The Bitter Truth

South Asia is situated on the brink of a great disaster

Today I don’t have to offer an opinion; facts— few relative realities along with certain, however, a harsh truth—will speak for themselves. 

Scenario 1, Tral: “More than two dozen people were wounded—one of them critically—as massive clashes rocked this area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday against killing of a civilian in Army firing yesterday. Amid complete shutdown, massive protests were held against the killing of 24-year-old Khalid Muzaffar, a science graduate from Shariabad locality of Tral Payeen. Khalid—son of a college principal and brother of “most-wanted” militant commander, Burhan—was killed in Kamla Forest yesterday with army dubbing him as a “militant.” Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, thousands of people participated in the funeral of the slain youth, with men, women and children hitting the streets in protest against the killing. Women showered petals on Khalid’s coffin while all eyes turned moist as he was laid to rest”. (Greater Kashmir, April 15 2015) 

Scenario 2, Pattan: “An open army Recruitment Rally was organised by the Army Recruiting Office, Srinagar at Pattan from 13 Apr to 14 Apr 2015 for the youth of Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Baramulla and Srinagar districts,” … The army said there was an “overwhelming response and more than 3,000 youths from various districts attended the rally which consisted of screening and physical tests. “Medical test of the selected candidates will be conducted on 15 April 2015. Common Entrance Exam (CEE) of the selected candidates will be held at Hyderbeigh Camp (Pattan) by the army on 26 April 2015. This is another successful endeavour undertaken by the Chinar Corps to help the youth of the Valley by creating job opportunities and help the Valley to recover from the devastating floods”. (http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/story-in-pictures/140429879-in-pics-3000-kashmir-youth-attend-army-s-job-initiative.htm) 

Scenario 3, Islamabad, Pakistan: “The main accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, walked out of prison after nearly five years in jail, thumbing his nose at the international community that was pressuring Pakistan to keep him imprisoned… He was arrested in December 2008 from LeT’s headquarters in Muzaffarabad…At the time of the attacks, Lakhvi was believed to be the operational head of the banned LeT. Lakhvi along with Zarar Shah was allegedly the key planner and executioner of the attack that killed 166 people in Mumbai.” (The Times of India Apr 11, 2015) 

Scenario 4, Berlin, Germany: “Asking the international community to treat terrorism as "sensitively" as nuclear proliferation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the world should collectively put pressure on countries which provide shelter to terrorists, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. Addressing a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here after their talks during which they discussed the menace of terrorism, Modi described it as the "biggest threat to humanity" Modi’s remarks came four days after a Pakistan court released LeT operations commander and the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi”. (The Economic Times 14 Apr, 2015) 

Scenario 5, New York: “The world’s attention has rightly been riveted on negotiations aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. If and when that deal is made final, America and the other major powers that worked on it — China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — should turn their attention to South Asia, a troubled region with growing nuclear risks of its own. Pakistan, with the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, is unquestionably the biggest concern, one reinforced by several recent developments. Last week, Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, announced that he had approved a new deal to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines from China, which could be equipped with nuclear missiles, for an estimated $5 billion. Last month, Pakistan test-fired a ballistic missile that appears capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any part of India. And a senior adviser, Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, reaffirmed Pakistan’s determination to continue developing short-range tactical nuclear weapons whose only purpose is use on the battlefield in a war against India.” (The New York Times, editorial April 6, 2015) 

Scenario 6, Karachi: “Hardly a week after the Iran deal was announced, the New York Times — which often reflects official US policy — editorially propagated that attention be turned to constraining Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic capabilities… 

The NYT arguments, taken from the Indian hymnbook, were not surprising; the timing of the proposal to target Pakistan is significant. If the editorial indeed reflects official US thinking, it would confirm the view of many in Pakistan and the Muslim world that America’s aim is to denuclearise all Islamic countries. With Iran neutralised, Pakistan remains the only nuclear-capable Islamic nation… The US is engaged in a strategic contest with China. It sees India as a ‘strategic partner’ in this Asian power game. India can challenge China effectively only once it has neutralised Pakistan. The Indian lobby in the US is now second in influence only to the Israeli lobby. Thus, unless persuaded otherwise, Washington can be expected to do all that is possible to assist India in neutralising Pakistan’s power. ( Munir Akram, Dawn April 12, 2015) 

And the bitter Truth: Notwithstanding the scenario 2, “Over 3000 Kashmir youth participated in an Indian army recruitment drive”, the scenario 1, succinctly and undeniably reveals the existence of an intense nature of ongoing turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir. The scenario 1 and 2, further explains the uncertain nature of the situation prevailing in Kashmir. Over the years India, a fastest growing economy and a rising military power, has assumed a significant international clout. And despite India’s persistent efforts, (scenario 4), to rope in international support on the issue of “terrorism”, Pakistan had enough temerity to release “Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi” (scenario 3), albeit on the court orders. The scenario 5 and 6, fully underscores the Nuclearization of the sub-continent and the grave threat to its future, thereof. Indian prime minister, however, drawing parallels between “terrorism as "sensitively" as nuclear proliferation”, (scenario 4), is immensely striking. From the above discussed scenarios,

it becomes quite apparent that the two nuclear armed neighbours, after having failed to pursue a saner approach of conflict resolution, are now fully caught in a highly risky game of brinkmanship. The bitter truth, however, is that the conflict in Kashmir left unaddressed can easily act as a spark for the huge nuclear stockpile to ignite, having a potential to destroy the entire human race many times over, and not the sub-continent alone. Whosoever believes that sub-continent is not placed at a brink of disaster, needs first to deny the presence of a Kashmir conflict? firdoussyed@yahoo.com