Pakistani by Zaki Ahmed
Pak Army kills three Indian soldiers in
retaliatory firing -October 4, 2017
"Indian unprovoked firing along LOC in Rawalakot and Chirikot Sectors targeting civil
population of villages Kakuta, Chaffar, Serian and Narakot," said Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR). "Pakistan Army posts are effectively engaging Indian posts"
Reported by various newspapers and TV channels on October 4th, 2017. In many
countries around the world such a news would have caused a wave of national
apprehension, but here in the subcontinent this is what weekly headlines sound and
Hajin: The Kashmir town that is a 'militant
hub' - November 28th, 2017
“Violence has ebbed and flowed in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989 but the
region has seen a fresh wave of unrest following popular militant leader Burhan Wani's
killing by Indian forces in July 2016. Gowhar Geelani reports on a small market town in
the Muslim-dominated valley that has become a new flashpoint. “- the article was published
What you probably are reckoning by now is the relation between kashmir and the
diplomatic situation, whereas also the security scenario in the South Asian region;
where two of the biggest countries and nuclear powers, India and Pakistan share a
volatile border and amidst all that violence, economies like that of China and The United
States are on hunt for the economic and diplomatic superiority in the region.
The question remains,
Why is a paradise like Kashmir at the heart of the Indian/Pakistani conflict
and this dire war to gain regional superiority?
The answer lies in the cracks of the history; in abstract, distorted and hoaxed facts. It is
year 1600, the East India Company is just founded under the permission of Queen
Elizabeth 1, the company was officially in the trade monopoly between Britain and east
Africa, while alongside the Dutch, French and the Portuguese were in the play too.
Around 1612 Emperor Jahangir had given the company rights to establishing a trading
post on the coast of Madras and then another was developed in Bombay near 1668
(now, Mumbai). In less than two decades the company had expanded its trading rights
till Calcutta (now, Kolkata). By this time the Dutch, French and the Portuguese had their
own companies developed and expanding in the region. It was less than 100 years later
that the company won the Battle of Plassey in the year 1757, under the command of
Robert Clive; the man who would be long remembered for changing the dynamics of the
subcontinent that will have its impacts be known even well after 3 centuries. The
company was now controlling parts of Bengal, the victory much owed to the inside
betrayal in Bengal by Mir Jafar. This victory would lead the british to a 2 century long rule
in India, making it one of the largest colonies under Imperial rule.
Why is it important to mention Plassey? Hence, it was to be found out later that the
british empire would take over the EIC as the ruler of Bengal due to their exploits in the
state and for the first time an act of Parliament was passed for India which appointed a
british Governor General in India; this gave the empire direct administrative powers. In
the coming years at the beginning of19th century the British had gained control over
major parts in India, and had the Mughal throne under their influence. By 1834 the
British were in complete control of India, the official language was now English which
later on will intensify the anger in people against the british and create a void between
Hindus and Muslims.
After the war of independence in 1857 which was majorly led by muslim rulers of
princely states in India, the british developed retaliation towards muslims and favored
hindus in administrative offices, military and trade. This not only made the
British/Muslims relations weak but created an air of hostility between Hindus and
Muslims, which was strategic british maneuver to create a new era of politics in India.
Majority of the population being Hindu, the muslims felt insecure and due to such beliefs
philosophies like the two nation theory were raised. Which stated that Hindu and
Muslims are two separate communities and cannot live under same rule, so they
deserved to be treated separate with equity since muslims were in minority. By late 19th
century the muslims and hindus both had realized that war was not the way to
independence, hence a new movement of Indian political awareness arose. India was
now officially being represented by the Indian National Congress; which was to
represent the rights of all indians on secular basis. On the other hand of this political
progress, many regional leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak were using passionate
freedom speeches to provoke the indians and amidst all of that several assassination
attempts on british officers were made, some of which were successful.
The growing tensions in India worried the British which forced them to take measures to
clamp them down, one in way of Partitioning Bengal. Now, if you remember from the
start Bengal was a very important part of India; it was the trading hub and one of the
richest states in India while also being the one which british occupied before annexing
Sindh, Punjab and other Indian provinces. Bengal being among the largest provinces, it
had an estimated population of 52 million people in the west (Roughly, 42 million hindus
and 10 million muslims) and East bengal and Assam had a population of 31 million (12
million hindus and 19 million muslims ). Bengal was so big that it was compared to 10
times the population of Britain at that time. The apparent reason for the partition that
was put forward was that Bengal was too big to be administered under one governor.
