It is correct that philosophizing and analyzing situations is not a substitute for providing immediate relief to people under stress. It is also correct that researchers, theorists, thinkers, analysts and writers are making significant contributions in suggesting possible solutions to problems and preparing the ground for decision makers to act and create environments for addressing real life problems. Modern society views this need satisfaction as recognition of the rights of the people. If the people, through their representatives, are involved in decision-making and have the sense of ownership, the process of development will be accelerated. This helps in lowering frustrations and thus frees society from aggression, rage and hate.

There is a circular relationship between theory and practice. Theory and research provide a frame of reference and guiding principles for improved decision-making and implementation of plans and programmes. Evaluation of policy decisions and implementation processes provide feedback for evolving improved theoretical models and thus the relationship builds a base for efficiency in all sectors of the economy.

When a nation is well-knit, strong and united internally, it can handle its external relations from a position of strength and credibility. It must demonstrate a firm belief in what it stands for, and what its major priorities and interests are, which cannot be compromised on.

To understand the background of recent Indian aggression along the Line of Control (LOC) and the working boundary, it is important to examine the ‘game plan’ which the Modi government was pursuing during his election campaign. To counter that game plan, Pakistan needs international cooperation with a view to building favourable world opinion to effectively adopt measures to counter the Indian plan and strategy based on the falsification of facts about Kashmir and its deliberate effort to confuse the issue of the right of self determination with the issue of terrorism, which is now almost a universal phenomenon. Being a source of terrorism, India needs to be exposed to the world community. India is neither ready to adhere to the United Nation Resolution on Kashmir nor is it prepared to show a way forward to resolving outstanding issues through bilateral dialogue. With that kind of attitude, it has become imperative for Pakistan to seek intervention from the international community and to step up efforts by the Foreign Office to highlight the Kashmir issue and the Indian water terrorism issue at the international level. Our internal unity is, however, more important than any measures we could think of, dealing with the Modi government.

No doubt, bilateralism on Kashmir has failed. In this context, our public representatives in the parliament, especially those on the foreign affairs committee, have special responsibility to show courage and proactive leadership. They have a duty to appraise world leaders on Indian approach, which is threatening regional and world peace efforts. The nexus of the Modi government, its military and electronic media is aggressively threatening Pakistan.

US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman has expressed his concern over continuing violence along the Line of Control. As he has recently stated “there is no relationship more critical to Pakistan’s future than its relationship with its neighbor.” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan has already urged the United Nations to play its role in deescalating the situation along the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed region of Kashmir and the working boundary between India and Pakistan when he met Secretary General Banki Moon.

Pakistan desires regional stability and a relationship based on equality and mutual respect. “Sentiments of goodwill and amity notwithstanding, let there be no doubt that any aggression against our beloved country will get a befitting response and no sacrifice will be too great in this sacred cause,” said Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. The COAS said that in order to bring about lasting peace in FATA and the country at large, cohesive, dedicated and timely involvement of all stakeholders and state institutions was essential. It was significant to note that a rapidly changing geopolitical environment and globally asserting non-state actors had put Pakistan centre stage. Changing circumstances have brought numerous challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. This has put an enormous burden of responsibility on Pakistan’s Army. A mix of all these factors and corresponding experiences towards professionalization and specialization are our strengths. Pakistan’s quest for peace should not be seen as a sign of weakness. Our neighbour must adjust and understand for the sake of its own people and peace in the region. The politics of hate is no way to win elections.

Dirty politics to establish hegemony is likely to alienate Kashmiris more and more as they are deprived of their basic rights in Indian held Kashmir and more importantly their right to self-determination. As a party to the Kashmir dispute, Pakistan will continue to provide moral support to Kashmiris.

The United Nations Secretary General and many other personalities have shown concern over serious Line of Control tensions. It is time that world leaders take note of continuous Indian aggression and a hegemonic attitude. Good neighbourly relations have different demands and need a mature and responsible approach including diplomatic initiatives and resolving issues through talks and negotiations. Since bilateralism on Kashmir has failed, the world community must intervene for the sake of peace to ensure the end of conflict and violence.

 The writer is a former director NIPA, a political analyst, a public policy expert and an author.

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