Kashmir Dispute And The Way Forward
The stakeholders need to work out a mutually agreed upon solution to the Kashmir issue instead of issuing mere lip service, writes Usama Mumtaz.
We have been hearing a lot about the Kashmir issue internationally as US President Donald Trump, in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, expressed his readiness to become a mediator between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Trump further told that Indian PM Narendra Modi also requested him to act as mediator so a solution can be forged.
Although Indian Foreign Office disowned the claim within a few hours, some still think India is engaged in backdoor diplomacy over the matter which it doesn’t want to publicize just yet.
Imran Khan has also been consistent in expressing his desire to resolve the dispute amicably. These recent developments have raised hope among the people of Kashmir that the two parties might come close to a peaceful solution to the long-held issue.
The peaceful resolution of the issue will certainly end the miseries of people living in the conflict zone who have to deal with violence on a daily basis. But looking at the history of Jammu Kashmir and the role of Nation States, the issue is not as simple as some might consider it to be.
Kashmir is exploited for national resources and to further the dirty weapons business of nation states. If we see the recent track record of Imran Khan’s government, we won’t be in a position to predict as to what all it can do it actually ensure resolution of the issue instead of mere lip service.
The government’s policies have been contrary to Imran Khan’s statements prior to his election as the PM. Many claims that were made later did not translate into action either.
Some even say that the Imran Khan government follows the management leadership principles of Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian philosopher of 15th century, famously known for his book ‘The prince’. It explains how to prolong and defend your regime by making a fake soft image in front of the people.
His government is also criticized internationally for suppressing freedom of expression and trying to manipulate the media houses. On the other hand, India claims Kashmir to be their integral part and the ruling party has a history of communal violence and a tough stance on the Kashmir issue. So one shouldn’t expect the BJP to show restraint.
And when it comes to the US, we all know it will defend its own interests in the Afghan peace process.
Pakistani citizens don’t have much regard for the United States, and at the end of the day, there is not much difference between a Pakistani citizen, an Indian citizen and a US citizen. But there certainly are differences among their governments.
They are close to each other and mutually work for their own interests. Jammu Kashmir issue is much more complex than it seems. According to Samuel P Huntington, there is a clash of civilizations in Kashmir. Any solution to the Kashmir issue, therefore, will have to include all voices and movements.
Usama Mumtaz is a blogger based in Lahore.