While, since 1857 it was the first time that muslims and british were on the same ground.
West Bengal was the first province in India with a clear Muslim majority, that made the
muslims feel more secured under the british rule while the Hindus were given the
impression that it was an attack on their sovereignty by breaking their strength and
majority like this. Some muslim leaders supported the Hindus when they brought up this
partition as a traditional British way of “divide and rule” . The congress rejected this
partition and called for immediate reforms. An initiative of “Swadeshi Movement” spread
rapidly, British cloths and products were openly burnt in bonfires and the Indian labor in
Calcutta, and Bombay went on strikes against the partition.
Rabindranath Tagore writes in one of his novels from that time in the point of view of
an Indian woman “I must burn all my foreign clothes...... I do not wish to wear them in
The growing hostility threatened the British , so there was nothing more to do than to
revoke the decision of Partition of Bengal in 1911. The congress saw this as an
achievement while the muslim leaders in congress took it as a threat to their rights and
new movement to All India muslim League began, AIML was already active since 1906
after Simla deputation but now a new spirit to it was born, one very nationalist.
The face of Indian politics was divided into Indian national Congress and All India
muslim League. The prior which considered itself to be representatives of all Indians had
gained some hostility in different fractions of muslim communities, while the latter itself
considered to be a the “true” representation of Indian rights but when the name itself
suggested a specific sect of society, how was anyone supposed to believe that. From
this day onwards the Indian politics till 1947 were not going to be secular in anyway, nor
the Congress and Muslim League would ever successfully join hands. Religion had
finally crept into the Politics and future of India.
More than 1 million indians Participated in the war and supported the british for their
cause in hopes that after the War new negotiations could be brought up. In, 1914
lucknow pact was signed between Congress and The Muslim League, they both had
realised the war would pressure the british and together with a common cause they can
be more effective. This brotherhood whereas was soon to be broken again. Muslims had
gained more electoral rights for being a minority and that put them even with hindus.
April 13, 1919 an estimated of 500 people were massacred by the troops of General
Dyer at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. The martyrs were a part of a peaceful
demonstration of 20 000 people who protested against the british rule and it’s
outrageous violation of Indian rights. In 1920 when General Dyer received a vote of
appreciation from the House of lords, Gandhi stated,
“Cooperation in any shape or form with this satanic Government is sinful” -
this represented the rage Indians had against the british.
1919, the treaty of Versailles was signed which tended to demolish the turkish empire
and introduce a new political system. The muslims in India took this as a threat to “islam”
even though they had helped fight the war with british but most of them deserted the
army who were unwilling to fight for the muslims of turkey. Afghanistan and Persia were
torn between British and the Russian administration. The two powers had agreed on
how to govern the two states, while little attention was given to the native muslim
population of the both the countries.
The muslims of India took it upon themselves to fight for the rights of their brothers in
religion against the british and expected congress to support them with the cause.
Many prominent and influential muslim leaders clearly condemned this act and warned
that this will create further division and nothing more, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad ( A
famous muslim leader who worked for the cause of united India) he stated,
“You are fighters of God’s battle and..... The Hindus who are in engaged in a struggle for
their country’s progress and independence were also waging a Jihad”
This was a clear message to the muslims to stop fighting the battle which was not theirs
and was of no of advantage to them either. The Muslim League had taken a foreign
international situation under their built while things at home were not under their control
From Khilafat movement till WW2 several measures and events like the Congress rue
further deteriorated the hostility among the hindus and muslims. At different times
through this era coalitions between muslim league and the congress were formed but
always broke based on insecurities and fears they held to one another. Due to the
Khilafat movement Muslims were in a bad shape in the eyes of the british and to
improve that several attempts to grow their relations were made. With the 20th century
moving forward the world dynamics were changing too; Britain had severe problems at
home like the rising threat of Hitler in europe and the communist russia. Britain and
Russia were already face to face on the Afghan border too and both had wanted
dominance in the region.
