SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
New Political Map of Pakistan might come as a rude wake-up call to the Kashmir separatist who always aspired to be independent of India and Pakistan to create a new country in the region to be self-ruled. Pakistan has demolished its myth which it had created in the International circle that the Rights of Kashmiris for self-determination is what the world can’t ignore for long but will Political Map stunt by Political novice Imran Khan has now reduced it to India and Pakistan land dispute with Kashmiri out of the equation.
Did Imran Khan walk into Modi Trap?, It seems like since after scanning Pakistani media over last few days and not many Pakistani Political experts on Kashmir were able to explain the logic behind including Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir in the Map and how it is going to benefit them in the larger things to come in future. Pakistan for long had tried to equate Kashmir with Palestine issue but new Political map has removed any plans for self-ruled Kashmir out of the equation which only helps India who can show the International community that whole drama was only to acquire Indian side of areas while it has no plans to give Kashmirs self-rule option.
While many Kashmir political leaders on the Indian side of J&K have remained tight-lipped about new political map of Pakistan, Some in Pakistani side of Kashmir have raised their voice and questioned benefits of the new map for the Kashmir cause since now it has moved away from Humanitarian issue into a Border dispute between two nuclear power countries who are unlikely to budge on any future resolutions. Islamic countries like Turkey, Malaysia, and OIC member countries supporting the Pakistani narrative only have limited it to Religious angle now, since the majority in J&K follows Islam and Pakistan is an Islamic republic so is the support.
Puppet Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) while addressing a ceremony in Muzaffarabad last year had said that He may be the last Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (POK) ” which unleashed widespread panic among residents of POK about a possible move by Islamabad for permanent disintegration and division of the disputed state. Raja Farooq Haider Khan knew what was about to come and the next stage of Imran Khans Kashmir’s plan could be to integrate the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as the fifth province which has been going rounds from 2017 onwards, which for 72 years was called as shame autonomous territories. Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) waits for similar fate and might be declared a federal territory that later might be converted into Pakistan’s sixth province when Incumbent PMs Tenure ends in 2021.
Diplomatically for India, Pakistan’s New Political Map will favor India’s position now especially in countries that are not an Islamic republic. Pakistan’s efforts to make Kashmir dispute as similar to Palestine are also not going to happen now since Palestine is about the establishment of a new country which is not what Pakistan is advocating for people of Kashmir. While India will maintain claims over POK and Gilgit-Baltistan region as seen in its Political Maps, it very well knows that controlling region which has a high number of Pakistani Punjabi Settlers is not going to be an easy walk in the park even if it able to capture these areas in case of full flown war in the future.
After the abolition of Article 370 and Article 35A clears India to allow Non-Kashmiris who have made Indian administered Kashmir their home for decades now to be granted domicile certificates which many could call Demographic change but it is what Pakistan has been doing for last 72 years in POK and Gilgit-Baltistan without raising any International pressure or hue and cry over since non-Kashmiri Settlers were Muslims which world seemed fine with. But India has not opted for forced Demographic change as claimed by Pakistan and natural Demographic change at current speed will require multiple decades if not centuries for the current rate to reduce Muslim majority Kashmir Valley from 99% to even 90%.
The rising Indian population in coming years and decade also means that scarcity of land will also be there and many will move to areas which lesser population density and one of the major roadblocks in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir was Article 370 and Article 35A which once gone will allow people from bordering states especially from higher population density states like Uttar Pradesh which has more population than that of whole Pakistan.
New Political Map of Pakistan only confirms what Pakistani common man wants to hear and see that Kashmir will always be what they have been told belongs to them by a powerful lobby called ” Establishment” and for India, it means it now has become de facto International border for the region which Pakistani establishment is well aware of but wants to act like otherwise to keep frustration down in the country but will this end Terrorism? Not likely any time soon but the options are limited to India and Pakistan now since the myth of separate homeland for Kashmiri is now gone for good.
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