A few days ago, Indian Prime Minster Dr Manmohan Singh suggested that Pakistan should leave the Kashmir issue alone and focus on its own internal problems. This idea led to the usual protests in Pakistan. If we excise our pathological fear and dislike of anything Indian (at least officially), does this statement still seem outrageous?
Let me quote another politician. In a recent interview, Maulana Fazlur Rehman remarked on Kashmir: “Obviously, we are in favour of a political solution… Things have changed so much. Now the concept of wining Kashmir has taken a back seat to the urgency of saving Pakistan.” Does this comment sound better and sensible? Things have indeed changed a lot during the last 60 years and we need to take cognisance of the changed scenario and adjust accordingly.
Nearly 64 years ago, when Indian troops landed in Kashmir on October 27, 1947, Pakistan refused to accept the accession of Kashmir to India on grounds that the wishes of the people of the state had not been ascertained. This was certainly the rightful moral position. As a matter of fact, when India refused to accept the legal accession of Junagadh to Pakistan and occupied the state on November 9, 1947, Pakistan only resorted to indignant protests, as it knew that the vast majority of its Hindu population were eager to join India. Pakistan had obviously hoped that India would apply the same principle to Kashmir — something which both Nehru and Mountbatten promised to do.
However, our moral high ground is now leading us to political and economic suicide. It is a no-brainer that if Pakistan had not embarked on a costly confrontation with India over Kashmir, the military would not have been so strengthened as to take over the government four times. It is also no secret that if the conflict with India had not been present, we would have had no reason to spend over half of our budget on defence and that our country would have easily been a high middle-income country by now.
These historical reasons aside, now there are several more complicating factors. Pakistan is under a severe attack from terrorists almost every day, its economy is extremely shaky and its politics is corrupt, fractured and baseless. While accurate economic indicators are hard to obtain, it is clear that despite being practically a war zone since 1989, Indian Kashmir has managed a higher literacy, economic growth and per capita income rate than most of Pakistan. Thus, why would the Kashmiris want to join Pakistan now? What do we have to offer them any longer?
In 1947-8, Pakistan was a new country, full of ambition and striving to become a progressive homeland for the Muslims of South Asia. In that context, the Kashmiris naturally felt an affinity towards their Muslim brethren in Pakistan and wanted to join them. Since then, official Pakistan has time and again shown its contempt for diversity within the national polity and the East Pakistan, Baloch and anti-Pakhtunistan operations are a clear example of the state’s unwillingness to accept true provincial autonomy.
Therefore, unless we put our own house in order first, we should not harbour any grand ideas about attaining Indian Kashmir. It is ludicrous to hope to incorporate a large territory, with a different development trajectory over the last six decades, when parts of our own country are not under the government’s control, and when most people in Pakistan are worrying about its dire economic and security situation.
Moreover, if not for our sake, we should shelf our hawkish stance on Kashmir for the sake of the 140 million Indian Muslims. If the government is really concerned about the suffering Muslims of Kashmir, it should also care about the suffering of the millions of Muslims in India proper who are suffering (among other things) the suspicion being Muslim brings in a Hindu majority state due to the antagonistic attitude of Pakistan.
Kashmiris deserve their right of self-determination, but that should certainly not come at the cost of our own survival and not when all that we will be able to offer them is a failed state.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.
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Very important for all Muslims and Christians from Afganistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal & India to look into their cultural & historical evolution over past 5000 years.
Sadly imported intolerant faiths have brainwashed all converted Muslims and Christians to such an extent that they all actually act as trigger mechanism for a larger bomb that will explode destroying whole of South Asia.
Facts are small scale battles have already started, poor innocent are victims of imported faiths conspiracy. Unless Muslims and Christians question their faith of intolerance against tolerance ordinary people will continue to die, intellecuals will carry on the debate on why US or Nato are present sat in their air conditioned rooms.
Indian taxpayers are subsidizing Kashmiris. Once you cut them loose then they will realize what they are losing. It is just not some scenic beauty and fair skinned people that make a good country. No willingness to work hard is rampantly evident amongst the Kasmiris. Take them ..... Who cares ?
