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Elusive India-Pakistan Peace

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Elusive India-Pakistan Peace

 Shamshad Ahmad

With a lingering suspicion that India had never reconciled to Subcontinent’s partition, Pakistan has been living, since independence, in the shadow of India’s hostility and belligerence. This fear was not exaggerated when Pakistan saw Sikkim, Goa, Hyderabad, Junagadh and Kashmir falling to Indian avarice. This fear is not exaggerated today as Pakistan faces India’s continued hostility. The two countries have fought wars and still remain locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the Line of Control in Kashmir, and on the frozen landscapes of the Siachen Glacier.

On their independence, India and Pakistan inherited many problems. At the heart of all their problems is the unresolved Kashmir dispute which, as a core issue between the two neighbours, is also inextricably linked to peace and security of the region. While all other issues are amenable to easy resolution, the Kashmir dispute invokes intense feelings among the peoples of both India and Pakistan as well as the Kashmiri people. Frequent war-like military deployments along the Line of Control in Kashmir have kept India-Pakistan in a conflictual mode.

Even today, we are witnessing ominous war clouds in our region. Modi’s policy of belligerence and mischief has brought the two countries to the brink of another deadly conflict. What we in Pakistan must understand is that weakness always begets indignity. Only a strong and stable Pakistan can withstand India’s declared belligerence. This is what Pakistan demonstrated in its befitting response on 27 February 2019 to India’s latest act of aggression on its territory. India’s precipitous action on August 5 abrogating Article 370 of its Constitution has further aggravated the situation.

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