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India & Pakistan Tension: Some Reflections

Imran Khan has demonstrated his wisdom and leadership skills in this skirmish. He has shown the world that he is a man of principles, moral and ethical values
by Dr SLM Rifai

Kashmir problem in brief: 

I do not want to repeat here the historical account of Kashmir problem. Since British handed over it to Indian government, it has been a major contentious problem between India & Pakistan. It is alleged that Britain deliberately did this to create a long conflict between Muslims and Hindus in sub-continent. Kashmir war ruled by Maharajas. It is estimated that 77% of Kashmir population were Muslims prior to independence from Britain. 20% of Hindu and 3% of sheikhs were living prior to Indian independence. It was reported by many Muslims groups that Muslims were racially and religiously discriminated in Kashmir for a long-time during Maharaja’s rule in Kashmir. Muslim businessmen were taxed many times more than Hindus.  Muslims were discriminated in employment too. Soon after intemperance, India, Pakistan and China gained some territorial control in Kashmir. Since then, people of Kashmir have been fighting for freedom and their democratic rights. Neither Indians nor Pakistani people have right to intervene or involves in Kashmir. It was British government that handed over the lands of Kashmir to India despite of the fact, most of its inhabitants were Muslims.  People of Kashmir should have freedom to determine their future. UN must conduct a referendum to decide the future of Kashmir.

Continuous insurgencies and suffering of people: 

              People have been suffering for a long time in Kashmir. Many insurgent groups operate in Kashmir valley. People want to live in peace with self-determination and freedom. All these three countries have involved in Kashmir without any legitimate right to do so. It is all against international norms and law to let any community to suffer like this. Since 1948 people of Kashmir have been suffering. Like people of Palestine, people in Kashmir have been suffering due to incorrectness of politics. They have been victimised by British and Indian wrong politics. People of Kashmir have been neglected by international community for a long time. 


UN has done nothing to free Kashmir people from the grip of Indian brutality and barbarism. What crimes children, women, and young and old in Kashmir have done to suffer like this. So called civilised world intentionally discriminates, victimises, and neglects people of Kashmir. Women are raped, children are killed, elderly people are jailed, academics, Imams, politicians, community leaders are jailed daily. Suffering of people of Kashmir is unimaginable in this so-called modern world of civilization and humanism. Yet, UN and western countries do not have courage to question Indian military or bring Indian politicians into book. One leading journalists and writers from India describes the atrocities of Indian forces in Kashmir in the following way. “Since 1990, more than seventy thousand people have been killed in the conflict, thousands have ‘disappeared” tens of thousands have been tortured and hundreds of young people maimed and blinded by pellet guns. The death toll over the last twelve months has been highest since 2009, associated press reports that almost 570 people have lost lives, 260 of them militants, 160 civilians and 150 Indian armed personals who died in the line of duty (Arundhati. Roy, HuffPost, 1/3/19.Today some Indian TV channels have reported that leader of Jamathe-Islami has been arrested and more 200 Jamath members have been arrested, Moreover, jamath properties and houses have been locked up by Indian forces. This is despite of the fact, Kashmir Jamath is non-violent social organization that promote education and charity work in Kashmir valley and yet, Modi government wants to punish them for no any crime they have committed. It is clearly mentioned in the constitution of Kashmir jamath that it does not encourage any hatred or violence among people of Kashmir. Yet, Indians forces have locked them up for no any reasons. India is playing a dirty tick as Donald Trump did in Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the name of war on terror US killed thousands of innocent people. Does India follow this blind policy? 

Kashmir and international community

                 In this materialistic world of secular power domination there is no protection for poor communities. Weak and poor are exploited, victimised, sometime punished in this so-called civilised world. Pet animals in western countries have more rights and more dignity than human beings in third world countries.  We have seen this in many times in recent human history. So, called civilised world do nothing as and when poor people are being killed. Take for instance, in central Africa more than one million innocent people were killed in tribal fighting with Hutus and Tutsi. Yet, so called civilised world did nothing to stop genocide. Likewise, take all other conflicts in recent times. In Syria alone more than 500.000 thousand people died and 7 million displaced.  Yet, so called UN or civilised world could do nothing to stop as there is no oil or gas in there. This is exactly what happens to people of Kashmir. They are poor Muslims and they do not have oil or gas to protect them. Moreover, today, India is a powerful country with population of more than 1.2 billion, so, many western powers do not like to interfere on this Kashmir issue. Sometime, many of them support India in UN. So, in this world of economic interest, mightily is always right. So, poor people of Kashmir do not have any one to speak for them at all. So, they are destined to live as slaves under Indian occupation against the will of people.   

