The Palestine issue in 1948 divided the attention of the international community and drew the concerns of the Western powers more on the petroleum rich Middle East. By joining Non-Aliment Group, India gained enormous support from other states in the group on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan stayed close to the Western powers but did not receive the same kind of support from them on Kashmir issue. During India-China war Western powers tried to keep Pakistan neutral and promise “to solve the Kashmir problems as soon as the region was quiet again”. After the war, the issue was left as it was before for more years to come. 1965 war was an important war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue under the impact of fast changing international balances.
The next decades brought renewed interest and activities in the region due to changes in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran. War of secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1970-71 had a negative influence on Pakistan. India’s first nuclear test in 1974 inevitably heated the race of arms and concern of security for Pakistan. During the political changes of the 1980’s, the Kashmiri Muslims began to create political pressure on India. India responded by sending more armed forces to suppress the Kashmiri Muslims. Since 1948, in Indian Held Kashmir, Muslims never had a normal, civil life. Disappearance of the individuals, raping and kidnapping of women became common occurrences. Violation of human rights and freedom became a common practice by the Indian occupying forces. In 1998 Pakistan and India emerged as two new nuclear powers. Less than a year after, the Kargil battle brought the two countries at the brink of a nuclear exchange. After the attack on Afghanistan by USA, the “freedom movements” all around the world began to be categorized as “terrorist activities”. Another change was the claim of clash of civilizations by the evangelist group in USA. Under these changes the Kashmir dispute faced new challenges. Right now, Kashmir does not offer a strategic advantage to the new imperial powers of the world. The political atmosphere in the world today is anti-Islam. In this contest Muslims must work harder to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
Authorities on the issue had suggested some possible solutions which are not working due to many reasons. Slow and gradual improvement of relations through trade and free-zone application between the two sides is the latest avenue to be tried with some hope of success, if both sides give it a chance to survive and prosper. If, no amicable solution is found for Kashmir dispute, the “bomb” is still ticking. So, in conclusion, there is a necessity to wait for some major systemic and some sub-systemic changes to occur. Meanwhile, Pakistan should continue its work to enhance defence capacity and develop new ties with the other Asian countries, the Far East and reinforce relations with China. Pakistan should create broader base commercial ties and other forms of international cooperation around itself. Pakistan should continue helping the Kashmiri people and rebuilding the Azad Kashmir region.
Kashmir is a political issue and it requires political solution. Institutions such as the UN Security Council have failed Kashmir and there is little prospect for a legal/moral help from this or similar other international institutions. Self- help and inner strength is the answer for Kashmir and its people. –