India cannot wriggle out of that commitment through the use of guns
Unprovoked firing by the Indian security forces along the ceasefire line and working boundary targeting civilian population continues incessantly in breach of the ceasefire agreement of 2003. The Indian side does not seem inclined to put an end to its bellicose adventurism in spite of repeated protests by Pakistan and its willingness to engage in a dialogue process to defuse the situation, continuation of which could have disastrous consequences for peace and security in the region.
Reportedly Indian security forces have carried out more than 1,050 ceasefire violation along the LOC and the Working Boundary in 2018 resulting in the martyrdom of 28 innocent civilians and causing injuries to 117 people. Last Friday morning six people embraced martyrdom and 22 sustained injuries in the shelling by the Indian forces in the Marajke, Harpal, Suchaitgarh, Chaprar and Bajwat sector. As usual the Pakistani security forces responded befittingly to answer the aggression.
Pakistan, to be honest, has shown remarkable restraint in refusing to escalate the situation and invariably opted for diplomatic initiatives to cool down the situation. In the backdrop of the Friday morning firing by the Indian forces, the Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria was summoned to the foreign ministry and told, “The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.”
Nobody in his right mind can take an exception to the consequences of the continued Indian aggression as pointed out by the ministry of foreign affairs. Pakistan and India are both nuclear powers and there is a limit to restrain and tolerance in the face of incessant provocations. The world acknowledges the fact that Kashmir is a nuclear flash point and an armed conflict between the two countries can have dreadful consequences for the region and the world at large. The ground realities do demand a saner approach by India and the resolution of her disputes with Pakistan including the core issue of Kashmir which a major cause of continued hostility between the two countries.
India is not only persisting with violation of the ceasefire agreement along the LOC and the Working Boundary but is also continuing with its ruthless persecution of the people of Kashmir who are waging a war for their right of self-determination as enunciated in the UN Resolutions. During the last five month 115 people have been killed by the Indian security forces in different operations and crackdown against the militants in Kashmir. The freedom struggle that the people of Kashmir launched in 1989 continues unabated and the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in 2016 has orchestrated a discernible cultural transformation in the valley as the movement continues to gather moss. The youth and even the highly educated segments of the Kashmiri society feel more inclined towards defiance and resistance against the Indian oppression.
Regrettably, the Modi-led government encouraged by its western allies who are showing criminal indifference to what is happening in Kashmir
Reportedly Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat in his recent interview to the Indian Express confessed, “The youth has got into the trap of violence and attacks forces without any fear of retribution and that people incite security forces by pelting stones at them to disrupt the operations.” The situation in Kashmir admittedly has worsened since Modi-led BJP government came into power. Its coercive policies have visibly led to the intensification of resistance by the people of Kashmir and the canvass of resistance is expanding with every passing day and every individual killed. The phenomenon has also led to increase in pro-Pakistani feelings among the people of Kashmir.
Bashir Manzar, a journalist based in Srinagar who is essentially hostile and long-time critic of Pakistan, has pointed out this reality in his comment on Facebook. He said, “Whether we like it or not, the policy adopted by Modi regime in Kashmir has made Pakistan much more relevant than it was in 1947. Pakistan has a strong constituency in Kashmir and not of separatists alone.”
In view of the fast deteriorating situation in Kashmir, saner voices in Indian have urged the need for cessation of hostilities and initiation of dialogue to resolve the conflict. Citizen groups led by former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha have supported the popular demand of ceasefire and urged the government of India to recommence a purposeful dialogue with all stakeholders. Former chief minister of IHK Dr Faooq Abdullah has also repeatedly emphasised the need for dialogue with Pakistan. Director General Police Jammu and Kashmir SP Vaid responding to live questions on Twitter recently said, “personally feel gun is not the solution. Every party concerned, including even our neighbour should sit together and talk it out. Violence is not the solution.”
The foregoing ground realities prove beyond an iota of doubt that the struggle of the people of Kashmir cannot be subdued through barrel of the gun and war is also not a credible option. World history is witness to the fact that freedom struggles cannot be suppressed with swords and guns and the solution to the conflicts invariably comes through dialogue and purposeful engagement.
Regrettably, the Modi-led government encouraged by its western allies who are showing criminal indifference to what is happening in Kashmir — blurred by their strategic and commercial interests — is recklessly engaged in reversing the historic lessons and consigning the region to perennial instability which in the end could also prove detrimental to her own security and progress. Thanks to the tragic attacks of 9/11 human rights violations by state forces have generally become a legitimate tool to suppress dissent and freedom struggles which is manifestly evident in regards to the oppression by the Indian forces in Kashmir.
People of Kashmir and Pakistan are party to the dispute as Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition. It is not a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India. It is about the inalienable right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as enunciated in the UN resolutions and the commitments given by the Indian leadership at the time. India cannot wriggle out of that commitment through the use of guns and its refusal to open its eyes to the ground realities. The irrefutable reality is that there can be no peace and progress in the region without the resolution of the Kashmir conundrum. Sooner, India and its allies wearing blinkers on their eyes and stuffed ears realise this reality the better.