ANKARA: The Kashmir “movement” has entered its “final phase,” but it is difficult to “predict the duration of this phase,” according to a Pakistani scholar.
Prof Khursheed Ahmad, an economist and public intellectual who shuttles between Lahore and London, said in his weekly column published by the World News TV UK website: “The present stage of the Kashmir movement is effective and decisive…There are some signs that it is the last stage of this movement.”
“The real issue is the Indian occupation. The internationally settled solution to this problem is a plebiscite for the right of self-determination. This issue is the central point. India wants that people should forget the UN resolutions on Kashmir…The main issue of the right of self-determination should be raised at every level,” the professor said.
Kashmir’s popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani died fighting Indian forces in July 2016, which triggered a mass anti-India uprising. Since then, Kashmir has been witnessing a tumultuous routine with regular anti-militancy operations and arrests.
On Aug 5 last year, India scrapped the region’s limited autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, downgraded the status of the disputed region and also divided it into two centrally-administered territories.
In his detailed analysis, Ahmad, who has been writing on the issue for the last several decades, said: “we all should adopt an effective and consistent line of thinking and action. We can delay some matters in the struggle of our collective life as a nation. We can ignore a few things for some reasons. But we cannot ignore Kashmir or give it a second position as a Pakistani and a Muslim. It must have a main position.”
Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also controlled by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971, two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
Thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989, according to several human rights organisations.