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the importance of being imran khan

6 March 2019 01:16 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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South Asia’s ‘super powers’ -- India and Pakistan -- are at their throats once again. Both nations are nuclear powers, which could lead to a miscalculated nuclear war. And once again the flash-point is Kashmir, with both countries claiming sole ownership of the disputed region.  

Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of the states of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts and military stand-offs.  

Kashmir has been the main cause of all major conflicts between the two countries, and India and Pakistan have fought major battles against each other four times. India had the upper hand in all of those conflicts. Fortunately, international intervention prevented the wars from escalating into fully-fledged conflicts and the use of nuclear weapons. The only instance when the Kashmir issue did not feature in an Indo-Pakistan war occurred in 1971 when India intervened in the liberation struggle of what was then known as East Pakistan and carved out the new state of Bangladesh effectively truncating Pakistan.  

It is not surprising therefore that Pakistan bears a grudge against its neighbour for the battle-field military defeats, truncating the country and diminishing its world-wide standing. That Pakistan supports militant groups fighting for the liberation of Kashmir should therefore come as a surprise, it is but a followup to past inter-actions -- something to be expected.  

We saw a similar situation unfold in eastern Europe when the US and its western allies engineered the breakup of the then Soviet Union. The diminishing of Russia as a military and economic power followed, especially after its satellite states broke away from the Russian-dominated alliance and moved into the US sphere of influence.  

Even today suspicion and tensions among Russia, the US and the EU countries continue with both sides needling the other. Seen in this light the continuing breakdown in relations between India and Pakistan is not surprising. What has changed perhaps, is that for the first time, Pakistan seemed to have come out on top in this encounter, with the downing of an Indian aircraft and the capture of the downed pilot.  

However, tensions which escalated after the capture of the Indian pilot, were somewhat thawed when Pakistan Premier Imran Khan defused the situation by promising to release the single prisoner of war on March 1. Imran Khan’s statesmanlike handling of a very volatile situation won him accolades world-wide. More so, he defused a situation made worse in view of the election fever in India, amidst jingoist posturing by politicians of various hues and sizes. Rousing nationalism and making war-like speeches will not help find a solution to the now near seventy-year conflict between the two nations.  It’s time, we, Asians, who often draw attention to our centuries old cultures, use our collective wisdom to try to settle this conflict peaceably.  
What would the great Mahatma Gandhi have said and done if he were alive today? Would he approve the war games and buildup of weapons of mass destruction which both countries have developed at the expense of the poor and suffering masses of both their countries...?  

In their efforts to one-up each other, political leaders in both countries have seemingly forgotten the most important factor in their war of attrition against each other -the people of Kashmir...  
The Japan Times quoting the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a rights group, listed 586 deaths in its annual 2018 toll: 267 militants, 160 civilians — including 31 children. While the Hindustan Times reported 41,000 deaths in 27 years. The report added that between 1999 and 2003, 4,519 civilians had been killed in Jammu and Kashmir. The report adds 2002 was the worst year for civillian casualties with 1,008 deaths.  

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that at least 128 Kashmiri youth had joined underground groups in 2018; 70% more than the previous year. The suicide bombing which killed 40 Indian soldiers and was the flash point which caused the latest clash between the two countries, was carried out by a radicalised Kashmiri; indicating young Kashmiri men and women are now involved in the growing insurgency. 

Special operations, aerial warfare, tanks and guns will only cause more death, injury and hatred.  

Its time to put arms aside, think out of the box and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.    

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  • Aditya Tikku Wednesday, 06 March 2019 10:44 AM

    Request:- Please read something before publishing the editorial - maintain the dignity of your position


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