Musharraf’s 2005 visit…and Kashmir

Pakistani president Musharraf’s visit had been hailed as a landmark one in the chequered history of the subcontinent. Why is that the pakistanis are so besotted with kashmir?. Apart from the usual islamic identity and the story about pakistan being incomplete without kashmir, a very interesting question is ‘ why does pakistan emphasize kashmir so much?

Hmmm.. tough question to answer and writing on kashmir is always a dicey venture. Pakistan essentially emphasizes Kashmir as a muslim and human rights issue to demonstrate to itself and the world at large that the 1947 split with India was right. That precept would be challenged if there was peace with india. This feeling is not going to stop until pakistan stops looking to India for self-justification. It has failed spectacularly on almost on all other fronts at self-definition. Islam was thought to be a solution for identity, but the point is such a solution is hardly viable if sunnis and shias continue to be at each other’s throats as they frequently are.

Nor can pakistan define itself through a sense of history, because india assumed the history of the subcontinent during partition. From it’s birth it has no past except the one which has belonged to india. Save for the army it has no other institutions to boast of, which would have been helpful to plan the nation’s future. India which is the reason behind the birth of pakistan remains a terrible burden. Pakistan understandably is desperate to find another reason to live, and the search goes forlornly on. Pakistan also is wary about attempts to discredit whatever is left of the 2-nation theory, which suffered a mortal blow in 1971. Hence it pursues conflict with india.
It is more to do with the survival and identity of the nation more than anything else. pakistan has lost because ,due to it’s vast military expenditure it has all but bankrupted itself. Passions over kashmir have blinded pakistan to the insanity of what it has done and the damage it has suffered in the process. Democracy remains a mirage and after 59 years the nation still is clueless about it’s identity,notwithstanding frequent pakistani bluster.

It has all the markings of a failing state.This in a nutshell would explain why those folks across the border are so besotted with the vale.

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Published in: on July 5, 2006 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment