The entire South Asia has been shadowed by the staggering apprehension of security concerns, cross-border conflicts and poor connectivity. The insubstantial situation of the one of the densely populated region in the world has made it one of the least integrated in the world besides having common bonds across the international borders. India and Pakistan being two nuclear rivals and key states of the region have always been on forefronts since their creation in 1947. Religion has always been a dominant factor in classifying the geo-political trends while evaluating the Indo-Pak relations. Although India claims to maintain her secular traditions but in practice religion was one of the fueling elements that impacted the Indian politics. While Pakistani politicians, on the other hand have consistently failed to identify the common “Political Nomenclature”. Instead of looking for the common bonds to strengthen the democratic character politicians have always preferred to take refuge under the imported umbrella of identification and sadly ignored the true sentiments of the struggling masses. With the new Indian identity after BJP’s government, dimensions of conflicts also shifted from political to more deeply implanted in religious ones. The conflict over Jammu Kashmir has its historical roots in human rights and right of freedom and development. Over the years and decades ruling class of both countries have turned the Kashmir conflict into a religious one and have deliberately ignored the important variables to find the lasting solution of the conflict.
Human history is full of endless struggles and lessons. Among countless lessons in the evolutionary phases, there is one distinctive lesson that can be drawn by going through the pages of hitherto history and it could be summed up as “if the people are to co-exist peacefully and respectfully and advance their life, they must be free of any kind of oppression and enjoying equal standards in rights.” Going deep down the pages of history we also come to know that as long as the mistreatment and exploitation of one class by the other exists and the majority of human race living in a particular region is deprived of fundamental rights and prospects to develop in a free environment without fear; the slogans of democracy, peace and justice are absurd and muted and claptrap assortments. The people of Jammu Kashmir have been going through multi-folded layers of exploitation that has taken its tolls in almost every single family living across LOC in this beautiful Himalayan Country. Major Obstacles in shape of occupation, slavery, exploitation by the ruling elites and imposed socio-economic order have protracted impacts in blocking the road to progress and development. Digging down the layers of history to determine where and what went wrong in the past seven decades definitely would help in advancing towards ending the conflict in a rational way but it needs much more time and efforts to point out every single ring of the chain. Shortly, the ruling class of the region has failed badly time and again to end the conflict in Jammu Kashmir. If the dispute is still going on Kashmiri people should not be held responsible for that rather class based interests of both Indian and Pakistani ruling elite is the major factor that hindered all the efforts in resolving the dispute in sub-continent. Ruling elite of both countries have defaulted on their own promises and pledges with Kashmiri people and International Community. While reading all those dusted pages of political history of South Asia, one common question arises in the minds of Kashmiri people that almost seventy years have passed since sub-continent was divided and we still are not free; and the life of the masses is still sadly crippled by the yokes of exploitation and the shackles of suppression. All the divided parts of Jammu Kashmir have become milk-cows for the local legislative gangs, feeding grounds as pleasant as possible for a horde of the local rogues and the parasites of Kashmir conflict.
Prior to the emergence of modern state, during the monarchy, the subjects of monarchs had little say in their relationship with the state. Over time, the concept of citizenship and identity developed, with the principle that citizens were not just residents of a given territory, but were members of a political community with a particular identification and recognition. Civil, political, and social rights became associated with citizenship, differing by country in the balance among these and in their scope.
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Beginning of cold war, formation of the United Nations, decolonization on a mammoth scale and escalation in national liberation movements across the globe were some of the major achievements of post-World War II. Our political world entered into a new phase of history in the mid-1940s after the upheavals of Hiroshima and Naga Saki. Process of decolonization in Indian sub-continent was also a reverberation of the revulsions and rumbles of WWII. There was no single process of decolonization. In some parts of the world, it was serene, and methodical. In many others, independence was achieved only after a long-drawn-out uprising because of the competitive political ideologies of Socialism and Capitalism. Both Soviet Union and United States headed their respective camps and our political world got divided on ideological eminences. A wave of national liberation movements across the continents toppled and dethroned the colonialism. Many of the newly independent countries assimilated stable governments almost immediately; others were ruled by authoritarians or military juntas for decades, or suffered long civil wars. Some European governments welcomed a new relationship with their former colonies; others disputed decolonization regimentally. The process of decolonization coincided with the new Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and with the early development of the new United Nations. Decolonization was often affected by superpower antagonism, and had a certain sway on the progress of that rivalry. It also ominously changed the configuration of international relations.
