In any dispute no solution is possible unless and until the disputing parties adopt flexible approach, which they are either forced by internal compulsion or external pressures. Internally India and Pakistan have been able to withstand this perennial conflict. Infact the possibility of internal pressure is nonexistent. Internally the people of the two countries could force governments for settlement but ironically they are a divided lot. In fact the people’s posture changes with the change in government policies except for a few intellectuals and select pockets of population.
After 9/11 America is seen to have grown intolerant towards all the resistance movements across the globe. The American pressure over both India and Pakistan is mounting to settle Kashmir and all allied issues. The key question under such circumstances is whether 9/11 has created the sufficient pressure to prevail over the sovereign will of India and Pakistan to bring them to a settlement over Kashmir? The answer surely is Negative because of the fact that Pakistan is a key state in U.S. war against anti-U.S. forces and the India is an emerging U.S. partner, which is eyed in U.S. a counter to the growing Chinese influence in the Asian Continent. Indo-American nuclear deal is the latest child of this growing realization. Both India and Pakistan have manipulated by their sheer influence created out of their respective relevance to American interests to diffuse the American pressure for settlement of Kashmir issue. Despite the growing American realization that peace in all global battlegrounds of which Kashmir is one is a must for the American war against the anti-American forces to succeed the ground position remains unchanged.
A third factor that can influence the fate of this dispute is the politics of Kashmir itself. It is often said that Jammu and Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition. Today sixty years after partition and independence of India and Pakistan. We are captive to the parochial and communal philosophy of Two Nation Theory. Politically Kashmir crisis is neither of communal in nature nor is a battle to safeguard secular symbol of India. Kashmir is not an area of homogeneous religious group and state is a home to vast majority of population belonging to different cultures like Muslims in Kashmir. Hindus and Dogras of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh.
The conflicting perceptions of different parties to a dispute give birth to the contradictory set of solutions. The division of Kashmir into several or seven parts is a product of communal approach to the Kashmir imbroglio. While for India Jammu and Kashmir is a symbol of secular polity and displays the coexistence of a largely Muslim state within a Hindu majority country.
In Kashmir the politicians and intellectuals have remained polarized since independence into pro-Pak or pro-India. Mostly the politicians and intellectuals here have failed to represent local aspirations and ambitions. The Peoples Democratic Party departed from this prevailing approach by devising a fresh policy emerging from the local concern for peace and reconciliation between India and Pakistan. In pursuance of its policy PDP adopted a role of a facilitator and lobbied for people to people contact and opening of Srinagar- Muzzaffarabad road. The stand taken by the Mufti Sayed and his PDP has contributed to the Kashmir politics significantly. The stand itself marks a divorce to the politics of polarization and adoption of the political philosophy of promoting dialogue between the two countries in the interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir and of the two countries as well.
The political philosophy to promote Indo-Pak dialogue would bring together these warring nations and bring relief to suffering kashmiri people. The opening of Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad road is undoubtedly a major achievement in this respect. The regional arrangements which have failed due to Indo-Pak standoff like SAARC would further go to make India, Pakistan, Kashmir and whole South Asia a new region of peace and prosperity in the world. If at all the Kashmiri politicians want to play a role in the crises they need to understand the importance of bilateral and regional cooperation by promoting a philosophy of dialogue and peace. The root cause of Indo-Pak conflict is Kashmir and it is here that the key to solve the issue lies. The Kashmir politics has more vital a role to play in its solution the any Indo-Pak or international pulls and pressures.
Submitted By: Waseem Ahmad Lone
Advocate J& K High Court