Kashmir from Chinese Lens
3 weeks ago
By: Prof. Abdul Shakoor Shah
Kashmir with its 86000 square miles area, population of 13 million people, Himalayas and origin of several rivers is unparalleled in its beauty, natural reserves and strategic vitality. 45% Kashmir is under Indian brutal occupation while. 35% of Kashmir is under Pakistani control while China occupies 20% of Kashmir. Kashmir, the earthly heaven is under Indian evil shadow. The Indian Dracula has long been quenching its bloody thirst with Kashmiri blood. The emerging superpower China has great concerns over Kashmir. China considers India as arch-rival in the region due to Indian malicious dreams of Asian supremacy and world military power. Chinese interests in Kashmir are purely strategic and energy related. Indian policy of confrontation and subjugation has brought China and Russian closer to Pakistan. Kashmir carries vital strategic significance in the region. Asian rivalry is anticipated to destroy world peace and security if Kashmir the nuclear flash point is not resolved. China shares its border with Kashmir and it also occupied one-fifth part of that territory. The two world powers the US and China are strengthening their hold in South Asia. The US is strengthening India to curb Chinese influence with the help of Israel, while China is supporting Pakistan. The US wants to bring India to confront China while China is supporting Pakistan to maintain balance of power in the region to avoid some drastic situation which could shatter the very core of peace in Asia.
Chinese Kashmir policy can be observed under some crucial events. In 2009 China first officially invited Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the leader and president of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. This invitation internationalized the Kashmir issue and it is also an indicator that China has great concerns on the Kashmir issue. During the same year, China adopted a separate visa policy for Indian occupied Kashmir while no such policy was adopted for Azad Kashmir. It is an evident sign of the Chinese official stand on Kashmir. China refused to issue a visa to the head of Indian Army Northern Command serving as Lt. Gen B S Jaswal.
China is the giant investor of trillions of dollars in various energy and power generation projects in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The Chinese interests in the region are closely connected with Kashmir. The Silk Route which allows China to maintain a preferable military position over India passes through Kashmir. China can smoothly attack India knee-deep through Gilgit Baltistan. The Siachen Glacier is also very significant for China from a strategic point of view. In the future, China can create a greater and powerful force against Indian designs in collaboration with Pakistan. China being the world’s fastest-growing economic power & requires natural reserves to maintain its position and Kashmir can play a crucial role in this regard. Initially, China was following natural policy over Kashmir, but the Hindu mindset compelled China to align with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue as it was in the best interests of both. China has played a vital role in normalizing tensions between the two arch-rivals after its nuclear tests. Chinese Kashmir policies have been changing. China has adopted at least six major policies over Kashmir. Indo-China was brought a clear shift in Chinese Kashmir policy and it aligned itself with Pakistan.
There was a sudden shift in Chinese Kashmir policy during the 80s when China reconsidered relations with India. China supported the settlement of Kashmir according to the Shimla Accord. But the Hindu ideology can no longer remain unclear to China and it re-shifted to its previous policy. There occurred no change in Chinese Kashmir policy after 9/11. After 2002 the ten tension between Pakistan and India china announced its clear-cut official stance on the Kashmir issue through a dialogue process. China is following its Kashmir policy on five fundamental principles. China favors peaceful solutions to the bone of contention. China is not adopting an aggressive stance on Kashmir as it wants smooth relations with all Asian states. China has sure economic and strategic and political interests in Kashmir. Kashmir is a triangular conflict between Pakistan, China and India.
China can offer certain incentives to India for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as it is the peaceful emerging economic power of the world in the 21st century. China can help India out in securing a seat in UNSC, it can help her out in technology and oil exploration and it can also help India in supporting certain regional and international organizations. CPEC is the crucial initiative in this regard which has its projects in Azad Kashmir. China also wants to minimize European markets in South Asian regions to boost up its market in South Asia, the Middle East and then penetrate in other parts of the world. China can be called a cool economic intruder in the 21st century. India has cut a sorry finger after skirmishes with China.
The Writer is Prof. in English and Freelance Columnist, based in Lahore, Pakistan. Email: Prof.email@example.com