Dr Ghulam Nabi Fa Washington,
Reasons for the conflict over Kashmir are argued among contenders on several points, more often than not to serve glob-alist interests rather than the fundamental needs or desires of the Kashmiris themselves.
Why, after 74 years, the problem continues to fester is the chal-lenge for those who talk of peace, stability, and democratic rights in the region of South Asia.
The most pertinent evidence of that conflict is that India has in recent years had as many as 900,000 military and paramilitary forces stationed on a piece of land no larger than the state of Tennes-see (USA).
By comparison, during the height of the Iraq war, in October 2007, U.S. Troop strength was only a little over 166,000. Iraq compares in size to the state of California. Obviously, the number of troops stationed in Kashmir is highly significant. There is no war taking place there.
There is no im-minent external threat of a foreign invader, with troops amassed at its border. Why so many troops?
India frequently justifies its military presence, first, by asserting that Kashmir is an ‘integral part’ of India, and, second, that Pakistan, just across the border, is a threat.
Both are nuclear-armed, and cross-border skirmishes occur periodically among a handful of troops stationed along the UN-established Cease-fire Line.
However, to whatever extent such a threat exists, such an enormous vol-ume of troops is well beyond whatever need there might be to resist such incursions.
The best way to make sure that there is no such infiltration is to let the United Nations be allowed to monitor the Cease-fire Line.
“The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height and is electrified and con-nected to a network of motion sensors, thermal im-aging devices, lighting systems and alarms.
They act as “fast alert signals” to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in.
The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.” Wikipedia
The truth is that the people of Kashmir them-selves have always been hostile to the presence of India’s troops on their soil and have resisted to such oppression, and over hundred thousand Kashmiris have died within the past 30 years alone.
Long standing agreements at the United Nations in place have in fact afforded the Kashmiri people the right to determine their own destiny.
What we have, then, is a case of a large country bullying a small nation into submission in violation of not only their right to sovereignty but interna-tional agreements and two dozen UN resolutions giving them the right to determine their own politi-cal fate.
The purpose of so many troops stationed in this small country is for no other purpose but blatant oppression. Their presences make Kashmir the larg-est army concentration anywhere in the world.
Dr Syed Nazir Gilani has written on the subject, “The United Nations has defined the people of Jammu & Kashmir as ‘People of legend, song and story, associated with snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys and life-giving waters’.
Today we associate them with living in a highly militarised zone and locked down inside their homes. We asso-ciate them with a habitat where children are re-cruited to carry out espionage for the Indian Secu-rity Forces (a war crime),” Dr. Gilani added.
You would think that the international commu-nity would be up in arms over such abuse, particu-larly in view of the fact that the Kashmiris have shown an iron determination to resist tens of thou-sands of killings, and thousands of rapes, disappear-ances and torture inflicted upon the population at the hands of these foreign occupiers.
In a more idealistic mood President Joe Biden said on February 4, 2021, “We must start with di-plomacy rooted in America’s most cherished de-mocratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law, and treating every person with dig-nity.
” And again on September 13, 2021, “I’ve been clear that human rights will be the center of our foreign policy.”
Earlier President Barack Obama who choose Joe Biden as his running mate addressed the problem of Kashmir, in one of his rare moments of candor.
“We should probably try to facilitate a better understand-ing between Pakistan and India, “he announced,” and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis.”
It wasn’t long after Obama’s newly anointed status, however, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in New Delhi shuffling cards, engaging in toasts, and making deals on Boeing aircraft. Little more, if anything, was ever said about Kashmir.
Trade between India and the U.S. has since become a $100 billion dollar business, with growth estimated in the near term as high as $500 billion.
Given such platitudes, while American foreign policy is supposed to be grounded on moral values, democratic ideals and universal principles, it would appear that wherever the crowd of commercial in-terests get VIP status, such ideals and principles are easily set aside, relegated to the back of the room, where it’s standing room only. Money talks: ideals walk. Situation ethics is the name of the play.