Route to Regional Peace lies through Kashmir

Route to Regional Peace lies through Kashmir


Pakistan ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi is spot on in asserting that “the recent flare up in Kashmir threatened regional peace”. It is almost a truism to assert that the route to peace in South Asia lies through Kashmir. The reasons pertain to the nature of the conflict in and over Kashmir, which is essentially a conflict between different and differing sovereignties, the clashes thereof and aspirations of people (Kashmiris) caught in these clashes. This is the broad, generic but brief overview of the conflict in and over Kashmir. Interstate relations between India and Pakistan, on account of the conflict, have over the years acquired a hue and a complexion that is portentous of danger. Both countries are nuclear powers and a low intensity conflict between the two, has been going on since decades now. This conflict does not acquire the overtones of war or wither overt nuclear conflict because it is fought under the aegis of nukes. In prosaic terms, it means that the deterrence paradigm that obtains between India and Pakistan allows for this low intensity conflict to stay this way. The danger, however, lies in the breakdown of this paradigm under various pulls and pushes, stresses and strains. Some insalubrious incident or developments within and without Kashmir, or India and Pakistan could create a new threshold of deterrence and the extant one might break down- leading to perhaps nuclear war in South Asia. Moreover, statecraft entails sub rosa activities like covert ops against adversaries. If, for instance, under various stresses, some covert op or some kind of a spectacular act happens in either India or Pakistan where attribution of the attack is either mistaken or genuine, then again peace in South Asia would stand threatened. One clear cut example of this could be held to be the Uri attack last year, where attribution is still hazy and caught in the ‘fog of war’ and its aftermath. The overall context to the attack was the 2016 Kashmir uprising. While good sense prevailed soon after the attack despite sections of the media baying for blood and war, it is not clear whether the same would prevail under more stressful conditions. All this assumes salience in the fluid world of international politics and relations where the United States, under Trump, is in retreat from its commitments and the countries future orientation is not known. What then could prevent overt belligerence which would, in all likelihood, be of a nuclear nature between India and Pakistan is resolution of the conflict in and over Kashmir to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Failing this, things look ominous in South Asia.

One Response to "Route to Regional Peace lies through Kashmir"

  1. Madhu Sudana Parida   February 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    There is simple and non-violence way to stop violence in J&K as well as stop hostility between India and Pakistan ,positive intelligent of India and Pakistan kindly heed upon the solution through link


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