       It is a duty of each human being to speak out against this Indian aggression. I have seen many Indians speak about this aggression. An injustice is an injustice even if it is done by powerful or by super powers in the world. Today, more human right violations have been done by many so called supper powers than many poor countries.  So called super powers inflict more harm and rights violations than many poor countries. While we all condemn all sorts of extremism and terrorism, international community must condemn state terrorism. What India does in Kashmir is nothing but a form state terrorism on innocent indigenous people of Kashmir. As Zionists do in Palestine, Indians do in Kashmir. There is no difference between state terrorism we see in Palestine and what we see in Kashmir. Israel & India both are killing innocent people with or without approval of international community and more importantly with a silent approval of many western countries.

             This double standard of western nations must be stopped if they want to see peace and harmony in Middle East and sub-continents. Justice is unconditional in this world. There is no one sort of justice for Jews and other for people of Palestine, there is no one kind of justice for Indians and another for people of Kashmir. Yet, western world has created a conditional justice system. With the so-called notion of geopolitical interest, they have been dividing humanity in terms of their national interest. knowingly or unknowingly they have supported tyrants in humanity. People of Kashmir & Palestine have been suffering for more than 7 decades and yet, western consciousness did not move or show any remorse when Indian and Israel forces are butchering innocent children and women in their home lands. When geopolitical interest of western countries is at risk, they do not dare to speak for innocent people at all. This is the so-called civilised world of self -contradiction that humanity lives right now. in fact, humanity is in peril due to bias and discriminative foreign policies of some developed nations. Today, in the world of politics everything changes and yet, we do not see any reformation for the outdated structure of United Nations. It was created with outdated strategic policies in 1945 soon after the WWII. Even today, the old outdated structure of UN is maintained to protect geopolitical interests of some Vito powers. That is why many resolutions on Kashmir and Palestine problem are turned down or dismissed by so called defenders of democracy. India and Israel use their political influence to fool international community on this issue of Kashmir and Palestine.
Kashmir and the Muslim world.

The problem of Kashmir and Palestine has been one of the unsolved problems of Muslim world since 1948. Ineptitude Muslim political leaders have repeatedly failed on the people of Kashmir and Palestine. More importantly Arab leaders have been used like curry leaves by western powers. Despite of the fact, there are 53 Muslim countries with population of more than 1.6 billion people, the Muslim world can do nothing to stop aggression and atrocities of innocent people in Kashmir and Palestine. Our so called inept Arab political leaders are fooled by these so called democratic western political leaders. Arab political leaders are treated cheaply by many western political leaders. They do not have any influence on any regional or international affairs. Western powers are only interested in getting oil and gas from gulf regions. There are no any other ideological or political bonds between Arab leaders and western political leaders except those material interest or geopolitical interests. 

              Recent political history of Middle East tells us Arab leaders have been used by western powers cheaply in many occasions. In short, modern world order does not allow people of Palestine and Kashmir to get justice. In fact, these so-called developed nations stand between justice and people of Kashmir. They pervert the course of justice. People of Kashmir and Palestine cannot get justice because these western powers do not like them getting justice. In fact, all these countries are directly and indirectly contributing for the suffering of people of Palestine and Kashmir. It is true that Indian and Israel forces do all these brutalities. Millions of historically documented evidences are available today to testify atrocities of Indian and Israel forces. Yet, UN and ICC do not have power to bring India and Israel into book. Western nations must take some responsibilities for all these crimes. Having said this, I would argue that our Muslim and Arab political leaders can not put the blame on the shoulders of western counterparts, Arab and Muslim leaders have been fooled by all international political leaders for a long time. They too must take a lion share of responsibility on the issues of Kashmir and Palestine.  This is a high time that 1.6 billion Muslim population around the world show their solidarity with victimised people of Kashmir and Palestine. This is high time to educate Muslim political leaders on these issues. Unfortunately, today, Muslim public and Muslim pollical leaders are not politically educated on these issues well. No one recognized the weakness of Arab political leaders as Henry Kissinger did in 1973. Henry Kissinger had highlighted this Arab weakness to western political leaders when Saudi intended to initiate oil embargo on western countries in 1973 in retaliation for Israel war on Egypt. Since the death of late King Faisal Arab world lost its credibility in the politics of the Muslim world and international affairs. Despite the fact they control the world economy with their oil and gas supplies and yet they do not have any influence in regional or international affairs. 

Indian election & Recent events. 

