In the twenty first century it is observable that ideological constructs such as self-interest, material gains, siding with the apparent stronger entity in a conflict and deep societal polarization often outweigh; communal/national interest, siding with those who stand for truth, justice and rights and taking a unified approach towards problem-solving. The Quaid rightly enunciated Kashmir as Pakistan’s ‘jugular-vein’ and precisely for that reason it has been pressed upon since inception in 1947. A polarized and divided Pakistan cannot effectively take up the Kashmir cause in the international arena. Consequentially; ownership of the Kashmir cause and formulating long lasting unity within Pakistanis is outright necessity.

Kashmir and the atrocities faced by the populous identify with Pakistanis on three interconnected facets; as Pakistanis, as Muslims and as Human Beings. Candidly; Pakistanis staunchly support the Kashmir cause first and foremost as patriots, because the issue is an existential threat to ‘Pakistan’ itself. Undoubtedly, the fundamental basic troikas of ideals underpinning Pakistan are ‘unity, faith and discipline’. Nevertheless, internalizing these ideals reveals that ‘unity’ is to be treated as first amongst equal concepts, for without unity amongst citizens on national-security issues all is lost. Unity is a paramount pre-requisite for nation building, especially for delivering on the promise of ‘Kashmir bunay ga Pakistan’

Historically; the dispute dates back 72 years. Long before the damning Indian constitutional amendment of August 2019 the conflict had been labelled as a potential nuclear flashpoint by analysts. The Indian oppression stems from a multitude of reasons. With the culmination WW2 in 1945, the founding-fathers leading the struggle for Pakistan had ideologically based it on the ‘Two Nation theory’ demanding a separate Muslim dominated homeland free from Hindu subjugation. However, this ideology never resonated with certain fundamentalist Hindus, in particular the RSS ideologues who inspired by Nazism preached the ideology of Hindutva (greater Hindustan). RSS is cornerstone to the quagmire faced by Kashmiri Muslims with the incumbent PM of India a life member and BJP being the political offshoot. Frankly, India never properly recognized the birth of independent states in the sub-continent and since 1947, has eaten away at Muslim majority areas claiming independence. It commenced with subjugating independent princely-states of Junagarh and Hyderabad. Simultaneously, Indian troops entered the state of Jammu and Kashmir which lead to the 1947 war. Treachery led to another war in 1965 and subsequently Hindustan instigated the war of 1971 and the unfortunate debacle of Dhaka (East Pakistan). Whereas, Kargil conflict of 1999 could have easily escalated to full fledge asymmetric warfare. Hence, ever since Modi’s second term in office and resurgence of RSS, objective Pakistani analysts are not surprised by the revival of the ‘existential threat’ that looms since inception. The contemporary Kashmir misadventure is unequivocally linked to this plot.

The onslaught on Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty by India is not limited to Kashmir rather it is multi-faceted and complex; encompassing sponsoring of separatist groups and terror attacks in Baluchistan as demonstrated by Khulbhushan Jadhav case, exploiting grievances, hijacking movements, fifth generation hybrid warfare by spreading disinformation, overhauling culture and society by seeping ideals into social fabric via Bollywood songs and movies, supporting wannabe anti-state activists and even staging false flag operations to malign Pakistan as epicentre of terrorism in international quarters, in order to steer attention away from decades long Indian state sponsored terrorism in IOK.

Geo-politics today, labels Pakistan as the ‘Global pivot’ - sandwiched between competing USA and China. Indian oppression in occupied Kashmir is imperative to destabilizing Pakistan; misconstruing the Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists serves to overshadow Pakistan’s relationship with the West, and fuels the Indian dream of becoming the regional partner of the USA/Israel/NATO nexus by projecting itself as the plausible regional counter weight to a rising China challenging ‘unipolar global order’. India projects itself as; progressive, secular, modern and democratic echoing all the sounds that resonate well within Western societies. Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh are satellite states, with tentacles in Afghanistan only Pakistan stands between hegemonic designs. India miscalculates that the West will be blackmailed into supporting it on Kashmir for fulfilling own Global political objectives.

