Views from Srinagar
WORLD peace comes through Palestine, Kashmir Few months back, the tense situation in Korean peninsula had escalated to such a level that it threatened world peace in the wake of Kim Jong Un and Donal Trump’s war of words. The showdown between North Korea’s de-facto leader Kim Jong Un and the US President Donald Trump reached the climax when the two leaders publicly issued nuclear war threats. It was followed by more missile tests by Kim Jong Un with the striking capability to hit the US mainland, which was reciprocated by more economic sanctions imposed on North Korea by US led coalition.
The whole scenario in the region changed with a single meeting between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during an inter-Korean summit on April 27th. When the two leaders shook hands at the heavily militarized border, all animosity of 65 years since the Korean War seemed imaginary.
The world watched the event as if two brothers were catching up after a long time. This happened because both the leaders made some efforts to move beyond the hostile environment and made overtures for peace. The meeting of the two Korean leaders proved that things may not be actually that bad as they appear in a hostile environment. This historic event proved that the way forward is dialogue, no matter how difficult and grim situation may seem.
After the catastrophic two World Wars the world has realized the futility of confrontation which only results in tremendous human suffering and misery. European countries mended their ways of hostility after witnessing huge devastation and human suffering during World War-II.
Besides, Europeans countries, now North and South Korea are beginning to work towards peace that augurs well for world peace. Still two conflicts, which pose an ever-increasing threat to world peace, are the Palestine and Kashmir conflicts, the resolutions for which seem as elusive as ever due to the hostile posturing of concerning parties.
There are already saner voices emerging urging India and Pakistan to take cue from Korean leaders and engage in dialogue to resolve issues. India and Pakistan made several efforts in the past to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries. The dialogue between India and Pakistan was halted after NDA government took the reins in India.
Despite the hard posturing of India towards Pakistan, there has been no visible change in the situation on ground. India has been blaming Pakistan military for escalating the hostilities at the border and the Line of Control. In this regard the recent statement of Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, backing the dialogue with India to resolve issues, must help thaw the frigid relations. Gen Bajwa was quoted by media, “the peaceful resolution of India-Pakistan disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, can be found through comprehensive and meaningful dialogue.” The strong votary of iron fist policy towards Pakistan and militants in Kashmir, the Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat also expressed similar views recently about the need for political deliberations between the two countries to resolve issues.
Gen Rawat was quoted by media, “neither militants nor forces can achieve their objective in Kashmir.” The two army chiefs who actually fight it out on ground have recognized the need for political dialogue to bring peace to the region. The onus squarely falls on political leadership to continue talks until some way-forward for conflict mechanism is found. The world has moved beyond the scenarios where conflicts could be resolved with the military might, and bullying. Despite all firepower and military clout the US enjoys in the world, it has failed to win wars in Afghanistan and Middle East. The more the US exerts its military might in the world, more unstable the world turns and more misery falls on the poor masses.
Taking a cue from North and South Korea, this is the time for India and Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries to deny space to war lobbyists who fetch big fat arms contracts from countries involved in conflicts. The US is the largest weapon exporter in the world and due to the lucrative arms contracts it fetches in the Middle East and India sub-content, the conflicts in these regions only serves its purpose. The day this truth about stockpiling of weapons in Middle East and India sub-continent at the expense of poor masses gets exposed, the world may get on the path of achieving peace.
Kashmir and Palestine are two conflicts staring in the face of the world, which won’t go away with wishful thinking or military might. Israel with the backing of the US succeeded in expanding the bloody conflict in Middle East, to usurp more Palestinian land. It has already escalated hostilities by attacking Syrian and Iranian targets in Middle East.
Oppressing Palestinians and carrying out systematic genocide in occupied Palestine territories, and sowing seeds of mistrust among Muslim neighborhood won’t bring peace to Israel. In the context of India and Pakistan, without resolving the Kashmir issue, the dream of peaceful South Asia will also remain elusive. Sitting on dialogue table to find way forward might not be as difficult as it seems at present as demonstrated by the two Korean leaders.
—Courtesy: Rising Kashmir