Kashmir, Intifada, Kashmir, Pakistan, India, UN, China

The on going Kashmiri intifada movement sparked by the sacrifice of a young freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, is entering its second year; facing the wrath of the world’s third largest military machine. With more than two hundred martyrs, thousands blinded and maimed; it still could not attract the requisite level of international attention. Pakistan’s touted mantra regarding the ‘political, moral and diplomatic support’ did not provide the much required food and medical aid for the hapless and oppressed Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Area.

Claim of helping the Kashmiri brethren is not credible unless we see it working. As some philosopher said, “Doing the same thing again and expecting different results is stupidity.” In my opinion the definition of ‘diplomatic, political and moral support’ needs to be reviewed. Change becomes a necessary perquisite when the desired results fail to yield. We owe a substantive support to the Kashmiris as we had kindled the hope in their hearts; hope of exercising their unalienable right of self-determination. International community manifested its legitimate support through UN Resolutions. Pakistan needs to understand that supporting Kashmir cause actually amounts to supporting herself, because not only it is an unfinished agenda of partition, but can also become a war tool for our adversary, and can seriously affect our waters and connectivity. So it is not ‘Kashmir’s War’, but ‘Pakistan’s War’.

How this legitimate struggle can be effectively supported that could become a nuclear flash point, if not pursued with paradoxical prudent resolve?

We can explore three areas whereby some immediate relief could be provided to tense and oppressed populace of striving people of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Encourage Kashmiri diaspora living in Europe, America and elsewhere, to collectively approach international forums like the International Court of Justice, Human Right and War Crimes Organisations, etc. to give information on the prevailing situation in the areas where the uprising is being crushed. Other than this, an appeal should be made to the International Food Organisation to review the shortage of food in the region. Thirdly, the Security Council should be officially petitioned to send a fact finding mission in the area. This is how the international community can be convinced to become aware of the facts on ground, and consequently the gravity of human sufferings.

We also need to ensure that the morale of the struggling Kashmiris not only remains intact, rather improves. So all of our endeavours should be lauded as supporting moves. Any action on our part, right or wrong, must not create a perception of us buckling under India’s or America’s pressure. This will weaken the freedom movement in the Kashmir valley. It is an absolute necessity, otherwise we shall, inadvertently, be contributing in breaking the resolve of the struggling Kashmiri youth.

Now coming to the most important aspect of supporting the Kashmir movement in material terms, which is the physical support to freedom fighters. This is normally spoken about in hushed tone and an open discussion is discouraged as there is a fear that the whole world will turn against Pakistan and India will attain a moral high ground to suppress the Kashmiris. The international support in this regard to Pakistan is virtually non-existent. For obvious reasons, good relations with India are imperative for the international community. In lieu of supporting just causes, political and economic gains rank top on the global order agenda. But legally considering, as the territory is disputed, the indigenous uprising against the Indian occupation is legitimate. Of course a vigorous diplomatic campaign would be required to support such actions on aggressive footing.

In this era of globalisation and rapid communication exchange, such movements can sustain politically forever even against a huge military might, like India. If not allowed to bloom, by using the deceptive premise of unsuitable international and regional environment, it will take a long time for the evolution of such uprising, as morale is also an expendable sentiment. So the actions of Kashmiris on both sides of the artificial divide should be acknowledged, and Pakistan must synchronise their efforts. Events occurring, if not harnessed properly, will fragment the combined strength required to convince the world and India to start substantive negotiations about the resolution of Kashmir’s future.

Lt. General (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi

Lt. General (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi

is the former Secretary of Defence. He is also the Policy Advisor of CSCR.

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