Youm-e-Shuhada or Martyrs’ day is a most historic day for Kashmir, it is seen and observed as the starting point of the Kashmir agitation and freedom struggle, which to this date has never gone down.
Being given the neglect by the mainstream Pakistani media and also by major human rights groups around the world, a narrative that perhaps the Kashmir Cause has lost its grip in the international arena and among the people of Kashmir, is being advocated. However, it is merely a delusion to think so; in reality the Kashmir Freedom Movement has matured over time, voyaging through distinct phases, created by the intelligent planning of Kashmiri activists. Over the time period, the Kashmir Cause has become the most mature freedom struggle of the world. In the most militarized country, facing grave anti-terror laws like POTA, TADA and AFSPA, the Kashmiri have learnt bitter lessons in their struggle; and now this struggle has grasped the hands of the educated youth of this nation.
On the other hand, for Pakistan, it is imperative to note that Kashmir has always remained its vital interest, it has never given up on Kashmir; even though on the face of it, our mainstream media and even our diplomatic stance may seem to be aloof to the matter. But the truth is that it is a part of our constitution and of the manifesto of all political groups; an interest for which wars have been fought and more are in the potential.
The UN’s lethargic attitude towards an issue, which has the potential to trigger a nuclear conflict between two nuclear armed countries, can be counted as one of the biggest crimes of this era. At the same time, torn inside due to different freedom movements, India is facing the worst situation in Kashmir now. And as India strives to divert international attention towards Afghanistan, Indian think tanks have utterly failed to find a solution for a much predicted 2014 scenario.
The Martyrs of 13th July, who sowed the seed of a tree of martyrdom that flowers and fruits in every season in Kashmir, wherefrom the fragrance of the blood of Kashmiris, their unmarked graves, their un-concluded trial, their un-returned missing, their undressed wounds of rape, fill the heavenly land of Kashmir with the air of remorse, and this same air is breathed by those across the fence too. All the grief and anger associated to this, define the path and destiny of Kashmir – Freedom.
Nevertheless, Pakistan should consider the 66 years and three generations post 1947 and appreciate the distinct Kashmir-narrative that has evolved in its people, which may or may not be independent of Pakistan. We must consider that perhaps the new generation of Kashmir does not necessarily acknowledge the historical attachment and tends to see things in the perspective of the Present. India must have certainly used this time to disintegrate, infiltrate and diffuse the pure Pak/Kashmir narrative, and today one finds some politicians and political activists asserting the No-Pakistan or even Anti-Pak narrative.
Therefore, perhaps it is time for Pakistan to strive for an independent Kashmir, with all the reins of its power in the hands of Kashmiris themselves. Pakistan must approve of the fact that perhaps the test of time has brought out a Kashmiri youth that is much more mature, opinionated and clear on their perspective than any youth around the globe. The survival for Pakistan, then, is not in hegemony, but only in brotherhood. Perhaps our best policy of Kashmir is the same as we espouse for Afghanistan – a strong, balanced, happy and developing neighbor.
The future of this region does not lie in capture and dictation; rather the future lies in a regional block of Pak/Kash/Afgn, with a complimentary foreign policy, a mutually beneficial trade policy, and promotion of culture and an Aman ki Aasha within. Pakistan must realize its position as the peace-giver of this geographically and religiously fated regional block, and must work to create a foreign policy that would help cement the backs of each of these nations in a way that foreign occupation must become a permanently unfulfilled dream for the brutal aggressors.