Passion, love and peace have no frontiers and neither do the compassionate relationships, which is why a Bollywood production like Bajrangi Bhaijaan strikes an arpeggio with working class audiences all over the Indian sub-continent without taking into considerations the phony and abhorrent divides created by the ruling class of the region. The message conveyed by Bajrangi Bhaijaan is based upon the idea of peace, love and harmony toward humanity. It shouldn’t be taken as nationalistic or denominational neither it should be explained as triumph of one nuclear rival over the other. It is the main concern for all the human beings living in the heavily militarized, brittle and odious nuclear sub-continent and that of the mankind living across the globe. Bollywood’s production in a milieu where the Missiles and nuclear weapons are named after Prithvi, Abdali, Ghazanvi and Agni for icing the bitterness on the cake baked from the ingredients of centuries old religious rivalry is a ray of hope for the peace loving souls of the region. Record business at the Box Office proves the fact that the ruling elites at both Delhi and Islamabad must rethink and graduate their political wisdom to come out of the State policies based upon hate and violence because ordinary folks have spoken aloud across Radcliffe Line. Millions of ordinary folks and working class across the Radcliffe Line in Indian sub-continent wish to live in peace and harmony and their shared dream have been taken hostage by the political religions backed by warmongers in both the countries.
Prior to the emergence of modern state, during the monarchy the subjects of monarchs had little say in their relationship with the state. Over time, the concept of citizenship and identity developed, with the principle that citizens were not just residents of a given territory, but were members of a political community with a particular identification and recognition. Civil, political, and social rights became associated with citizenship, differing by country in the balance among these and in their scope.
Different simulations of the appropriate relationship between a state and its citizens are exemplified in different systems, which legitimize these models based on their preferred political ideology. All regimes have formal institutions that reflect their ideological claims. But central to these identifications, besides having differing ideologies is the element of political identification, because modern day nation states in global north have kept religion as a private and personal matter and have set forth a “political doctrine” where citizens are equal before the law without prejudice to the their spiritual beliefs. Social scientists have established several different methodologies to understand how identities are formed and why they become politically prominent. Whether identity groups are politically important, and whether people act politically based on group membership, depends on a variety of factors, such as whether a group has a pre-existing sense of itself: it must be an existing reality with both historic ties and a forward-looking agenda. It must have some felt grievance, and it seems to need political identity to be recognized as a distinct unit. When it comes to conflict in Himalayas where the State of Jammu Kashmir comprised of different regions, with inhabitants of different ethnicity languages and religions; the factor of political identity seems more prominent and dominant in the decades long strife in the region. Historically the ethnic, religious and linguistic groups living in the State of Jammu Kashmir have a shared history of living together in peace and harmony over the centuries. This “Peace and harmony” was, however, shattered by the religiously charged atmosphere of 1947, when both India and Pakistan attained their independence under the umbrella of Two Nations Theory. Although India rejected the concept of Two Nations Theory and vowed for the secular and political identification but over the years religious identity has been a dominant insignia across the Radcliffe Line.
The hysteria surrounding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to be built through Gilgit Baltistan, appeared with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan. The visit has spawned an animated discourse among the concerned parties regarding the legal status of route and corridor’s future. Chinese President reaffirmed the previously announced commitment, worth $46 billion, towards the CPEC. The CPEC is considered a substantial project that seeks to bolster Sino-Pakistan bilateral bonds and further consolidate their premeditated ties. The corridor will run through Gilgit Baltistan, part of the erstwhile Princely state of Jammu Kashmir declared disputed by the United Nations and accepted by both India and Pakistan. In due course, this geographical reality of the CPEC could potentially impinge upon Jammu Kashmir’s geopolitical calculations, territorial integrity, promised referendum under UN patronage and pose a strategic challenge to the global peace and security. Pakistan as being a party to the Jammu Kashmir conflict has an obligation to uphold and recognize the disputed nature of entire State of Jammu Kashmir till the final settlement of the dispute. If it walks away from this obligation it shrinks itself as a liable nation state which would be a grave breach to international law and Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. A country emasculates its raison d’être if either it cannot provide minimally acceptable governance to its own people, or is derelict with regard to the internationally acknowledged rights of a people, for the effective support of which it assumed legal responsibility.
