Muhammad Ali Baig
THE region of Kashmir is administered by Pakistan, China and India. It further divides in to the sub-regions of Jammu, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley. The geo-strategic location of the region is pivotal in the geo-politics of South Asia. The major area of the region is disputed between Pakistan and India while the eastern territory is disputed between India and China. The importance of the region is undeniable and it puts great pressure on Pakistan as well as on China to meticulously watch the political situation in Kashmir in best of their interests.
The Kashmir region was ruled by Hari Singh at the time of partition and he unlawfully ceded the state to India; completely against the wishes of the majority Muslims present in the region. Soon after, the area was invaded by the Indian troops and has been disputed between India and Pakistan ever since. The Kashmir issue has been a source of almost every armed conflict between the two states and has also been named as the “Nuclear Flashpoint” by the international community.
President Ayub lost the chance of solving Kashmir issue during the 1962 Sino-Indian War and assured PM Nehru in written that Pakistan will never attack Kashmir. Even Chinese diplomats in Islamabad invited Pakistan to take back Kashmir but the brave Field Marshal Ayub Khan failed to realize the gravity of the situation. Senior diplomat Qudrat-Ullah Shahab narrates this event in his famous book “Shahab Nama”.
The Kashmir dispute can only be solved with the involvement of China on a larger scale. The stakes of China in the region are high and it is feasible to chalk out a plan with the assistance of Beijing. Pakistan may conduct a new form of “1939; Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact” with China and may give Eastern territories of Kashmir to China. The plan can only work with a combined political, military and diplomatic effort by China and Pakistan. The contemporary situation is feasible and China will move only by the hopes of incentives. The Kashmir may serve as a huge base for China and it will be pretty fruitful for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well. In this way, the strategically important high mountains and plains of the region will not get into the hands of the U.S. or any other anti-China alliance in the future.
Indian domination dreams were envisaged by PM Nehru and since then its leadership is in the pursuit of a never ending pursuit. The Indian concept of Hindutva and the aim to lead Asia is quite challenging for both Pakistan and China. With the unprecedented support of the U.S.-led NATO; it is believed that India will soon begin to challenge the regional hegemony of China. According to the August 2016 issue of an Indian magazine “India Strategic”, the Indian Air Force has now evolved into a strategic air force with the help of America and the West. PM Modi’s address in the U.S. Congress is also an example when he said that “India’s activities in South China Sea are in the favour of the U.S.”. It clearly signifies the historic “hedging” ability of Indian Foreign Policy but the distance between Moscow and New Delhi is increasing steadily as well.
Any joint movement on the North-East and South-West of Kashmir by Pakistani and Chinese troops will not provoke full-scale war since the action does not involve crossing of international borders. In the opinion of the author, India only understands the language of power and resistance that is now exhibited by the gallant and brave people of Kashmir who are sacrificing lives every day in the name of freedom. The movement started by Burhan Wani will come to its logical end and the oppressive Indian rule in Kashmir will meet its bitter conclusion.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.