It is assumed that recent suicide attack on Indian forces in Kashmir is deliberately done to win votes in this general election in India. It is predicted that Modi is facing defeats in forthcoming election. In order to win election, he must galvanise the support from Indian voters. So, this attack is perpetrated in order to get votes. Modi has used such a trick previously in Gujrat. Arundhati Roy says that “This government has wounded India’s soul so very deeply. It will take years for us to heal. For that process to even begin, we must vote to remove these dangerous, spectacle-hungry charlatans from office” Moreover, Arundhati Roy this attack is racially motivated at this time of election to get more support for BJP. 

Arundhati Roy argues that “Kashmir is the most densely militarized zone in the world, with an estimated half a million Indian soldiers posted there. In addition to the Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing and the National Intelligence Agency, the uniformed forces – the Army, the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force (and of course the Jammu and Kashmir Police) each does its own intelligence gathering. People live in terror of informers, double agents and triple agents who could be anybody from old school friends to family members. Under these circumstances, an attack on the scale of what happened in Pulwama is more than just shocking. As one pithy Twitter commentator put it, (she was referring to the increasingly popular Hindu vigilante practice in North India, of tracking down and lynching Muslims accused of killing cows), how is it that the BJP “can trace 3 kg of beef but cannot trace 350 kg of RDX” (Arundhati Roy, HuffPost, 01/03/2019) So, it is not surprising to note BJP supporters have done it to blame some Pakistan based military groups. India is accusing of Pakistan that a Pakistani based military group has carried out such an attack. Yet, Pakistan is demanding to provide evidence for such an unsubstantiated claim. In retaliation, Indian air forces intruded Pakistani control areas of Kashmir and it is claimed that one Indian flight was shot down by Pakistani air force. Now, both countries are showing military strengths. 

Imran Khan and his leadership: 

    Imran Khan has demonstrated his wisdom and leadership skills in this skirmish. He has shown the world that he is a man of principles, moral and ethical values. He prefers to engage in dialogue with India. He has ordered Pakistani military to fee the captured with 48 hours. He has invited Indians to come to a negotiation table over this matter.  Yet, Indians have not positively responded to this invitation. It is reported that Saudi and US have encouraged both parties to de-escalate the tension.  Truly, Imran Khan won the hearts and minds of millions of people in India and Pakistan through his exemplary action and words. He never incited hatred even though India has accused Pakistan of sending terrorists over Indian part of Kashmir. India has failed to note that there are so many indigenous Kashmir groups and youths who do not like Indian occupation of Kashmir. Like any other freedom fighting groups, Kashmir groups too will try to get support of external forces so, it is a duty of Indian intelligence to find out who support Kashmir militants. How could India expect from Pakistan to support them to find all those groups? Logically it does not make sense? It is not in the interest of Pakistan to create more enemies within its borders. All these Kashmir based military groups are created by ineptitude attitude of India towards Kashmir problems. It has been oppressing people of Kashmir for more than 7 decades. Naturally people will revolt against this aggression. Rather than finding the root cause of this problem, India has been doing some patch works on this issue. Imran has clearly balled out Modi in this skirmish. It shows his logical and rational approach to this problem. He does not want to escalate this problem that is why he acted swiftly on this issue. Fortunately, Pakistani military is in complete agreement with him on this issue. Imran Khan clearly mentioned that it is not intention of Pakistan to bring destruction and ruin into the Indian territories rather his intention is to live in peace with India. That is truly a peace gesture and India should be pleased with his approach rather than creating some suspicion on this.   

Immediate release of the captured Indian pilot as a “gesture of peace” made Imran Khan more popular and more famous than ever before. So many Indian academics, journalists and politicians are amazed and surprised with this move. It made him hero of all time in Pakistan politics. While Islam and Muslims have been portrayed by some Indian and international media as agents of terrorism, Imran Khan has showed the world that Islam and Muslims are agents of   peace, love and affection. He has shown the world Muslims are agents of mercy and kindness to the humanity.  This exemplary kind gesture of Imran Khan tells us that Pakistan does not want to go for a war with India at all. Rather all this farce was created by some Modi element to win over coming general election. Moreover, Indian pilot praised the professional attitudes and behaviours of Pakistani Air force who treated him well, who looked after him well, and who acted in accordance with Geneva convention on POWs to free him immediately.   That is a good example of Pakistani Airforce. That is what Islamic moral and ethical codes tell us to do. To treat POWs well, to treat them as one of you and even to learn from them. Islamic law sets some high level of moral and ethical codes to deal with any POW. I think that Pakistani Air force officials have shown that kindness and mercy upon this pilot. Islamic ethics and codes of conduct with POW are sublime and exceeding all international norms and practices. We know well many so-called Muslim military do not follow Islamic ethics when it comes to POWS and yet, Islamic law books on war ethics have documented some excellent codes of conducts in time of wars. Hat off for Pakistani air force officials you have demonstrated a true Islamic ethics of war in this case. Islam is not all about having long beards and long cloths rather Islam is all about showing our mercy and kindness to humanity. You have set a good example in this case of Indian pilot. 

