War-talk won’t help
The heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama suicide attack have once again become a staple for the debates which are beamed into people’s homes every night by various television channels. Whether people are really interested in these debates or not, but these television channels have perfected the art of stoking tensions and belligerence to the extent of war mongering, and this is what they do without any fail to grab a share of higher TRPs. Thank God countries’ foreign policies – and the choices of war and peace are not determined in the news studios and dictated by the whims of news anchors suffering chronic intellectual constipation. Notwithstanding how the two states may finally choose to go about their hostilities, it goes without saying that any headway in the relationship between the two countries seems impossible unless and until their respective media too are tuned to peace frequency.
In the past as well, there have been innumerable instances and provocations from both sides so much so that the environment in the sub-continent has become hostage to so many factors and players who do not want to see peace flourishing permanently in the region. And such dangers loom even today from the people in both the countries within and outside of the governments. It will, therefore, be the magnanimity of the two states and their governments to again initiate and then save the delicate engagements they have at whatever level from mutual allegations and mistrust. Unfortunately as of now, neither New Delhi nor Islamabad seem to possess the required intellectual capital to think beyond their immediate and narrow political considerations for the larger goal of peace and stability in South Asia and progress and welfare of its people.
Today countries and communities world-over prefer peace to reap the economic harvests that enhance growth, development and influence of a country. In peace only could the general well-being of the people be thought of in a planned manner and executed speedily to remove the blemishes of poverty, illiteracy, starvation from the face of otherwise resourceful countries. Plagued by all the ills of developmental lag, India and Pakistan need to give themselves a chance wherein instead of looking at and spending resources on damaging each-other, they are able to concentrate on food and health security of their people. Once the two neighbours are calm and peaceful, then only can they take on the challenges of poverty and illiteracy and ensure better opportunities of growth and development of over one-sixth of the global population.
While every other region of the subcontinent will definitely win from constructive and meaningful Indo-Pak dialogue process, its benefits for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the actual victims of the confrontationist and belligerent attitude of the two countries, could only be imagined. Those who want to keep people of this Himalayan state reeling under cycles of renewed violence use different tactics to subvert any and every process that has the potential of bringing the two countries closer. Not only is the future of over 14 million Kashmiris held hostage to hostilities between India and Pakistan but the future of over 1200 million people of the two countries too is at stake. At a time when other countries seek help to develop infrastructure through the assistance of developed countries, India and Pakistan waste their resources to show down one another. The possession of nuclear capability has instilled a false ego in both countries which blurs their vision to see the mass poverty, illiteracy and other vices sapping their vitality.
In Jammu and Kashmir, continued violence has badly affected all spheres of life; the sense of security has long vanished and identified and unidentified killers are having a field-day here. The social fabric has degenerated to an extent wherein suicide has become an alternative to compromise; gap between the haves and have-nots has increased alarmingly giving false impression of growth and development which actually betrays reality. If the Kashmir imbroglio is resolved through peaceful means it will benefit one and all. For now the two countries may have shut their doors on dialogue, but sooner or later they will have to resume it, and then take it forward honestly and purposefully, for this is the only way of resolving differences and disputes.