Reports have been emerging about U.S. involvement in Kashmir, and Pakistan’s repeated attempts to bring the Kashmir issue on President Barack Obama’s agenda when he visits Delhi in first week of November. Also, the matter of India’s seat at the UN Security Council now seems to be only a matter of time, and the Presidential visit is expected to be a step in that direction.
However, none of President Obama’s objectives of protecting the physical and economic security of the U.S. from major harm in the 21st century by the terror emerging from the vast lawless lands of Afghanistan and Pakistan shall be met unless China vacates Kashmir.
A historic Pamir Knot peace deal for the region requires that China must be involved in the security of this region – and irrespective of whichever framework or formula emerges about Kashmir, China must first vacate the lands of Kashmir that it occupies. The regions of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and China-occupied Kashmir (CoK) must be merged to create a “Naya Kashmir”* independent of occupation. With democracy and right-to-self determination in the merged areas of PoK and CoK, the “Naya Kashmir”, the people of the region would have peace and prosperity, and not be cesspools of ignorant hatred and poverty, with access to even nuclear and others weapons and methods of mass disaster.
While India officially says that it shall brook no interference by any third party, the U.S. administration is understood to believe that a solution to the Kashmir issue will substantially improve peace and security in the region, greatly reduce danger to the domestic and global interests of the United States, and help it resolve the Afghanistan imbroglio. President Obama is under intense pressure to bring troops home from Afghanistan, and unless he succeeds there is great danger to not only the U.S., but entire Western nations and Pakistan itself.
I understand that this recommendation may be controversial initially – but we all now need to re-imagine the world for our next generations. Otherwise, the U.S., this region, and the world will face greater and greater threats in years to come. It is time for the U.S., China, and India to make a grand deal and bring peace and security to Pakistan and Afghanistan. It must also be impressed upon President Obama that in return for obtaining peace and security in Asia to safeguard American national interests, China must commit in perpetuity that it shall cease and desist from any machinations on India’s eastern borders.
*The Pamir is a high mountainous plateau that is sometimes described as a “knot” because it lies at the intersection of several of Asia’s great mountain ranges: the Himalaya, the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and the Tian Shan.
*Naya Kashmir, the word “naya” means “new” in Hindi language.
(The post originally appeared on the Imagindia Insititue website on October 22, 2010.)
(Image source: www.centraasiatravel.com)