Indo-Pak relations: Will future differ than past?

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

– Winston Churchill

After the successful execution of SAARC Summit conference in Islamabad, particularly the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Islamabad, also the agreement to commence the ‘composite dialogue’ including the fragile issue of Kashmir proved that both the governments of India and Pakistan are ready to move forward, participate and to be accountable to assure the execution of the provisions of democracy. Undoubtedly this decision brings a ray of hope for the moderate bourgeois of Indo Pak. On the basis of old illusions and new hopes, the political scenario of Pakistan, India and south Asia had already entered a new line of duty (relations).

According to an old proverb “Visits always give pleasures –” if not the arrival, the departure,” up-till now number of high officials visits, pacts, diplomatic negotiations, international independent agencies involvement had commenced from time to time but some how proved next to the none criteria when it comes to execute the free and fair judicious involvement to liberalize the illegal occupation of Kashmir territory, the bone of contention b/w India and Pakistan. And before coming in to any logical conclusion efforts went back to zero point.

As Indian and Pakistani governments are busy giving coup de grace to the not very newly born friendly gesture in the form of composite dialogue on February 16 and 17, 04 at joint and foreign secretarial level. Although, it is not clear in what level with the dialogue process be initiated between India and Pakistan. Political philosophy is quite optimistic that the outcome of these talks is not expected to be drastic particularly over old controversy of Kashmir may come to an end not like the historical dialogues that brings hardly any solution that could convinces both the sides to come up with more logical approach with out any blood shed.

Pakistan marked the Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5, 04, to support the self –”determination right of the innocent, bon mot and politically stuck people of Kashmir known as the heaven on earth. Only those who had suffered the decade’s long human rights atrocities, abuses & violations made by the Indian army in the name of crushing the Atank WAdi’s or the so-called Kashmir militia or cross border terrorists, could tell the modus operandi of violation of the Rule of Law adopted by the govt. of India. My dear fellows (from both the sides of the border), historical observations had widely proved that behind any rebellion guerilla forces, there lie an immense truth and penetrated perception force enough to take any drastic measures that could bring the issue in to limelight. Take the case of Palestinian suicide bombing; I don’t want to indulge my self in debate of validity or invalidity of bombing, but one must agree the strategic approach behind these attacks i.e. the liberalization of the Palestinian territory illegally occupied by the Israel forces.

However, the entire clash depict that India itself being the biggest democracy of East Asia is unable to understand the simple philosophy of rule by the people, of the people and for the people. One may agree with me that accepting the genocide in Kashmir by the Indian army is actually accepting the ground cum harsh realities of Indian political pressure in Kashmir and that assured the hardliner Hindu community in accepting the double ditch policy adopted by the Pakistani govt. however foreign ministries repeated statements had already cleared that dialogues with India is the diplomatic, political step to resolve the irritating issues of Kashmir, water and border security, on the other hand Pakistan’s connection with kashmiri’s in tough-time is on the moral and religious basis.

Since its independence, history of India Pakistan relations evidently based on partially diplomatic, particularly over the issue of accession of Kashmir to either Pakistan or India–”or whether to remain independent. Pakistan’s repeated negotiation further annoyed the Indian side that engaged United Nations in January 1949 to declare ceasefire b/w India & Pak also proposed referendum for self-determination among Kashmiris, which both parties agreed to. However, the ceasefire is never entirely executed, Azad Jammu and Kashmir comes under Pakistan’s control, but the rest of the Kashmir territory till date has remained occupied.

Even showing the flexible intentions, Indian foreign ministry statements from time to time in by gone era had already and clearly shown the common Indian perception that Kashmir will remain under Indian control at any cost. In lieu of that, number of artillery engagements occurred since independence. The first Indo-Pak war broke out in (1947-49) resulting severe setback to Indian army because of logistic problems. At that time Indian plenipotentiaries realized that Pakistan’s support to Kashmiri freedom fighters will never ever let India won Kashmir by force. United Nation once again involved for an end to hostilities followed by a referendum for self determination among Kashmiri’s. However, despite the ceasefire assurance more than five decades have passed but with out any outcome for the resolution of Kashmir issue. The tough neighbors clutches did not ended here in 1965 war where Soviet-brokered Tashkent Declaration in January 10, 1966 adopted to ceasefire and on 1971 war ended by Simla Pact, agreeing to respect the Line of Control On July 2, 1972 caused much suffering on both the sides in terms of territories, casualties’ arms and artillery destruction at wide scale.

