The unease over prospectus of nuclear war in South Asia is possibly over now. International pressure coupled with deft handling of the grave situation by the apparently a novice in politics, Prime Minister Imran Khan made de-escalation possible in face of continued threats from the other side.
The escalation which led us to brink of yet another war again had its trigger in Kashmir. The bone of contention between two nuclear armed countries and cause of an ever increasing arms race and rising instability is indeed the unsolved Kashmir dispute. So the situation again brought to fore the importance of a lasting settlement of this lingering Kashmir dispute.
What drives these two neighbours to each others throat? What has led to arms race and wasteful spending on arms instead of say food and healthcare of teeming millions? What has led to resistance movement in most picturesque lands on earth turning it into ruins? These questions beg answers and every Indian and Pakistani should stand up and demand them from their politicians.
As is clear the dispute over Kashmir isn’t bilateral but a multilateral with Kashmiris its primary stakeholders. The rest are only usurpers.
The Pakistan may say it is their moral responsibility to support the Muslim majority state for a lasting resolution. But the question most often confronting both sides is lack of commitment and willpower. The history has taught a lesson that almost all wars were fought on the territorial matters. The colonial and anti colonial wars or the world wars were nothing but extreme manifestation of searching and subsequent control of more territories. The wars fought in South Asia after decolonization were mostly fought for this state. The recent skirmish in the words of Asif Gafoor (DG ISPR Pakistan Army), ” India is yet to accept partition and creation of Pakistan”.
The 1947 war on the Kashmir mainland separated a major chunk of Kashmir now called Azad Kashmir. Then India failed to regain the lost territory in subsequent wars of 1965, 1971 and 1999 thus solidifying the arguement that wars can not solve Kashmir issue. It will remain an eternal bone of contention if both sides resort to military means. The acquisition of nuclear weaponary has only closed this option for ever.
The old saying of “Short term antibiotic always sustains original disease” holds true here. So let both sides honour their commitment and go by law and implement UNSC resolutions on Kashmir that gives power back to people.
Shahid Majeed Mir