By Zafar Mahmood Sheikh
Kashmir, a nuclear flashpoint between two atomic powers of subcontinent, India and Pakistan has posed a real threat to world peace as both have already fought three wars and since last Kargil war of 1999, both are almost in a standoff position, needing an immediate world attention to positively intervene to avoid a catastrophe in the making.
Years ago, the Washington Post (on August 27, 2015) while quoting Carnegie Endowment Peace Institute reported that both Pakistan and India might have at least 120 and 100 nuclear warheads respectively with Pakistan intending to increase more than 20 every year.
The Stockholm Policy Research Institute-SIPRI in 2018, also reported that India has 130 to 140 while Pakistan is little ahead with 140 to 150 nuclear weapons.
Now the situation is more intense in 2020 as the region is equipped with the latest nuclear as well as missile technology.
Despite orthodox assessment, the world is still unsure of the actual capabilities of both the countries and considers it the biggest real threat of a Nuclear War due to the ongoing crisis of Kashmir between both the countries.
Prominent Pakistani military strategist Lieutenant General Ghulam Mustafa has been vocal on the Indian designs for the region and feared that India definitely wants a war with Pakistan, for which Pakistan is ready to respond to a level where Indian can’t think of it”.
This is a common fear amongst the highest policymakers of Pakistani political and military hierarchy and all strategic, political, diplomatic and administrative decisions are being taken under the same understanding and policy of utmost preparedness.
Kashmir has been on the agenda of United Nations Security Council-UNSC since 1948 when India took the issue to United Nation committed of conducting plebiscite to ascertain the will of the Kashmiris but never fulfilled its commitments and its recent action of changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir (read as Indian Occupied Kashmir) by revoking article 370 of Indian constitution and declaring the entire region a Union Territory had once again brought both the counties to a standoff position.
The siege of Kashmir valley since August 5, 2019 has not only practically detained the entire eight million Kashmir’s in the biggest dungeon of modern history but also made their lives miserable.
With the continued standoff and simmering siege of Kashmir valley since August 5, 2019, the world has taken it seriously but unable to take any step to avoid catastrophe.
Pakistan has continued its journey of taking the issue to a level where the world would be compelled to take action and celebrating National Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5th February is part of this continued struggle.
It was Jamaat Islami’s Chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed who first time observed Kashmir Solidarity day in 1990 from party platform and demanded the government to make it a National Day. The then government while admitting this demand and analyzing its importance and need of such action, declared February 5 as National Kashmir Solidarity day in 1991. Since then all successive governments while following the tradition reiterating the national commitment to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people and using this day to send a worldwide message that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition of India and world community owe to resolve this dispute which is still pending in the UN Security Council agenda.
Pakistan has been communicating the world that resolution of this long-standing dispute of Kashmir is essential for world peace as any further escalation of tension and military conflict could turn into nuclear war between the two rival countries due to the imbalance of conventional weapons between both the countries with a ratio of 1:6.
The atrocities being committed by Indian Security Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir are not new as since the Kashmiri’s total rejection of Indian rule and continued political struggle for the right of self-determination, these atrocities are on the rise but the surge of cruelty under the rule of BJP’s Narendra Modi has warned Pakistan about the evil designs of Modi administration.
Most security analysts and strategists believe that Modi’s designs for Kashmir are worst and while following the Nazis War Doctrine, Modi planned a holocaust style genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims to crush the political resistance and change the demography in J&K and Ladakh regions.
Pakistan has been demanding to investigate the custodial killings, rapes being used as a weapon to crush resistance, and presence of Nazi style concentration and torture camps but newly appointed Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Bapin Rawat has daringly admitted of running such concentration camps to “change the Kashmiri youth mindset”.
The humanity is in shock with such mind-blowing revelation of Hitler’s true follower in India.
Pakistan has always avoided escalating the tension in the region despite increasing atrocities and human rights violations of India security forces not only within the valley where India is managing nearly 900,000 troops but also at the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundaries. Even the continuous and ever intensified unprovoked firing, attacks and bombings LoC, in the world’s highest altitude military standoff, Siachen and adjoining regions is causing huge loss of lives of innocent Kashmiri’s on both the sides. Though Pakistani response is also causing huge Indian forces losses across LOC but Pakistan has principally decided to follow a policy of non-escalation and exercising a level of restrain to avoid any further human disaster and avoid a war with India.
The unprovoked Indian intrusion of India Air Forces-IAF and bombing at Balakot on February 26, 2019 and its unprecedented response the very next day by Pakistan that cause destruction of two Indian Air force fighter jets and arrest of wing commander Abhinandan sent a strong signal to world that despite aggression, Pakistan would exercise restraint until and unless all efforts of peace are exhausted.
In this response Pakistan has once again proved its air superiority over IAF. The world has admitted the operation preparedness, extreme professional command over military technology by Pakistani forces and also their commitment to protect the sovereignty of Pakistan. Russian defence circles reacted sharply and contacted India for gaining a bad name for Russian-made MiG21 and Su30 those India lost in a dogfight with PAF. Russian defence circles refreshing flight courses to Indian Air Force claiming Russian fighter jets are not malfunctioning but Indian pilots do not know how to use them.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has played his proactive role as the “ambassador of Kashmir” to spread the message of Kashmir’s and gather the world community support since he came into power in August 2018. As a result of these highest level diplomatic, political and strategic efforts and worldwide campaigning of Pakistan, the world community has started realizing the importance of this long-awaited conflict. The technological advancement of Pakistani scientists and engineers in the field of nuclear armament and the successful development of TNW’s (Tactical Nuclear Weapons) has further signaled the world that the threat of nuclear war is real and the standoff between both the countries is alarming.
Since came into power, the present government has taken up the issue of Kashmir and Indian repression against innocent Kashmiris at all the international forums.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has made the issue of Kashmir as their foremost priority of foreign policy and took this issue not only at United Nations General Assembly-UNGA, Security Council, world economic forum, SCO, OIC and all other platforms but also lobbying at every bilateral or multilateral interactions. The diplomatic world is now buzzing with Pakistani voice against Indian atrocities and human rights violations and fear of nuclear war is being felt more than ever.
This year is also no exception, rather Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to take the issue of Kashmir more powerfully so that a much feared human disaster in Kashmir should be avoided.
February 5, 2020 is also being observed with the same mindset that let us give the world peace, hope and averting the war until the day when evil unleashes its disaster by imposing War upon us no matter how distasteful it is as War is not an option but only an imposition.
In the words of Prime Minister Imran Khan:
One can start a war only once, but nobody would be in a position to stop it”. And for the people of Kashmir, freedom has a price and they are already paying this price with their blood and vowed to continue their struggle until the fulfillment of their dream till last moment”.