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 It all began with the speech of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who in his speech at the UN Security Council not only raised the Kashmir issue, but also handed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres a dossier about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, especially the plight of the civilians who were killed by the forces in the past two years by using pellets and bullets.

Asem Mohiuddin

Once again India and Pakistan were at loggerheads over Kashmir issue at 72nd General Assembly session of United Nation Security Council, while India described Pakistan as ‘’Terroristan’’, the Pakistan termed India as ‘’mother of terrorism’’.

Political analysts who are keeping close eye on the India-Pakistan relationship and hoped thaw in the relationship between two neighbors after these spar at the highest diplomatic level have predicted further escalation in the coming days.

From past 18 months, the situation between India and Pakistan has gradually turned from bad to worse and also situation on the borders, especially on the Line of Control where ceasefire is in place is getting fragile with everyday Indian and Pakistan troops who are standing close to each other seeing movements of each other through pigeon hole bunkers are ready to hit shells even on the civilian population living on both sides of the Line of Control.

The bonhomie between India and Pakistan that was seen for some time on the LoC and even in the Islamabad and New Delhi now seems to be thing of past. This is after many years when India and Pakistan have used harsh words at the highest level against each other the Security Council meeting.

It all began with the speech of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who in his speech at the UN Security Council not only raised the Kashmir issue, but also handed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres a dossier about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, especially the plight of the civilians who were killed by the forces in the past two years by using pellets and bullets.

Abbasi also urged the UN secretary general to appoint a special envoy for Kashmir, saying that it was necessary because India had closed all doors for any dialogue. He also called for expanding the UN’s Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

Responding to Pakistan Prime Ministers speech, the Indian envoy describe Pakistan as ‘’terroristan’’ and blamed the country for providing shelter to all those men who are involved in the acts of terrorism across the globe.

And when turn of External Affairs Minister, Suhsma Sawraj came, she not only targeted Pakistan’s Army but used harsh words against the political leadership of Pakistan, thus  taking the tension between India and Pakistan to its new low.

Minister Sushma Swaraj targeted Pakistan for creating ‘’terror’’ groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network and termed Pakistan as “terroristan” and “land of pure terror”. Sushma Swaraj launched a withering attack on its neighbour, saying that while India created IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, Pakistan had produced Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani Network and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Swaraj who spoke in Hindi further said, “I would like today to tell Pakistan’s politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the preeminent export factory for terror?”

Swaraj further said that India had “risen despite being the principal destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism”. She asked what Pakistan had offered “to the world and indeed to its own people” apart from terrorism, and said if only Pakistan had spent on its development what it has spent on developing terror, “both Pakistan and the world would be safer and better off today”

Young Indian diplomat Eenam Gambhir responds to Pakistan allegations

And to counter India’s strong allegations, Pakistan also raised its pitch and blamed India for all the ills that are taking place in the country. Since BJP took over the reins of power in India, the relations between India and Pakistan have turned sour. The only silver lining was witnessed when Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif travelled to New Delhi to attend the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi in 2014, later, Modi also visited Pakistan.

However, the bonhomie couldn’t even last for many months and relations are back to square one, even now the relations have deteriorated to such an extent that both India and Pakistan diplomats, politicians have raised bar over Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council Meeting. The BJP has not only adopted hard posture against Pakistan, but they have also ignoring separatist leadership and now most of the separatist leaders are behind the bars or have cases against them at Enforcement Directorate or National Investigative Agency.

The separatists are blaming government of India for silencing the leadership by using NIA and fabricating cases against the separatist leaders. Even BJP that is running a coalition government along with the Peoples Democratic Party –(PDP) has ignored the requests of its partner in J&K for talking not only with the separatist leadership but also with Pakistan. Since entering into the alliance with BJP, the PDP especially chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti had been strongly advocating for talks. 

On Monday during her visit to Tangdhar on the Line of Control, chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti repeated her appeal that India and Pakistan should talk for the sake of people. However, soon after came confrontation over the Kashmir. The Kashmir is becoming a festering wound for both India and Pakistan, after some years of peace it seems militancy is again back in the Valley as this year there has been substantial increase in the number of militancy related incidents and killings.

The situation on the LoC and borders to back to post ceasefire when civilians on both sides used to become target of hostilities between India and Pakistan. Though on papers it seems that some steps are being taken to reduce the tension not only in Kashmir, but also between India and Pakistan, however, practically it seems that there is no end to tension. Recently, during his visit to J&K, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh said that he is ready to talk to anyone with an open mind, even with separatists.

After Singh, BJP general secretary, Ram Madhav who has framed Agenda of Alliance (AoA) between PDP and the BJP for the coalition government said that Centre or State government is ready for talks with anyone including separatists without any precondition.

The statement from BJP’s Ram Madhav though looks departure from its past policies; however, very few people in the Valley, including separatists trust the BJP or the Centre government. Even though, like previous years there has been no track two diplomacy or negotiations to end the violence in J&K. Even Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said that he is not averse to talks but termed tripartite talks could pave way for solution.

Pakistani Diplomat Maleeha Lodhi in UN General Assembly

“We are not averse to negotiations, however, we believe and we are of this firm opinion that only tripartite talks can prove conclusive and result oriented and we assign top priority to prestige and dignity of our nation and we have enough talent to plead our case,” said Geelani in a statement.

Though these statements are encouraging, however fresh spat between India and Pakistan especially at the United Nations could further worsen the situation.

Time has come when both India and Pakistan should show maturity and try to end the present confrontation and start talking. The dialogue between India and Pakistan could automatically bring peace in the region, especially in Kashmir where the graph of violence is on rise.

With both nations equipped with nuclear arsenals any confrontation will bring catastrophe in the region. The political leadership in India, Pakistan and also in both parts of the Kashmir should play its role, otherwise, a small spark can ignite a full-fledged fire and nobody will be able to control it. 


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