Although we attained freedom from colonial power in 1947, yet the masses still suffer under tyrannical rule. At the time of partition, the princely states could join either India or Pakistan. India however, in total disregard of the laid down principles, took over many states by force with no regard for the will of the people. In connivance with Maharaja Hari Singh, India entered the Kashmir valley. 

The local population revolted to this action and Pakistan tried to support the locals as much as it could. India at this point went to the UN, where a resolution was passed which called both India and Pakistan to stop the fighting. The resolution recommended that people of Kashmir be asked to decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan. This resolution has been sitting idle at the UN since 1948. There have been three wars between Pakistan and India, but the issue remains unresolved. While much of the blame of this issue not being resolved lies on the stubborn and sleazy behaviour of India, our political and the ruling class has not helped the cause either.

Although all parties and other stakeholders at home claim that Kashmir is their priority and they all stand united, the reality seems far from that. It seems that the issue is used more as a bargaining chip and to gain power. We will never be able to force India to a negotiating table until we really have one strong clear policy on the Kashmir issue that is towed by every party and individual irrespective of who is in power. Shifts in policy and blaming opponents for petty political gains will not take us anywhere in this case.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.