India and Pakistan may find peace in a near future, but the resolution of Kashmir Issue, according to the desires of people of Kashmir, is one of the core demands of Islamabad.
In August 2019, India removed the special status of Kashmir. It has raised the tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries. The curfew in Kashmir and war of words between the two governments were on the rise.
Recently, the ray of hope came from the both side when they announced renewed ceasefire in February, 2021. During the past two years, there have been almost 7000 incidents of crossfire across the line of control. Though a ceasefire seems as the tactical move. India wants to secure its western border so it can concentrate more on negotiations with China. Whereas, Pakistan is securing its eastern border while Afghan peace process is gaining momentum.
However, these little steps are welcoming. Sometimes the little positive steps can create a broader impact. The Asian subcontinent can not prosper unless there is peace between the nations. The lesson can be learned from the European nations. They prosper when found peace among the neighbours. Likewise, United States of America, is in friendly relations with its neighbour Canada, which in return helped both the countries to enhance the living standards of the common people while maintaining the peace.
This is required to implement in the Asian Subcontinent. In fact there are talks of the Pakistani cricketers playing in India later this year. The two governments agreed to enhance cooperation in healthcare sector under the umbrella of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. But what happens next, is yet to be seen. In future, resuming trades and allowing the religious pilgrimage may further strengthen the peace process.
A Wish For Peace
On the occasion of Pakistan Resolution Day, the PM Narendra Modi wrote to H.E PM Imran Khan and extends his greetings to the people of Pakistan.
“As a neighbouring country, India desires a cordial relations with the people of Pakistan. For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative,” he writes.
Earlier this month, the Army Chief of Pakistan Qamar Javed Bajwa also emphasised on the friendly relationship between India and Pakistan. But he conditioned it with he peaceful resolution of Kashmir Issue.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, in his first public address as a PM, also put emphasis on the peace in the region. “If India takes one step, we’ll take two steps towards friendship,” said Imran Khan. Unfortunately, the August 2019 incident of Kashmir, and brutality of Hindutva supremacists on the Indian Muslims have sabotaged his wish for peace.
Reaction To Modi’s Letter in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the Federal Ministers, notably Federal Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, and Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari have welcomed the gesture of peace. But at the same time, accentuating the Kashmir resolution.
“Peace can make this region a superpower, but peace should be on equality,” said Fawad Chaudhry. “If India things that Pakistan shall accept its constitutional right on Kashmir, then the peace will remain a desire,” he added.
Senior Journalist Hamid Mir asked a question to the prime minister through his twitter handle. “Will the ambassador of Kashmiris Imran Khan tell us why ‘fascist Modi’ became a friend suddenly? What is the deal?” He was referring to the previous statements of Imran Khan on the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, the India and Pakistan have opened a small window of peace. But to widen that window, they require a support of both internal audience and external partners. An encouragement and positive steps from both sides, including resolution of Kashmir, may lead to long term friendly relations between two neighbours.
The writer is M.Phil student in National Defence University, Islamabad.