Solution of Kashmir Essential for Regional Peace

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a recent statement has accused Pakistan of wagging proxy war in Kashmir. A couple of days back while Modi was visiting Kargil region where he stated that Pakistan \”has lost the strength to fight a conventional war, but continues to engage in the proxy war of terrorism [in Kashmir].” This was followed by calling off the peace talks only because the High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi had a meeting with Kashmiri leaders.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his Independence Day speech said that our foreign policy is to have good relations with all neighbouring states, [he specifically mentioned] especially with India. He also said that the peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute is deferential for peace in the region.
Pakistan’s desire to have friendly and peaceful relations with India is often discourage by harsh and accusative reaction of Indian leadership. On august 11, 2014 Indian troops killed two civilians along the LoC, but Pakistani troops showed restraint and did not retaliate. Pakistan is showing as much flexibility as is possible towards its relations with India but the response from the Indian side is not much encouraging. These statements of the two leaders reveal another important point that the Kashmir issue is still a bone of contention between the two countries. As long as there is no peaceful settlement of the dispute, Kashmir holds the potential to translate into an active hostility between Pakistan and India. The unresolved territorial dispute has a history of 68 years when the two countries got independence from the British in 1947.
As a leader of a big country Modi need to act in a much more open-hearted manner. Pakistan is looking forward for cooperation with India for peace and regional economic integration and alsodesires India’s role in the solution of Kashmir issue. It is time for Indian leadership to realize that without Pakistan’s active support India cannot reach the heights of progress and development which it envisions. India does not have any other space to expend except for through Pakistan. India all trade and energy projects pass through Pakistan. Regional prosperity is in the favour of both the countries. Indian leadership need to come a bit forward to build mutual trust. This must be followed by solution of Kashmir dispute, so that the peace and stability is based on solid foundations without any conflict to undo the peace.

 

Source: The Frontier Post, August 28, 2014

Disclaimer: Views are of the writer and do not necessarily reflect policy of IPRI.

About the Author

Aftab Hussein is Research Officer in IPRI.

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