Geography and foreign policy

Dr Sheikh Waleed Rasool

TO bridge the gap between the speculative intellect and the practical intellect demands fresh emphasis in Pakistan India relationship with respect to Kashmir in order to blaze the trail. In thrust of the global narrative of war on terror and its spillover effects upon the Pakistan and Kashmir dispute is gray area which boosted to halt the talks in 2014 by India unliterary. It is just to bite the bullet to know how Kashmir can be put on global radar needs bone up when Islamabad is caught in catch-22 situations and Kashmir keeps boiling. To carry the ball of peace rolling in present era of globalization, it is compulsion that people who are at the helm of affaires need to understand the dynamics of world order in post 9/11 scenario and geography, therefore, in current geo-political order Pakistan has to go extra miles while as Kashmiris expectations are high which is all but natural because Pakistan is not only moral, diplomatic and political supporter of dispute but a legitimate party as per UNSC resolutions.
It is not cock and bull story that interpretation of terrorism in post 9/11 has engulfed Kashmir though initially its side effects were kept at bay in Kashmir but did not sustain the Indian perusal in the long run in corridors of world power. Terrorism is global phenomena so Pakistan was not having enough resources to cap its spillover effects because the successive governments proved fluid to understand the dynamics of international narrative and its effects on Kashmir issue. It is million dollar question on the basis of inductive knowledge what Islamabad can do at the eleventh hour when present PML-N regime is about to expire in few months. On the canvass of geo-political setting it is not enough what we assume in domestic environment as world as cool as cucumber because morality should not be confused with state behaviour. It is absurd to confuse the reality with emotionalism when one knows that interpretation of peace had been changed globally and its immediate result was that none of the peace brokers took the notice when India halted the talks in 2014 taking the plea that Pakistan Ambassador shall not meet resistance leaders in New Delhi though it was a routine practice.
Aristotle defined that there is mega distance between knowing and doing particularly when the matter falls in state domain and foreign policy making. It does not need any rocket science to understand that Indian state terrorism is now a routine practice in Kashmir and Kashmiris need prompt diplomatic support at this odd hour when twenty Kashmiris had been massacred in a single day. How human rights violations committed by occupational forces can be put in global radar demands an institutional organized mechanism and back up run by state which understands the sensitivities of global order. David Hume had drawn a linear relationship between knowing and doing. Kashmiris and Pakistanis know Kashmir is disputed territory having legitimacy in 5th Jan 1949 UNSC resolutions and absolute majority of Kashmiris are against the Indian rule in occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The logicality and morality supports Kashmir’s position but territorial control is in the hands of India which matters when she is interested in land not its habitants therefore how to achieve an objective in presence of other intervening variables had deep roots in geo-politics.
Therefore you need to fine tune the things in harsh reality though it is entirely the domain of state. Though, 9/11 episode had no direct relationship with Kashmir issue however India succeeded to club it. Though, Pakistan is non-NATO ally and frontline state against terror and victim of terrorism but could not manage to keep these side effects away from Kashmir struggle. Therefore, the value judgments which derive from an accumulation of historical facts have always affected the human emotions and the intuitions but politics is game of opportunity India successfully fished in troubled waters of Kashmir. In terms of Hume, politics and moral must be always inextricably bound with values judgments and hence both deductive and empirical knowledge fills the gap. We need to think beyond conventional wisdom as policy makers usually are concerned with empirical, inductive knowledge derived from the primary data.
It is ground reality that India has more levers in hand and while as indigenous freedom struggle has lone leverage i.e. support of Pakistan. Indian main thrust is to manage the conflict in Kashmir and to keep Pakistan at bay while making LoC hot and balancing Pakistan in Baluchistan and Afghanistan. Containing resistance with iron fist and putting Kashmir’s in pressure cooker of ruthless war machine and milking 9/11 scenario by robust foreign policy while enhancing the political constituency in domestic politics of Kashmir. The question on the bases of the inductive knowledge arises what Islamabad can do in catch-22 situation at eleventh hour when present PML-N regime is about to expire in few months. The engagement between India and Pakistan is not in cards in present circumstances because the new alignment had changed the regional dynamics as Pakistan-US relations are all time low which is compulsion of Pakistan to balance. To bring India on negotiation table has remote chances in current expired regime of Pakistan and coming elections in India.
Therefore the outlook of Kashmir needs to be shaped in new regional realities while keeping hamming on human rights with consistent lobbying by indigenous people since Kashmir is not a global actor therefore she (Kashmir) is not simply unit of analysis. Again responsibility lies on sole legal party which shall emerge as regional actor while fetching her dividends against war on terror to cream up the crop or getting rid of it, therefore, she shall focus on Kabul is pragmatic approach as it has strong correlation with Kashmir issue which is in deep waters particularly in post 9/11 scenario. At present, all routes of peace pass through Kabul to Kashmir because geographical location determines its problems therefore geography is conditioner of countries foreign policy.
— The writer is working at Professor at Riphah International University in Islamabad.

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