The unending miseries
Just a day before a senior Pakistan minister said that his country will try to resume peace talks with India only after election results are out as it is useless to talk to New Delhi because no big decisions are expected from the present Indian government.
The minister’s assertion was that time is not right to hold a dialogue as the Indian leaders are preparing for the upcoming general elections.
The Indo-Pak ties strained after the terror attacks by suspected militants in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The ties further nose-dived in 2017 with no bilateral talks talking place between them.
India has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.
The recent statement by a senior Pak minister and the voices coming from India are suggestive that both the countries are in no mood to improve the strained relations that have been taking a heavy toll on both the countries and the people of Kashmir in particular.
The two nations are the main players in South Asian politics, as the two constitute 86% of its population and control over 80% of the land area. When these two are at peace with each other the whole region by and large maintains calm and when their relations witness a troubled phase, the entire region remains on tenterhooks.
Peace has been elusive to the region because of hostilities between India and Pakistan over the past three decades now. Both the nations have been fighting it out in the open.
India blames Pakistan for all its ills but the ground situation reflects a different situation altogether. The two neighbours have much in common in terms of history, culture, language and religions. Both the countries were parts of a single political entity until mid August 1947. Despite these close affinities psychologically both the countries have always been living two poles apart.
The dominant issue that has led to the heightened tensions among the two nations is Kashmir-which has been on the forefront of the troubled chapter of India-Pakistan history. Kashmir has been an outstanding security pre-occupation as much to Pakistan as to India and a potential destabilizer of the entire geo- strategic balance of the whole sub- continent.
For both the countries Kashmir issue has proved to be an attention diverter towards the key issues that the governments of both the countries are faced with. In India presently the crisis that is staring the country is the failed experiments the BJP led NDA government.
The failure to wrest power in three hindi heartland states and the crumbling economy has got the BJP worried and it is desperate now to play the Kashmir card to the hilt and try to divert the focus of the aggrieved commoner from all these issues.
Similarly in Pakistan where the state has almost failed on bringing the economy and political order back on tracks is using Kashmir to get its people side with the government despite its failure and back track on all the major promises made to the electorate.
In such a scenario it is the people of Kashmir who have been facing the brunt. The daily killings, political uncertainty and a chaotic situation is not helping the peoples cause. As for now the Kashmiri leadership needs to stand up and get some innovative ways worked out so that the people of Kashmir get to see an end to the disorder.