Waiting For The Day Pakistan Becomes Syria. Alternatively, Why Can’t Pakistan Become India

clip_27Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, in his first public address at Muzaffarabad, following his return from London after open-heart surgery in May, urged Kashmiris on 22nd July ‘not to forget those in held Kashmir who are sacrificing their lives to their movement for freedom’. Stating that ‘we are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes Pakistan,’ the premier asked the crowd to cheer for Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and freedom of India-held Kashmir. Nawaz’ rhetoric is understandable. He is fresh from open-heart surgery in London amidst fear of army take over. Long absence has threatened his very presence and political existence. He has no plausible explanation to offer on Panama money which is indicative of rampant loot and plunder threatening whether there will be something left of a state called Pakistan.

With so many things on his plate Kashmir should have been the last of his worries. But politicians thrive on rhetoric. Stuck to Kashmir, Pakistan has wasted enough resources (both human and material) for long seventy years while other countries marched on. The whole nation buys hawkish claims, nobody harbours rational thinking. Politicians from General Ayub to Musharraf to Nawaz Sharif have used Kashmir to fool Pakistani people. The current dispensation is foolish enough to trust a few stone-pelting youths to deliver Kashmir to Pakistan. Nawaz invests in Panama, holidays in Dubai and gets treated in London but when at home sings Kashmir tune as Pak youth risk their life and limbs for asylum in Europe. He should answer some tough questions as to why, after presenting himself and his family for accountability three times, is he running away from it? Pakistan continues to reap what it sows. By every measure, Pakistan is a nation in regression. Why should Kashmiris ever wish to be with this regressive country?

On the contrary India has done for Kashmir what Pakistan can never dream of. Starting from 1947 when Pakistan pushed uncultured barbarians into the valley who indulged in mass rape and loot, it was India which saved the Kashmiri women from the horror within few hours notice. That’s why Jammu and Kashmir assembly in 1952 overwhelmingly voted to be part of India. India has poured thousands of crores into its development. Kashmir with its traditional Hindu background and Sufi moorings provides right cultural milieu for full integration with India. Pak promoted insurgency in the valley notwithstanding, Indian security agencies exercise exemplary restraint in stark contrast to Pak army genocide of innocent Balochs in Balochistan. Whole world knows what Pakistan does to its fellow Muslim brethren- be it Indian Muslims (derisively called as Mohajirs), Shias,  Ahmedias, Bangladesh Muslims or Afghan Muslims.

India allows elected Kashmiri representatives to sit in Indian parliament whereas representatives from Pak Occupied Kashmir have no place in Pakistan’s national assembly. Same may not happen for another 100 years. Pakistan should have ‘nothing’ to do with what India and Kashmiris want to do with Kashmir. By their good luck, Kashmiris are with India-the world’s most promising democratic, secular, pluralistic, and multi-cultural nation with very promising future. Those Kashmiris who are feeling that they will be happier in Pakistan, are the most misguided lot. Nawaz’s hawkish remarks are just for electoral consumption to raise good sales pitch for re-election by outshouting the PPP thus helping divert attention from the internal problems, like Panamagate and domestic opposition. Talk of merging Kashmir with Pak sounds nice and pleasing but nobody wants to understand how Pakistan which could not afford to pay for 8 F-16s- can handle millions of Kashmiris. Rhetoric and day dreaming will not end. Nawaz is well aware that his wish will never come through in his life nor Pak Army is in favour of resolving the Kashmir dispute, for fear of puncturing their bloated existence.

The predicament of Pakistan which is sitting on the tender box of terror is understandable. Good terrorists like Hafiz Sayeed, could get disenchanted one day. And there are too many of them. It won’t take them long to convert Pakistan into a Syria. One sarcastic comment on social media has put Nawaz’s comment in its place. “Kashmir along with USA and Europe will soon become part of Pakistan. We are all anxiously waiting for that great day, along with Nawaz”.

Now that Azad Kashmir elections are over, electoral politics of unrealistic claims and hawkish promises should make way for real politics. All through the history of modern state system, diplomacy, not war like tactics, has helped resolve conflicts. Time for saner talks, now. The trend could be disturbing, otherwise. If Nawaz wants Kashmir to be a part of Pakistan, why can’t Modi want Pakistan to be a part of India?  Modi could very well say: ‘We are waiting for the day Pakistan becomes India.’ And the comment won’t be too much off the mark given the countries common cultural link, Pakistan’s dwindling international image as promoters of terror and its ‘failed state’ status.

By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor – in – Chief