Highlights of Kashmir Issue

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Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan which is seen as a major obstacle to promoting regional integration and bringing peace to South Asia is one of the most enduring and long-running conflicts in the world. The conflict began in 1947 with the emergence of India and Pakistan as two separate independent states based on the idea of ‘Two Nations”. Since then to date, both states fought three wars over this issue and several smaller military conflicts resulting in civil, military causalities and economic loss. It is a matter of great sorrow that Kashmir, the paradise of earth, is witnessing one of the oldest protracted conflicts of the world. The dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan is a never-ending cycle of arms race and violence. No compromise could be reached over Kashmir yet, as both the powers either claim jurisdiction over it, and the denial of self-determination of Kashmiris over Kashmir is still there. Kashmir issue is the main reason for mistrust and hatred among South Asian rivals. It is a known fact, that the Kashmir conflict implies the security of South Asia. It is also the largest obstacle for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to achieve its goals. It is mostly responsible for the nuclearization in South Asia. Many compare the problem of Kashmir to the time bomb which blast can bring unlimited sorrows and suffering for the people of this region. To resolve this protracted conflict, many initiatives have been taken by Pakistan, even by the international community in different times but no progress has been made yet. Pakistan highlighted this issue at every possible forum and draw the attention of the world towards the miseries of Kashmiris. Furthermore, Pakistan also draws the attention of the world towards the atrocities of India over Kashmir and the continuous human rights violation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. But unfortunately, this issue always remains the biggest diplomatic and political failure of Pakistan as India is never ready to discuss or resolve this issue bilaterally. India claimed that this is not a bilateral issue but an internal matter of state, while the United Nations resolutions over Kashmir recognized this a multiparty issue between India, Pakistan and Kashmir; as a third party to this conflict. The issue rise with independence since 1947 with the treaty of accession (instrument of accession) which was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh (governor of Kashmir in 1947) and the governor-general of India on 25th October 1947. As a result of this treaty, India declared Kashmir as its legal part. Since 1947, India and Pakistan had 3 wars over Kashmir. The first war was fought a few weeks after independence (1947-48). In the first war, Maharaja Hari Singh asked for help in India against Pakistan. India offered its help by signing an agreement to become part of India. The conflict came to an end with the intervention of the United Nations. During the second war, in 1965, Pakistani and Indian troops fought in the Kashmir region near the border. On September 20, 1965, Resolution 211 was adopted by the Security Council, which called for an end to the war. Pakistan and India adopted a Ceasefire on 21 September 1965. And the third time, both states fought over Kashmir in 1999, known as the Kargil war. It was an armed conflict fought between India and Pakistan from May to July 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control. All the wars over Kashmir were remained failed to solve this conflict by force only bringing causalities to the parties. Apart from the military conflicts, Pakistan made diplomatic efforts to solve this issue. The most important diplomatic effort to this issue was made during the Musharraf era. In 2006 General Pervaiz Musharraf come up with four-point formula. This four-point solution to the Kashmir issue includes demilitarization and “self-governance with joint supervision mechanism”. This plan had different reactions on both sides, but he made the very first diplomatic effort over the Kashmir issue to negotiate the conflict diplomatically. On the other hand, several efforts were made by Media Group Through Cultural Diplomacy. Pakistan has been struggling to maintain good relations with its neighbors, especially India. Pakistan’s leading media group Jang has launched a campaign not only to resolve the issue but also to maintain peace between the two nations under the umbrella of cultural dialogue. Similarly, on the grounds of SAARC, Pakistan asked to resolve this issue on a regional platform but India denied to talk by saying it is their internal matter, we can talk on terrorism but not on Kashmir at this platform. In this way, the SAARC is considered a failed organization, which is unable to resolve the major issue of South Asian nuclear rivals. Apart from SAARC, Pakistan used other forums such as UN, EU, OIC, and SCO as well to highlight this issue. Pakistan took many steps to resolve the issue and even engaged the international community in resolving this as a negotiator. But India has only one claim to be their internal affair. The current Pakistani government under the patronages of Prime Minister Imran Khan is working hard to resolve the issue. In September 2019 during the 74th session of the General Assembly held in New York, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his deep concern about using the Indian defense force to defeat the people of Kashmir, an ongoing human rights violation and strongly condemned the actions of Modi government. During the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US, President Donald Trump asked to play the role of mediator over Kashmir, which the Indian government has refused. Pakistan took the matter to the Islamic Conference on anti-secession in Kashmir. Another kind of negative development has taken place regarding the handling of the Kashmir conflict in the UN. The UN Secretary-General recently visited India and Pakistan and offered his services to resolve the conflict and referred to the need to resolve it so that there can be peace and security in the region.Pakistan must continue to extend its moral, political and verbal support for this cause and must keep this issue alive. The UN should act in accordance with the promise written in the UN charter, as it did in the case of East Timor and South Sudan, then why not in the case of Kashmir.

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