Kargil Issue

I begin the issue right from 1947 when India and Pakistan were planned to be two separate countries. The division was based on religion alone. The Hindus were said to migrate to Indian side and the Muslims were told to migrate on the Pakistan side. Still there was no complete migration. There was another problem too. The Muslim ruler Nizam ruled Hyderabad. But majority of the population was Hindu. Nizam wanted Hyderabad to be merged with Pakistan. The opposite situation was with Kashmir. The majority of the Kashmiris were Muslims, but ruled by a Hindu king Maharaja Hari Singh. India, under the leadership of VB Patel captured Hyderabad. Unlike Nizam, Maharaja Hari Singh wanted his state to be separate from both the countries. Both India and Pakistan had an eye over Kashmir. It was Pakistan who lost its patience and attacked Kashmir in 1948, a year after independence.

Maharaja Hari Singh asked for help to India, but India did not even reply saying that it first needs an agreement that Kashmir will be merged with India. Whatsoever other facts may be, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the agreement. Then the first Indo-Pak war broke out and a part of Kashmir was freed from Pakistan's occupation. The question arose that whether a single person is enough to decide the fate of whole state? And whether was it the correct time for India to show its motive and get the agreement signed?

Later a Line of Control (LoC) was established and part of Kashmir was given to Pakistan. This part comprised of Gilgit, Mirpur, and Baltistan. Even then there is continuous tension over the LoC between two countries. There are some other facts too that are very interesting. The IoK [Indian Occupied Kashmir] residents want to get merged with Pakistan and the residents of PoK [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir] wants complete freedom.

Now I come to the present chaos. The present chaos is due to the infiltrators crossing in the LoC from Pakistan. The infiltrators are well trained and belong to countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Algeria, and others. Pakistan is saying that there is no defined LoC and the infiltrators are not backed by it, rather they are freedom fighters. They can be freedom fighters coming from other sides, but why should not they free the PoK first? This is absolutely absurd from the Pakistan side. These are the Pak backed people who want to disconnect the route connecting Leh and Siachin. On the Indian side, I must say that it is the complete failure of the intelligence in detecting the infiltration. When Osama-bin-Laden came to the Indian subcontinent, India must have got aware of a problem in Kashmir, but they did not.

Both countries must sit together, talk, and decide on the issue of Kashmir. There must not be any country like America or Russia involved in the discussion. War is not the solution to this problem. It is rather a problem in itself. I am a Punjabi. I know how close we are to Pakistan. We have a lot of similarities - like our culture, traditions, festivals, and many more things. Punjabis who got their houses damaged on the border and even lost their dear ones are still saying that India and Pakistan must unite to form a nation United States of South Asia (USSA). A mixed sort of such ideas can even be found on the website www.chowk.com.

Now I come on the issue of deciding the present crisis. The present infiltrators are not freedom fighters, these are rather highly trained militants. The are working for money and can be dangerous to the integrity of any country. They must be killed not driven back through a safe passage, as Indian Defense Minister Mr. George Fernandez once told. Still I say, it is peace that lasts longest not the war that tries to end up everything. If a single nuclear weapon will ever break out anywhere in the world, the whole world will be involved in a nuclear war. Recently, after the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan, the countries like Persia, Syria and Czech Republic are also following the nuclear policies. We, all the residents of earth, have a population of 6 billion. But we have already made the arrangements to kill over 30 billion people - just count the warheads! One must deeply think about it before taking any major step involving nuclear warfare.

Then what should be the solution to the Kashmir problem? A sufficient number of Kashmiris say that they want to be merged with Pakistan. Should we listen to those voices and decide democratically. Or we must first check out whether they are speaking this due to any incentive? If we follow democratic norms then a number of states may start saying that they also want freedom. Among these are the Nagaland, Assam, and perhaps some others. But the Kashmir problem is totally different. It has here right from the time of division. Firstly, there should be no division on the basis of religion. If there is, then it must be complete. Kashmir, on the basis of religion naturally belongs to Pakistan and we must be prepared for any consequences.