By Mir Suheel Rasool
Through ‘eons’ of conflict, Kashmir has experienced complex phases of ‘cataclysms’ with the sole connection of having their Ratzelian “lebesnraum” (living space). Though the beginning of Kashmir’s tryst for “independent territory” goes back to the ages from the dynastical medieval period but the institutionalized “conflict” started after the accession (temporary) happened. Kashmir and its people are struggling to achieve their justified and recognized rights, which have been robbed from them under the influence of national and international politics. The Kashmir region is positioned on the Indian and Pakistan borderland, and it is a posh territory concerning natural resources. Both the countries India and Pakistan battled to reconcile on to whom the entire breadth of Kashmir ought to go. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has witness many huge uprising from 1931 up to 2011 and 2016.
The conflict is ongoing because of the hostile relations between India and Pakistan over the region; it serves the role of establishing and maintaining group identities. The presence of military and paramilitary forces and human rights violations in Kashmir are the cause for the ongoing conflict. The people of Kashmir have extensive unwavering desire for autonomy and ultimately independence. Soon after the first conflict both India and Pakistan distinguish the Kashmir conflict as a Powel’ien zero-sum game and therefore they will keep rivaling until one of the countries gets the territory. The Kashmir conflict is an enduring global conflict with an extensive assortment of actors. The conflict stayed unnoticed area because it is a huge commercial centre of armaments and warfare supplies. The people of Kashmir are increasingly caught in a web of mires with the state of affairs, yearning for a conclusion to their torment, they still believe in the option of instigating change through peaceful or diplomatic means.
All through ancient times, the stunningly beautiful Valley of Kashmir (Peer-Vaar) has stood for peaceful contemplation, scholarly headway and religious diversity coexisting in an ambiance of tolerance for the most part. Now Kashmir has been turned into one of the most tyrannical places on earth. The unending cycle of human rights violations and brutality in the region has attracted attention of the international community, and their opinion about it made India take progressive steps to improve the human rights situation, as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act gave a lot of power to the security forces which they often abused. There are several examples regarding violation of the rights in Kashmir like Kunan Poshpora, Shopian rape case in 2009. Moreover, in 2010, 120 and in 2016 over 100 people were killed during massive demonstrations against Indian military presence in Kashmir. Nowadays, Kashmir is a heavily militarized conflict zone in the world and it is characterized by checkpoints, administrative failure, police brutality, identity politics and human rights abuses. The only one who is not allowed to talk about Kashmir is a Kashmiri. Kashmir then becomes the subject which wouldn’t be discussed.
Kashmir is worldwide recognized though world powers have adopted strategic silence though purposely speaking in favor or against at times. The Kashmir conflict will continue on until the key global powers of the world and the global power coordination that they created, propagate and handle, do not stop precipitating or fueling them for their strategic and other key benefits.
Both India and Pakistan are facing the problem of trust deficit in their relations. For normalizations of relations and peace process, both countries need to reduce trust deficit, they try to enlarge areas of common and converging interests. Before 9/11, President Bill Clinton also emphasized the vexing turn of events on Kashmir by stating ‘This Era does not reward those people who struggle to redraw borders in blood. It belongs to those with a vision to look beyond borders’.
India’s ruling BJP party in alliance with local People’s Democratic Party for first time adopted aggressive and hard-line postures on Kashmir. To sum up the current situation, in BJP’s manifesto on the subject of Kashmir, it is stated that Kashmir “was, is, and shall remain an integral part of the Union of India. Both central and state government failed to avoid death and injury and adds to the trouble instead of trying to create platform for political discourse on Kashmir dispute.
The 20th century political history of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed many uprisings, revolutions and movements followed by dialogues process but core issue hardly witnesses any development, which the people aspire for decades together. The Indian state survives in Kashmir only by means of might of its military, and the force of its guns. The people are no longer frightened of the shells, bullets and so on. The historical space of Kashmir’s emotional and sentimental bouts went through several phases and today’s conflict resonates some “spreading centers” after-effects like, the enduring unrest stretching from core to peripheries. It is very unfortunate and most unfair that the Kashmir struggle begin to be ‘projected’ in a different light globally.
The roots of the present “crisis”, which still haunts regional peace and security in South Asia, traces back to the unfinished business of 1947.Both India and Pakistan every so often are attracting global powers to cow down each other. Thus were this “ghostly phase” phase started, it is still stuck there.
—The Author is a Research Scholar in Department of Sociology at University of Kashmir. He can be reached at at firstname.lastname@example.org