By Dr. Waleed Rasool.
Kashmir is once again at global radar amid relentless use of Indian lethal weapons. Contrary to the expectations of Indian establishment the cramping of communication by occupational forces has augmented the resistance. Every measure to de-escalate the situation gave vent to caged sentiments which precipitated at mass scale though Indian war machine tired its utmost to silent them. Kashmir’s yet again paid heavy human cost of 92 youth in cold blood, blinding hundreds: forever by lethal pellet showers and wounding thousands, in the aftermath of custodial killing of Burhan Wani and his two companions on 8th August. Total shutter down, processions and mass movement is volatile even after 52 days.
The present resistance cycle has deep roots in past and immense co-variance with 1989, 2008, 2010 mass movements. However this time it is overwhelming, comprehensive in 12 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.Pro-Pakistani and pro-freedom camp are with one voice whereas pro-Indian opposition camp supports the meaningful engagement and knocked the door of Indian Presidency in this context in fallow up Modi regime.
Current uprising seems to be more robust than the previous cycles, sparked on 9th July from north Kashmir, and is still undulating in spite of 53rd day of curfew.The northern command of India and 15th core stationed in Srinagar is furious to curtail it while feeling the heat from New-Delhi to restrain the rage. Nevertheless Lt.Gen.Sood’s statement sounds pragmatic that Kashmir issue needs a political settlement. Social media has contributed immensely in absence of print and electronic media. It is because of social media that some voices emanated from the Indian civil society, academia and media personnel against the highhandedness of Indian military. These voices hold significance both nationally and internationally. Sympatric human voices within India are lone tool to strengthen the peace and neutralise propaganda connotations of war machine of India to hoodwink the ground reality while tagging it with Pakistan and justifying army action.
What Kashmir essentially requires at this critical time is a burning question. It is apropos to mention that under legal, diplomatic and political complexities, conflict science is a lone key to find an alternative of the problem even in the situation when actors are caught in frenzy. Nevertheless, sanity can show the door, identifying the problem, followed by regression analysis to test the possibility under given conditions. Numerous measurement scales in broader spectrum of idealism, liberalism and classic liberalism Vis-à-vis theory of dependency and deterrence become extraneous at once in Indian subcontinent when the question of Kashmir is studied even in controlled academic environment.
It is a rancorous reality having less relevance and leverage among liberal school of thought, however, in anarchic uni-polar world, the only interpretation that prevails shall be backed byhard power. Given the present precarious situation in valley as primary concern asks for immediate focus.Without a doubt, concrete external support is paramount when masses are under open sky, on the mercy of military might. The quantum of present mass uprising is highest degree of resistance and stage what masses can ultimately do. If one wants to ask from victim; he will jump that aggressor shall be stopped simply means prompt physical support to capitalise unprecedented sacrifices. Giving gentle nudge to bitter truth than strategically then military option is shortest route to change the geography or statuesque however a radical approach while keeping the baggage of Indo-Pak war history in mind particularly in post nuclear tests.
The situation in Kashmir has strapping co-variance in both cases when internal and external validity is measured empirically. Present uprising has strong similarity with 1971 scenario in East-Pakistan, though pro Pakistani element was dominant there. Nonetheless, India injected hard power at right time to help the Mukti-Bahani. The power changed interpretation overnight: fugitives became freedom fighters whereas armed forces of Pakistan the enemies and vice-versa therefore the net result was the fragmentation of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh. Current situation of Kashmir (burning and bleeding profusely) demands the proverbial change horses in mid-stream. Offering chicken feed and talking tall “to not leave Kashmir alone” is not a new rhetoric. If physical support is a yoke around the neck and present geo-political and regional dynamics restrain the legal party, one shall still refresh the memory that East Timor and South Sudan got external prop up by powers who matter when diplomatic support was at full swing.
