Views from Srinagar
AGENDA can simply be defined as a motive or set of goals alongwith the other meanings that it has. Going by this definition there is agenda in every human activity, every policy decision and every program concerning the individual as well as the collective life. And, to accomplish each agenda adequate resources, manpower and other logistics need to be invested.
But, investing adequate resources, manpower and logistics not always results in the accomplishment of the agenda. There are many agendas which remain unaccomplished and unfinished despite all the attempts to finish them.
Likewise on the international scene many agendas have remained unfinished, unfinished because of diversity of reasons. Some are kept unfinished deliberately; others due to lack of resources or human will and still others because of conspiracies by the rival parties to those agendas.
These agendas as per the normal pace with which things are done should have been finished long back but due to one or the other reason they have remained unfinished to the dismay and distress of the majority of the inhabitants of the world.
Hence, the unfinished agendas of the international relations, which are already well identified, need to be brought to their logical finish lines to the satisfaction of all the genuine parties and people. By doing this the rights of humans can be universally safeguarded. The scourge of war can be ended which is one of the main objectives mentioned in the UN Charter and the pressing issues like that of Rohingyas, Kashmir, Middle East and all others resolved.
Recently head of the military services of the Myanmar Army was quoted as saying that clearing of Rakhine and killing of Rohingya Muslims is an unfinished business of the Second World War, unfinished business of a war which has devastated not only the vanquished but also the victor nations.
The death and destruction that the Second World War caused has no parallel in the recorded history. So the unfinished agenda of such a war could only be destruction, devastation and death, which actually it is going by the happening in Myanmar.
Killing of Rohingyas can never be justified by this irrational, illogical and nonsensical argument. In fact, it is not the clearing of Rakhine which is an unfinished agenda of the Second World War but to provide justice, empowerment and emancipation to the Rohingya Muslims is really an unfinished agenda of the international relations.
These people are subjected to same type of brutalities again and again. If for some time they are provided some respite due to international pressure but once the international attention gets diverted, the brutalities restart with greater intensity.
Today the Rohingyas are facing what once Jews had faced at the hands of Germans, or it is worse than that. The pictures coming out of Burma put humanity to shame, the pictures which can’t be described considering the level of merciless brutality and bestiality that is displayed in them. The children, the men, the women, the old aged and the ailing, all are treated equally.
They are burned and buried alive, their bodies are pierced with sharp weapons, slaughtered and cut into pieces. They are subjected to such grave torture which human history has recorded rarely, if not never.
If humanity is still alive providing relief and justice to Rohingya Muslims is really an unfinished agenda of international relations. It should be taken up on priority so that human race is able to reserve the right to be called as humans otherwise there is no worst beast than the man of the contemporary age, one who commits genocide in Burma and the one who keeps mum while witnessing all this.
A tendency in humans is that when a new challenge comes the earlier challenges are forgotten; when a new war starts the earlier wars seem less destructive, when a new issue is born the past issues become inconsequential and when a new catastrophe and disaster strikes the previous ones appears as if they were never there.
Same is the case in today’s word, when Burma is boiling the places like Kashmir, Syria, Palestine, war and conflict torn and famine torn regions of Africa seem in peace.
The reality instead is that these issues, conflicts and wars are there and they are no less damaging than the one that is happening in Myanmar. Potentially and actually these issues are much graver than the one in Burma. The amount of loss to human life in these cases, and the potential to cause more losses, is something which makes their urgent & final settlement as much necessary as providing justice and relief to the Rohingyas, if not more necessary.
Kashmir issue which is there after seventy years of India’s independence, and before, has caused huge losses to human life. The losses continue and going by the attitude of the parties concerned with the dispute it seems most unlikely that there could be any respite.
The parties are adamant to hold their respective positions and are not ready to budge an inch. This holding of the rigid positions by them is the main handicap in the resolution of the problem, the resolution which would be in the interest of all and beneficial to them all.
But no one seems worried, as long as Kashmiris are dying no international forum which is invested with the duty to safeguard human life in the world is interested to ensure that safety and security to them. They are the same forums which are legally party to the dispute but are content because the people suffering are not their own.
They are not bothered if this dispute leads to a nuclear war perhaps in their illusion they think that again the people who might die due to that war will not be their own. However, that is not the case today, God forbid, if nuclear weapons are used anywhere in the world no part of the world can remain unaffected from its adverse consequences.
Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the international relations and the world bodies like the United Nations. It must be resolved to the satisfaction of all so that the people of the region are saved from the losses, both human and material, which they suffer from the lingering of the dispute. Plus, this would be a step towards safeguarding the world from a nuclear war, which could end life in this region and could prove devastating to the life in the other regions of the world.
Let’s come to Middle East and frankly speaking we non-local lay people don’t know what is happening in that part of the world. Who is fighting in Syria and with whom? Who is supported by the US and who by Russia? Who is bombarding and who gets bombarded? But one thing which we know is that it is human life that is lost in that region. It is the living humans who suffer in the refugee camps in the different part of the words, most of them of the faults not of their own.
Here again it is imperative upon the world bodies to finish the agenda of establishing peace in the region. War has done great damage to the well being of this region and has caused too much of human sufferings. Now is the time to apply a balm. Solve the conflict, and all the conflicts, in the region and establish a long lasting peace. Neglect at this stage could have the same repercussions as mentioned in case of Kashmir.
In the war torn regions and famine torn regions of Africa the approach should be the same. Their issues have remained as unfinished agendas of the international relations since long thereby resulting in grave human rights violations.
Any further delay in dealing with this problem could complicate things ever further for the region and people of the region. If the global bodies and the world leaders fail to act urgently their own relevance will cease for the people of these countries, if that has not ceased already, which is never good for a modern and secure world.
To the other unfinished agendas of the international relations, mature approach is expected from the global institutions and organizations and the countries which hold the reins of power in the world. Hunger has not been ended in the world which is a declared objective of many international bodies.
Poverty is still there even in this ultramodern world. Environmental degradation is getting complicated with the passage of time and there is a continuous threat of the natural and manmade disasters. The democratization of the world bodies has still not been achieved.
These are the agendas on which consensus should have been reached much earlier and thus far the objectives in their respect ought to have been achieved. But the story is not at all rosy; there is disappointment in respect of all of them. The recent moves particularly by the US in respects of these issues have redoubled the level of disappointment. These moves are by no means expected from a mature country like the US and her leadership. In doing so she has created a precarious situation which is in no way conducive for the sustainable development.
Additionally, the poverty eradication, ending hunger in the world, environmental protection and dealing with natural and manmade disasters should be taken up more seriously. It is never easy to deal with these agendas but continuous and consistent attempts to deal with them will surely yield positive outcomes. The lack of will, and adequate efforts, has created a sort of helplessness and hopelessness which is never an option.