The Kashmir Conundrum: Solution Through Diplomatic Mean

It’s been decades now since the Kashmir standoff is a bone of contention between Pakistan and India. Last year in August Modi’s government revoked the special status of Indian occupied Kashmir. This was indeed the most troublesome decision by Indian administration in the valley since the occupation. Soon after the abrogation of Article 370 strict curfew has been imposed with complete lockdown in order to curb the agitation.  Kashmiri political leaders have been in prison since then whether they are pro Indian or anti Indian politicians.  India also revoked article 35A which was introduced back in 1954. There is an intentional approach behind this move of Modi. The Article 35A which was revoked actually was a provision in order to authorize the state legislature in the capital Srinagar to further identify who is a permanent resident so he has the right to buy the property and to get the job. Later on the domicile law by India promulgated in the valley is another attempt to promote demographic changes in the area. This is also an attempt to alter the future of Kashmir and kashmiris. Everyone knows the history that how India infused conspiracy in Kashmir and occupied the valley. India also didn’t give any importance to Security Council’s resolutions regarding Kashmir dispute. Plebiscite is the only way out but for this particular act there should be a fair path to emulate which is not at all possible under siege of terror. Kashmiri youth is fighting against the state sponsored terrorism by India. Pulwama incident is an evident example or rather should say a repercussion of the brutalities that Kashmiris are facing since long. The question arises here is, what is the way out right now to emulate? The history of dialogues between Pakistan and India clearly indicates that India never wanted dialogues on Kashmir dispute. They were always reluctant to talk about the dispute since they know that don’t have any concrete argument to defend their stance. There is need to give Kashmiris the full spectrum political freedom. It should include freedom of assembly, speech, and press so they can express as well as become a part of a legislative body. International community should be allowed to visit the occupied valley and there shouldn’t be any restriction. Foreign organizations should also have access to the area so they can monitor elections/plebiscite. Since India is not following the Simla agreement Third Party Mediation could be considered as well. It is the right of the people of Kashmir to live a life of their choice lioke other Nations around the globe. They want to acquire on and build a healthy democratic society in Kashmir. They want to live in synchronization and peace with their neighbours. But there are immense impediments to achieve peace in Kashmir. The more uncomplicated solution would be the implementation of United Nations resolutions on Kashmir, leading to a plebiscite which would give Kashmiris the choice of either Indian or Pakistani rule. India doesn’t want this as they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of international community. There should also be a gradual withdrawal of troops, self-governance with no changes to the region’s borders as well as a mechanism derived under the UN resolutions. All these solutions would prove to be futile if the Kashmiris are not involved in the whole process.  In the longer term, greater autonomy for the region might appear to be a solution. The domestic issue of peace and justice for the people of Indian occupied Kashmir is considered as a foreign policy query for Pakistan and India. Until they can pull back from the edge of war and talk to each other, Kashmir’s future remains bleak.

Undoubtedly Kashmir dispute can bring dangerous consequences in the region if remain unsolved. Every passing moment is actually bringing it close to the disaster. When we look at the history of adopting diplomatic sources to resolve the issue by Pakistan we came to know that Pakistan has always highlighted the issue. In 2010, Pakistani officials at UN General Assembly emphasized on the need for international  intervention in Indian occupied Kashmir. Pakistan also called for an intervention by United States in the occupied region but the Indian stance was the same as they never welcomed third-party intervention. The United States would surely benefit from peace in Kashmir. A way forward in Kashmir is possible only as part of an improving Pakistan-India relationship. In 2019, PM Imran Khan in his address to the UN General Assembly has expressed his stance and further highlighted the implications of the Indian action of abrogation of Article 370 for peace and security in the region. He also tried to stir the conscience of the international community. He made it clear that their intervention in stopping the impending humanitarian crisis in IOK is the need of the time. The repercussions of the Imran Khan’s address can also be counted as people around the world expressed concerns on the situation in Kashmir and demanded to end the lockdown but unfortunately they refrained themselves to address the real issue which is the matter of self-determination and solution of the issue under the resolutions of UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Imran Khan had a meeting with President Donald Trump last year.  His main focus was the Kashmir issue. President Trump while reciprocated offered to mediate between Pakistan and India once again.  President Trump and PM Imran Khan also discussed views on how to de-escalate the conflicting situation caused by the same issue. Though PM Modi rejected the offer made by President Trump which shows the actual policy of India. President Trump applauded the diplomatic efforts being made by Prime Minister Imran Khan in order to save the region as well as the world from any anticipated disaster. Emulating the diplomatic drive, PM Imran Khan met New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and shared his views about the anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia among the people specially those living in the west.  Here again by availing this opportunity PM Khan briefed her about the atrocities faced by the people of Indian occupied Kashmir in the hands of Indian administration. He actually presented the case of IOK to aware the world. On the occasion Imran Khan clearly stated that once the curfew is lifted in the occupied valley of Kashmir, there is a possibility of mass murder of the residents just as it happened in Gujarat. He further asserted that Kashmir dispute should be highlighted at every international forum in order to avert India from oppressing unarmed innocent Kashmiri. He also met many other leaders and head of the states and briefed them on the matter. Pakistan is also using forums of all the regional entities to engage the international community. The purpose is to tell the world that Kashmir is burning and India is fueling it more willingly. It is compulsory to tell the world that the radical ideology of Hindutva is not only dangerous for the region but it has far reaching implications.  PM Modi along with his political party BJP has the agenda to derail the peace of the region for vested interests. Actually it’s not a political party but a further extension of RSS. International arbitration is mandatory in case of Kashmir dispute to further end the human rights abuses as well as to reach out some settlement which further highlights a commute to solve the issue.  Modi who is ideologically inspired by German Nazism trying to show that as if he is the greatest leader in the region which is no more than a joke. India is currently in the most draconian form it has ever been. Pakistan is using all the available options to pressure India over Kashmir.

Unrelenting oppression and brutalities on Kashmiris is a continuous phenomenon in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The enormous estrangement of the public demands a revised state policy. The people of Kashmir want freedom from India and for the same reason their right of self-determination must now be supported by the international community. The obligations of internal politics in India can and will force to have some escalation on border with Pakistan. United States can play a crucial and constructive role to resolve Kashmir dispute. Disagreement between India and Pakistan on Kashmir needs to be resolved now. Apparently, the utmost solution is the independence of Kashmir from India and consequently joining the other part.  UN resolution regarding referendum is very much clear in this regard. Certainly, status quo can’t hold for long. War is not the solution. India and Pakistan must resolve Kashmir dispute now. Peace in the region is associated with the solution of this particular issue.  However it seems like a facilitator should be there for support. The international pressure can compel India to sit and talk on the matter. This is even in favour of India as well. Rather than blaming Pakistan, Modi should step forward to solve the issue even through some back door diplomacy. Pakistan is engaging the international community to highlight the issue. Recently Pakistan presented a map in a virtual meeting of SCO to show solidarity with the people of IOK and to tell the world what is the actual situation and how India is trying to portray the story. There is huge potential in the region when it comes to trade, strategic cooperation and other implications likewise but nothing can be achieved in an environment where there is a rift in relations between the neighbouring countries.   There is a palpable need for resumption of dialogue to address all issues, especially the Kashmir dispute.

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About Saima Zaman 40 Articles
Writer is the Assistant Editor ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’, ‘The Asian Telegraph’ & Project Coordinator (COPAIR); a degree holder in communication & media sciences.