Elusive Peace

Elusive Peace

Mehbooba Mufti , in an address, has pitched for peace between India and Pakistan. This pitch comes in the wake of regular and intermittent skirmished between India and Pakistan along portions of the LoC. While the idea of peace between the two nuclear armed neighbors is well and good, but the prospects for it look increasingly dim, by the day. Pared to the bone , the reasons for continued and sustained hostility between India and Pakistan emerges from the respective self definitions and identities of the two countries. What accrues from these contrasting Ideas of Pakistan and Idea is not only a tensile condition between the two but also conflict which has over the years become militarized. Central to the militarized conflict between the two countries which also has nuclear under and over tones, is Kashmir. The vale becomes the ram rod of conflict between India and Pakistan and overlaying this conflict are the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Complexity is added to this picture by the varying and varied conflicts and sticking points between India and Pakistan. In terms of the centre of gravity of the conflict, that is, Kashmir, India seeks legitimacy through elections and then various administrations which assume power here. But Pakistan questions these attempts by pointing out to the nature of the conflict- that is, a territorial cum ethno-political and the scaffolding upon which this conflict is predicated upon- the various United Nations resolutions. In this melee , the conflict becomes frozen and truculent at the same time. So , while pitches for peace between India and Pakistan are well and good, but given the nature and features of the conflict, these amount to mere rhetoric. Does this mean that India and Pakistan are doomed to conflict over Kashmir and the aspirations of the people will remain buried? Not quite is the answer. It is history that has been harsh to Kashmir and Kashmiris and it is in the direction of history that Kashmir will find efflorescence. But, what is a travesty is that , by defying the direction of history, powers that be , by merely containing and managing the conflict , merely prolong the conflict. In the final analysis, wisdom and prudence would lend itself to the suggestion that the conflict be resolved the soonest. But, pride, prejudice and allied factors preclude this from happening. In the process, what accrues is suffering and prospect of war over the entire subcontinent.

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