Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a Pakistani journalist, activist and filmmaker has scored for the second time at the Oscars. Her first Oscar was for the documentary “Saving Face” (2012) and her latest is for “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” (2015).
Sharmeen’s win not only implies significance for the filmmaking business – going international – for Pakistan, it spells out the changing paradigm of a nation in itself; it clearly signifies a change in the perceptions of the people.
Pakistan is heading ahead into the world, to score better economically and there are various pointers.
Pakistan, according to a Forbes magazine report, is among the world’s fastest urbanizing countries with half its people projected to live in cities by 2050. At the same time, macroeconomic and structural reforms over the last several governments have narrowed the budget deficit and raised GDP growth to a stable 4.5 percent despite large energy deficits, and built foreign reserves up to over $17 billion.
There has been substantial progress in reducing poverty, which has fallen to 13.6 percent in 2011 from 35 percent in 2002; in rural areas, poverty has dropped from 40 to 15 percent during the same period. Pakistan is world’s 26th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Its national economic growth plan, Vision2025, aims much higher.
The government headed by Nawaz Sharief has cracked down on extremists. There is improvement in Pakistan’s relationship with India; a paradigm shift when Pakistan agreed to investigate strikes by “assumed Pakistani-based militants” on India.
This is a game changer and definitely points out the fact that Pakistan wants to move ahead as a major, upcoming economy. It does not want to be tied down by the tongue of the country’s clerics.
So, Sharmeen represents the metamorphosed idiom of Pakistan, and how does this affect Kashmir. Well, Kashmir’s struggle for freedom has been mainly backed by Pakistan, in terms of arms and ammunition as well as moral support which at a certain point of time sounded like the cankering rote of a parrot.
Pakistan is looking forward to stabilize its relationship with India and that would mean withdrawing support to this part of Kashmir and the ongoing struggle.
Now, here we find a link between what is going on inside Pakistan, on the ground, and what is happening in Kashmir.
We have seen resurgence of militant attacks on Indian troopers escalated to the point of small-time wars, lasting a few days, and these are phenomenally novel with great support from the local population.
The renewed militant struggle in Kashmir is argued by some experts as been anticipated all along, but I disagree. One point of argument is that since the armed struggle had almost witnessed its dusk – as assessed by India – how did it militants started to strike again, quite to the surprise of India.
There had to be a gradual movement which would well have been reported. Second, I see it more as a struggle to keep above the surface; to keep the “light” alive since the support from Pakistan may well be on its way away from the “interests” of the people of Kashmir.
Kashmiri’s struggle for freedom may well have reached its zenith with Pakistan’s tell-tale signs which point at an all-out yet gradual withdrawal of support to Kashmir, and that is where it put in its last ditch efforts to make apparent its “resolve” to keep on fighting the Indian forces.
Whether it is a cry in desperation or a new-founded, indigenous struggle remains to be assessed.