1 Sep, 1939, the second world war 2 broke out. There were speculations that the british
would leave India soon but now the English men engaged in a war, independence of
india was inevitable. Both the leader of Congress and Muslim league, Gandhi and
Jinnah understood that and knew now was the time to get their feet firm and get
independence. 23rd March, 1940, Muslim league called out for a political demonstration
and during that “Pakistan Resolution” came into action, later it was known as Lahore
Resolution. The occasion for once again changed the indian political dynamics, Muslim
League was now openly working for a separate country for the “muslims” and the name
Pakistan came into the limelight for the first time. Congress showed retaliation because
their vision as to create a greater India with unity but muslim league was determined to
not let that happen. Over the next six years the power struggle went on both in India and
the Europe. By late 1945 the war had finished and the Allies won, victory to which a
huge price as paid. Britain was in no shape to control the huge empire and now was the
time to let go some of it. India, the place where it started.
Now if we recall the british empire was famous for its divide and rule policy which
seemed to work in every corner of the world. Why wouldn’t they do that now in India ?
not by practically occupying but by making the region rely on their power.
The partition happened and even though the Muslim league thought the borders were
unfairly divided they still accepted the deal as their main objective of a separate country
was achieved. 14th August 1947, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into existence.
Now the creation of Pakistan and Israel are t5o an extent very similar, Both were
founded to support one specific community based upon religion, Both had problems
with their neighbours right after the time of their birth and both of them were under
heavy influence of western politics.
Where is Kashmir in all of this? Every event we went over was an indirect influence on
the kashmiri dynamic. Even though the majority of population was muslim but the ruling
family of kashmir was hindus and with all the hostility on mainland India, both muslims
and hindus were emotionally charged and offended. Radcliffe award had decided that
the states with majority muslim population would join Pakistan and the rest will remain in
Raja Hari Singh, the prince of Kashmir was unwilling to join either Pakistan or India and
wanted to gain the rights of a separate state, since kashmir was the largest princely
state in whole of the sub continent the idea of a separate country wasn’t a long shot.
With his delaying response to the independence, the muslim community of kashmir felt
threatened, so a movement of violent rebellion against the Raja broke out in kashmir.
The rebels were heavily supported by Pakistan, as it was an opportunity to set their
odds even with what they presumed was an unjust act, the Radcliffe award. Raja Hari
singh lacked the army to fight this guerilla campaign in the himalayas and to change
that he asked for help from India, which India gave on one condition; Kashmir was to join
and become a part of India as one of it’s states. Simply, india took leverage of the
situation to take over Kashmir. The first Indo-Pak war began on 22 October 1947, and
lasted till 1 January 1949. The violence wasn’t only contained in Kashmir. During the
migration period where 14 million people attempted to migrate across border, this
became the largest known human migration in the modern world. Unfortunately, all 14
million of them didn’t make it alive across the border, violence had erupted all across the
two countries; the hindus and sikhs were killing the muslims who attempted to migrate
from India, while the muslims of pakistan showed no mercy in return to the hindus and
sikhs. This growing violence only fueled the war in Kashmir, both the countries held
nothing back because the regional dominance was at stake.
The UN helped enforce ceasefire between the two countries. The ceasefire line is
called the Line of Control. It was an outcome of a mutual consent by India and Pakistan
that the UN Security Council (UNSC) and UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP)
passed several resolutions in years following the 1947-48 war. The UNSC Resolution of
21 April 1948--one of the principal UN resolutions on Kashmir—stated that “both India
and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India
or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial
plebiscite”. Subsequent UNSC Resolutions reiterated the same stand. UNCIP
Resolutions of 3 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 reinforced UNSC resolutions.
The basic points about the UN resolution are that:
• The complaint relating to Kashmir was initiated by India in the Security Council;
• The Council explicitly and by implications, rejected India's claim that Kashmir is legally
• The resolutions established self-determination as the governing principal for the
settlement of the Kashmir dispute. This is the world body's commitment to the people of
• The resolutions endorsed a binding agreement between India and Pakistan reached
through the mediation of UNCIP, that a plebiscite would be held, under agreed and
In the past 70 years since independence, there have been 4 major Indo Pak wars and all
of them except the war of 1971 had the root cause around kashmir. The war of kashmir
1947-49, like that the war of 1965 broke out after a military operation called Gibraltar
was done by the Pakistan military in Jammu and Kashmir. Ceasefire was signed after
diplomatic intervention from the Soviet Union and the United States. This war is
important because it was the very first major interventions from the USSR in the region.
