the world’s most militarised region, disproves the intellectuals and academics who ardently dispute the validity of the Two-nation theory.
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