Peace in South Asia remains hostage to the Kashmir issue, which for over two decades has gone worst from worse. The generations that grew up in turmoil carried on the resistance movement. All Kashmiris are resolute to take the freedom struggle to its logical end that is end of tyranny by the Indian armed forces.
Kashmir is one of the most sensitive areas of the world with three nuclear armed countries having common borders in the region. The freedom struggle in Indian occupied Kashmir can make the whole situation very ugly and even can trigger a limited nuclear war considering the fact that India continues to suppress the Kashmiris and blame everything on Pakistan. India continues to trade fire on the Line of Control to put pressure on Pakistan and its threat to make the so called surgical strike inside Pakistan could also mean strong reaction from Pakistan army. The valley of Kashmir is undergoing one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. The valley has huge concentration of Indian army. A large number of women have been raped and young men tortured. While many children and old people beside the youngsters have become blind due to use of rubber bullet pallets by Indian army and law enforcement agencies. Many unmarked mass graves have been found. Killing in torture centres and fake encounters is common. Who is responsible for all this new wave of state terror? Who is responsible for the war hysteria against Pakistan? Well it has always been Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Hindu fundamentalist party is responsible for unending violence against Muslims and Christians as well other minority groups. Whether it is Kashmir, Assam or Nagaland the victims are the minorities of India while the Indian army, which even though comprises of people from all religions, also follows the agenda of RSS. The remarks of the Indian army chief and those of Hindus fundamentalist parties are not very different. They all seem to be on one page. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has said that he was proud to be a Swayamsevek and he had reached where he had because of the values he had imbibed as member of the RSS. The BJP is a face that is being shown to the world. The real muscle that provides the manpower in the street is RSS. The real force in India in fact is RSS and most of the Hindu fundamentalist parties like Shiv Sena and others work under its umbrella.
One may wonder then why the Hindu extremist designs are not known to the world. Why the world turns a blind eye to what is happening in the Indian occupied Kashmir? The answer may not be simple. Whenever the atrocities of Indian army increases in Kashmir war hysteria is spread by the Hindu fundamentalist organisations. Pakistan is blamed for what became well known after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani that the freedom struggle was indigenous and not fanned from outside. Indian armed forces continued curfews in the whole of valley and nearly 200 people were martyred while hundreds other were injured with many of them handicapped or made blind. Then India is good at building international public relations. Even though Indian government supported the fundamentalist elements, at times giving them free hand to terrorise the minorities, it was able to keep its posture of secularism up high. This is due to reason that India claims to be secular and to beef up that posture it puts in people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds on the front for the world to see. In contrast Pakistan claims to be Islamic and never uses the diversity in the country to act as its strength. There lies our weakness that we have not been able to show unity in our diversity.
The world is changing at a rapid pace. There is trend of the rightist forces coming up across the globe. The left practically does not exist as a force to reckon with. The rightist always means the religion whether it is the USA, the UK, France, Mayanmar, Bangladesh or Thailand. A strong rightist movement is gaining strength in Germany. The policies of US President Donald J Trump come as no surprise to many political scientists. All through his election campaign he was saying what he is now attempting to do. America today stands divided. Those who elected him agree to the shift in policies. What will be his policy towards South Asia and particularly the Kashmir? During his campaign Vice President Pence had said that Donald Trump could help end the issue.
USA may be withdrawing from some international commitments. It would, however, like to keep engaged in the region considering the new realignments that may take place if it steps back. Trump led USA would continue to lean towards India considering the new president wants someone to challenge China’s growing influence. However, taking into account the ground realities it would not want India to be left out of grand scheme of connecting to the Central Asian states. USA is likely to come fully out in support of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Already the US officials are talking about creation of US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor and other projects that will benefit the region. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who worked as CEO of ExxonMobil that continued to due business with Iran when full sanctions were in place, will like to engage both with Iran and Pakistan. The US Defence Secretary James Mattis has always been pro-Pakistan and been praising Pak army for war on terror. How Donald Trump will make a deal with India in order to ensure nothing goes wrong remains to be seen. He will have to convince the India to give up RSS agenda. Trump may be able to work out something to end the miseries of Kashmirs in the great scheme of things.