It is indeed hard to take an issue with those who believe that peaceful co-existence with India was not possible as it had not accepted the partition of the sub-continent and was relentlessly pursuing a policy to harm Pakistan, unmindful of the fact that continued animosity and hostility between the two countries would not only hurt both the countries but would also endanger peace, security and economic progress of the entire region.
India admittedly played a role in the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971; it has been violating the Indus Water Treaty and the Modi government has even threatened to block the flow of river waters to Pakistan. It has fought three wars with Pakistan over Kashmir and continues to defy UN resolutions generating tensions between the two countries. It is supporting and abetting insurgency in Balochistan and acts of terrorism throughout the country. It is currently on a rampage in connivance with other anti-Pakistan elements to malign and isolate her. The overtures by Pakistan to build bonhomie with India and efforts to resolve disputes between the two countries through dialogue have been effectively spurned through continued violations of the ceasefire along the LOC.
In fact, under Modi, India has taken the enmity with Pakistan to a higher level and it is not letting go of any opportunity to harm her. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 11 December accused Pakistan of attempting to destabilise India: “Pakistan was divided into two and if it does not restrain itself, it will be divided into ten parts. Though India got divided in 1947, our hearts still do not accept it.” There cannot be a more candid exposition of the sinister Indian designs against Pakistan than what the Indian home minister has said. It is an open threat to a sovereign state and represents a blatant breach of the UN Charter warranting attention of the world community and the UN.
India clearly is trying to establish its hegemony in the region, regrettably encouraged and supported by some world powers to achieve their strategic objectives in this region. It is the only country in the region which has disputes with almost all its neighbours. One really wonders at the audacity of the Indian Home Minister to threaten Pakistan with disintegration while India itself is faced with at least 30 armed insurgencies and separatist movements, including Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland to name a few. These movements draw their motivation from the political, socio-economic injustices and religious persecution, which explode the myth of the Indian secularism.
To quell these movements, India promulgated several Armed Forces Special Powers Acts (AFSPA). The first Act was enforced in Manipur and later on enacted in other insurgency-ridden North Easter States including Kashmir after the 1989 uprising. These Acts gave soldiers immunity from prosecution in specified regions. In Kashmir, under the cover of AFSPA, the India security forces have let loose a reign of terror and according to reports compiled by human rights organisations including Amnesty International (AI), Indian security forces have killed nearly 94 thousand Kashmiris, raped more than ten thousand women and killed more than seven thousand person while in custody, during the last 26 years. The latest AI report gave a hair raising review of how Indian Armed Forces have been committing atrocities against the people of Kashmir with impunity under the protection of AFSPA, particularly section 7 of the ACT which grants immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for human rights violations. The report hurled scathing criticism at the ACT for having created an ambience of impunity for Indian security forces in the Occupied Kashmir and enabling them to commit human rights violations without any fear of being tried. Nevertheless, the fact remains that this high-handed and oppressive approach by India has further fuelled the freedom movement in Kashmir, as is evident from the current uprising in which more than 150 people have been killed and 13,000 injured. But there is no let up in the movement. The people of Kashmir undeterred by the Indian atrocities are continuing their struggle for freedom. The hoisting of Pakistani flag by the demonstrators in the rallies is a clear indication that the Indian machinations have not been able to subdue their urge for independence and they would not relent until they are allowed to exercise their right of self-determination. Many believe the freedom movement of Kashmir could well prove to be the beginning of the process of disintegration of India, helped by the communal politics of the Modi government and Indian disposition as a war-like state.
Indian leadership while talking about the disintegration of Pakistan needs to understand that it is not 1971 when East Pakistan could not be defended due to logistical constraints stemming from geographical distance between the two wings. Pakistan is also a nuclear state now, well equipped and prepared to deal with any eventuality. Pakistan does not want continuation of hostilities between the two countries and rightly feels that peace, security and economic progress in the region was linked to amity between the two neighbours in the wake of resolution of disputes between them through dialogue. The Pakistani leadership has repeatedly expressed this desire and even taken steps to restart the suspended dialogue, which unfortunately has not been responded positively. It would be a mistake on the part of the Indian government to misconstrue this desire as a weakness. The armed forces of Pakistan are fully capable of thwarting aggressive designs of India. Pakistan government and its people are also determined to defend sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and cannot be cowed down by hollow threats.
The UN must take notice of the situation in Kashmir and the Indian threats to Pakistan. Kashmir is unfinished agenda of the partition and Pakistan being a party to the dispute cannot remain oblivious to what is happening in the Indian occupied part of the valley. UN has given a commitment to the people of Kashmir to have the dispute resolved through a plebiscite under its auspices. India also accepted the obligation though it reneged on it at a later stage. Peace and security in this region depend on the resolution of the Kashmir tangle. Indian leaders also need to realise that India cannot keep the entire region hostage to its designs of regional hegemony, which realistically speaking will remain an elusive dream in the presence of two nuclear neighbours. Further, it also cannot keep Kashmir under subjugation with the barrel of the gun indefinitely. A solution will have to be found to cure this festering wound. The dream of shining India also cannot be realised unless Pakistan and India carve out a peaceful co-existence, the way to which leads through Kashmir.