Will we ever see an end?
On Friday the Line of Control (LoC) again witnessed spilling of blood on both sides of the divide. Not only did the security men die on both sides but this time around civilians including minors were also targeted with impunity.
What is adding salt to the injuries is the rhetoric that continues on both sides with revenge and threats being issued and no step being announced to end the miseries and woes of a common man.
The time the two nations have spend while remaining engaged in hostilities is perhaps the longest span spend by two nations in any part of the globe. It has been more than seventy years that the two arch rivals, India and Pakistan have been pitched against each other.
Even now both seem to be in no mood to improve the strained relations that have been taking a heavy toll on both the countries and ironically, people living on both sides of the divide have always been the worse hit.
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 as well. When these two are at peace with each other the whole region by and large witnesses 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 the two major countries and this hostility has turned bitter since the Pulwama attack and later the abrogation of Article 370.
Though both the nations blame each other for the ills they face, 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 poles apart.
Since their inception both the countries have grown ever further apart and their policies both domestic and international have evolved increasingly in divergent directions. During the seven decades of their existence, the two countries fought three full fledged conventional wars and a war like situations emerges almost every second day on the LoC.
The dominant issue that has led to the heightened tensions is proving to be Kashmir issue 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 the crumbling economy after the Covid effect 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 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.
However, amidst all this the people of Kashmir especially those living near the LoC continue to fight to stay alive and unharmed.