Another Look at our Kashmir Policy
A key corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy has been that it strives to improve its diplomatic position and capacity to enforce United Nations resolutions that would enable the inhabitants of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise the right of self determination. Inherent in this policy is the assumption that given a choice, the people of Jammu and Kashmir would want to, either
join with Pakistan, or establish themselves as a separate country which would be friendly towards Pakistan.
Much water has flown under the bridge and the ground realities have changed quite significantly since our Kashmir policy was first formulated. It may be time to test the underlying assumptions of this policy.
a) A survey conducted in August 2007 and sponsored by media groups, Indian Express The Dawn CNN IBN showed that: " 87% of the people in the Kashmir valley wanted independence. However, joining Pakistan figures nowhere as a first preference for Kashmiris and India is onlyb) Another survey conducted in May 2010 in Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir, taken on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) by Robert Braddock an associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank in London, showed that: " opinions on an independent state of J were sharply divided by geographical distribution.
In the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley in Indian administered Kashmir, the proportion in favor of independence ranged from 74% 95%. However, in the predominantly Hindu Jammu part of Indian administered Kashmir, there was virtually no support for independence at all. This survey also indicated that If the movement across the LoC were to be fully liberalized, support for keeping the LoC rises dramatically to 85% overall.
In the Kashmir valley it rises to over 80% and in Pakistani administered Kashmir to over 90%".
c) An earlier survey reported by Dawn in April 2005 and conducted by a marketing research firm, Synovate India, showed that:
Given the low desire of the people of Occupied Kashmir wishing to join Pakistan and the uncertainty of the political disposition of an independent Kashmir vis a vis Pakistan and even Azad Kashmiris, one needs to ask the following question. Can it taken as a given that the relations between Pakistan and an independent Kashmir, were it to be created, would be as close as those between Pakistan and Azad Kashmir today? It seems that there is a high probability that while Pakistan and the Azad Kashmiris will lose control over Azad Kashmir, they maygain very little in return, in such a transaction.
If this realization gains ground within the Pakistan establishment, the Pakistani public and the Azad Kashmir population, it would drastically reduce the support the Jihadi groups receive in Pakistan.
This in turn will lead to a reduction of hostilities and activities across the border, which could go a long way in ending the repression in Occupied Kashmir and help the Kashmiri people live a more peaceful life. A new environment built on these principles will improve the chances of free cross border movement across the line of control which seems to be the desire of the Kashmiris on both sides of the border.
Please note that this change in policy can be implemented by Pakistan unilaterally since it is the interest of Pakistan and the people of Azad Kashmir. It does not require formal agreement with India. Needless to say this change will take time in view of the long history of acrimony between the two countries. It would require that serious measures are taken to stop the activities of the Jihadi groups , which have now taken on a life of their own. However, over time, such a change in policy will reduce the tensions on the eastern border.
Shrodinger Cat is the allegory for Kashmiris. Reference to enforcing the UN resolutions is farcical in historical sense considering:
1) when India approached the UN for Kashmir issue, it was under non binding Chapter Vi
2) whatever moral force any UN non binding resolution may have had, was totally eroded by the Simla agreement signed by Mrs Gandhi and Mr Bhutto, whereby Kashmir was made a bi lateral issue Pakistan pulled the rug fromunder the Kashmiris feet by signing Simla agreement.
Just like the cat, no one bothered to ask the Kashmiris at the time and now hope by both sides today is that the cat is dead the issue is whether to burn it or bury it!
Did anyone ask the Kashmiris whether they wanted to be in the proverbial box?! Today, the cat has more rights with the Animal Welfare groups ready to take Shrodinger to task for animal cruelty sides ASSUME the Kashmiris consent that they are content and happy being in the box, as many comments in coming days may exhibit. Sheer heights of hypocricy on India and Pakistan part when they try and take te moral and legal high ground on the Kashmir issue.
Raj ji with respect you confirm what I have said above about assumptions.
The article, sorry, blog, makes references to many pseudo or quasi surveys with questionable size and randomness of the samples.
The most intensive, extensive and exhaustive study was done in 2010 by Mr. Bradnock for Chatham House of London. The study was inspired and supported by Dr. Saif al Islam al Qadhafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, and PhD from London School of Economics. The study is entitled Paths to Peace and is freely available online to general public.
The study found the following about Indian Administered Jammu Kashmir (J 2% favour joining Pakistan.
42 % favour Indepemdence.
47% favour the Indian (unofficial) position: 28% favour Joining India, and 19% favour making LOC an International Border.
Musharraf Formula means disaster. Borders can not become irrelevant. The only viable solution lies in making LoC international border allowing ease of travel to Kashmiris from both sides. If Punjab and Bengal can be divided, why not J ? and we are living with this division for past 60 years.
Independence of J K is out of question, forget India or Pakistan, even China will not accept creation of a land locked country that will attract superpowers like vultures are attracted to a dead animal. India Pakistan do not enjoy the trust required for joint management. So the only solution can be found around making LoC international border.
All the talk of right of self determination of Kashmiris is the biggest intellectual mischief. Roughly 1/3rd of population of both, India and Pakistan, live below poverty line does anyone really cares ? why so much noise on this cosmetic and fashionable term when hardly anyone who will vote understands the definition of a state ?
interest of Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmiris respect Hashim Sb, this is personification of selfishness it beggars belief that solutions are being proposed by intelligent commentators based on interests of one side or the other but not of the actual people most affected.
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