Pakistan putting Kashmiris in harm’s way

Binoo Joshi

From a pure Kashmir perspective, Pakistan has done the gravest harm to the people of Kashmir with whom it is claiming to stand in solidarity against the recent actions of India – that is scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the emergence of the two new geographical entities in the form of the Union Territories for Ladakh, and the rest of Jammu and Kashmir that were parts of the original part of the state.
After delivering threats of war with India and executing many more Pulwama type terror attacks, Pakistan has now vowed to approach the United Nations Security Council on the issue after having downgraded the diplomatic relations, and suspending the bilateral trade, and reviewing other arrangements and to observe its Independence – Day on August 14 as Kashmir solidarity day to show that it is hurt over these developments. It is true that some sections in Kashmir Valley are not happy with Delhi’s moves, which are primarily aimed not only greater integration of the place and people with the rest of the country but also opening new vistas of opportunity for them to utilize their full potential and talent in all spheres of life.
There is no hiding the fact that the Government went in for a communication shutdown and deployed additional troops in the Valley for there was a presence of the trouble-makers and others, including the parties like National Conference and PDP had threatened to protest such measures. Any measure that can save lives is not harsh.
It would be wrong to say that there is no immediate sense of loss among Kashmiris. They are feeling the pinch. But at the same time it is also wrong to assume that they are in a restive mood and would take to streets. There is a sort of frustration over the continuous restrictions on their movements, with all channels of communication down and out.
Pakistan instead of staying off Kashmir as it has lost all the claims of bilateral talks with India on what it used to call “Kashmir issue” after it knocked the doors of the US president Donald Trump and beseeched for his mediation and arbitration in resolving the issue.
That was a unilateral move by Pakistan to change the complexion of the south Asian reality, for it lives in a self belief that Kashmiris would rise and become part of Pakistan. Had that been the case, Kashmiris would have done that way back in 1947. They did not. It was not only the Indian troops that arrived in Kashmir to push back Pakistani raiders following the accession of the state to India, but also the people of the Valley who stood like a rock against them and helped the Indian army in pushing back the raiders to the extent possible.
Pakistan’s new move of downgrading the diplomatic relations and other such measures in the garb of solidarity with the people of Kashmir has given legitimacy to the fact that it is meddling in Kashmir in wrong way. When the people of Kashmir themselves silent on the issue, and if it is to be heard, the tweet of former IAS officer Shah Faesal that Kashmiris were feeling loss of the statehood as the special status was a lesser issue, things should become clear. He is one of the young voices in Kashmir who is heard and respected by the Kashmiri youth.
Pakistan is giving a false impression that it has the military might and the diplomatic clout to turn things in its favour as far as Kashmir is concerned. And more than anyone else, it is Pakistan that knows that its promises and pledges are hollow. But its mischief potential to cause trouble is there and by making attempts to cause trouble, it is putting Kashmiris in harm’s way.

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