Pakistan, India Peace Movement Silences Deadly Kashmir Frontier


Srinagar, India (AP) — Machine guns peeking into the balustrades of concrete sandbags in small sandbags and heavy artillery dug deep into the rugged terrain of Himalayan Kashmir were silenced.

At least for now.

A highly militarized de facto border that divides the conflict area between two nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan, the line of control, which killed hundreds of people, was two in South Asia last month. It’s unusually quiet after the neighbors have agreed. Reaffirm the 2003 ceasefire agreement..

Somewhat surprising decisions prompted the melting of otherwise confused relations between the two countries, but some also raised questions about the longevity of fragile peace due to early failures. Repression by Indian troops and attacks by rebels continue within India’s Kashmir.

According to experts, the ceasefire could stabilize a protracted conflict that claimed the lives of tens of thousands. The Kashmiris say that rare moves should help resolve the dispute.

It was unclear what prompted the two troops to stick to an agreement they had largely ignored for years.However, experts point out a rise due to both from the previous stance after India decided: Deprive Kashmir of semi-autonomy Directly manage this area in 2019 Months of bitter border conflict with China..

Paul Staniland, an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago, combines the ongoing cost of conflicts along the management line, the economic impact of a pandemic, and other foreign policy challenges facing the two countries. The ceasefire.

Since 2003, the ceasefire has been largely ongoing despite regular skirmishes. Both India and Pakistan have claimed the entire region and fought two wars over it, and in Kashmir’s Indian-controlled region, militants have fought Indian rule since 1989.

Countries have accused them of significantly increasing border attacks over the past four years, causing the deaths of soldiers and villagers and increasing tensions.

The announcement of the ceasefire came shortly after China and India agree on military withdrawal From some of their disputed borders after months of deadly military standoffs. It raised the fear of a two-front war between India and China, the latter being backed by its closest ally, Pakistan.

Sidik Wahid, a historian and former vice president of the Islamic University of Science and Technology, said:

Beijing wants Pakistan to focus on securing investment as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a large-scale transcontinental infrastructure development project aimed at expanding China’s commercial ties globally. .. Islamabad is an important partner, with some highways built by China meandering in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Meanwhile, the United States is courting India to focus on countering China.

“It is imperative that Pakistan actually move towards a new regional role, embrace geopolitics, ease tensions with India, and if India pivots to deal with the rise of China, its relationship with Pakistan. There are reasons to calm down. South Asian expert Staniland said, “The real question is whether these reasons remain strong enough for the long term.”

The melting of the relationship became apparent when Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi stopped playing rhetoric against Pakistan and stopped mentioning Kashmir in campaigns in four major states.

Even in Pakistan, political leadership and strong military have shifted from their previous position of having no involvement with India until they overturned the decision to nullify Kashmir’s semi-autonomy.

Last week, Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa He said it was time for the two countries to “fill the past” and peacefully resolve the dispute over Kashmir. His remarks followed the warning that the Kashmir conflict would continue to be the center of future negotiations, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly called for good relations with India. Since the announcement of the ceasefire, Khan has also abandoned his past rhetoric against Modi.

Modi looks like it’s going back and forth and sent it last week Letter to Khan We are looking for a heartfelt relationship. Kahn replied On Tuesday, he reiterated that lasting peace was primarily conditioned on solving the future of Kashmir.

The reconciliation has caused skepticism among the Kashmiris. The Kashmiris fear that the conflict could be postponed given the rapid administrative and political changes in the region by India. Settler colonialism..

“We are not against discussions and want to put an end to violence, but we also need to put an end to oppression,” said the influence of house arrest since August 2019. Said Milweiz Umar Faroo, a leader of the Kashmir Separatists. The wishes of those people. “

In the past, Pakistan and India have made multiple attempts to mediate transactions over Kashmir. They also launched confidence-building measures such as bartering between the two regions of Kashmir, sports games and bus services for separated families.

“A ceasefire can lead to relatively peace, but we shouldn’t expect lasting peace,” said Vinod Hatia, director of military operations in India from 2012 to 2014.

Meanwhile, the villagers living along the frontier are paying the price.

The lives of Nader Hussain and Munshi Muhammad Arshad are separated by a barbed wire fence. Hussein lives in the Pakistani-dominated part of India-dominated Kashmir and Arshad.

In late November, Hussein saw a shell fired by a Pakistani soldier flying towards him in his mountain village. A 50-year-old child was unable to overtake the projectile and lost both legs in the blast. Two other men were killed on the spot.

“Both countries are politicizing our bodies, but this must be done,” he said.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Arshad, who lost his father to a shell fired by an Indian soldier, wanted peace.

“But lasting peace will only come when the Kashmir problem is resolved,” he said.

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Saaliq reported from New Delhi. The Associated Press writer Roshan Mughal in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.

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