22 Nov 17/Wednesday.
The latest statement of Pakistan Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in London, that Independent Kashmir is not a reality and there is no support for the demand for independent Kashmir; has raised many questions for a naïve Kashmiri, who till now believed that Independent Kashmir was their ultimate dream. Not much has been debated on this statement as there is no departure on part of Pakistan from its stated policy. In other words, the Pak PM was saying that Kashmir as part of Pakistan is acceptable to him. Let us now analyse why Independent Kashmir is not acceptable to Pakistan.
Is it unfinished agenda of Partition?
NO. Though Pakistan was created on basis of religion but that logic is not applicable to Kashmir. As per top Politicians of the two countries “in 1950, Pakistan had even offered to give up East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in return for Jammu & Kashmir on the side-lines of official talks with India. So definitely it is not the religion or Kashmiris. Water flowing out of J & K to Pakistan was the issue then and now also. Pakistan’s agrarian economy will come to halt, if it does not get enough water. Independent Kashmir does not guarantee Pakistan uninterrupted flow. So, Pak does not support an Independent Kashmir.
Now an additional dimension has been added to this complex issue and that is China and CPEC . China since long wanted to overcome its huge geographic handicap of no access to Southern World Oceans. It has done so with Creation of CPEC by luring impoverished Pakistan into believing that CPEC would transform the tiny nation into category of an economic power. Pakistan bit the bait, without realising that CPEC will have to pass through unstable regions of POK and Baluchistan and started the project with great hope. Everything seemed to be going in Pakistan’s favour till India’s open support to Baluchistan and mass uprising in Pak Occupied Kashmir against oppression and lack of development played spoil sport in the curry and added fuel to fire already burning in Baluchistan. Pakistan was quick to shift blame to India for this when Pak CJS General Zubair Mehmood Hayat said that, Indian Spy Agency, RAW was behind all the mounting troubles for the CPEC. In other words POK and Baluchistan. Though, it was promptly rejected by China but the fact is; China is equally worried about its dream project, which has now been enshrined in the constitution of CPC. According to Director, Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies Amir Rana,
“China’s main worry seems to be the overall security of the corridor in the near future.”
How is J & K Connected to CPEC?
The Karakoram Highway, which connects China and Pakistan, passes through illegally occupied Gilgit-Baltistan area which is loosely referred as Northern Areas by Pakistan. Chinese occupied Shaksgam valley and Aksai Chin are also part of disputed territory. China does not want India to claim its disputed territories. If India were to take POK back it would squeeze the Karakoram Highway dry. Although China did not light up Kashmir fire but it is in her interest to keep Kashmir burning. Chinese reluctance to block India’s initiative in the UN to declare Massod Azhar as an International terrorist clearly shows its interest in J & K turmoil.
So in addition to water, ego, moral support there is one more reason behind Kashmir unrest and that is China and CPEC.