It has been claimed for decades that a convergence of dynamics, including water scarcity, societal unrest, and strategic choreography, will unescapably drive states and other actors to act belligerently, perhaps even sadistically, to secure exquisite water resources. So are we as a final step witnessing the first twinkles of the new era of water wars? Water as a resource is very equivalent to oil; it is indispensable to all circadian human activities. Water is becoming a much cherished commodity, yet freshwater resources are asymmetrically distributed among developing countries. This scarcity in water has prompted anxiety in countries that already have little access to water, let alone steadfast water supplies. This desperation customarily cannot be determined by negotiations. Peter Gerick in his research paper, Water Conflict Chronology published in May 2013 noted that “If governments or claimants want water badly enough, they resort to force to obtain it. Water has very rarely been the main ingredient in international conflicts, but it is often factored into the problem due to its economic importance.” War and conflict have been tied directly or indirectly to the protection of resources throughout the known history of conflicts. Water, being one of the most important natural resources always been the primary need ranging from individual to the industrial level. With the risk of water shortages around the world becoming more and more of an issue, water has become the fuel of certain conflicts in many regions around the world. “Water Wars” are becoming unescapable in the future of our world as the exploitation of water resources continues among countries and nation states that share the same water source. International law has proven itself inadequate in shielding the fair use of shared water supplies in some parts of the world. Professor Zoltan Grossman of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA, noted in 2004 that the rapid population increase and commercial usage of water for energy production has greatly affected the amount of water readily available to many people.
State assembly elections 2014 in Indian administered Jammu Kashmir have glimmered a manic deliberation among the parties to the conflict and stakeholders. Indian media and politicians at Delhi and elsewhere in the country are depicting the participation of ordinary masses in the vale of Kashmir as a trust building notion on the Union of India and rejection of separatist sentiments. Pakistani media on the other hand remained both unconcerned and silent or repeated the same rhetoric of yellow journalism. Kashmir based analysts and activists are twisting the story that fits best in their pre-occupied state of mind. The reality is that after almost three decades of boycotts, strikes and shutdowns Kashmiri people decided to vote instead of boycott. Some intellectuals and writers are taking it as an abrupt decision and others are debating it as a dissatisfactory notion from the state of affairs Kashmiri people have been going through since 1988.
What basically happened has its roots in the past, political evolution, experimental judgment and revisited wisdom. It definitely involves the role of Hurriyat Conference/other separatist factions, lessons learned from militancy and a series of boycotts, role of Pakistani establishment and that of Indian government. Understanding the linkages between past and present situations in the valley of Kashmir is absolutely basic for a good understanding of the events and chain of the events that, in a nutshell, is why history matters. Finding a linkage with past and present is not only useful rather it is an essential part in understanding the social, economic and political attitudes and beliefs in a constituency. The glance of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people, ideas, movements and events in time. Does it really matter to find the correct answer? The answer is yes it is. Because without finding the correct answer only speculations cannot put the course of “what we are today” in the right perspective.
Elections 2014 of the state assembly in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir have initiated a new chapter in the political panorama of the region. A decade of off-and-on detente between India and Pakistan has drawn to a close after months of deteriorating relations that began with the election victory in May 2014 of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party and the appointment as India’s Prime Minister of a noted hard-liner, Narendra Modi. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi after had already triumphed in a landslide victory across India in the general elections held in the spring of 2014 is continuously altering the political map of Indian Union by winning the elections held for various state assemblies (constituents of Indian Union). Prime Minister Modi has decided to take that heat to the state of Jammu Kashmir to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.
It is chilling winter in Kashmir where some parts are so cold just like frozen Siberia. Glaciers of Himalayas are melting down due to the political heat and participation of Kashmiri people in the elections after almost three decades. People in the valley who were accustomed to the calls of boycott and shut down calls from both the pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan leadership and in practice have sacrificed their daily means of bread and butter in solidarity with the anti-India leadership since 1987. But in 2014 the corridor of political venue has altered the paintings on the Kashmiri canvas. Instead of shutter down and wheel jam strikes lenses of both electronic and print media are capturing the live enthusiasm of people participation in the electoral process.
This apparent shift in the valley raises some serious concerns as well as some lessons to be learned. Indian state-owned media is propagating the events as a paradigm shift in the Kashmiri politics while Pakistani media is silent on the electoral process of Indian held Kashmir. The politicians across Jammu Kashmir are interpreting the events well in accordance with their pre-occupied state of mind and trying to concrete and cement their long-held opinions on the very issue.
An Analysis of the Geo Political Situation and Way Forward To a Permanent Solution and Lasting Peace in South Asia
By: Nayyar N Khan
Background and controversial claims:
The long awaiting Kashmir conflict is a mixture of theoretical and hypothetical assumptions miss communicated, supported and propagated by both Indian and Pakistani ruling elites since six decades. Pakistani ruling elites, feudal lords, establishment, civil and military bureaucracy has been propagating to own the entire State of Jammu Kashmir on the basis of so called TWO NATIONS theory due to the fact that majority of population of the State of Jammu Kashmir is the follower of Islam.