Kashmir: Still a Nuclear Flash Point
M. Ishaq Begh
By exchanging the list of nuclear installations and facilities, the two rivals, India and Pakistan are not showing any goodwill towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as they have been exchanging these kinds of lists from early 90’s, Their efforts never brought any possibility of peace as all steps taken ended in a raw deal. When the apple of discord was kept untouched, how could have it ensured them the joyous moments. Kashmir, with serious repercussions and ordinate delays has a capacity to change these two nuclear powers into massive retaliators and that time these exchanging may not get the desired results. Without an optimistic approach and constructive attitude, such exchanging can not bring any relief but can add despondencies to the whole south Asian population. Beyond possessing the nuclear armaments and after fighting three deadly wars, they neither passed an inch towards peace nor gifted any sort of tranquility to the inhabitants sub continent. No doubt such confidence building measures may bring them close from a skirmishing climate of a next deadly war, but these CBMs should brief up the two parties for a constructive environment. Their efforts should concentrate upon the base of rivalry between them and they must understand that if the base for a confidence building is lacking, no such constructive effort can cultivate the fruitful results for them.
Before the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir, India and Pakistan in December 1988 signed an Agreement on Prohibition of Nuclear Attacks on the nuclear Installations and Facilities. The main aim behind this agreement was the creation of a peace full relation between the two nations. The Article II of this agreement includes, that a solid prohibition is needed and no attack should be carried out against the Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India. This article further requires the two countries to annually exchange the lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities. Since these two neighbors after signing this agreement almost breathed in cold war like situation. This is not because of their rivalry or any thing else but because of their standoff positions on the borders of Kashmir. Nuclear installations having their base in the territories of these two countries, but the barrels of their strong artilleries are still haunting the people of Kashmir. It must be understood by the respective leaderships that moving ahead without touching the base problem will not land them in peace, but in turn may push them back again. The past experiences are eye openers for them, as whenever they tried to stabilize their relations on the cost of central problem, they failed at every step. Their movement towards peace and prosperity was a virtuous sign but their demonstrative ignorance towards Kashmir, kept this lava alive and it may engulf the whole region in its flames any time. During the NDA rule, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpai called Kashmir problem as a humanitarian issue and sought a mutual understanding between India and Pakistan, but it was unfortunate again when it lacked the proper attention of both the nations. His efforts and other steps taken clearly indicates that time was being consumed by the two leaderships and nothing else. If they could have any seriousness regarding Kashmir (a lava filled region) then it could not have been in a lingering state. Whenever the leaders came across the table, their efforts either attracted the criticism from the hardliners or ended with a drift. This can be clearly understood by mentioning the BJP’s anger over the Manmohan Singh’s recent press conference in New Delhi where he said, that a resolution on Kashmir problem was emerging and a paradigm shift in the engagements was taking palce. These left wing politicians pressed him for a detailed answer regarding that resolution. Their anger is recent evidence and must be taken as their anti Kashmir resolution ideology. Ironically time passes with a great speed and the leadership of these neighbors waits for another government to hold the further talks. But any untoward incident carried out by anti peace elements is making the whole peace process a hostile and leaves it in the mid way. Many times the leaderships of these stake holders of Kashmir dispute claimed that an important breakthrough was in sight, but never uttered any vital word about that very breakthrough. Besides this unwillingness, certain unfortunate voices raised from India and Pakistan never bridged the gap, like the voice of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, when he tried to handover this vexed problem to the next generation. Lingering nature of Kashmir issue clearly indicates that both the nations lack a morality and dedication towards peace and the resolution of Kashmir problem.
One main problem which is attached with the Kashmir issue is inattentiveness of United Nations and other powers. Their abstaining nature is responsible for any catastrophe in this dangerous battle field. After Indian approach to United Nations, UN on 5 January 1949 declared many resolutions, which states that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. As per the 1948 and 1949 UN Resolutions, both the nations agreed this verdict, these include that Pakistan has to withdraw the intruders followed by withdrawal of Pakistani and Indian forces, as a base for the formulation of a Truce agreement, but these resolutions are there only in papers. Kashmir issue grew in that very mode where it converted two sovereign nations into two neo imperialistic states of world powers. Poverty, fatal diseases, unemployment and illiteracy are some causes taking birth from Kashmir dispute and are swallowing up the two neighbors quickly. The entire absence of world’s attention and stubbornness showed by India and Pakistan towards peace, are the main hurdles in peace and prosperity of South Asia. World must pursue India and Pakistan for a permanent settlement of Kashmir issue, at the same time they must realize that valuing time is an essentiality, as it is running away. So keeping Kashmir issue lingering can not be fruitful for these two nations in any case. Internal developments and skirmishes on borders are not controllable without solving the main problem. Militancy in India and Pakistan are some consequences of this major problem which is adding oil to the fire. . Now Kashmir problem is extending its base to Afghanistan where these two nations have to meet with a rigid and rival appearance. How can ease come in their way remains an answerable question for them, and they must recognize the importance of peace which has its roots only in Kashmir. A dedicated voice is the need of hour which may lead this problematic issue to its logical end. Sufferings of innocent Kashmiris must be kept in view for a permanent and humanitarian resolution of Kashmir dispute, so that the whole population of sub continent may breathe in peace and no threat to humanity may find a way to proceed. Its vulnerability and a threat for the whole humanity has been acknowledged by many leaders of the world, especially US President Bill Clinton, who named Kashmir as a nuclear flash point between two nuclear powers. India as well as Pakistan has to estimate the importance for a peaceful negotiation on Kashmir, then this battle field may act as a bridge of friendship between them.
Author is Kashmir based political analyst. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org