Nuclear threats between India and Pakistan:  


    I’m not an expert neither in geopolitics of subcontinent nor in nuclear warfare. Yet, escalating tension between India and Pakistan in the past few days on issue of the unsolved Kashmir problem for more than 7 decades encourages me to write this article from an Islamic perspective. Both countries have developed Nuclear weapons. In 1980s, India was a Russian alley so, US did not oppose Pakistan developing nuclear weapons. Today, it is estimated that both countries have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out Indian subcontinent. It is estimated millions of people could die if India and Pakistan engage in any kind of dangerous war games. That is why many world leaders have cautioned both countries and ask them not to take hasty steps. Mohammed Ayoub an Indian academic in US described this nuclear threat between India and Pakistan in this way in the Hindu newspaper. He notes that “It is true that the fear of escalation to the nuclear level hunts both Indian and Pakistani decision-makers and acts as formidable restrain preventing both from intensifying the conflict. An action-reaction dynamic, such as the one that started with the Pulwama attack, can conceivably graduate to the nuclear level if Pakistan, which does not accept the “ no first use” doctrine, decides, to take recourse to tactical nuclear weapons, which it has stockpiled, if it finds unable to withstand India’s superior conventional power ( Mohammed Ayoub,: The Hindu, 01/03/19). It looks wisdom and rationality of political & Military leadership in Pakistan and India prevail right now. Both parties want to de-escalate the tension. That is surely a sensible thing to do.

Islamic law and Nuclear disarmament:  


          The general philosophy of Islamic law dictates that the human lives must be protected at all cost. Islam takes all measures to protect human lives. In fact, the doctrines of the general philosophy of Islamic law is instituted by classical Islamic scholars to protect the entire humanity: It does not discriminate between lives of Muslim and Non-Muslims in humanity. All humanity is creation of one and only God. The classical Islamic scholars have constructed the legal doctrines of the general philosophy of Islamic law to illustrate that God revealed the final message of Islam to protect humanity from all kinds of harms and promote welfare of humanity. So, protection of humanity from any kinds of genocides, weapons of mass destruction and nuclear wars are primary objective of Islamic message in this world. God sent His final divine message as a Mercy to Humanity. Islam aims at enhancing prosperity of entire humanity. It aims at building a strong human civilization on earth. Islam does not encourage destruction and obliteration of human culture, traditions and civilization of people as some radical Muslims do. Islam encourages sustainable development in the world. It stands for peace and human prosperity. Islam does not encourage human hatred and enmity between humanity. Islam in fact, discourages wars between humanity. 

           Today, we all know how dangerous nuclear weapon is. I have been reading a lot of Islamic literature on war and peace in Islam to find if Islamic law permits to develop any kind of weapons of mass destruction such nuclear weapons. To be honest, Islamic law does not allow to develop any kind of weapons of mass-destruction. It goes against the very foundation of the general philosophy of Islamic law. Protecting humanity from any kind of existential threat is one of primary objectives of Islam law and yet, weapons of mass-destruction are produced with intention of inflicting maximum harms and destruction to humanity, ecology, environment and to the entire world. So, Islamic law does not encourage or permit development of nuclear weapons. In fact, Islamic law will encourage nuclear disarmament programme to save humanity from any impending danger and existential threats. Moreover, if these weapons of mass destruction fall into hands of some lunatic and crazy political leaders it would endanger the entire world. 

      In theory, this is the Islamic perspective on the production of weapons of mass destruction and yet, in practice, many countries have produced those weapons.  Some countries use them as deterrent mechanism to protect peace in the world. It is estimated that some developed countries have developed hundreds of nuclear weapons and arsons. Those weapons are good enough to wipe out this planet earth. Yet, I think that today, nuclear weapons are serving as deterrent mechanism to maintain peace in the world. For instance, take Indian and Pakistan nuclear development programme. Both countries have enough stockpiled of nuclear weapons. That perfectly works as a deterrent mechanism between these two countries. Suppose one of them does not have nuclear weapon, what would be situation by now. Due to the prevailing hostile conditions for more than 7 decades we could have seen many wars and genocides in subcontinent. So, this nuclear programme works perfectly now for the time being and yet, danger clings in this weapon of mass destruction. 

