The Kashmir dispute has been the bone of contention between Pakistan and India since the two countries gained independence. Even though there are a few black sheep in both countries who don’t want negotiations to continue and progress, it is clear that both use Kashmir as a “scapegoat” to serve their own self-interests. Not a single dialogue, bilateral or international, has created a possibility of peace in the disputed region. Instead, it has fanned the flames even more — to the sufferings of Kashmiris as well as the people of both Pakistan and India.
In 1948, the United Nations passed a resolution on withdrawal of forces from Kashmir, putting responsibilities on both India and Pakistan in the context. However, no side abided by that resolution. If we both truly care for the Kashmiris, then we must let them decide their own future. This would be rectitude for both of us instead of fighting and lavishing spending money on ‘arms and ammunition’ in the name of Kashmir.
If France and Britain can be friends after 400 years of enmity then why can we not bury the hatchet? There are many other examples in history where countries which were once ferocious enemies have now become the staunchest of allies. Pakistan and India, both, must come forward for table talks to resolve the Kashmir issue as soon as possible. That is the only way forward.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16h, 2021.