November 25, 2016

The India-Pakistan Imbroglio – Surgical Strike

The India-Pakistan Imbroglio – Surgical Strike

It like two brothers fighting for a piece of land born out of the same womb. Divided into countries due to the vested interests of the leaders of the bygone. If it is international than it is at home too. Are we aware? It is in our sub consciousness.

Indian army carried out, “surgical strike “on Thursday on 29th Sep. The surgical strike was meant to eliminate the terrorist camps along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir. Surgical strike is a pre-emptive attack on a specific target with an aim to neutralize the enemy with minimum collateral damage. Pakistan denied the claim and replied it as a cross border firing. Prime Minister Mr. Modi announced earlier that the attack at the Uri army base, in which 18 soldiers had died, will not go unpunished. The Uri attack came at a time of deep crisis in India-Pakistan relations. India is still smarting from an earlier attack on a military base in India, in the town of Pathankot in Punjab state in January, which it also blamed on JeM-a group with close ties to Pakistani intelligence. The two countries have fought three major wars, but they all occurred before 1998, when both nations became declared nuclear weapons states. Pakistanis already accuse India of waging covert war in Pakistan, from colluding with the Pakistani Taliban to collaborating with Baloch separatists. A wave of attacks on Pakistani troops or an assassination campaign against terrorists—regardless of whether there is clear evidence of Indian complicity—could lead to Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in India. The territorial dispute between the two countries has been running for over six decades, and two out of the three wars fought between the nuclear-armed rivals have been over Kashmir.

The UN has urged both countries to exercise restraint. Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman said, “The UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan, UNMOGIP, is aware of the ceasefire violations and right now is liaising with the concerned authorities to obtain further information. The United Nations calls on the government of India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and encourage them to continue their efforts to resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue."

There are lot of speculations over the water disputes between the neighbouring states. The water dispute between India and Pakistan is serious not only because of water, but also due to the political rivalry between the two countries. The IWT (Indus Water Treaty) is a 56-year-old accord that governs how India and Pakistan manage the vast Indus River Basin's rivers and tributaries. On Sept 26, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told top officials present at the treaty review meeting that "blood and water cannot flow together."  If India were to annul the IWT, the consequences might well be humanitarian devastation in what is already one of the world's most water-starved countries - an outcome far more harmful and far-reaching than the effects of limited war. One of the main reasons the agreement was signed because India is the source of all the rivers of the Indus basin, although Indus and Sutlej originate in China. The rivers enabled India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation. Pakistan also needed the water and feared that India could eventually create a drought situation in Pakistan in case a war breaks out between the two countries. Under the treaty, the waters of the three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — were granted to be used by India without restriction, while 80% of the three western rivers — Indus, Chenab and Jhelum were allocated to Pakistan. The Treaty of Indus remained intact even after three wars between India and Pakistan in 1962, 1971 and 1999. Revoking the treaty will add a new colour to the Kashmir solution and sensitise the circumstances.

India and Pakistan both are suffering because of the vested interest of their respective leaders. They don’t want to resolve the issue. Kashmir is one the biggest issues in Indian Pakistan history. There are four aspect of this issue. One Indian controlled Jammu and Kashmir, Second nobody talks about China occupied Kashmir and third is Azad Kashmir who don't want to live with Pakistani's and fourth is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If you directly want to jump to solution you will not be able to understand the real issue of Kashmir. There were several solutions proposed by both side India and Pakistan but most of the problem is regulation and trust with each others. From India point of view we already loose trust with Pakistan because of several border infiltration and militant attack not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab.

Since last 70 years, India and Pakistan have been unable to resolve their differences and develop a normal good neighbourly relationship, which could have benefitted people on both sides of the border. Several measures have been taken for a peaceful living.  Both are standing still. Does it mean that the two countries are cursed to live in perpetual hostility? Can they overcome their historic rivalry and emulate the example of France and Germany after the World War II? The tensions between India and Pakistan are deeply rooted in their common history. Their failure to reconcile their differences ultimately resulted in the partition of the Sub-continent.
Soon after the partition in 1947 of the sub-continent into the two nations, about 17 million people fled their homes and journeyed to either Pakistan or India. In one of the largest exchanges of populations in history, violence soon broke out with Muslims on one side and Sikhs and Hindus on the other. The resulting bloodshed in the Punjab and West Bengal regions left more than one million people dead in its wake. In the midst of this refugee movement and open violence, the governments of India and Pakistan hastily tried to divide the assets of British India between the two new countries. From weapons and money, down to paper clips and archaeological treasures all had to be divided.

Not only did the architects of Indian foreign policy fear Pakistan, but in 1962, after China's sudden invasion of northeast India, they suddenly realized the ancient protection of the Himalayan Mountains had vanished. Soon after the China war of 1962, Indian scientists began developing its nuclear capability. Under Indira Gandhi's Prime Ministership in 1974, India successfully exploded a nuclear device, announcing to the world its scientific capacity to develop nuclear bombs. China is the premier military power in Asia and considers Pakistan its oldest and most powerful Asian ally. China continues to occupy areas inside of India's borders as a result of the Indo-China war of 1962. China has nuclear-armed missiles positioned against India along the Himalayan border and in Tibet, in addition to being Pakistan’s main military weapons provider. Russia has had close relations with India since Indira Gandhi became prime minister in 1966. Russia provides most of India's military sales. After the demise of the Soviet Empire, Russia is unable to provide economic or military aid to India.

There is an erroneous thinking that has gone on for a very long time in India. Pakistan has used “non state actors” for as long as its existence to further its “doctrine”. It started in 1947 when it sent tribal force into Kashmir to seize control illegally and has used it ever since in its pursuit to get even with India. Soon after independence, Pakistan started its pursuit to project itself as the fort of Islam when it invaded Kashmir, a princely state which acceded to India based on the terms of independence of India, because it had Muslim majority population. It is often projected that Pakistan started using terrorists against India from late 1980s but the fact is that it was right after independence that Pakistan sent tribal force into Kashmir to snatch control. Pakistan will not desist from anti India activities even if it is given Kashmir on a platter by India as it is in an ideological battle with India.

Indo-Pak has the same historical-cum-cultural patterns, the “Indian cultural” pattern that has developed in a context ranging for more than a thousand years. There are great stories of peaceful coexistence and harmony during this vast historical span. The same can be revived today in this evolved context. Regardless of our differences, we are all human beings who are also entitled to a just and dignified life, a promise of the state. It is time to find effective solutions to strengthening Indo-Pak relationships. It is time to end our indifferences and forge a ‘United We Stand’ conversation about our mutual development and unity.

By – Siddhartha Shankar Mishra

( Author is a Lawyer and a Writer ) 

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