When an IAF aircraft crashed into Wadwan village of Budgam, it did not go down without taking Kiffayat Hussain with it. The twenty year old Kashmiri civilian became the only Kashmiri casualty in the madness and war hysteria of India and Pakistan. Apart from few K-based new portals, Kiffayat didn’t even find a mention in any of the news. With all the eyes locked in on the anticipation of war between two Nuclear armed rivals, world completely ignores the war that continues to plague the vale of Cashmere and the casualty of this war is the people of Kashmir. Obviously, Kashmiris have nothing to do with the war that India and Pakistan want to fight and Koshur participation and glorifying of it, does not come into picture. But why would their land suffer in someone else’s war?
It would be hypocritical to call an end to Indo-Pak war without calling an end to violence in Kashmir. Kashmir remains the base of the hostilities that persist between the two neighbours. Even though the war between India and Pakistan never happens, what relief will it bring to Kashmiri’s who continue to live under the military occupation on both sides.
It’s not enough for the pacifists in either side of the border to end war between India and Pakistan but they should also call for Non initiation of Combat operations on both sides of the LOC , whether inside Kashmir or outside, between states or non-state combatants. Kashmir can’t be termed as an internal dispute or a bilateral dispute of India and Pakistan. It’s political uncertainty and disputed nature poses a direct threat on the peace of South-East Asia. Without the participation of K-leadership and the involvement of residents of erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan and India can’t resolve the Kashmir conflict.
The cessation and ceasefire between India and Pakistan without ceasefire inside Kashmir is treating Cancer with a Bandaid and the response to a political problem with a muscular and Military action is not a solution. Had it been , then there wouldn’t have been a conflict in the first place.
Its high time for the establishment, whether in India or Pakistan, to initiate a dialogue process with Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the LOC, accept that it’s not a bilateral issue but an internationally recognized dispute whose political destiny will be decided according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. But that dialogue can’t happen, when there are Indian and Pakistan troops present in Indian Administered as well as Pakistan Administered Kashmir. Before that dialogue happens, the anti-war reformers in both of the countries , should ask for the withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani ( irregular as well as regular) Armed forces from either side of J&K, release of Kashmiri political prisoners and an end to intimidation and harassment of Kashmiri’s in Cashmere.
Kashmiri’s can’t be held responsible for demanding their birthright and their right to decide their own future. Neither the military might nor the economic packages can’t dilute the political position of Kashmir. People have been demanding their sovereign nation long before modern India , Pakistan and Bangladesh came into existence. It’s high time to recognize those aspirations , respect their choices and uphold the UNSC resolution of 1948. That would be in favour of everyone, no more Kiffayat’s will die, neither Abhinandan’s will be captured and above all Kashmiri’s will live happily.
The views expressed in this article does not necessarily reflect the position of Ink Bind on the issue.