On July 2, 1972 both countries reached an agreement. Main clauses of Simla
● Both countries would put an end to conflict and confrontation and would work
for promotion of friendly relations and peace. They agreed to follow United
Nations Charter to govern their relations and affirmed to respect each other’s
national unity, political independence and territorial integrity.
● Both Governments agreed to avert hostile propaganda against each other.
● For the restoration of normal relations both the governments agreed to resume
communications and promote travel facilities. Both agreed for cooperation in
economic and cultural activities.
● Both agreed to respect the line of control between Jammu and Kashmir
resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971.
● The withdrawal of forces of both countries would come into effect within the 30
days of agreement enforcement.
During early 1999, Pakistani troops infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) and
occupied Indian territory mostly in the Kargil district. India responded by launching a
major military and diplomatic offensive to drive out the Pakistani infiltrators.Two months
into the conflict, Indian troops had slowly retaken most of the ridges that were
encroached by the infiltrators.according to official count, an estimated 75%–80% of the
intruded area and nearly all high ground was back under Indian control.Fearing
large-scale escalation in military conflict, the international community, led by the United
States, increased diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to withdraw forces from remaining
Indian territory. Faced with the possibility of international isolation, the already fragile
Pakistani economy was weakened further
This was the first glimpse of bigger powers using diplomatic influence to control the
Kashmir situation. Soon after in 2001 the 9/11 occurred and the Americans went to war
with the extremist militants like Al qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan became the route
for the NATO supplies. The growing Chinese economy and the nearby Russians knew
the dangers of this. Through the years the americans fought the war in afghanistan and
during that time the Pak-China relations weren't like the way they are now. It was a
matter of time that tensions grew between Pakistan and the USA over drone use in
Pakistan, that the country took as a threat to their sovereignty.
Pak-China relations have seen a prosperous time in the past years and it looks like it is
on it’s road to reaching new heights. China has been very influential in the United
Nations over the Indo-Pak relations and agendas by using its veto power. The new
investment plans from china in Pakistan has helped china to gain popularity among the
local pakistanis, whereas the US has always been a failure in developing its good
reputation among the locals. Now with recent projects like CPEC- China Pakistan
Economic corridor through which China will invest $46 billion in Pakistan on ports and
highways to create an efficient trading route. The CPEC passes through Gilgit-Baltistan,
a region which India claims is part of their territory. The economic corridor is connected
to the Karakoram Highway, the world-class 1,300km highway at an elevation of 4,693
metres which is also called the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. It is the reason that India
opposes the CPEC project, claiming that it passes through a disputed region.
Now with China physically in the disputed region can be a useful tactic that Pakistan will
use to create a diplomatic situation with India, but right now India is developing new
relations with the USA which means that this dispute will put 4 counties to a diplomatic
war of dominance in the region. On the other hand this can turn very negative for the
future of Kashmir too, if the dispute is not settled the new projects can suffer whereas
the kashmiri people would still be denied their basic right of “freedom”.
At the moment, the ties between Pakistan and India are too bad for a dialogue. The
ceasefire on LOC is being violated by both the countries more often than ever. The
separatist groups in kashmir whom India declares as extremists, and pakistan as
freedom fighters are waging an extensive front against the indian military. Freedom
fighters are head to head with indian military every day, causing deaths of hundreds of
people. India has tried to suppress the the issue through use of force on the local
people, which hasn’t been very successful.
This ongoing civil war in Kashmir deserves the light and world’s attention. Families have
been destroyed, husbands, fathers, and brothers have been killed, is it worth all that
blood ? The continued violations on the LOC cause deaths of innocent civilians, and a
wave of anger in the general public.
The chinese being directly involved in the region now and taking a strong front against
New Delhi will bring a new dawn to the diplomatic and security situation in the
subcontinent. In the coming years the agendas that China and USA will put forward can
heavily affect the Indo-Pak conflict. In all of this, China and USA both need stability in the
region for economic growth but neither one of them would easily let go the dominance
either. All of that results into making the Kashmir issue the pivotal point, since that is
where the whole Indo-Pak dispute originates from and the only thing that can provide
stability in the subcontinent.