Islamabad may mull this option for this purpose Prime Minister of Pakistan shall lead the diplomatic offensive personally having scores of reasons to take time but primary reason is Kashmir conflict is proper bargaining token of global actors to exploit both India and Pakistan while supporting one or other and vice versa. Islamabad can try once more, a likewise attempt exercised in 1984 to move a resolution in Security Council which was supported by Qatar, Turkey and KSA. Although Islamabad had to drop the resolution at eleventh hour due to lack of required support but this time even though it may fail to succeed but will certainly internationalise the Kashmir issue.
Islamabad has special locus stand in Kashmir as she is not only political, diplomatic or moral supporter but lone legal party to dispute as per Security Council resolutions. She can’t budge under cover of routine rhetoric that region is volatile so diplomatic efforts have less or no relevance. Keeping the above facts in consideration, Islamabad shall come away from trauma of Shimla accord and internationalise the Kashmir Issue.
Islamabad needs to come away from hibernation with clear narrative.i.e. if any and every conventional peaceful route like implementation of United Nations resolutions, mediation, arbitration and facilitation is plugged unilaterally then third party intervention is compulsion because India is locked in. It seems to be justified in current scenario, for New-Delhi stamped her arrogance by not allowing the special envoy of Human rights in her controlled part of Kashmir in recent days. Secondly the statement of Mr. N.Modi on 15th August is clear manifestation of her utter frustration while indulging in internal matters of Pakistan at state level. India utilised its ultimate option to suppress the Kashmiri people but it backfired this time because her own parliamentarian rejected the mantra including the pro-Indian camp in Kashmir that Islamabad is involved in any way.
Undoubtedly, the statement of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in response to the letter of Nawaz Sharif to offer his good offices to facilitate the negotiated settlement is bite to bullet for Kashmisirs can also a diplomatic milestone but it requires pursued on regular basis because Kashmir is in pressure cooker of Indian might. Ban ki Moon’s statement is advisory in nature therefore at par with the Security Council resolution. Also, Secretary General of OIC Amin Madni spoke a spades that Kashmir is not internal matter of India and New Delhi shall address the human rights issues matters in diplomacy when India is fishing in the troubled waters of Kashmir.
Both Kashmiris and Indian establishment had entered in dead end. Kashmiris are ready to give human cost whereas New-Delhi is adamant to kill mass movement by military might having licence to kill under AFSPA, an inclusive legal cover under Indian Law. An emergency is being intensified after every coming day so honourable exit is vital for Kashmiri people who have paid huge cost and total shutter down is increasing the pressure on every day to trigger the mega catastrophe. There is no parity between aggressed and aggressor so shortage of food, medicines, and other commodities is acute urgency. The stony silence of Modi Regime is appalling. Islamabad shall feel the heat so wisdom shall be put on driving seat and emotions on back benches in crucial hour. The diplomatic channels shall be geared up to involve China, if Beijing invites both India and Pakistan on the same patron when Russia invited Islamabad and New-Delhi in Tashkent in 1965.This role can be played by other powers of P-5 also (including KSA and Turkey).
Besides tackling the urgency and reviving diplomatic channels Islamabad shall exercise the legal routes also which requires wide-ranging lobbying. The implementation of Security Council resolutions under present arrangement i.e. chapter-6 has legal utility but is non-binding in nature though was exercised in Bosnia and East Timor in concurrence, without revoking the Chapter-VI of Security Council. Secondly Islamabad needs to gear up its regressive diplomatic offensive when 9 million populations is sunder severe threat and killing is continued. There is no iota of doubt in it, that life of Kashmir’s is under severe stress so under this tense situation the chapter VII of UNSC becomes operative as per International Law if Islamabad succeeds to promote the quantum of human loss, same plea was taken by India in 1971.The international law as per chapter-VI article 36, Para-3 gives an alternative if parties fail to refer the dispute to International court of Justice in accordance to the provisions of stature of the court.
The writer hails from Srinagar.
Ph,D Scholar, Faculty member at RIMS
Accredited Journalist/Freelance Columnist, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org