Kashmir – The Land of Heaven | Samra Anwar Mughal
Kashmir is truly the land of heavens on earth. It is the land of dreams, the territory of beautiful landscapes and splendid sceneries. This patch of land has inherited the versatile art, music and culture. The people of the land are hardworking, simple and easy on the eyes. Linguistically the residents speak Pashto, Punjabi, Hindco and Urdu.
The diversity of four seasons is amazingly seen in fascinating valley. The snow carpets in winters mesmerize and catch the attention of tourist across the globe. The summer season of Kashmir demonstrates the peak beauty in its way by varying shades of green trees, meadows, pastures and rice yields. The valley carries amazing autumn season where the whole green turns to gold brown and then to russet and red in colors. E The most attractive place in Azad Kashmir is Neelum Valley the most visited point of tourists.
Moreover the appealing beauteous valley has no words to explain its intensity. The great Mughal rulers called Kashmir “the paradise on earth”
Geographically Kashmir is an area on the northern borders of India and Pakistan and the southwestern border of China. In the mid nineteenth century the Kashmir was surrounded between great Himalayas and Pir-Panjal mountain ranges but currently the boundaries and areas of Kashmir encompasses huge distributaries across the land.
One territory of the Kashmir is occupied by Indian administrators called Jammu and Kashmir the other is governed by Pakistan named as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, the rest of the area comes under the power of Republic of China, the Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram tract.
The locality comprises of multiple ethnic groups. The Azad Kashmir
which comes under the boundary line of Pakistan contains world’s highest peaks of K2. The Kashmir valley captured by Indian government constitutes the majority of Muslim population whereas the magenta region is Hindu dominated area. The Ladakh is the locality of Buddhist community. The uninhabited areas of republic of china are Karakorum highways and china national highway.
Ancient history of Kashmir revolves around many phases of rulers. The territory was ruled by many Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms till the end of 14th century. After the invasion of Turkish and afghan rulers the area was ruled by Muslims for more than two centuries. After disintegration of Mughal’s dynasty the locality again came under the jurisdiction of Sikhs. After the succession of war of independence British raj sold this land to Gulab Singh. From 1846 until 1947, the Dogra descendents of Gulab Singh ruled the state.
At the time of partition the British Viceroy gave the individual kings the right to decide between joining either India or Pakistan. The Dogra King wanted to keep the kingdom separate from either. After the invasion of Pakistani troop to the territory the king decided to join India in return.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947 and 1965, as well as the Kargil War.
By having many ethnic group the state of Kashmir has multiple political parties prevailing there, such as Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (NC), the Indian National Congress (Congress), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Muslim population of Kashmir wants to have autonomous and sovereign state separate from India, whereas the non-Muslim population wants to get integrated into India by their choice. A small
portion of Muslim community still takes interest to assimilate into Pakistan. A number of separatist movements are also held by many Muslim leaders in Kashmir as well.
For recent six decades the Kashmir issue has been discussed at various forums but till no proper solution can be drawn from dialogues.
So the peace and stability of the South Asian region is directly interrupted and disordered by the territory of Kashmir and its endless prevailing dispute between India and Pakistan. Kashmir issue always has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan and a rigid diplomatic policy can be seen by two neighboring countries regarding this dispute.
The geostrategic importance of Kashmir is quite visible by her boarder sharing with Afghanistan and Republic of China and close proximity with Russian state. Almost major water sources "the rivers” flowing in Pakistan originate from the Kashmir so Pakistan has a rigid stance over Kashmir issue.
Inconclusive and ineffective efforts are made by international powers for last seven decades to resolve this dispute between two atomic powers but on one could resolve this mystery. In 1948 United Nations showed deep interest to resolve this issue but no result was drawn as India was not getting any flexibility over the problem.
In 1962 the border war of India and china, America and Britain tried to bridge the gap between Pakistan and Indian but it was a fruitless effort. By the end of 1965 Soviet Union struggled for regional peace by establishing a peace treaty called Tashkent but no progress was seen and India was again indulged in East Pakistan to disintegrate the other
half of the country and it led to the separation of East Pakistan in 1970-1971.
Besides the cold war and its rivalries, the role of both great powers, United States and Soviet Union has been very influential and cooperative in its ways in South Asian region, meanwhile Moscow and Washington tried some inconclusive efforts to bring Kashmir issue to the resolution side. Again in 1990 crisis the United States get back to the region with some new nuclear dimensions.
World’s biggest powers like United States, Soviet Union and china have different policies regarding Kashmir dispute according to their interests. Initially these countries showed neutral policy regarding the dispute but gradually they turned their interest as per the modern and changing world. In different eras Chinese’ policy regarding Kashmir issue has been changing from one end to other, from 1949 to 1960s the policy of china was neutral for both counties and then after Sino-Indian boarder war 1962 turned to hostility between India and china so china got closed friendly relationship with Pakistan. China stood by Pakistan for Kashmir conflict and after 1970 she again got the neutral policy for this issue after peaceful settlement and resolution of her conflict with India and it was reflected by Kargil conflict and Indo-Pak military conflict in 2001-2002.
The intensity of the issue can be visualized that tensions between Indo-Pak can bring both nuclear powers at the brink of war in the region. So the peace and stability of South Asian region can only be guaranteed when the dispute is resolved between two states. The best solution for Kashmir dispute is to give the right of self determination to the residents of Kashmir so that they can decide their destination and fate
according to their will and desire. It is the only best way by which the region can get back its stability, beauty and integrity in the era of modernization.