Abdul Rafay Hashmi
Mujahideen tried their level best to capture the valley but they were defeated by Indian army as they were not well equipped and trained. Then India took this dispute to the Security Council. The Security Council decided that a plebiscite must be held in Kashmir. At that time India agreed but after sometime she backed out of her promise.
In 1962 Pakistan lost a golden opportunity to conquer Kashmir during Indo-china war. As India requested President Kennedy of America to influence Pakistan for not taking any step regarding Kashmir during Indo-China war. Kennedy pressurized Ayub Khan and he accepted the America influence on these conditions that after Indo-China war America would help in resolving the Kashmir issue through discussion. In this regard after the Indo-China war Sheikh Abdullah came to Pakistan to initiate some discussion on Kashmir. During his tour of Pakistan JawaharLal Nehru died and he had to rush back.
Ayub Khan tried to atone for his mistake and he prepared five thousand gorillas form army to capture Kashmir. This operation was given the name of “operation Gibraltar” and it was done in 1965. All these gorillas caused a lot of destruction in the valley but at least they all were captured or killed by the Indian forces due to lack of planning. In revenge, India made heavy shelling on Awan Sharif, a village near border. In response to this incident Pakistani forces along with Azad Kashmir forces crossed the ceasefire line by making official announcement.
During this war of 1965, at one stage the Pakistani forces advanced uptoAkhnoor and they were in a position to capture Srinagar as well but under Soviet Union’s influence Ayub Khan declared ceasefire. In this way Pakistan also lost this opportunity to get Kashmir. The Indian areas occupied by the Pakistani forces were also given bank to India according to “Tashkent Accord”.
After this war, tension mounted between the two countries upto this extent that they had another war in 1971. This war resulted in separation of East Pakistan as an independent State now known as Bangladesh.
The Kashmiri freedom fighters took inspiration from brave freedom fighting display of Afghanis and an upgrade uprising began in the valley. But due to lack of planning and poor diplomatic approach, this brilliant tactical move ended in a terrible strategic blunder. Before Kargil episode, international opinion was focused on Indian army repression in Kashmir. What a pity that Kargil changed this focus completely. India achieved the world’s sympathies through its excellent diplomatic policies and quickly made propaganda against Pakistan mainly through its electronic media. On the other hand Pakistan became isolated in international politics and even China the most reliable friend of Pakistan gave a cold shoulder in these circumstances. The ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan had to call off the whole operation due to huge international pressure. The most unfortunate aspect of the whole Kargil operation was tht although jawans, officers and Mujahideen won the war at Kargil hills, yet they had to descend as Pakistani government lost this war on the diplomatic front. The great uprising is still going on in the valley. Pakistan tried to internationalize the Kashmiri freedom fighting and inhuman behavior of Indian forces through Kargil operation in 1999.
Under this scenario of events, it is clear that a change in policy direction is necessary. New objectives have to be formed. Almost certainly the wings of our hawks have to clipped. For this purpose the following steps can be taken:
One, the line of control can be transformed into the international border between Pakistan and India . India itself has been moving in this direction for a while now- in the event of its inability to stamp out the freedom struggle in Kashmir. This option is, from the Indian perspective, the least disturbing and the most aligned to its prevailing Kashmir stance.
However, despite this option having support amongst some Western analysts, it is unworkable. This is because the line of control has never been accepted by the Kashmiris. Rather, it is simply a temporary cease fire line which marks a cessation of military hostilities between two antagonists and is expected to remain in place until the dispute is resolved.
Two, the valley of Kashmir along with some Northern areas, must be given independence. This option although sounds very well, yet from India’s point of view it is not beneficial because an independent Kashmir bordering China will become a permanent thereat to India.
Three, Northern areas in control of Pakistan whereas Jammu and Laddakh should be given under trusteeship of United Nations for twenty years in order to eliminate the Pakistan and Indian influence and than after twenty years it should be asked from the people of Kashmir whether they want to become independent or they want to become a part of Pakistan or India. In the light of above mentioned options for the solution of Kashmir issue, the third option is very much applicable as it looks neutral in all respects. So, conceived in this way, it is a reality that Kashmir continues to define parameters of the Pak-India relationship. And unless it is resolved there is a détente between these two states, there con not be meaningful stability in South Asia, which would allow India the power status is seeks. But as a matter of fact, India has ignored the realities of history its own leaders commitments to a plebiscite in Kashmir, India has denied itself a role commensurate with its power indicators. This is the time now that India must act with the confidence of a great power and more beyond its unacceptable status quo stance in Kashmir.
Abdul Rafay Hashmi