According to Sir Walter Lawrence, “Kashmir is an emerald set in pearls, a land of lakes, clear streams, green turf, magnificent trees and mighty mountains, where air is cool and water is sweet”. 

Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places on earth and has been besieged by plenty of controversies. The issue is one of the oldest unresolved ones, which is getting drastic day by day. After the end of British suzerainty, Kashmir was handed to India by Hari Singh the Maharaja of Kashmir by signing the “instrument of accession” which is the major key in the hand of India for owning Kashmir. 

Kashmir, a paradise on land, has witnessed ceaseless carnage of its own inhabitants. It has been a serious issue between the two countries. While, instead of burying the hatchet, Pakistan & India both countries pursue their policy of interest. Meanwhile, the people of Kashmir have suffered and are still suffering. Since 1989, more than 50,000 inhabitants have been sent to the celestial world, hundreds are missing and thousands are buried in unmarked grave. 

Whilst Pakistan beholds Kashmir as its jugular vein and claims that Indian forces were in Kashmir before signing the instrument of accession which is an open transgression of standstill agreement and therefore India is responsible for escalating the worst conditions and creating turmoil in Kashmir. 

Since the birth of both countries, several measures have been taken to ease the unrest and fire in Kashmir but all efforts have been in vain so far. From Bandug conference to Lahore declaration, all endeavors ended in smoke. This heart wrenching & soul shaking issue must be resolved now, for its peaceful settlement, many of the solutions have been put forward. 

Chenab formula was given by Dixon, which aims at assigning Ladakh to India and Gilgit to Pakistan. It also proposes plebiscite in Kashmir. The second option to settle the issue is of “independent Kashmir” Both the countries give in their respective position and then people should determine their fate through plebiscite. Freedom is everything, there is no life without freedom and freedom is the due right of every nation, which should be served to Kashmiris as well. 

It is wisely said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects & enhances the freedom of others”. 

AYAZ AHMED SHAR,  

Mirpurkhas, September 12.