During the weekend it was the same old story for the two rival nations, India and Pakistan. Both continued their verbal attacks on each other during the United Nations general assembly session.
The arch rivals talked tough as well as traded heated accusations over the issue of Kashmir as well as terrorism with Islamabad accusing New Delhi of committing war crimes in Kashmir while New Delhi hitting back and calling Pakistan a Terroristan, the land of pure terror.
The latest bout of accusations and counter accusations has once again proved and proved beyond doubt that both the nations are playing to the gallery and Kashmir issue is providing them enough ammunition to satisfy their constituencies back home. Be it India of Pakistan none seems to be worried or even concerned about the plight of Kashmiris, who continue to suffer on both sides of the bloody Line of Control.
During the UN session when India and Pakistan had to had a face off, Kashmir continued to bleed. Be it the grenade explosion at South Kashmir’s Tral Township which left two dozen families devastated or the killing of almost 10 people on the LoC during the days when Indian and Pakistani officials had to engage in a verbal bout, it was a common Kashmiri who suffered the brunt.
Worse, nobody bothered to even raise an eyebrow about the sufferings of the people that are staring them in the face-day in and day out. Even today when we write these lines, an encounter left three more dead in Uri in North Kashmir and injuries to almost half a dozen people. Besides, two houses also were raised to ground.
Week after week Kashmir wakes up to the horrible news of killings every morning. As security forces are in hot pursuit of militants, the Valley is witnessing killing of young men almost on daily basis.
As death and destruction is fast gaining momentum in the Valley, it is time for everyone involved to take a step back and assess the situation, its underlying reasons and implications. But, for this it is the Kashmiri leadership who need to take an initiative. Let us, understand it for once and for all-that Kashmiri have no friends on both sides of the LoC. What we are faced is a situation where we alone can seek some respite. We need to take some decisions and let both the countries know that the people of Kashmir cannot be treated as cannon fodder anymore.
All these need issues to be understood, but first the political question of Kashmir must be accepted and a mechanism for meaningful political engagement should come into play.
Given the record of broken promises, there would be only few takers of the rhetoric of concern and intent of political engagement from New Delhi, but that must not be an impediment in the process of actualization of such a process. The process needs to be started by the Kashmiri leadership as Kashmir cannot afford a long drawn impasse.