They say no one ever comes to know anything about a successful intelligence operation a state may undertake. This may particularly be true when involving zones of conflict. The militant attack in Uri, that left 18 soldiers and the four attackers dead, and caused tensions between India and Pakistan to ratchet up was attributed to Pakistan by the Indian state officials, ostensibly without any investigation. Pakistan also reacted in a predictable manner. But the attack has already produced a situation everyone concerned about the south Asian region in general and Kashmir in particular had feared.
Kashmir is a manifestation of a denial of history and political rights of its people; a perpetual flash point. On the one hand this denial has been mounting pressure on India insofar as the expectations of its electorate vis a vis ‘dealing with’ Pakistan are concerned. These expectations are also a consequence of the denial surrounding Kashmir. With the BJP firmly in power in New Delhi, an attack of this proportion, and at a time when Kashmiri people are displaying an unprecedented and phenomenal new resolve to win the political right of self-determination, the pressure is mounting. It appears that clouds of war may be gathering. On the other hand, the truth and the reality of Kashmir is getting ever more sharpened and defined. It’s stark.
The military calculus between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan is well known. Conventional military disparity between the two rivals, most experts say, is balanced by the difference in the type of nuclear arsenals they possess. It’s a situation which in equal measure could and could not be an advantage for getting past the main source of edgy instability in the region; the dispute over Kashmir. If the rivals have preferred not to appropriately register the fact that real democracy can wrest both out the situation that can spell a disaster anytime, the resistance by Kashmiri people precisely point to that fact. It should be sincerely heeded.
The repeated cycles of near-war situations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir can be avoided if the two come together and agree with the people of Kashmir for letting them show the way by granting them the most fundamental right to decide what their political future could be. The only way to avoid the possibility of a nuclear winter in the region is by embracing the truest principle of democracy, a free vote to the people of Kashmir on both sides of the bloody dividing line. Kashmir has been waiting to become a harbinger and savior of true democracy in the region.