Furthermore, the strategic and geographical seeds of this conflict were latently sown pre-partition as the boundary commission setup to delimit areas comprising Pakistan or India made many critical errors. Had these Muslim majority areas been delimited favourably, India would have been cut-off from Jammu & Kashmir. Without dwelling, it is noted with cynicism that ‘Nehru’s charms’ and the age old strategy of ‘divide and rule’ are indeed dark chapter(s) of partitioning history.

Lastly, wars are often propelled by the inherent desire to usurp resources. Water is the singular most precious element for life. Wars of the future are often forecasted as being fought over water, as the planet grapples with water scarcity. Annexing Kashmir means controlling the head-works of the rivers flowing through Pakistan from inside J&K, violating the Indus Basin Water Treaty and tantamount to testing nuclear Pakistan’s survival instinct. Amending, Articles 370 & 35A of the Indian Constitution and refurbishment of troops in IOK to clamp down on dissent against this heinous decision has led to a blanket siege. With a population of 8 million under complete communications blackout since 2 months, IOK is the largest open-prison in the world plus the most militarized zone.

In tactical terms such a vast ‘conflict spectrum’ beckoned a ‘sophisticated full spectrum response’ with all stake holders of civil-military leadership working in synchronization. From the outset, military realities remain unchanged. Pakistan’s Air Force enjoys absolute air superiority over its counterpart and Military’s resolve and ability with nuclear capable ballistic missiles to deter against penetration of Pakistan’s borders is intact. However, diplomatically; in the arena of global civilian political outreach and communication, Pakistan’s viewpoint has reached world powers. The foreign office has stepped up, whilst the ISPR is playing an active role in shaping national cohesion, stability, calmness and composure. The past 2 months we have witnessed PM Imran Khan assert himself as the ‘Global Ambassador for Kashmir cause’. It is commendable, that this time round a sustained and serious effort is underway at internationalising, mainstreaming and apprising the entire world of the plight of Kashmiris as the conflict enters a decisive phase. Hourly coverage on national airways coupled with condemnation of Indian actions has persistently been published in all major international media outlets. Many world leaders have strongly spoken for the Kashmiris. The OIC, China, Turkey and Malaysia have condemned Indian oppression. The condemnation initiated by Pakistan now firmly resonates world over and international human rights organizations are calling-out Modi and demanding respite in the curfew. Kashmir is a subject of vociferous discussion by legislators in UK, USA, Australia and Canada. The interactions followed by UNGA address by the PM has made the case for the world to choose whether they stand with justice, dignity, human rights or without remorse or shame with material gains stemming from financial market of 1.2 billion Indians. The Simla Agreement & Tashkent Declaration stand legally null and void due to Indian breach of terms and it seems the UNSC has some serious work to do as Pakistan will simply not let this issue die down.

Consequently; India stands exposed, without a legitimate justification, its erstwhile propaganda and imagine of a secular progressive nation are shattered in totality and forever seals its dream of permanent UNSC membership,. Modi has boxed himself into a dark corner, has alienated all diaspora of Kashmiri leadership, acted without anticipating a courageous Pakistani reaction and now seems desperate, frustrated and clueless as keeping 8 million people in permanent lock-down is just not possible. The Kashmiris once out of this clamp down must display phenomenal courage and find solace in Pakistan’s efforts for them while they endured. Every Pakistani sympathizes with Kashmiris; the flavour of Kashmiri struggle for independence, resistance against oppression has become part and parcel of national celebrations whereby the Pakistani national flag finds itself a counterpart in the AJK flag. The trendy anthems, manifold documentaries, and constant microscopic attention being given to the cause will gradually lead to internalization and become a unifying factor for the nation.