Threat to regional peace and security


Malik Ashraf

PRIME Minister Imran Khan addressing aninterna tional conference ‘Margalla Dialogue 19’organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) on last Thursday rightly observed “India is in the grip of extremist ideology based on hatred and racial superiority which is similar to the ideology of the Nazi Party in Germany. When the Nazi Party came into power in Germany, no one had the idea where it was heading to India is facing the similar situation today. If international community does not intervene in the Kashmir conflict there will be catastrophe as the two nuclear armed countries have come face to face”.
It was indeed a strong reminder to the world community based on historic facts of the consequences that a supremacist ideology can unfurl. World War II was the bloodiest war in the human history in terms of death and destruction that it inflicted. According to estimates it accounted for 7 to 85 fatalities, nearly 3% of the world population at that time, most of whom were civilians as a result of massacres, genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and the use of nuclear weapons.
Germany itself was the worst sufferer. If Hitler knew the consequences of the course adopted by him he would have shuddered at the likely scenario after the war. He started the war never knowing where it would lead to the RSS ideology of ‘Hindutva’ unfortunately takes inspiration from the supremacist ideology of Hitler as is quite evident from the communal politics pursued by BJP, treatment meted out to minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, stripping 1.9 million Bengali Muslims in Assam of the Indian citizenship, scrapping of the articles 370 and 35 A of the Indian constitution which gave IoK special status and barred settlement and purchase of property by people from outside the valley and laying of siege on 80 million people of Kashmir since then.
What Modi government has done in the IoK is the most dangerous move which also constitutes affront to the conscience of the world community and the UN. It virtually is repudiation of the UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute and the bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan to resolve the decades old conflict. Modi seems to have done it without realizing, like Hitler, the consequences of his moves. History is a witness to the fact that independence movements cannot be suppressed through decrees and military muscles. The dispute is not about a piece of land but the right of self-determination of a people which is universally recognized and has been promised to the people of Kashmir by UN and the Indian leadership at that time.
India has tried to sell the move to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as its internal affair but it is encouraging to note that it has found very few takers of her contention. The UNSC, UN Human Rights Commission and growing number of countries have not only expressed concern on the Indian action in IoK but have also urged her to end the lockdown but also reiterated Kashmir as a disputed territory and the issue waiting to be resolved in conformity with the UN resolutions. The international media has all along been exposing Indian atrocities and violation of human rights in IoK.
The latest snub to the Indian government has come from the Human Rights Commission of the US Congress which in its hearing on 15 November called upon India to end systematic violation of human rights in IoK and acknowledged that Kashmir has always been an international issue. An Indian-American democrat Pramila Jayapal wants India to do the right thing in Kashmir and is contemplating to move a resolution in the Congress to this effect.
All the foregoing developments are surely the outcome of a sustained and well conceived diplomatic offensive launched by the PTI government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his thought provoking address at the UN General Assembly in which he like his address to the Margalla Dialogue exposed Indian machinations in IoK, violation of human rights and consequences of the Indian action to end the special status of IoK. But it is regrettable to note that those who really matter and can help in finding a solution to the Kashmir tangle, including the UN, are not focusing on the real issue and removing the root cause of the problem. The situation will remain volatile and fraught with unforeseeable consequence until this dispute is resolved in consonance with the UN resolutions.
It is a fact that successive governments in Pakistan have tried their best to resolve the Kashmir dispute and other contentious issues through dialogue but unfortunately India has always shied away from such engagements on one pretext or the other. Pakistan has shown remarkable patience in the face of provocative actions by India. What India did in the backdrop of Pulwama incident could easily have drawn the two countries into a full-fledged war. Pakistan wisely resisted the provocation and kept her faith in dialogue and peaceful means to settle the issue of Kashmir either through bilateral or global forums such as the UN supported by the world community.
Indian bellicosity, denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir and its actions deriving inspiration from the extremist ideology of Hidutva are the biggest threat to peace and security in the region as pointed out by Prime Minister Imran Khan and the international community needs to intervene before it is too late. The Indian leadership also needs to understand the dangers involved in pursuing the policy of Hindutva. Hitler brought death and destruction upon the whole world, more so for his own country. Pursuing the same course could also bring the similar consequences for India and the world.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.

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