Peace and progress in Pak lies in Indo-Pak friendship
By Kundan Kashmiri http://dailyexcelsior.com/ 2o June 2011
Pakistan’s undeclared war against India over Kashmir has brought immense loss and destruction to Pakistan itself. Consequently, the entire world views Pakistan as a country with no stability. Foreign investors are now extremely reluctant to invest in Pakistan. The proxy war in Kashmir has led to rapidly escalating instability and violence within Pakistan itself, causing grave problems for its own people. Scores of Pakistan’s religious and educational institutions have turned into centers of violence and destruction. Because of all this, Pakistan is witnessing an alarming brain-drain, with most of its highly-qualified and capable people fleeing the country because of the ongoing violence, the lack of developmental opportunities, and the poor state of infrastructure in the country.
The completely unrealistic policies of Pakistan with regard to Kashmir have proven to be a stumbling block that is blocking the path to Pakistan’s further development. The only way out for Pakistan is to change its policy as regards Kashmir, that is, it should rather focus on the opportunities for positive development and progress that are available to it. Pakistan must now admit & settle the fact that whole J&K including PoK is part of India. If not possible to return PoK to India under present circumstances then recognize the status quo in Kashmir and accept the line of Control in Kashmir as the international border between India and Pakistan, albeit perhaps with some necessary adjustments. This can be a permanent solution to the Kashmir conflict. For this, Pakistan must cease its emotion-driven policies and politics with regard to Kashmir and instead adopt a sensible, realistic and pragmatic approach. Once it is able to establish peace with India by settling the Kashmir dispute, it will be able to work towards establishing peace within its own borders and work for the progress and development of the country.
For the last sixty years Pakistan’s politics have revolved round the Kashmir issue. However, Pakistan’s efforts to annex Kashmir, that is, to change the status quo in Kashmir, have only resulted in massive destruction – in Kashmir and within Pakistan itself. Nothing positive has ever come out of these efforts in the past, nor will they bear fruit in the future. For both India & Pakistan to accept the status quo in Kashmir and the Line of Control as a permanent and accepted border between India and Pakistan is, admittedly, difficult. But If Indian & Pakistani leaders gather the courage to take this bold step, it is bound to lead to miraculous consequences. It will break down the barrier between India and Pakistan and build a relationship of close friendship between the two countries. The negative mentality of the Pakistani people, built on hatred for India, will give way to a positive approach. Trade links between the two countries will flourish, to the benefit of both. In spite of being one as regards language and culture, both countries, have become ‘distant neighbors. Subsequently, with the restoration of all the links, they will be able to benefit from each other in the fields of education and culture. By ending its enmity with India, Pakistan will be able to progress in the same manner as Japan was able to after it ceased its enmity with the United States in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The Truth is that when any individual or group tries to achieve any goal, he finds himself in a set of situations which may be called the status quo. This suggestion to build better relations between India and Pakistan through acceptance of the status quo is not a new one. As long ago as the early 1960s, during the rule of Jawaharlal Nehru, the governments of both the countries had evidently agreed on this principle. The Kashmiri leader, Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, had even left for Pakistan as a mediator. However, because of Nehru’s sudden demise, this historic agreement could not be arrived at. “By 1956, Nehru had publicly offered a settlement of Kashmir with Pakistan over the Ceasefire line. On May 23, 1964, Nehru asked Sheikh Abdullah to meet Ayub Khan in Rawalpindi in an effort to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio. The Pakistani leader agreed to a summit with Nehru, to be held in June 1964. This message was urgently telegraphed to Nehru on May 26. But just as Nehru’s consent reached Karachi, the world also learnt that Nehru had died in his sleep. And with that a major opportunity for peaceful solution over Kashmir was lost.
If both the countries were to accept the status quo in Kashmir as a permanent settlement and the Line of Control as the international border it would entail no harm at all for Pakistan and indeed for the Muslims as a whole. In spite of remaining separate from Pakistan, Kashmir would still remain in Muslim majority area. Further more, it is an uncontestable fact that the Muslims who stayed on in India are in a much better position than those who opted for Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thus joining India will only help the Kashmiris in many ways.
Another point is that adopting a policy of conciliation with India would amount to putting an end to confrontation with its powerful neighbor. Such a step could throw open the doors to all kinds of progress. An example of this is provided by the present Japan. Before the Second World War Japan and America were each other’s enemies. But after the war Japan opted for a policy of total reconciliation. Consequently, Japan emerged on the world map as an economic superpower. It must also be recognized that the policies that Pakistan has been pursuing have proven to be a major reason for Islam getting a bad name. In line with its present policy, Pakistan has used hatred against India as a means to create an artificial sense of Pakistani unity. The result of this wrong policy has been that Pakistan has failed to unite in the name of Islam but appears to be totally united on the basis of hatred for India. This has given critics an excuse to argue that Islam lacks the capacity to unite the Muslims and it does not hold Pakistan together any more, but anti-Indianism does. If Pakistan adopted a conciliatory approach, its people would develop a positive approach and attitude to life, which would facilitate the emergence of a new era, wherein Islam, not anti-Indianism, could become the basis of Pakistani unity. It might open all doors of peace and progress to presently disturbed Pakistan.
We believe this will also pave the way to settle down the issue of minorities in Kashmir once for all by restoring their all basic rights and right to live together as community in the valley under free flow of Indian Constitution.