Enough is enough, Pakistan's fake love affair with Kashmir has already exacted an enormous cost to the state by keeping a huge army on a Kashmir centered national security pretext. Best if it stops the delusional "Free Kashmir" project, diverting its resources and building capacity to efficiently run organizations such as WAPDA, PIA and Pakistan Railways.
The question for the Pakistani hawks is: with more Muslims than Pakistan, why isn't there a noteworthy movement for a free Kashmir in India?
By the way, the literacy rate in Azad Jammu & Kashmir is close to 70%, the highest in Pakistan.
@agthagola: Why open your eyes when you get sweet dreams while asleep
Agathagola : Before your "mania"stan, remember it was all Hindu kingdoms under the AkandBharat
We don't need Kashmir at the cost of Pakistan. We were already broken into two pieces in 1971 while Terrorism is now breaking pakistan into some more segments.
You want Pakistan to be broken further?, what a silly demand of Kashmir.
Quaid never demanded that type of annexation of Kashmir into Pakistan.
@Mahmood Saeed: Take one step at a time , focus on putting your house in order first, before dreaming about your Aspirations, as this is going to be like dream very soon in your current condition !! So i suggest you take it bit easy and deal with what's in front of your face before worrying about next 10 yards !!!
@agthagola: Don't make me laugh !! My 12 yrs old son has more apptitude and knowledge of reality and actual History !! You really need to do some home work on the BS, you are throwing across !! Just look around yourself and the surroundings and if you can not grasp the reality ! Then you really need help !!
@Umair: Are we speaking on behalf of Land of Pure ?? Better get some approvals before making such comments as, offering something that has been your core policy to defend for last 60 years !!! I would be careful, as people have been lost for lot less than these kind of remarks in your country !!!!
Can Bharat be trusted? Many promises with Pakistan and the Kashmiris have been flouted since 1947. Think about it and draw a list beginning with the 1948 promise via Attlee to hold plebiscite soonest. It makes you squirm.
We should keep the issue alive and burning like China's model of dealing with Taiwan. One day when the US power will have waned sufficiently in Chinese judgment, China will take Taiwan back. Pakistan and Pakistanis should work hard, strengthen themselves and wait for as long as it takes.
If the water situation is not resolved, independentally of Kashmir, there will be no stopping an end to the subcontinent being something other than we know it today.
@narayana murthy: You like all the ill wishers of PAKISTAN have been predicting end of Pakistan since its birth. Duirng the time these ill wishers were predicting PK collapse, PK became a thermonuclear power and now can smoke india and evaporate india in 45 minutes. If you do not believe me then ask your stupid generals to try any mischief against Pakistan.
@Hindu Indian: Regarding Kargil, Pakistan called back the 313 Mujahideen , indians were unable to dislodge them after several days. I think india still has time to think rationally and get out of kashmir and I gurantte relations between india and Pakistan will normalize and PK will be the best baking of india. However if india continue it stupidity then "Muslims who have long history of fighting against odds and winnging the battles" This was when Muslims used to a minority in the world several hundreds years ago, now Muslims are majority and growing fast. My prediction is "If india does not get into a rational attitude and let kashmir go, then india will paint itself as target. My forefathers were Rajput fighters, as 99% of Pakistani Muslims are converted from Hindusim, my forfathers also converted. I have a sympathetic corner for india because of my ancestory.
I am willing to Forget Kashmir given that you can guarantee peace with India. Period. Also, can you guarantee the constant flow of our rivers (most of which flow from Kashmir?)
@Chengez K: Brother better change ur opinion, or else both of us will collapse. If both Pakistan and India wants to rise and prosper, stop this dirty war and dirty sentiments or else, our children will pay the price. Our dirty politician (both) has kept this problem alive to gain their part. We the new generation has to solve this issue and be like brothers and live happily. I am a Hindu, I have three best friends Abdul Mannan, Mustaque Ahmed and Ashraf Hussain. We are not related by blood but by the heart and always remember, the bond of the heart is the strongest.