“Aman Ki Asha” Or Hopelessness After-all?

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By Joanna Shruti Sundharam:

On January 8, the Pakistani army did the unthinkable; the unpardonable crime of decapitating the body of Lance Naik Hemraj and severely mutilating the body of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, both of whom are from the 13 Rajputana Rifles of the Indian Army. After the Pakistani troops infiltrated the Mendhar sector in Poonch district, violating the ceasefire agreement, they barbarically mutilated the bodies of the Indian soldiers and took the chopped off head of lance Naik Hemraj as a trophy. Pakistan has committed 117 ceasefire violations in 2012 and 61 in 2011; they repeatedly infiltrate the Indian Territory to smuggle terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and stir up militancy. The Pakistan army feigns ignorance about the mutilation of bodies of two Indian jawans and any of the violations. It is in times like this, we wonder, is there really any way in which we can ever trust our neighbours?

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The name Pakistan literally means ‘Land of (the) Pure’ in Urdu and Persian. Originally conceived as a safe-haven for Muslims who were apparently unsafe in India, Pakistan has now evolved into a military controlled state. It all started in 1947 when the first war; also known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. On 22 October 1947, the Pakistani armed forces crossed the border and marched into the state. Hari Singh, the Maharaja of the state, pleaded to India for help and in the process signed the Instrument of Accession, and the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir became a part of the Government of India. Pakistani leadership can never forget that India won war after war since 1947. The wars of 1965, 1971 and 1999 will always remain as scars in their memory.

Also, Pakistan cannot ignore India’s involvement in the formation of Bangladesh. During the 1971 war, Indian and Pakistani forces clashed on the eastern and western fronts. The war ended after the Eastern Command of the Pakistani Armed Forces signed the Instrument of Surrender on 16 December 1971 following which East Pakistan seceded as the independent state of Bangladesh.

Despite all historical evidence to the contrary, Pakistanis are made to believe, by their society (government, military, education system, all combined) that Kashmir belongs to them and was taken over by the Indians forcibly and that they must fight for it. There is no end to the differences in ideologies of the two states, there is no middle ground on the issue of Kashmir, and hence maybe there is no way this tension can ever come to an end. Yet, it depends on the governments and bureaucracies especially those of Pakistan to maintain peace in order to avoid clashes that result in causalities to both sides.

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