By Guru Prakash:
Apparently the presumed President-in-waiting of Pakistan has made up his mind to face the electorate in the general elections of 2018. Given the fragile and turbulent political history of our western neighbor, it is not unthinkable to imagine the realpolitik expectations from a dynast. The country’s democratic credentials were at stake for the entire past fortnight when the famed cricketer and the Canadian priest cajoled the protesters to go berserk. It’s only in Pakistan where one can legitimize vandalism in the name of demonstration. Dissent and not disturbance is the essence of democracy.
Amidst the breakdown of constitutional machinery, Mr. Bilawal Bhutto has come out with a loud and belligerent statement on taking away the entire Kashmir in the conclave of the Pakistan Peoples Party. As expected, the statement was received with huge cheer and applauses of approval. The rhetoric of the leader shows him in extremely poor light. Mr. Bhutto has been a student of Modern history at the prestigious Oxford University. I did not have the fortune to attend a course at any of the hallowed precincts at the University of Oxford, but I am sure that facts and history are impervious to any institutional interpretations. The instrument of accession signed between the Union of India and the Maharaja of Kashmir forcefully declares the province of Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India. The IOA is considered as a legal documents and thus retains the sanctity and validity of any legal treatise. The invasion of Pashtuns orchestrated and supported by the Pakistani army at the time of partition is a significant event in the history of the valley. The areas occupied by them still remain under the supervision and administration of the Pakistani government.
The ill treatment of the Pakistani administration for people residing in these areas such as Gilgit, Baltistan and Hounza is an open secret. The worst affected areas of the flood are included in these parts of Kashmir. When the complete area is suffering with natural calamity of inexplicable proportions, it is not expected from a leader of national stature to indulge in this level of rhetoric that is completely devoid of reason and rationality. This statement would do noting apart from encouraging the fringe elements of the nation, who constantly search for opportunities to hamper the prevailing law and order. Instead of extending cooperation in the efforts to mitigate the damages of flood and indulging in irrelevant statement making, Mr. Bhutto is just flaunting his inability and poor understanding to the world.
The Indian High Commission should take a note of this belligerent demeanour and register its strong disapproval on the utterances of the prince. Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India.