A new twist in the relations of India and Pakistan started when in 1999 in kargil war at the heights of Himalayas broke out. The controversial connection between Pakistan and Mujahideen’s were received and raised from different angles in international political arena. The war like situation ended when India recaptured key peaks and the then Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff on July 12 announced the pullout of army to start a fresh line of talks with Indian PM.

Immediately after October 12, 1999’s coup d’etat of Nawaz Sharif govt. by a dramatic move of Pakistani armed forces, maintaining moderate relations with the neighboring countries was not an easy task, particularly over the issue of Kashmir Vis-à-vis South Asian strategic political, nuclear and economical stability. The most immediately step to resolve the matter of Kashmir via diplomatic means and negotiations was taken in July 2001 when Gen. Musharaff visited India for a landmark Agra Summit; discussions over bilateral relations were held with much optimistic approach by the Pakistani govt. however, efforts talks ended without any agreement over the long-running dispute of Kashmir seen as the main reason for the deadlock.

Political analysis views the recent development of Indo-Pak relations as March towards goodwill initiation. As delegations of peace, political personalities, people from electronic and print media exchanged their liberal views while visiting Indian and Pakistani territories through Wagah border. The ceasefire in line of control and taking initiatives for opening road and rail links and giving opportunities for rendezvous to Indian vis-à-vis Pakistani cricket teams for test series after the gap of more than a decay.

Time is running for composite dialogues, what the two nuclear possessed nations of South Asia should do in this regard is the analysis of the previous negotiations, where and why the failed also a little homework for the future of successful outcome, particularly over the issue of Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan had experienced political and economic devastations with the absence of absolute foreign affair guideline and obvious vox populi now they are no more in condition to plan-out and implement the policy measures for free trade and commerce with cultural and social exchanges unless the issue of Kashmir is not resolved to bring an end to human rights abuses in Kashmir and the cross border clashes with Pakistan to bring ultimate peace in the region. Being a biggest democracy, it’s quite essential for India to take certain measures for democratic modus operandi in the long-run or face the political and economic uncertainty.

Unfortunately, whenever & wherever the independent platform is provided to me, I declared my liberal perception regarding the human rights violations in India particularly in Kashmir and Gujarat in the recent times however, intellectuals even political analysts takes it either against the national interest or considered it prejudiced or loose talk in lieu of the upcoming peace settlement of Indo-Pak in particular and the South Asian peaceful co-existence in general. However, the motive behind theses memoirs is nothing but to bring facts in to the limelight that could be eradicated in the nick of time for the future assessment, policy making decisions and dialogues.

Human Rights Development report once gave a widely accepted and accurate definition of democracy that “Democracy is based on two core principles; participation and Accountability.” And being a responsible and the staunch advocate of cultural, educational, economical trade promotion between India and Pakistan, I believe that the civilian participation in almost every sector of democracy including foreign affairs is the only rhetoric way for uplifting indo-Pak relations.

What is required to make the upcoming composite dialogues achievable is let bygones be bygones approach. Besides that the recipe of success is bound to include certain practically adoptive measures of mutual consent, in-depth and in-detail analysis of the previous dialogues, diplomatic means of agreements, negotiations and dialogues, presence independent, judicious and unbiased meditative body of international community, Lion share of peoples representatives and the roadmap of implemented reforms.

Thomas Wilson once stated “There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.” Therefore, it’s the responsibility of the international agencies to act as peacekeeping protagonist and intervene for peaceful resolution to all disputes and long term stronger economic and political ties.

It is high time for “Action” not words as people of both the sides are politically conscious. The flexibility and leniency already shown by the Indian and Pakistani govt. is one step forward to Kashmir conclusion, but the million dollar question is, will this friendly atmosphere continue in the future? Will India be able to educate or convince its hard-line extremist to be realistic over the issue of Kashmir? Or will it be possible to establish economic, political, cultural, social and infrastructural development of the people of South Asiatic regions without coming to the conclusion of most depressing sect of the largest democratic state of India i.e. Kashmir.