Sunday April 21, 2024

The Kashmir cause

American peace activist Rachel Corrie travelled from her hometown to Rafah to defy an Israel Army bu

By Ahmed Quraishi
October 30, 2013
American peace activist Rachel Corrie travelled from her hometown to Rafah to defy an Israel Army bulldozer and eventually die for the cause of resisting military occupation.
Rachel enlisted herself in the Palestinian cause because of the immense culture of resistance that surrounds the Palestinian conflict. This culture consists of poetry, songs, films, novels, and icons like Leila Khaled, the dark-eyed girl who gave up cosmetics for a Kalashnikov to fight an occupation army.
Kashmir needs a culture of resistance to supplement the diplomacy and the armed resistance. Pakistan needs to support all three components. It’s the combination of romanticising Kashmir, the Pakistani and international diplomatic backing and the armed defiance by Kashmiris that will deter the Indian occupation army.
Islamabad has shown unimaginable flexibility in Kashmir in the last decade. Musharraf allowed the Indian army to construct a multilayered fence along the LoC, almost sidelined UN resolutions on Kashmir, and opened the door to a stream of Indian delegations that came here emphasising bilateralism. India pushed for sweeping all disputes under the carpet to create the right atmosphere, and Pakistan obliged.
The ceasefire line in Kashmir is not an international border. Action across this border does not constitute meddling inside India or inside Indian territory. If India refuses to resolve the dispute, Kashmiris have the right to use force to convince New Delhi to heed repeated calls by Kashmiris and by Pakistan for a peaceful resolution.
The idea behind the ceasefire line in Kashmir, commonly known as the Line of Control was to halt armed freedom struggle to give peace efforts a chance. India rightly used that break to take the dispute to the UN, where the Security Council passed resolutions supporting the right of Kashmiris to hold a free and fair plebiscite to decide to join either Pakistan or India.
Knowing it stood no chance of keeping the territory legally; New Delhi has reneged on its promises and illegally annexed the territory.
If Kashmiris restart the armed struggle, India cannot accuse Pakistan of violating the sanctity of LoC. This temporary line does not have the status of an international border. It is not a border. It is a temporary arrangement meant to give space to negotiators to reach a peaceful resolution.
If India continues to sweep Kashmir under the carpet, Kashmiris are left with only one option. Pakistan should support that option while keeping the door open for talks on Kashmir that India has so far shunned. Supporting Kashmiri resistance across a temporary LoC is legitimate, certainly more than Washington’s interventions in Iraq and Syria.
Kashmir has become an urgency for Pakistan that cannot be ignored. India is waging an organised water war. More than three hundred big and small dams in Indian-occupied Kashmir far exceed India’s need. New Delhi is diverting Kashmir’s water for Indian agriculture. Those dams are not meant to serve the Kashmiris.
As a lower riparian nation, Pakistan is already in the process of desertification thanks to apologetic policies that started under Musharraf’s government and expanded under the elected government of Zardari, a government that exploited the vote of Pakistanis to appease a belligerent and warmongering India.
Even if we ignore India’s extermination of Kashmiris and the water war, we cannot afford to ignore the proxy way that India is waging against us for the last decade using American-controlled Afghan, with the tacit consent of elements in the American military and intelligence.
Pakistan needs to end using images of raped and widowed Kashmiris to beg for international sympathy. Let’s instil dignity and pride in Kashmiris and Pakistanis. We are not begging for our right.
Email: aq@projectpakistan21. org