After the death of 17 Indian soldiers last Sunday, Pakistan-India tension is rising once again. Though Pakistani authorities denied any involvement in the deaths, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh put the blame on Pakistan on Sept. 19 and called Pakistan a “terrorist state.” Pakistani spokesman Nafees Zakaria criticized India for blaming Pakistan without any investigation. It seems as if those recriminations are going to exacerbate the issue over Kashmir.
The Kashmir conflict between these two countries is actually not new. Pakistan and India have had four major wars since 1947, mainly over Kashmir (except the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, which started due to the Bangladeshi Liberation War). This issue draws so much international attention mainly because of the existence of nuclear weapons in both countries. Also, China joined the dispute after the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The result? Thousands of civilians lost their lives, suffered, and disappeared.
On one hand, the Indian side claims the region belongs to the country because of the Instrument of Accession. It also accuses Pakistan of supporting terrorist and separatist groups, following a strategy for spreading anti-India sentiments among the local people and requesting the Pakistani side to leave Kashmir completely.
On the other hand, Pakistan asserts Kashmir should have been with her since the majority of the population is Muslim. India keeps oppressing people in Kashmir, which is the primary reason for so many problems in the region. While both countries refuse to take a step back for the solution, the most ineffective and useless organizations in the world, namely the United Nations, sit back and witness thousands of casualties.
Personally, I believe there are three scenarios for this issue, and sadly, they all seem to be futile.
First, Pakistan gives up its rights and leaves the people of Kashmir under the authority of India. When considering the current Indian government and its practices, this option would bring about nothing but aggravation of the situation.
Second, India leaves the region and agrees to pay compensation to the victims’ families due to the country’s destruction and cruelty after being put on trial by international courts. Despite how nice dreaming about this is, it would end up with Chinese expansion over Kashmir. When taking into consideration the cultural genocide China has committed in East Turkestan, this scenario would also not solve Kashmir’s problems.
Lastly, both countries and international observers come together and decide to hold a referendum for the independency of Kashmir. As someone who totally disagrees with separation of lands, I would simply say that political pressures, economic sanctions and so many other factors would keep ruining people’s lives.
A good reflection can be found on the Ekşi Sözlük forum. “Kashmir… The reflection of the paradise on the earth. It is Jerusalem of South Asia with its nature and historical background. It is believed that all the spiritual beauties of the world came into existence there and spread all across the world.“
Who has the right to destroy the center of innocence? Who has the right to paint the best view of the world with blood? What people on the Earth would tolerate annihilation of such a beauty, making even angels jealous? One Turkish phrase states believing is half of the success. If people have hope in their hearts and hold onto each other, eventually they will reach peace despite the hypocritical world and imperial powers.