Sydney to Srinagar


Shah Abbas

Last week, Kashmir remained hot topic even during the game of cricket and Pakistan Day.

Indian cricket team lost in the world cup semi final contest to Australia. The match was played across the oceans, thousands of KMs away from Kashmir, in Sydney Australia.

Kashmiris reacted to exhibit their anti-India sentiment. Fire crackers, slogans and celebrations were witnessed from lanes and by-lanes of Srinagar city. Kashmiris were seen cheering for Australia throughout the day. But credit goes to the men-in-uniform, who this time, quite contrary to the past, did not play spoil sport. Many believe that even the men-in-uniform share same kind of sentiments as any common Kashmiri, which ultimately helped in keeping March 26 afternoon, incident free.

Another incident took place in Srinagar itself on March 23. Asiya Andrabi of Dukhtaran-e-Milat hoisted Pakistani flag on the eve of Pakistan Day.

This incident put the entire Indian electronic media on fire, and like the release of Hurriyat leader Masrat Alam Bhat, the incident was termed “a direct threat to the Indian security” pressurizing the local administration to register a case against the wife of jailed separatist Dr Mohammad Qasim under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Pakistan found it as “the best opportunity” to show India its face in her own mirror. “Asiya’s hoisting Pakistani flag in Kashmir on Pakistan Day reflects the sentiments of Kashmiris and their love for the country,” Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

But quite strangely the electronic media kept mum as Kashmiris celebrated Aussie’s win against India! Perhaps they wanted to hide a larger fact, a fact that Kashmiris hardly miss an opportunity to give vent to their political emotions.

Another incident happened in New Delhi. The Kashmiri separatists were among the guests of Pakistani High Commission to celebrate its national day on March 23.

The electronic media again hyped the issue to the extent that it sent hate waves across the border.

The neighbouring countries already face discouraging situation on the bilateral front and have in the recent past pledged to re-start the much awaited bilateral dialogue process. The process is already so fragile that even a minor incident or event can derail it. In last August, India, acting against the separatist’s meeting with Pakistani officials in New Delhi cancelled the then secretary level talks.

Now when a resumption of talks between India and Pakistan is on the cards, the incidents like Srinagar, Sydney and New Delhi, have the capacity to damage the process which is unconditionally supported even by the Jammu and Kashmir government.

India and Pakistan are two full-grown sovereign countries which have to prove their maturity by certain measures so that both the nuclear neighbours can play their role in the international subjects. Both the countries need not to pay serious heed to the electronic media and go ahead for their respective interests.

India wants a permanent membership of the UNs Security Council while as Pakistan also desires the same to represent the Muslim world. But both New Delhi and Islamabad are busy confronting each other on the Kashmir front resulting not only sour relations between the two, but hampering them to move out of the continuous confrontation mode. Will now sense prevail on the political leadership of both the sides?


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