Kashmir: From Internal to International issue in one day

Let's hope the better sense prevails and a peaceful solution is worked out before progressive aspirations of billions of people get hampered or even washed away.

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By: Khurram Wani | | 05-05-2019
Following Pulwama attack, the day of 14th February 2019 and the weeks which followed indeed changed the course of Kashmir scenario. Kashmir issue has come a long way, from an internal issue for India to international powers offering to mediate in order to diffuse tension and stop the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan going into war over it.
The suicide attack carried by one Adil Dar killed more than 40 personnel of CRPF brought the subcontinent on a brink of nuclear war. Now the thought that one suicide bomber of Kashmiri origin is capable of triggering a nuclear war has ambivalent effects on a common Kashmiri’s mind. The feeling of power which a local youth is experiencing may be a source of validation for all of Kashmir but at the same time is a source of worry as it brings a lot of destruction with itself. This event has given Kashmir issue an unprecedented introduction. From the past 30 years, Kashmiries are pushed as two powers, India and Pakistan fighting over it, even without listening or making a Kashmiri feel a part of it.
Effect on Youth
The anger in Kashmiri youth has got a new boost after the recent extream measures by the government level including Highway Ban, NIA Raids, Ban on Jamat-e-Islami etc. Not glorifying violence, the Pulwama incident has left the ball in the court of every single youth of Kashmir who belongs to the mind bend of violence and believes it is the only way to achieve some sort of resolution. As in the past, their learning tells them that no one, in reality, is ready for a dialogue, especially now as recently even Hurriyat is under a heavy crackdown which is a political platform for Kashmiri people to voice their aspirations in a peaceful manner. And whenever there seems to be something going in that direction some mishap happens and the process is called off. Such events have become a joke in the society and people are able to see through it and know when things are orchestrated. Now it seems after observation that youth of such mind is contemplating the thought that one such act or few more might be able to solve the long pending issue.
Wars are Reality
This reality cannot be ignored in this issue as the air strike in Balakot will be taken as a set standard for retaliation by GOI against any such attacks on Kashmir soil against the establishment which will eventually push both the countries either into a war or if better sense would prevail, make them sit for a dialogue across the table to solve the issue peacefully keeping honor, identity, and dignity of Kashmiri in mind. Though in case of war, Prime minister of Pakistan, Imran khan rightly said that serious miscalculations have happened in wars and it is easy to start and impossible to end before destroying the entire nations. It can (if ever) start in Kashmir and end in engulfing both the countries entirely.
How World Should Take It
The world wants to believe that nuclear weapons will never be used instead of will act as a deterrent which will force countries to call for de-escalation at an early stage which otherwise can result in full-fledged conventional wars. But where nukes can stop a war from blowing out, it can at the same time give enough ego boost and sense of pride to the country which has it that it can destroy itself and the other to prevent its humiliation. Human ego and mind is capable of great disasters. In case a conventional war breaks out it will only leave behind millions of dead, orphans, rape victims and lead to a refugee crisis to which world is already a witness to as in looking at the after effects of wars in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. Crisis in one country becomes a burden on all in today’s global and liberal world. And it is very likely world powers will jump into any misadventure between India and Pakistan, which ultimately will destroy the development and progress in South East Asia. China will not hesitate or take time to side with Pakistan while as America and its allies will immediately come to India’s rescue serving their purpose to push China on back foot. Likely a conventional war has a big possibility to end in a nuclear war in this case when both the nations have nukes.
World history is full of deadly wars and the use of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a reality. Kids in these areas are still born with defects after more than 70 years since it was used. Nukes of today are much more deadly and are capable of affecting the entire world through the adverse effect it can cause on earth’s atmosphere leaving the immediate countries aside.
China Should Play a Role
China is expected and should play a big role here. This is the time China can act and prove as a big player in South East Asia and develop an image of politically mature state capable of mediation and solving issues. Chinese trillion dollar investment is at stake. If war breaks out between India and Pakistan, the Chinese build infrastructure in Pakistan can take a massive hit and proposal of a new silk route will get delayed. This project is going to cut cost on goods which are imported to China. And through the initiative of One Belt One Road (OBOR) they can have a more political presence in all the regions and surrounding areas it will cross through. OBOR project will increase the market space of Chinese goods by making them more competitive by reducing the transportation costs and time on goods and at the same time reduce the import costs on goods coming into the market from the same way. And this economic boost can put China at par with American economy over a period of time which is the only parameter where it is lagging behind in comparison to America.
Best Scenario
Keeping the ego and national pride of all the stakeholders into consideration the best proposal for the whole world especially for China is to impress upon India and Pakistan to solve the Kashmir issue.
It will be in best interest of India as well to solve Kashmir issue as any disturbance or violence which occurs in Kashmir is exploited by right-wing political groups to create an atmosphere of hate and anger and both the sentiments are not good for any nation. Such atmosphere derails the growth and destroys the peaceful and prosperous environment.
In Pakistan politics, Kashmir issue is a vital part and ignoring it means giving a chance to extremist groups to bounce back with the help of current opposition. And even for Pakistan army, it is a question of pride and a source of importance through which they can keep their institution alive and dignified in the minds of people of Pakistan.
Let’s hope the better sense prevails and a peaceful solution is worked out before progressive aspirations of billions of people get hampered or even washed away.
Best among you are those who make peace between warring nations– Quran.
The writer can be reached at khurramwani@hotmail.com