Returning to Peace

The IAF Wing commander Abhinandan’s release by Pakistan authorities seems unlikely to stop here. By all reasonable assumptions it would be asserted to go long ahead into the future history of Indo-Pak relations, remembered as a good will gesture and motivated diplomatically to shun belligerence that is unabatedly consuming the significant economic vitals and the life and property of gullible people on both sides of the border.

The saner people on both sides have a reason to believe that it has the potential of paving a way to put the derailed Indo-Pak relations back to the track. The only gainers in this battle of Indo-Pak is the war mongering visual media houses which have left no stone unturned to push these relations to a low. But the people have got a message that things when stretched beyond limit to fit to one’s own designs backfires in the minds of people.

Befooling people is not so easy a game that too in this cyber age of information technology. Several wars have been fought by the two neighboring nations since their independence with only cataclysms and more and more hatred brewing up but no solution to the vexed issues.

Time and again we are compelled to realize that future wars too have nothing to offer to the poor nations of this sub-continent in so far as the outstanding real issues are concerned. By choosing to wage wars against each other is seen tantamount to putting the two nations on reverse gear so for as economic development, education and over all societal progress is concerned.

It is a common notion these days prevailing among the moderate and the intellectual class across both the nations. The world today is more apprehensive, and responsibly monitoring the situation taking shape in this part of the globe, and remains explicitly concerned about any open confrontation between the arch rival nations for the world powers have much at stake in nuclearized India and Pakistan.

There is no doubt that any military engagement between India and Pakistan is potentially laden with the ability to internationalize Kashmir issue. The opening of parleys for a sustained and result oriented dialogue on Kashmir is thus inevitable

Even though the time line for beginning of bilateral diplomatic engagement remains to be unpredictable, the political analysts share the opinion that it is the only way ahead and to take off soon or late. Apart from domestic political compulsions, both neighboring nations are now nearing a stage where they appear to have exhausted all possible options with the political engagement being the only plausible one.

Imran Khan’s priority is economic rebuild and reconstruction in economically deprived Pakistan. This he has been striving through his untiring efforts to ensure foreign investment in his country.

It would be ludicrous to believe that he would back any escalation in tension and hostility towards India at this very juncture when Pakistan is facing a huge debt and is on way to the construction of its dream project CPEC with the assistance of China. He is in complete knowledge of the fact that de-escalation of war like situation with India is in the best interest of his country.

China has plausibly no interest in seeing its all-weather friend Pakistan ringing the bells of war with India who has been opposed to its one belt one road (OBOR) passing through Baltistan part of Pakistan controlled Kashmir. China’s main thrust area remains to complete the CPEC project in Gawadar and its security on which she has spent millions of dollars.

The United States is awfully engaged with Taliban for the Afghan peace settlement. Pakistan has been assigned with a pivotal role in bringing the  Taliban to table. America at this crucial point of time is unlikely to allow escalation between Indo-Pak soaring relations on the LOC.

 Russia, despite being a provider of logistic support to New Delhi has risen above the level of expediency and opportunism by offering its mediation between the two countries to address their core issues. Back home, in India, Congress party which has ruled the country most of the time since independence, is primarily responsible for the legacy of status-co on outstanding issues with Pakistan including Kashmir. All Indo-Pak wars have taken place during Congress rule except Kargil war.

Any Government in New Delhi can not move forward in redefining new peace-relations with Pakistan with out Congress party’s support that needs to come clear in due course of time. The saner people in India are seeing a war with Pakistan disastrous for Indian economy which has witnessed a vertical growth many folds over the past two decades.

Dr. Muzaffar Shaheen is Professor, SKUAST-K