Kashmir – Pakistan’s Moral Panic

map with flag of India

Adfar Shah & Dr Bulbul Dhar

Pakistan’s self acclaimed political or strategic morality on Kashmir, its jugular vein rhetoric has only slightly shifted to diplomatic hypocrisy, reflected in the recent cancellation of NSA level talks and the continuing small wars at the border. Boycotting cricket-a favourite of both the Nations speaks volumes about their supposed commitment to ‘resolving’ the deadlock. The moral pretentiousness on Kashmir, shaped by low politics is part of their very core and is manifest in the critical internal issues, especially in their frontiers like FATA, Baluchistan, amongst others. The insincerity of Pakistan’s rhetoric is becoming very apparent with the monster of terrorism raising its ugly head time and again, along with other concerns like radicalism and economic issues.

Double speak and hypocrisy with lollypop politics based on religion and violence to gain more emotional support from their set camps in Kashmir and at home seems to be the name of the game for Pakistan. Declaring February 5 as Kashmir day and announcing a holiday or inviting top Kashmiri separatists is an instance of symbolism. The gap between rhetoric and practice of resolving the long pending issues is clear for all to see.

The modus operandi is the ‘Politics of Rehnuma’. The logic being – anyone, even a Pakistani marrying a Kashmiri becomes a ‘Kashmiri Rehnuma’ overnight and starts representing the Kashmiri along with the atmosphere of conflict, especially on Pakistani electronic media. There is no question that the masses hardly know these leader(s) or indeed identify with the ideology this newly manufactured leadership claim to espouse and represent. It is a very subtle and insidious system-supportive propaganda that is being methodically operationalized ostensibly without overt coercion”, by means of what can be called a propaganda model of Leadership. Present today, as one of the biggest curse’s for the Kashmiri masses is manufactured leadership in Kashmir and projected as the torch bearers of Kashmiri People! These self proclaimed leaders speak on the behalf of the Kashmiri people with no connect what so ever with what the people actually want or subscribe to.

The central question here is – who really in Pakistan feels for Kashmir- its people or its politicians? And who in Kashmir actually suffers – its people or it’s so called leaders? Hypocrisy, Noam Chomsky defines is the standards which we set for the others but hardly apply the same on our own selves. Our case in hand epitomises this, with Pakistan focussing on the Plight of Kashmiri people on the Indian side leaving no Political space for the Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) dissenting voices. Pakistan is completely sidelining the plight of the Kashmiri people on its own side, i.e. the PoK or indeed the rest of Pakistan! With insecurity and terrorism rampant in FATA, KPK, SWAT, Balochistan, Sindh, amongst many other areas and where law and order has become a joke, Pakistan’s stand on rights and moral concern for the people living in Kashmir is very difficult to digest. Pakistan still pays little attention to the poor tribals killed as terrorists by her western allies in the frontiers areas – in the name of war on terror (GWOT), but sits on a moral pedestal regarding the supposing violation of the people living in Kashmir. It treats Kashmir as the root cause of conflict between the two nations without acknowledging its iron hand rule in PoK, the so called Azad Kashmir.

It is indeed a rattled Pakistan which is constantly bringing up the issue of Kashmir in the UN. By time and again reiterating the discourse of UN resolutions of 1948 and its implementation, Pakistan is trying to make use of a raw nerve in Kashmir. The agenda of its power elite is certainly not developing a friendly atmosphere for bilateral talks and discussing issues face to face unconditionally. Pakistan’s unnecessary and unhelpful noise is of no help whatsoever to Kashmir or Kashmiri’s. It is clear that it has no impact on the future of Kashmir or Kashmiri’s except to further delay peace and progress. Pakistan’s frustration is manifest in its immature reiteration of its nuclear power status, forgetting that India too has an equal standing! Such a discourse and such a hate diplomacy and the Pakistani stance that conditional talks and multilateral talks only will bring security stability for Kashmir is fraught with enormous dangers for Jammu and Kashmir.

Where development, peace and harmony are the need of the hour, an alarming situation has been created with young and educated youth continuously joining militant ranks with issues of security further deteriorating. Notwithstanding the fact that some blame goes to the Indian forces, local police and the holistic atmosphere of corruption, underdevelopment and violence.

What Pakistan is creating is a no-win situation, by the maintenance of continuous border skirmishes and infiltration in J&K. On one hand it continues its small wars and on the other makes assertions that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition which should necessarily go to its kitty focusing on the religious factor. Such a communal ideology today is hardly subscribed by any sane and secular inhabitant of Jammu and Kashmir, though one needs to acknowledge that there is an expression of dissent against India as well.

Pakistan forgets that there is much more to solve and talk beyond Kashmir, but in order to prove its artificial sympathy to their cadres they rake up Kashmir issue without actually any working design in mind. There is no seriousness towards a peace process and a resolve towards a better future for the suffering common Kashmiri’s person who continues to get killed and being branded a terrorist, or police man, or informer, etc. Such misplaced sense of a morality with its propaganda model of manufactured Leadership can never be favourable for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, as ego clashes and politics of hatred so far have only created uncertainty, bloodshed, violent generations, backwardness, crisis and a dangerous status quo. Hollow or high moral ground will hardly benefit anyone or build peace but talks with India without ego diplomacy can benefit suffering Kashmiris.

(The article was first published in The Pioneer)

(Adfar Shah is Associate Editor at Eurasia Review & Editor for Kashmir Affairs at Analyst World. Dr Bulbul Dhar James is the Associate Professor at the Department of political Science at Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi. Mail at adfer.syed@gmail.com)

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