Tag Archives: Kashmir

Kashmir Never Goes Away

Decades have passed and Kashmir still remains a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Or, one can argue the conflict is between India and the people of Kahsmir. Unfortunately, it is more than a question of two major powers since divisions within the state of Kashmir have caused Hindus and Muslims to continually have conflict. During the past few weeks, Indian occupation forces have engaged in conflict with demonstrators which resulted in the death of several teen agers. Earlier this month, a seventeen year old died when hit by a tear gas shell. Over the weekend, more teenagers died as people marched in the streets shouting “we want freedom.”

The Kashmir dispute requires compromise and trust. It is time for Indian troops to leave, but they cannot go until assured the Hindus in Kashmir and their religious places of worship are protected. Is there a role for UN forces in this dispute?

Price Of Indian Colonialism

It is about seventy-five years since Indian troops swept into Kashmir and took possession of an area that is predominantly Muslim. The ensuing decades have merely witnessed India assuming the role of its former British colonial officials who ruled over people rather than having people rule themselves. Last May, two young Kashmiri girls were found dead. The initial conclusion of the Central Bureau of Investigation was the girls drowned in a stream. Eventually, there was a version two which stated the girls were raped and killed. Most Muslims in the area believed the girls were raped and killed by Indians, possible members of the police.

After months of discussion an investigation revealed that evidence had been subjected to tampering. The examiners accused 13 people including doctors of tampering with evidence, but they exonerated any police for being involved. People who are subject to colonial rule have difficulty accepting such investigations.

US Missiles Create Problems In Pakistan

During the past year, increased use of drone missile attack planes have created ongoing problems with the Pakistan government which fears that all too often the air strikes result in the death of innocent civilians and thus provide al-Qaeda with a huge propoganda weapon. Leon Panetta, new head of the CIA is currently in Pakistan to discuss the issue. His visit is also linked to the current political turmoil which erupted when forces supporting the PML-N organized huge protests to get a supreme court justice ousted by former President Musharraf restored to office. American officials fear these internal conflict are distracting from dealing with the threat of militant activity.

The center of the current dispute over missiles comes down to are these air attacks actually critical in defeating the Taliban or al-Qaeda. US military leaders insist that “senior” Taliban leaders are killed, but is the death of these men significant in dealing with the threat of militancy? Another problem is the lack of interest or desire on the part of Pakistan military officials to get involved in fighting militants when their main focus is the fight with India over Kashmir. Will still another visit by Americans change the real problem?

Pakistan Leaders Move Toward Political Solutions

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakstan People’s Party, said the new government would focus on confidence-building measurs(CBM) in order to resolve problems confronting the nation. “We have always said that dialogue is a political tool that we have to use. We’ve always believed in dialogue under any and all conditions. We think it it time when we should give our children pens instead of guns, and promote peace in the region.” He met with Kashmiri leader Mehbooba Mufti who hoped Pakistan could work with India in order to resolve the half century old sore spot which has damaged relations between Pakistan and India.

NWFP Minister-delegate, Ameer Haider Hoti, urged his nation to explore new political alternatives in order to end bloodshed. “Only the jirga system could be effective in rstoring lasting peace in tribal areas.” He wants the government to meet with tribal leaders in an effort to end conflict in northwest regions of the nation.