A Gordian Knot called Kashmir

  • Stubbornness coupled with indifference of two neighbours mar lives and dreams of Kashmiri people

When wounds continue to fester and heal in a circular fashion, the body gets accustomed to them. Since they come, stay and go and then repeat there is very little novelty and even lesser interest to remedy an ailment that has its highs and lows. Now, apply the above analogy to Kashmir-a land that has seen more than its share of bloodshed, tears and misery. It’s whole body is inundated with wounds yet the perpetrators find new places to inflict more while keeping old one’s fresh.

India doesn’t ‘possess’ all of Kashmir. Pakistan too hasn’t’ emancipated’ the whole of Kashmir. The Kashmiris live and die on their cause to ‘own’ their motherland. The fences and barbed wires along the LoC has made the grass turn bloodier on the other side. Familiarity breeds contempt, goes another ancient axiom. However, it too is subject to certain exceptions. Pakistanis of all ilks spread over multiple generations have been acutely familiar with the Kashmir and endless travails its inhabitants brave day in and day out. The world at large has apparently developed a ‘be that as it may’ attitude and lost interest in the freedom struggle of more than 14 million people. Yet the the folks of Pakistan haven’t taken a step back from supporting their brethren under siege. The familiarity to bloodshed, terror and fear in Kashmir has only bred empathy during past seven decades.

As long as the memory serves and as far as one can gaze back in the annals of history, the Kashmiris have shared the fate of ancient bondmen; there has been change of tyrants at the helm of power and nothing else. The tally of martyrs from just 20 years- 1990 to 2019- fall around 70,000 Kashmiris. They are those who won’t tell us their story. We are left to listen the tales and travails of the disappeared and tortured individuals with a sinking heart.

Many of us share the fate of our beloved motherlands. We have to put up with misery in all its gory forms because the ‘husbands’ (read leaders)  of our land are either posing as mythic Titans or busy in one-upmanship. All of this should better end as we have too many ‘weary’ generations before us.

As far as Kashmir is concerned, years of sloganeering has made us sure that Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan, and here goes our official stance

The victims remain victim, while the victors change.

Pakistan and India have barely lost any opportunity to teach each other ‘lessons’. Now both neighbours revel in a schadenfreude that was cultivated over time and has become so mammoth it’ll take years before Pakistanis and Indians think of each other as regular human beings, capable of basic human emotions. In our bid to loathe, we’ve dehumanised each other. We have lost empathy, because it has been ages that an ordinary lad from Islamabad sat with a young bloke from Delhi and discussed the hidden frustrations and shared fantasies that describe youth.

Here at home, Islamic Republic of Pakistan scampers from crisis to crisis, tragedy to tragedy, debacle to debacle. The concerned historians could easily recount a hundred times when our motherland escaped utter ruin and perdition. Many an eyewitnesses from yore can vouch that the moments of complete success proved to be nothing but pyrrhic victories. Both, however, continue to hope against hope.

As far as Kashmir is concerned, years of sloganeering has made us sure that Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan, and here goes our official stance. Since time immemorial, we have been demanding that the Kashmir issue must be resolved as per the dictates of UN Security Council resolutions. The death of Burhan Wani last July brought back the Kashmir issue on the tellies and broadsheets across Pakistan. The old flame that was on the back burner with sporadic rallies featuring the usual suspects of Kashmir cause, a public holiday on 5th of February, occasional talk shows highlighting the ‘plight of poor Kashmiri brothers’ kept it alive till something new, something big, something Burhan Wani eventually fell in our lap.

The Gordian knot that Kashmir has turned out to be is neither by accident nor by sheer Ill will. The present has a long, dreary past filled with missed opportunities and opportunistic regimes. Will it be untied? Only time has the answer.