The cost of continuing not to change should not go unnoticed.
If one were to recall, scenes of total jubilation were afloat in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir, in response to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address at the UN General Assembly. In his plea to the United Nations for intervention, Khan illustrated his views rather emotionally, and appeared to be apprehensive about the times of when the lockdown is likely to be lifted. A hundred days in and the clampdown remains in a state of paralysis with Kashmir heavily occupied by a force armed to the teeth. The increased propensity of fear looms with the rise in the fall of voices on deaf ears. In the hearts and minds of many, the lack of negotiation or perhaps even arbitration paint dire straits. The world has now been addressed, sentiments have been poured out before the policymaking and deliberative organ of the UN and Kashmir awaits for the unknown
Two scenarios have emerged, a victory for the centrist political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) where their leader and Prime Minister to Pakistan has returned grateful for having been able to fight the case for Kashmir – as much as their intention may not have been to score political points, whereas the other leans towards the numerous questions raised for whether it was Kashmir being fought for or the humanitarian crisis with this inhumane siege, or perhaps whether it would really reinstate the law that has been scrapped in Indian-held Kashmir. Be it a plea for UN intervention, quest for justice or the unequivocal pitch, as applaud worthy as it may all be, the Himalayan region remains disputed and the UN silent, or at most – urges to dial down. Intervention in this jingoistic narrative is much awaited by many. By those that fear the army personnel, by those scrambling for medicines, by those disconnected, as well as those directly suffering as the economy now stifles.
The question is, are we all waiting for the Trump card or will this bitterness only escalate in an already tense situation? Or, has the Modi government shown us a masterclass in “how to gain land without starting a war”? Cliched as it may sound, only time can tell and until then, Kashmir remains the bone of contention and with this undisclosed future, there may be need for coping with the existing status and ways to move forward with the unlikeliness of reversal.
Brutally deprived of their freedom, the magnitude of what lies ahead in light of the existing circumstances will make certain the increasing prevalence of animosities and the yearning for social stability.
The inability and constriction of Kashmir to go forward in its own choosing does in no way invigorate a constructive resolution. Instead, what lurks is new shortcomings in place of the previous ones.
The cost of continuing not to change should not go unnoticed. The genuineness of world concern should be questioned. Kashmir, Kashmir should no longer be entangled.
As bloodshot eyes reveal that, both, You and We have cried.
Aimriya Zubery has graduated with a Major in International Relations and is currently a Research Intern at PIIA.