India and Pakistan have fought two gruelling wars on Kashmir, in 1947 and 1965. Bilateral relations between the two countries improved for some time but later grew sour following alleged terrorist attacks carried out on both soils. Such volatile relations continue even today because of immature political leaders who continue to create an external enemy for their own selfish interests.
On August 5, 2019, the BJP-led government in India scrapped Articles 370 and 35 A of the Indian constitution. The amendments not only abrogated IIOJK’s special status but also brought changes to land and ownership rights. At first, PM Imran Khan warned India about a bloodbath that could ensue in the region and asked the international community to intervene. But none except China and Turkey acknowledged the severity of the issue.
From downgrading diplomatic relations and suspending bilateral trade with India to taking the matter to the United Nations and observing August 14 in solidarity with the Kashmiris, Pakistan has tried every possible diplomatic way to support IIOJK. Unfortunately, nothing substantial has been achieved. Now, the government has issued a new political map which includes Jammu and Kashmir and Junagadh as part of Pakistan and has ordered news channels to air it every day before the 9pm news bulletin for 2 seconds. This seems to be a rather absurd move which will have no significance as regards the overall cause.
The government must first strengthen their own economy in order to garner support and fight at the international forum. Pakistan has to prove that it can look after the people of Kashmir. Unless the country is economically strong, no one will pay any heed to the hue and cry of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2021.