Freezing Kashmir will not help

 

In response to Junaid Qureshi’s article…

 

This is in reference to the text of speech delivered by Mr. Junaid Qureshi at a seminar in Geneva, which appeared in Daily Kashmir Images edit page on 19-03-2014. The author has suggested “freezing of Kashmir issue” in his write-up. Though everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but the suggestion seems totally out of sync with the ground situation here.

 

Mr. Qureshi writes: “Daily calls for strikes, terrorist attacks, political encroachment, negligence of natural resources, event-based separatism, intrusion of fundamentalism and discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, tribalism and religion will neither make any difference to India or Pakistan nor will itrealize objectives like independence or accession. It will only ruin Kashmir and Kashmiris. In order to save our future generations and preserve our cultural heritage, we Kashmiris need to introspect, revisit our strategy and formulate alternative narratives. Instead of becoming part of proxy warfare, we Kashmiris should formulate and become part of proxy peace initiatives between the two countries. Perhaps freezing the Kashmir issue as proposed by the Chairman of JKDLP, Hashim Qureshi could be used as a reference point for further discussions and elaborations in this regard.”

 

Though the writer is entitled to have his opinion but I firmly believe that freezing of Kashmir issue will have dangerous consequences for the peace and stability of not only India and Pakistan but for the entire sub-continent. That is why participants and regional experts in a recent Track II conference organized by Centre for Dialogue and Reconstruction (CDR) and Jinnah Institute (JI) at New Delhi stressed for serious talks for Kashmir resolution at earliest. The joint resolution issued at the conference “called upon both governments (India & Pakistan) to urgently take up discussions on Jammu and Kashmir so that a solution that is acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) can be found.”

 

Any effort to put Kashmir issue on backburner will tantamount to inviting more bloodshed and would push Kashmir youth to the wall. With authorities here curbing dissent with iron fist and leaving no room for peaceful resistance, it will force youth to think of other options.

 

In such a situation it is imperative to prioritize Kashmir settlement, as Kashmir holds key to long lasting peace in the region. Without any significant breakthrough on Kashmir dispute there is always a threat that bonhomie created by Indo-Pak trade and people to people contacts will get easily derailed by any single incident in Kashmir.

 

Furthermore Kashmiris having offered exemplary sacrifices offered in pursuit of self-determination will never allow this issue to be sidelined. Resistance leadership here even though wants better Indo-Pak relations but they too are aware of the fact that keeping the K-issue in limbo will take situation back to square one.  

 

       Moreover the scheduled withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from Afghanistan will free both India and Pakistan from psychological battle there and will put focus on Kashmir resolution. By keeping Kashmir dispute lingering will only add to uncertain situation here with its spillback effects on the region’s stability and thereby peace and stability of the entire sub-continent.

 

Waseemshah57@yahoo.com 

 

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