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Do Pakistanis want to forget Kashmir?

By Vijay Darda | 06-02-2023

New generation of Pakistan is fearlessly asking on social media, what did we get by insisting on Kashmir?

Vijay Darda

You will be astonished to know that a totally different kind of campaign is going on in Pakistani social media these days. Being in India, we may feel that the entire population of Pakistan is eager to merge Kashmir with Pakistan, but this is no longer a reality. Pakistani people do not want to harp on the Kashmir issue anymore. Now the question is being asked on social media as to what did Pakistan achieve by raising the Kashmir issue and fighting four wars with India? Many people are unambiguously saying that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir should be ceded to India.

When a Pakistani journalist friend of mine pointed out this emerging public viewpoint on Kashmir and its relationship with India, it was surprising for me too, but this is the reality of the present time. In recent days, many videos viral on social media came to me. Many educated youths who have the desire to take Pakistan on the path of progress have started a kind of campaign. These youths ask common people questions about India and Pakistan. These questions are related to the rapid progress of India and the current situation in Pakistan. Kashmir also emerges in the discussion and the answers received from the people there point towards a new understanding. In these viral videos, Pakistani youths while being proud of their country, also ask their government and their army what other than backwardness have they got by harping on the Kashmir issue in the last 75 years. A Pakistani youth was angrily asking whether Pakistan army has the capability to snatch Kashmir from India. Another youth asks whether the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir really want to live with us or not.

There is some truth in the words of that Pakistani youth. Pakistani rulers and its army have made many attempts to snatch Kashmir from India. Four wars have been fought from 1947 to 1999 and every time the Pakistan army had to bite the dust. In 1971, about one lakh of their soldiers laid down their arms and surrendered before the Indian Army. A young man categorically stated that India is a big country with a massive economy. It can bear the expenditure of thousands of crores on war, but Pakistan’s economy gets ruined every time. The money with which people should have been fed, children should have been given better education and big educational institutions should have been opened, was wasted on gunpowder. After all, how long will we continue to dance like puppets of big powers? This is true too! As far as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is concerned, the people there are continuously protesting against Pakistan. Many violent demonstrations have also taken place in Gilgit Baltistan. Hunger and poverty have ravaged the entire region of Gilgit Baltistan. People have started demanding that they want to go and merge with India. “Aar paar jod do, Kargil ko khol do!” Such slogans are being raised in the demonstrations there. Certainly, due to the social media campaign of Pakistani youths, their voice is now being heard by the world. This has made the Pakistani army very angry.

Even before this campaign of Pakistani youths, Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui, now living in exile in Paris, has been saying such things. The army there considers him anti-Pakistan. When he was escaping to Paris, an attempt was made to kill him too. Pakistan’s well-known journalist and analyst Tahir Aslam Gora is also forced to live in Canada for speaking truth. Pakistan’s senior journalist Arjoo Kazmi has also been raising similar questions. Although she shows on her channel that she is living in Islamabad, in reality, she too had to leave the country. All these journalists have been continuously maintaining on their social media platforms that if Pakistan has to avoid destruction, it will have to end its enmity with India.

Moreover, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif himself has said that three wars with India gave his country nothing but trouble, poverty and unemployment. It is a different matter that the very next day, under the pressure of the army, his office took a U-turn! Actually, the real problem of Pakistan is its army. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif were trying to walk on the path of friendship, Mian Musharraf infiltrated the soldiers into Kargil. The result was a war. Pakistan lost the chance for peace. When Imran Khan tried to befriend India, he was prevented. When he did not stop, he was thrown out of power! The raison d’etre of Pakistan Army, involved in aiding, abetting and nurturing terrorism in India, rests on opposition to India. How can it allow friendship with India? But Pakistan must pay attention to the words of Prof Muqaddar Khan of Delaware University in America. Khan has said Pakistan is in such a pitiable condition that India can capture it whenever it wants. Pakistanis should be thankful to India that it is not taking advantage of Pakistan’s plight!

You are right, Mr Khan! History is witness that our culture and our influence have never been aggressive. Nor do we backstab. At the moment, I am touched by the words of a common Pakistani, who said: If our relations with India would have been good, we would not have been forced to stand in long queues for flour and onions!

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