by Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari,
The current tension and fiery exchanges between Pakistan and India in Kashmir region reminds of the three wars fought between the two countries over the Kashmir region in the last 70 years.
The Pakistan and Indian people have been living together for thousands of years. The region was under many and different empires including that of Alexander the “great.”
The place was inhabitated by many tribes and clans including the Urdu mainly in Pakistan and Hindu in India. The whole region including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Kashmir is called the Indian sub continent.
Forcefully occupied by the British empire from early 1820s, the Indian sub continent was subjugated, colonized and trivialized by the invading colonial powers. Under the courageous leadership of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violent movement, the Indian sub continent finally gained its independence in 1947.
Independence and self rule is not equal to having totally gotten a better life. It is only an objective means of achieving a sustainable and consistent development in accordance with ones desires, as noted by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who said that, “political independence is totally inadequate if not followed by economic and social stability”.
As noted by Balewa, the new independent state of India was divided along religious lines, with the mainly Muslim Urdus taking northern part of the then India which is today Pakistan, and the mainly Buddhist Hindus taking the larger part of the state.
As God will have it, Bangladesh later broke away from Pakistan after an intense war in 1972.
India and Pakistan are to closest neighbors. The two are sharing an over 1000 kilometers border. The two are large and powerful. India spans a land mass of over 3.2 million square kilometers, the 7th largest country in the world. While Pakistan has over 796 thousand square kilometers, the 36th in the world.
India is the world’s most populated country, with about 1.2 billion people. While Pakistan has over 198 million people, the 6th in the world.
India is the world 14th largest economy, while Pakistan is the 26th.
India is having the 3rd largest military in the world. Its military spending is about 72 billion dollars. Pakistan is having the 8th largest military in the world with over 617 thousand soldiers.
Both the two countries are nuclear powered.
Pakistan remain the only Islamic country with known nuclear ammunitions.
Pakistan is a long alley of China. It was believed that it got it nuclear technology there. China even offered to help Pakistan against India in the 1965 war. Unfortunately, Pakistan has now made a drastic shift to the US since the 9/11 attacks and US occupation of Afghanistan. “Power is right” as is said. India remains largely an independent state. It has a close relationship with the deformed Soviet Union. Most of it military hardwares are from there.
Pakistan and India lies side by side with each other. As neighbors are supposed to be brothers, friendly and co-supportive. The two countries are hostile to each other and have gone to war with each other four time; in 1947, 1965, 1971, and recently in 1999. And now they are on the verge of another war, the fifth.
Kashmir is the cause of all the wars except that of 1971. India controls about 42.1 of the Kashmir territory. Pakistan controls the rest. The people of Kashmir aspire to have an independent country. Though the people are inclined towards Pakistan for religious reasons, India has on several occasions threatened to never let go of Kashmir.
They could have used the huge amount of money allocated to defense to productive sectors like agriculture, industrialization and education. Both countries share a lot of similar problems. Power supply, education, food security, flooding etc. Both countries, as with Nigeria are still among the E9 nations with high level of adult illiteracy.
Health care service, employment and corruption are still among the major problems the two countries are facing. Instead of them following the path to peace and progress, they chose the path of Israel, the path of hostility to neighbors. They are supposed to understand that they are not like Israel, they are naturally created states, not artificially created in 1920 in the case of Israel. A peaceful, nuclear free and prosperous neighbor is an additional security to your own nation. A friendly neighbor is like a blood brother, he will rejoice with you in the times of peace and prosperity. He will also sympathies with you in the times of difficulties.
The United Nations, ASEAN, and the two governments of the two nations should continue trying in ensuring a continuous sustainable peace and security for the two nations. A sustainable peace for the two countries is an additional peace for the whole region. Interference from major powers like US should be discouraged.
Now that Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi from India jointly won the 2014 Nobel price, let their various countries appoint them to head India – Pakistan reconciliation committee. Or they should even be joined in conjugal marriage to help improve relationship between the two countries.
Comrade Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari
Katsina local government council
Katsina state of Nigeria.
(Jari is a blogger and own 1total.wordpress.com)