February 5th is a day when we show solidarity to our brothers across the border in Kashmir. It is the 72nd anniversary of our commitment to the cause. An anniversary of bloodshed, abuse, rape and torture. But the problem that all we do is to show a mere solidarity. We discuss the matter in our classrooms, schools, offices and homes and unfortunately, that is all we do. To all of you who talk passionately and support the cause of Kashmir without knowing facts, you are just ranting on about the unfairness of it all. Don’t tell me that we as a nation are not responsible. Think of your strategy again. You have failed in your attempts to do any good for the people of Kashmir. The bloodshed, abuse, rape and torture continues. If you do not amend your policy on the Kashmir issue, then all that will happen is that your great grandchildren will be showing solidarity to a minority of Muslims living in Kashmir on the 5th of February, 2100. The 22nd century will witness a nation of 200 million discussing the Kashmir issue, I repeat, ‘JUST DISCUSSING’. After such a long time, the condition of that valley across the border will such that pontification will be nothing less than unbearable to those who think. The conscientious Pakistanis of that time will blame us as the time of action would have passed by then.
Those of you who have that fundamentalist approach towards taking back Kashmir, apart from a Muslim population living there, you think that Pakistan has an interest of water sources. The water sources are gone as the Government of Pakistan sold its 3 rivers to India in 1962. Even if you get Kashmir, the water sources of our rivers will be of no use to you.
Putting all other factors in consideration, the exigent interest of Pakistan in Kashmir is the safeguarding of the Muslim population living in Kashmir. But the population of Muslims in Kashmir is depleting at an expeditious pace. It has shrunk from 91% in 1947 to 65% in 2018. One man one vote policy would be out of question in the near future.
Finally, the UN resolution for the referendum is repeated over and over again in the media and by our politicians. I can guarantee that none of these pseudo geniuses have read that resolution. It is again, impossible to conduct as the Government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made a deal with the Indians where it was agreed upon by both India and Pakistan that in exchange for the return of our prisoners of the 1971 war, Pakistan will not raise the Kashmir issue on an international forum. Thus in my opinion, the referendum cannot be conducted under the supervision of the United Nations, making the whole process unreliable to say the least. By the way, do read that resolution as I do not wish to give you a spoiler as to how you have been brainwashed into believing that the resolution goes in our favor.
It does not take a genius to see how our Kashmir policy has failed. This is an eye opener to the youth of Pakistan. Develop your opinion on the issue. Make an organization which is aimed at formulation of new plans and strategies to solve the dispute between the 2 nations which have been at war for a better part of a decade. The advantages of solving the Kashmir issue are immense. Keep this in mind that this part of South East Asia including India, Pakistan and China forms 59% of the world population as well as a massive arsenal of Nuclear weapons. By solving the Kashmir issue, the trade alliance between these 3 countries shall be possible hereby tilting the status of super power from the West towards South East Asia. All we need to do is to encourage the youth on both sides of the border to engage in dialogue so we do not raise a crop of people in India and Pakistan who hate each other. World dominance awaits us if we are foresighted enough to see it.
This Article is written by Muhammad Ahmed Ghazanfar from Bahria University