In all honesty, the Kashmir situation looks pretty bad for Pakistan.
Since the time of Nehru’s diversion of ‘plebiscite in Kashmir at the earliest according to the will of the people in 1947, India has virtually cemented its hold on Kashmir.
Pakistan, being a smaller, fragile, and militarily weak state, cannot hope of wresting Kashmir from India the behemoth, in the short term.
So, India steals land and holds on to it, because it has the might.
It is also ethically and legally wrong for India to coerce a Hindu despot to sign the instrument of accession with them when Indian troops were already in the valley at the time.
Even in legal terms, while accepting the instrument of accession of Hari Singh, Mountbatten had remarked“as soon as the order is restored, their matter of accession is to be settled by reference to the people”, so its legal status is also doubtful.
It is injustice by India to take over the Muslim majority states of Kashmir, which was destined to go to Pakistan — according to the principle of 1947 partition.
Considering the fact that Kashmir’s demographics were altered by the British by merging Jammu, to help their stooge Gulab Singh get Hindu recruits — doesn’t give Dogra Hindus legitimacy to decide the fate of people.
Then we have the Security Council Article 47 that asks for ‘plebiscite’ on Kashmiris either joining either country or staying independent.
Indians try to hide behind the clause in the article that ‘Pakistan to put in best effort to secure withdrawal from Kashmir of the Pakistani nationals’ first, followed by a plebiscite. Like India has ever been bound by Pakistani actions!
The next truth is that 51% Muslim Gurdaspur, on the route to Kashmir, was deliberately given to India so that they could hurry in troops to Kashmir later on — that’s what they did exactly.
Sialkot of Pakistan& GT road was always linked to Poonch directly — these lines were severed on purpose.
Hari Singh called in troops inside Srinagar by the signed instrument of accession — a clear violation of the ‘Standstill agreement’ with Pakistan
The Hindu Machiavellian ruler Hari Singh whose dynasty had usurped the people for a century, wasn’t going to just hand over reigns to his slaves?
The same ruler conducted a pogrom of Muslims in his original principality Jammu to sow terror into the discontent Muslims of Kashmir Valley.
Fast forward to the next millennium, the Muslim majority of Pakistani (44%) and Indian Kashmir (43%) overwhelmingly don’t want to stay with the Indian Union (Chatham house survey 2010) — this says a lot about the dishonesty of India.
The Shimla Agreement talks of ‘resolving all issues, bilaterally, including Kashmir’ — but how to do you do bilateral if the other one is looking away? — You go to the UN.
Pakistan’s Indus, Jhelum & Chenab flow through territory annexed by India.
According to 2015 judgment of Kashmir High Court Article 370 of Indian constitution ‘permanently’ renders Kashmir autonomous status. Only defense communications and foreign policy stay with the center. So, it is not merged with the Indian union.
To add insult to injury, India annexed the Siachen glacier region at the northern edge of Kashmir, because it could.
After seven decades of repression and propaganda in their textbooks, Kashmiris of the Valley are completely alienated from both the claimants — they just want independence from tyranny (Chatham 2010, Centre Developing Society 2007).
Pakistan has fought four wars on Kashmir without the political muscle to back it up, and lost tremendously in prestige and credibility.
India kills, maims, discriminates Kashmiris with abandon and no one in the world even squeaks
Even seeing tens of thousands of Pakistanis and Kashmiris being killed in the street, the westerners turn a blind eye.
Pakistan on the other hand is close to a pariah in the civilized world. If it weren’t for China and their CPEC bailout, Pakistan would’ve been fighting a civil war today.
So what does a smaller country that has a beef against a regional bully do?
Do you keep kicking the bully in the shin and run behind another one, only to have the second bully steal all your lunch money and do his menial chores?
Or do you follow a solid counter-offensive plan?
I propose the best way for Pakistan to have any chance wrestling some concessions on Kashmir, from India is by following this plan:
- Stop all hostilities with India, focus on building a positive narrative inside Kashmir through their education & information systems — I mean hybrid war inside Kashmir without the bullets
- Build a formidable defensive line with India like Maginot line.
- Focus all attention to the national building of Pakistan i.e. Education, health, and constitutional democratic institutions
- Increase the size of the country by either merging territory from Afghanistan or Bangladesh by forming dominions
- Form a military industrial complex on the pattern of USA & Israel to produce leading weapons by privatizing weapons industry.
- Allow the military freehand to increase footprint beyond the border and seek resources from other countries to enrich Pakistan — like colonials
- Spring Oil at the earliest
- Make it economically painful for India, and I mean unacceptably painful, to coerce Pakistan. Target their wealth and intellectual centers, as a deterrent.
Kashmir peace talks have been initiated several times. The peace talks nearly reached the peace process and peace treaty stage. Unless Indian politicians accept Pakistan’s existence, peace will be elusive and the UN will have to keep the peacekeeping force there. Don’t forget Kashmir is peaceful today like the calm before a storm. Pakistan keeps highlighting the Kashmir issue at every forum, club, and league possible. The peace prize or dividend is enormous for both India and Pakistan. India has to keep in mind that Pakistan has an upper hand on peace talks with Afghanistan. This is a Kashmir peace logo
For related articles on India Pakistan relationship, go to the following links.