By Seymur Mammadov
On February 5, Pakistan celebrates Kashmir Solidarity Day. Kashmir is a Muslim region that, when the united country was divided into India and Pakistan, was surrendered by the British to India in 1947, despite the fact that the majority of its population was Muslim (77%).
In fact, several centuries ago, even before the British colonization of Pakistan and India, a large territory from modern Afghanistan to the Indonesian archipelago was ruled by Muslim rulers who were in Delhi. It was the Muslims who constituted the political elite of this whole space, which became possible due to the fact that they represented a single community, in contrast to the scattered sects of the pagans. But for some reason everyone is modestly silent about it.
After the occupation of India and Pakistan, the British imperialists planted «a time bomb» in this region. In addition to 1947, the war for Kashmir broke out three times: in 1965, 1971 and 1999. In 1980, there was a large-scale Muslim uprising for self-determination. Each time, these attempts were thwarted by the Indian authorities. The conflict subsided, then flared up with renewed vigor. But he always smoldered. Already in February 2019, the situation in Kashmir escalated to the limit: the Indian authorities amended article 370 of the Constitution of India. On August 5, a proposal was made to the Indian Parliament to abolish the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir. Parliament approved the proposal and adopted the relevant law.
This initiative provoked a sharp protest from both Kashmiris and neighboring Pakistan, concerned about the fate of Muslims in the region. The statement made by Imran Khan against the backdrop of the deployment of a large Indian military contingent to Kashmir stated in particular: “The world must understand that the goal is to change the demography of Kashmir so that the Muslim majority becomes a minority.” In his address to the nation, Indian Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan will always be with the people of Kashmir. It really is. Islamabad has always been near Kashmiris, never forgot and will not forget its brothers in Kashmir, so it is not surprising that on February 5, tens of thousands of Muslims of Pakistan go to demonstrations, reminding their brothers in Kashmir that they are not forgotten.
This day, which is the national holiday of Pakistan, is in fact another challenge for the whole world. This is a challenge made in order to stir up in the world community, finally, a sense of justice, a feeling of compassion for the fate of millions of Muslims, ordinary people, women, and children of Kashmir, who found themselves in this state as a result of British colonial policy. India should be sympathetic to the issue of Kashmiris, to find common ground with Pakistan on this issue. Moreover, earlier Islamabad and New Delhi managed to find a common compromise on various issues, one of which was the creation in March 2019 of a checkpoint for Sikh pilgrims traveling to the temples of the Pakistani part of Kashmir. So why not continue this tradition? It’s time to stop and take a step towards. Peace, security, harmony, well-being of peoples – that’s what you need to seriously think about.
The Indian authorities should review their policies regarding Kashmiris and normalize relations with China. Today, India is isolated from participating in large regional projects initiated not only by China, but also by Central Asian countries. Access to this region lies through China and Pakistan. By resolving the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan, supporting the “One Belt, One Way” initiative, a wide opportunity would open up for closer cooperation with Central Asia. Today this region is of great interest, and in recent years the importance of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan has grown so much that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a visit only to these two countries, unlike his predecessor John Kerry, who traveled all five countries of Central Asia. Maybe, after all, India should reconsider its policy? Nevertheless, he wants to believe and hope that the Kashmir conflict will be resolved diplomatically without external support. This is an important point, since the intervention of external players in the territorial conflicts of foreign countries contributes to their freezing at best, but in no case to their settlement.