Renewed hope
Published on March 15, 2017

BJP’s successful showing in the recent State elections have once again triggered hopes of resumption of Indo-Pak talks, and this time perhaps with more enthusiasm and focus if some media reports are taken as indicator. Even though some reports suggest that the two nuclear-powers are once again on path of dialogue, but then, given the fragility of their engagements and past track-records, one is not really sure if this optimism is really worth celebrating. Moreover, when it comes to the issues between the two countries, history has it that the leadership in both tend to be more emotional than rational so as not to annoy their respective constituencies. In such a situation, then, the causes and reasons for pessimism are way too many than those for optimism and hope. 

Like always in the past, as also during recent months, particularly in the wake of cross-LoC skirmishes between the militaries of two countries in Jammu and Kashmir, there have been enough provocations from both sides so much so that the environment in the sub-continent has become hostage to so many factors, and a handmaiden of countless players who do not want to see peace flourishing permanently in the region. Such dangers loom even today from the people in both the countries within and outside of their governments. It will, therefore, be the magnanimity of the two states and their governments to again initiate and then save the delicate dialogue process from mutual allegations and mistrust. Unfortunately as of now, neither New Delhi nor Islamabad seem to possess the required intellectual capital to think beyond their immediate and narrow political considerations for the larger goal of peace and stability in South Asia and progress and welfare of its people.

Today countries and communities world-over prefer peace to reap the economic harvests that enhance growth, development and influence of a country. With peace only is the general well-being of the people thought of in a planned manner and executed speedily to remove the blemishes of poverty, illiteracy, starvation from the face of otherwise resourceful countries. Plagued by all the ills of developmental lag, India and Pakistan need to give themselves a chance wherein instead of looking at and spending resources for territorial security they are able to concentrate on food and health security of their people. Once the two neighbours are calm and peaceful, then only can they take on the challenges of poverty and illiteracy and ensure better opportunities of growth and development of over one-sixth of the world population.

While every other region of the subcontinent will definitely win from constructive and meaningful Indo-Pak dialogue process, its benefits for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the actual victims of the confrontationist and belligerent attitude of the two countries, could only be imagined. Those who want to keep people of this Himalayan state reeling under cycles of renewed violence use different tactics to subvert the smooth dialogue process. Not only is the future of 15 million Kashmiris held hostage to talks between India and Pakistan but the future of over 1300 million people of the two countries too is at stake. At a time when other countries seek help to develop infrastructure through the assistance of developed countries, India and Pakistan waste their resources to show down one another. The possession of nuclear capability has instilled a false ego in both countries which blurs their vision to see the mass poverty, illiteracy and other vices sapping their vitality.

In Jammu and Kashmir, continued violence has badly affected all spheres of life; the sense of security has long vanished and identified and unidentified killers are having a field-day here. The social fabric has degenerated to an extent wherein suicide has become an alternative to compromise; gap between the haves and have-nots has increased alarmingly giving false impression of growth and development which actually betrays reality. If the Kashmir imbroglio is resolved through peaceful means it will benefit one and all. For it dialogue process needs to be resumed, and then undertaken honestly and purposefully.

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