Power sometimes help to change the attitude of the doer, or indeed, to stop the doer of doing undesired things. Thus, power is the central driver of global politics, help to control the behaviour of the desired state or person. Unfortunately, sometimes such power does little to control an unsought tension in some regions. Apart from international pressure and violation of many treaties by India, such conducts inspire the rest of the states to espouse such activities.
Kashmir, the mountainous valley connecting Pakistan and India, has been the subject of a dispute between two nuclear-armed states since the split of British India in 1947. During the division, the British agreed to divide their former colony into two countries: Pakistan with a Muslim majority and India with the Hindus majority. Both countries want Kashmir, which is predominantly Muslim, and part of it is occupied by the armed forces. But unfortunately, none of them agreed upon the luck of Kashmir, the dispute and hostility over the territory are still continues since the partition.
The recent and renewed tension between two-bitter nuclear-armed rivals over Kashmir has once more put the world on high vigilant
When India abolished article 370 and 35A, added fuel to the already ignited fire. The article 370 describes certain features, including firm autonomy, rights of making own constitution, a separate flag, and permission of making rules and laws. The article 35A labeled some additional criteria, including, it prevents the outsider from buying land in the region, holding any government-related jobs, winning an educational scholarship, or settling in the region permanently. When India obliterated the decade-old law, such action spread turbulence around the world. In order to protect the rights of self-determination and other rights violation of the Kashmir’s people, Pakistan has voiced and appealed to the rest of the world to stop Indian brutality in the region.
In order to showcase the brutality of Indian forces in Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had spoken on different mediums. The immense human rights violation and the killing of innocents Kashmiris has led the countries one step away from using their nuclear-arms. Pakistan since August, making all peaceful/diplomatic struggle to awaken the world. On his famous visit to the United Nations, Khan condemned Indian ruthlessness and clearly mentioned that Indian inhumane actions in J&K can certainly cause “bloodbath” and could provoke a war between the two nuclear-armed states. He stated that if any conventional war starts anything could happen. But supposing a country is seven-time smaller than the neighbour is faced with two choices, either you surrender or you fight till death. We will fight till the end, and when two nuclear-armed states are fighting till the end, the consequences of such war are far behind the borders, which of course, will affect the rest of the world.
In his address to the United Nations general assembly, he has given clear insights of what is happening in Kashmir. Kashmir is already heavily militarized zone in the world, the Indian additional actions of sending extra troops flooded the region. Indian forces have enforced a curfew for the last three months and have arrested thousands of innocent Kashmiris. The human rights violation in the region is now known almost everywhere, human rights institutions are doing less or nothing to prevent human rights violations in the region. The people are denied their dignity and refused to their fundamental freedom, deprived of food, medications and education for more than 80 days. Globally, the media has showcased the inhumane actions of Indian forces in Kashmir, now it’s a time for a global organization to stress India in order to stop such cold-hearted activities and let the people of Kashmir decide their own future.
The cruelty in Kashmir and the violation of the line of control agreement (LoC) by Indian forces raise the fear of confrontation between the two nuclear-armed states. Thus, such behaviour indicates if the situation continues as going there is a probability of future war. For the reason Pakistan has always welcome and have taken many steps for bilateral negotiation, unfortunately, India has always rejected such proposals. Recently when Donald Trump announced that he wants to arbitrate over the Kashmir issue, India denied while Pakistan welcomes Trump’s decision.
Nuclear Discourse and the Elite
Presently the way the dyadic relation is going, won’t go anymore in the international system. The Kashmir issues, the arms competition between the two states, the difference in their ideology, culture and religion are the actual and foremost drivers of pushing both states towards hostility. But the real reason behind such relationships is not only the government, but the main cause of the steady and fragile relation is also the domestic elites and their focus on nuclear discourse. One should not forget, as argued by the intellectual entities that norms are the driver of domestic politics, and these norms sometimes changed by political elites for their own advantages.
These political elites fangled with opposition NGOs or other actors which later influence the elites wills and opinions through mass media and mass movements. Consequently, the domestic discourse on nuclear weapons is damped by the elites who keep vast interest to continue rather than standstills. This argument showed that they have virtually learned to love the bomb, but can they learn to hate the bomb? It’s true that their hostile relations are continued since inception so far, nothing has been achieved either by Pakistan or India except deterrence and immense violation of human rights in the continent.
Rights violation and deterrence is linked with their arms competition, which continues without any external pressure. As argued by one of the scholars that “India and Pakistan do not play their nuclear game on some other planet, but they rather play it on earth. Their nuclear competition is not an immutable fact of international politics because both the states are at risk to external norms constraint”
The future prosperity of India and Pakistan is nothing more than the bilateral relation, the relation can be improved by understanding and respecting each other’s values and solving the Kashmir issue on a win-win solution. Moreover, both states need to adjust some policies like track II and track IV diplomacy which will encourage the states, as well as promote people to people relation.