Peace by peaceful means

Gulshan Rafiq

PEACE has, no doubt, been a rare commodity in International Relations. Nevertheless, scores of efforts has also been made by international community to have a ray of peace in the world. From peace of Westphalia
to the establishment of United Nations, all initiatives were aimed only at one end: Peace. In this regard, there are many approaches to peace building; however,most important of them are two: “positive” and “negative” peace. Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist known as the father of peace studies, made a distinction between both approaches of peace. According to him, negative peace is simply the absence of violence or conflict in an area. The peace, which prevails during the ceasefire, in this sense, is a good example of negative peace. Conversely, positive peace is not only the mere absence of violence; it also entails justice and development for all. To put this into further context, positive peace does not mean the absence of human killings, bombings and war-like conditions as the inevitability of conflict, in such case, remain there but the difference is the conflicts emerge in positive peace are resolved on the basis of cooperation among the parties in a constructive way and meeting the legitimate demands of each side mostly through structural reforms. As a result, positive peace is about cooperating with each other to attain social prosperity through collective efforts. In this sense, Kashmir is such a dispute which needs to be solved on the basis of cooperation.
The territory of Jammu and Kashmir is acknowledged as a disputed zone by United Nations (UN). The issue also has emerged as the greatest humanitarian crisis since decades. The situation, especially in terms of human rights violations and its implications on the regional and global security has raised serious concerns across the globe. Recently, the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the international community have urged the early resolution of the Kashmir dispute through dialogues given the perils for the regional peace and security.
Pakistan is of the same opinion. Since the start of conflict right after the inception of Pakistan, India itself went to UN for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. Since then, Pakistan has been reminding international community again and again the right of self-determination of Kashmiris. The Muslim community also supports Pakistan’s position over Kashmir, which is the resolution of the issue in accordance with the UN Resolutions.Turkey, in this regard, has been proponent of use of peaceful means to resolve the issue. The Turkish government believes in having a multilateral dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue. Recently, Turkish president Mr. Tayyab Erdogan, during a TV interview said, “We should not allow more casualties to occur in Kashmir. By having a multilateral dialogue, in which we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all.” Pakistan has been welcoming Turkey’s offers to mediate the issue. Likewise the recent statement and endeavours by the Turkish president aimed at addressing the human rights issues in Kashmir and the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue were welcomed by Pakistan.
Though Pakistan welcomed the Turkish President’s offer to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue, India virtually rejected it. Mr. Erdogan was in India on a two days visit. His comments on Kashmir were not well received in India as according to the Ministry of External Affairs India, the remarks were contrary to the position of India, which maintains that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation. In Past, too, Turkey has supported Islamabad’s position on Kashmir at different forums but during the last visit, it was also conveyed to Turkish President that “The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.”
Pakistan, a long-standing ally of Turkey, appreciates Turkish call for a multilateral approach to settle the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and for an immediate end to the bloodshed Kashmir. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz has already said that India cannot dupe the world by its contradictory claim that it was ready for a bilateral dialogue to resolve Kashmir dispute but Islamabad was no longer credible. India itself has been scuttling all opportunities for a meaningful dialogue since two decades.
Mediation and dialogue are the most effective way of conflict management and peace building among states. The countries have been engaged in dialogue process to resolve the territorial disputes. The Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, has remained a disputed land because of controversy that existed over the Falklands’ discovery and subsequent colonization by Europeans. Though a Convention of Settlement was signed between the Great Britain and the Argentine Confederation, as a British overseas territory now, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and Britain takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The US and the European Union recognize the de-facto administration of the Falkland Islands and take no position over their sovereignty.
India and Pakistan, too, after becoming nuclear states, have realized that the dialogue on all the issues is the only way to ease tension in the region. Peace by peaceful means is possible if the process of dialogues among states is not derailed. Precisely, India needs not to reject Pakistan peace plan and hold dialogue with Pakistan over Kashmir issue.
—The writer is a Researcher at Islamabad Policy Research Institute, a think tank based in Islamabad.

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