Many things have been said and done about Kashmir. Its political situation is over exploited by all sides to utilize its name elsewhere. Kashmir is a victim of constant sufferings, unrest, human rights violations, violence and also has been made as a tool to ‘curse’. India and Pakistan, since their separation in 1947 are still in conflict with each other and so many decision makers and experts have cursed Kashmir for this dispute.
Without hesitating a bit, there are people who immediately find just one statement ‘India and Pakistan cannot be friends until Kashmir be resolved’, but asking about ‘How Kashmir will be resolved?’ most of them goes in silence again or speak too much around the issue. This same situation is running since many years. With the tense relations of 70 years, India and Pakistan developed many more complexities in their bond. New conflicts were raised between both, even if those were not related to Kashmir.
Kashmir that was once stated as ‘heaven on earth’ has become a disputed piece of land with series of bloodshed and violence. For many reasons, India and Pakistan are not ready to leave their claims. Kashmir also has its home grown politics that sometimes seems uninfluenced by India or Pakistan and this isolation of politics make it more complicated in terms of the desire of exercising their power (by India and Pakistan) and control to let this region come within their ambit through influencing it in anyway.
With many such angles of the issue, it seems true that Kashmir needs to get resolved and no one can deny that this solution must be in a manner that it should be accepted to people of Kashmir and also to Government of India and Pakistan. Kashmir is a focus point, but with the pre existed environment of hatred and conflict, it does not seems that India and Pakistan will be able to resolve Kashmir first and then to their other issues. It seems that both (India Pakistan friendship and resolving K-issue) must be a parallel process where the speed of former (India Pakistan Friendship) should be faster than later. This formula would develop a positive environment among the people and will boost confidence of leaders on all sides. A healthy relationship between India and Pakistan may bring more positive environment to resolve Kashmir. This is true because of the facts that since last 70 years, generations in India and Pakistan have developed a kind of notion about (against) each other and in this notion; Kashmir is not the only substance. There are many things else that added and now stuck in minds.
Common mass, common conscience controls the government, through its vote. Bringing any solution to K-issue without taking the whole population of India and Pakistan in confidence, may react badly. To bring any solution, confidence building of people in their respective leadership is one of the most important criteria and this confidence building is not a game of days.
Path of achieving peace in Kashmir goes through efforts in dialogues and non violence. A peaceful and sustained solution of Kashmir lies in better relations of India and Pakistan. A better Indo-Pak relation can ensure initiating many humane initiatives and social justice. This can help in reducing violence and human sufferings.Bridging the two nations is actually one of the most required things of present time and for a peaceful future.
As this is 70th year now, I find it worth to mention quote (given as a message to Aaghaz-e-Dosti Peace Calendar) of Suhdeendra Kulkarni (author, head of Observer research foundation Mumbai and former aide to former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee) ‘As we celebrate 70 years of our independence, its time to leave behind the ‘Two nations’ theory and embrace the ‘Two nations’ together theory. Its time to harmonize Hindustaniyat, Pakistaniyat and Kashmiriyat, with a peaceful Kashmir acting as a bridge between India and Pakistan.’
I hope and dream of the time when India and Pakistan will take steps together and the cultural and emotional bonds will play more important role in defining human relations than political one and Insaniyat will be on first priority while considering Kashmiriyat, Pakistaniyat and Hindustaniyat.
Ravi Nitesh – Founder- Mission Bhartiyam, Aaghaz-e-Dosti for Indo-Pak Friendship, Executive Member- South Asian Fraternity, Writes common person’s perspective on Peace & Conflict, Human Rights in South Asia
(Views expressed are personal)