               For some historical, ethnical and religious reasons, politicians of India and Pakistan have been holding grudge for more than 7 decades. Some political and military leaders in both sides live with mind set of stone age in this modern world of digital technology and acritical intelligence.  Deep seated hatred, resentment and bitterness go through the minds and hearts of some  in Indian subcontinent. This kind of emotional and psychological mistrust and antagonism are not viable at all in this competitive world of knowledge-based economy. Today, countries are competing one another for economic domination and nation building process. Once upon a time, nations in Europe fought over for some petty things such as nationalism, regionalism, religions and languages. Two world wars gave them a bitter experience and some unforgettable lessons not to go for any more wars. Since the WWII, European nations with all their differences in languages, ethnicity, race, and religions formed European unions to work hand in hand to prosper and to build a strong Europe.  Today, European nations reap the benefits of that unity they made between them long time ago.

         Do people of subcontinent want to go through a nuclear war scenario to learn bitter lesson of cruel war? Let wisdom, logics and rational thinking prevail in the minds of Indian subcontinents. Yes, we have so many differences between us. Indian subcontinent is densely populated place in this planet with different ethical, religious and linguistic groups of humanity. yet, we all are united culturally, we all share so many good human qualities such as kindness, compassion, love and affection. Why not we agree to disagree and live in peace as we see in European nations today. They use their human faculties more than us. We are emotionally charged and emotionally sentimental. We are ready to kill human beings for the sake of a cow. What kind of message do we want to send the world with such a behaviour of religious hatred? I know well that millions of Indians do not subscribe to religious hatred and yet, a handful of people in India want to incite religious hatred between Hindu and minority communities. That is a dangerous trend for the integrity of India. 

              Mahathma Gandhi left a legacy in this world. He wanted to see a peaceful and non-violent India. Yet, today, some people in India go against this moral teaching of Mahathma Gandhi. These religious radicals do not want to see a prosperous and peaceful India. It is in the greater interest of India to stop this religious hatred among different communities in India.  Neither India nor Pakistan will dismantle its nuclear weapons. Yet, they must use them as deterrent mechanisms to avoid any nuclear wars. Do you find some war rhetoric between European nations today? They think rationally and act with common sense. Yet, we Indians are charged emotionally, and we hold grudge over some petty issues of religious differences. That is not good at all in this modern world of globalization and multiculturalism. We should come out of this narrow racial or religious mind sets. Both Muslims and Hindu must come out of their narrow mind sets up for the sake of prosperous future in subcontinent. Today, peace is very much imperative and paramount important for any kind of sustainable development and progress. War will only bring destruction and ruins. Today, war destructions are many times more than 1947. Pundits in both sides should act with some responsibility and accountability specially with all those weapons of mass destruction. Prolonging and projecting hatred between this two nuclear nations is very much dangerous not only for Indian subcontinent but to the entire world. 
Solutions: 
           Indian economists and policy makers know well that India is emerging as one of strong economies in this modern world today. Yet, India faces some difficult challenges. India fought many wars with Pakistan and China. It cannot afford to go to war with any country at this historical juncture in Indian economic booming. Likewise, Pakistan too goes through one of its difficult times in its history. For the last 7 decades, corrupt politicians and military rulers looted public money and exploited national wealth in Pakistan.  People of Pakistan are fortunate enough to get Imran Khan as their PM at this historical juncture in its history. Right now, Pakistan too cannot afford to go to any war with any one. Time to time Kashmir issue has been triggering tension between Pakistan and India. There is no point in holding grudge between these two nations over Kashmir had many times asked both countries to hold a referendum to decide the self-determination of people of Kashmir. Why not hold a referendum with support of UN and let people of Kashmir have their final say on this issue? I know some Kashmir people want to go with Pakistan, some want to go with India and some others want to have self-rule. Yet, let the indigenous people of land decide their future. Yet, human ego and arrogance do not let political establishment in New Delhi, and Islamabad to do that. That is why we see this conflict has been going on for more than 7 decades. Believe me or not this human ego or human arrogance is nothing but evil thought. Indeed, devils encourage hatred among humanity. We must not be trapped in this egoistic sentiment for the sake of the future of subcontinent. May God protect people of subcontinent from evils of any nuclear wars. 

References:  

) Ibrahim Ahmed Khalifa: Nuclear disarmament treaties in light of general philosophy of Islamic law. Chapter in (The objective of Islamic law and international convention; London: al-furqan foundation 
2) Mohammed Ayoub, (The mixed signals from Pakistan, Professor of Emeritus of international relations, University of Michigan, The Hindu, 1/3/19. 
3) Arundhati Roy. “our captured, wounded hearts, HuffPost, 1/3/19. 



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