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- ✓As the Kashmir conflict has served as a major dispute between the two nuclear arms and paved the path for everlasting misconceptions, it has, more importantly, affected South Asia’s peace and security concerns, primarily Pakistan.
2-An overview of the Kashmir conflict
- ✓Ever since the division of the sub-continent in 1947, the foundations were laid for the long-standing conflict in and around the regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
3-Impacts on peace and security of the South Asian region—Pakistan
- ✓ Devastation of the regional security
Case in point: The Kashmir conflict has served as the largest obstacle in the way of security concerns for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to achieve its goals, according to the SAARC Summit.
- ✓ Threat of nuclear confrontation.
Case in point: The South Asian region is at a forever threat of getting involved in a nuclear confrontation anytime, according to an analyst.
- ✓ Destruction of security forces to the eastern border
Case in point: The case study of the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008.
- ✓ Invasion of Indian spies
Case in point: The case study of an Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav.
- ✓By organizing a plebiscite for the Kashmiri people
- ✓Involvement of major international communities in the dialogues
- ✓Active and flexible participation of both India and Pakistan in the settlement
Answer to the Question
The protracted conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has, undoubtedly, remained a bone of contention and is considered the major obstacle in promoting regional integration as well as in bringing peace in South Asian regions, especially Pakistan. Since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, this unresolved land and the people who live there have been at the root of the constant tension that persists even today. Further, this dispute between the two nuclear arms has served immensely in the never-ending arms races and violence, which has not only affected the cursed land, Kashmir, but also impacted the hostile nations, India and Pakistan. The conflict has impacted the regional security of South Asia, for it has served to be the largest obstacle for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to achieve its goals. Moreover, it has also affected Pakistan’s security, as it has widely played its role in distracting Pakistan’s security forces from focusing on militants inside the country to deploy more troops on the eastern border with India. Hence, a plebiscite for the Kashmiri people to decide their own future can surely resolve the dispute for peace and security promotions throughout the region.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”Former US President Ronald Reagan
An Overview of the Kashmir Conflict
Ever since the division of the sub-continent in 1947, the foundations were laid for the long-standing conflict in and around the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. In this case, the conflict has originated from an incompatible goal which is the possession of Kashmir between the world’s most populous democracy, India, and its neighbour, Pakistan. As both parties seek to achieve this goal, therefore, there is no space for compromise on the issue of Kashmir because the issue is absolutely a matter of non-negotiable targets. Due to the severity of this conflict, three major wars have been fought between the protagonists over the years, which have only heightened the fear that now exists given their advanced technology. So, in the case of already existing hostile relations between Pakistan and India, the Kashmir conflict has served to be the last nail in the coffin.
Impacts on the peace and security of the South Asian region and Pakistan
As the everlasting conflict is between the two nuclear powers, it has not only impacted their own lands, but also the whole South Asian region has suffered. The protracted conflict in Kashmir has played a major role in the devastation of the regional security of South Asia. According to the SAARC summit, The Kashmir conflict has implications for the security of South Asia, as it has served as the largest obstacle for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to achieve its goals. Moreover, the unfavourable events between India and Pakistan are a major threat to the peace and security of South Asia mainly because of their nuclear arms and authorities, as South Asia is thought by many observers to be the most dangerous place in the world, with both antagonists armed with nuclear weapons. Consequently, after the 1998 nuclear tests, then US president Bill Clinton called Kashmir “The most dangerous place in the world”. Also, it is a dreadful fact that none of the countries has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and can act rigidly whenever required. According to an analyst, The South Asian region is at a forever threat of getting involved in a nuclear confrontation anytime. So, the ongoing conflicts and wars between India and Pakistan for the sake of Kashmir have, unfortunately, engulfed the peace and prosperity of the South Asian region on a disastrous level.
Similarly, the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan has distracted Pakistan’s security forces from focusing on militants inside the country since a majority of Pakistan’s troops have deployed on the eastern border with India. As a result of this, diverting attention from its tribal areas and northwestern border with Afghanistan to its eastern border has made the country’s internal peace suffer the most, as a lot of militant groups in the nation got free of the government’s approach. For example, in the Mumbai Terror Attack in November 2008, Pakistani authorities confirmed that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) plotted and financed the attacks from LeT camps in Karachi and Thatta. Later on, Indian leaders issued strident statements against Pakistan. On the other hand, several Indian spies have been arrested in Pakistan’s territory, endangering the peace and challenging the security of the nation. The case of the Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, caught in March 2016 when he invaded the Pakistan border to ensure India’s evil plans, is an example. Such acts of mistrust and audacity to invade the states have endangered the security and peace of Pakistan on a whole level.
The conflict between India and Pakistan has expanded on a vast level, but still, it can be resolved if tackled sagaciously. Initially, a plebiscite should be held under the supervision of the United Nations to determine the will of the Kashmiri people and provide them with the right of self-determination accession to either India or Pakistan. Moreover, rather than formal bilateral discussions between the two countries, there should be facilitated back-channel communication, playing a sincere role in the solution of the conflict effectively. Also, as peace in South Asia is mostly dependent on the future of the Kashmir conflict, the major powers, as well as both the parties, India and Pakistan, should take active part in the negotiation sessions to resolve the conflict smoothly.
The Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan is highly complex and, no doubt, prone to the use of violent forces. It is imperative to see a logical conclusion for this dispute based on the aspirations of the Kashmiri people while at the same time safeguarding the interests of Pakistan s well as India. Without any effective efforts towards this issue, its disastrous impacts would soon be seen all around the globe.
The Kashmir dispute has remained an intense issue since its inception. Apart from this, people have suffered the worst humiliation, exploitation, and repression at the hands of Indians; this issue remains the most volatile nuclear flashpoint in the world. With its extensive loss of human life either due to the freedom of struggle or the wars fought between Pakistan and India, this dispute carried great security concerns, primarily for Pakistan. These security concerns have transformed into traditional as well as non-traditional security challenges. It is, therefore, essential for Pakistan and equally important for India to have the dispute resolved effectively and efficiently for the sake of peace and security promotion.
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