KASHMIR CHALLENGES AND THE WAY FORWARD

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The two thoughts to pop up in one’s mind instantly upon hearing the word “Kashmir” are either
home to breathtaking picturesque locations or place of constant civil unrest owing to fight for freedom.
Unfortunately and heart wrenchingly enough, Kashmir though known as the “Paradise on Earth”, has become synonymous with a valley of terror and blood since the last few decades.

Known to be surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, Kashmir is recently labeled as the “World’s most militarized zone”. Famous for its rivers of ice cold waters, Kashmir has witnessed streams of bloodshed. A place where not only a legitimate freedom struggle of people is mutilated, but basic human rights of around 13 billion innocent people are constantly being derogated. Talking about the recent and ongoing situation in Kashmir, the headlines read as:

FREE USE OF PALLET GUNS TO BLIND THE KASHMIRI YOUTH: KASHMIR TIMES
KASHMIR SITUATION REMAINS GRIM EVEN ON 83RD DAY: THE MIRROR OF KASHMIR
KASHMIR REMAINS ON THE EDGE AS DEATH TOLL RISES TO 23, OVER 300 INJURED: RISING KASHMIR

Despite the carnage, innocent Kashmiri people survive the streams of blood they shed. Their thirst for freedom has become unquenchable and their struggles have become undying. Be it abductions, sexual violence, disappearances, inhumane massacre and state sponsored killings, the Indian strategies to oppress the voice of freedom has badly failed over 70 years. The more the intensity of vicious atrocities by the Indian Army becomes, the more the freedom struggle gains fire and takes a new domain.

70 years of Kashmir conflict and despite having gained an international prominence, what are the challenges being faced in resolving the Kashmir issue?

Journal of Political Sciences and Public Affair ranks the negligence of Indian government to recognize ‘Kashmir’s different history, needs and circumstances’ as the top most challenge in solving Kashmir problem. Continuous efforts by the Indian politics to refrain from plebiscite and the much needed table talk between India and Pakistan not only depicts non-seriousness of the Indian government but also elucidates its mindset towards accepting Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

Another challenge to pay special consideration to is the lack of consensus among different people of the occupied Kashmir regarding their political future. Division of people as Dogras, Gujjars, Bakerwals, Baltis, Ladakhis and Gaddis etc. gave rise to several different ideologies. In addition, an increased number of political parties based on regional, religious and ethnic basics within the state of Kashmir represents the lack of unity and diversity of perspectives among the citizens.

A major constraint in solving Kashmir problem happens to be the long standing blindness of the international community to this massive violation of human rights. The deafness of UN towards freedom call outs of Kashmiris is questionable despite the fact that the body itself has already acknowledged their right of self-determination, under UN’s resolution Chapter 6 in 1948-49. This speaks volumes about the irresponsibility of international communities about their peace restoring aims which have proven ineffective.

The question that arises here is that in spite of fighting three head on head wars and recurring border clashes between the two countries over this territorial dispute, what can be the possible solutions?
Keeping in mind the challenges mentioned above, the first and foremost solution requires unity of all Kashmiri people under one flag. This can be done by reunification and rejuvenation of Hurriyat parties by involvement of newer and younger generation.

Secondly, social media can be used as the best platform to show the world the violation of human rights taking place in the territory. This can not only exert pressure on the Indian government to halt their cruel activities but can also throw light on the sanctity of United Nations Charter thus forcing UN to take some solid steps toward establishment of peace and harmony.

Thirdly, the UN plebiscite needs to be implemented in the form of a referendum. Enforcement of UNSC resolutions under Chapter 7 is undoubtedly the best possible solution so far for preserving peace and harmony among two nuclear adjacent countries.

Last but not the least, Pakistan should continue its formal attitude of dialogues with the Indian government. This can be achieved through skilled diplomacy and leadership of high order by Pakistan thus ensuring its policies and therefore stand in unity with the Kashmiri nation for their right of self-determination and freedom to find a possible way out.

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