In the wake of rising tensions between the two colonial twins-India and Pakistan – and several tough statements being delivered by members of the political establishment of both the countries, it seems like that both the countries are headed for a tumultuous time. Some students of India and Pakistan have urged the Prime Ministers of both the countries to not turn to nuclear weapons. A campaign which was conducted by Global Zero, an international movement for eliminating all the nuclear weapons in the world, featured numerous students from both the countries who sent their messages in a unique and powerful photo series campaign. In this campaign, students clicked their photos with messages displayed on placards. The campaign was supported by over a hundred students and activists in the cities of Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Gwalior, Guwahati, Dehradun, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Mumbai and Bangalore in India.
The catastrophe that a nuclear war comes along with the capacity to do massive damage to the huge populations of both countries. Global Zero is on a mission to urge the political leaders to settle their disputes through dialogues and discussions rather than war.
Through this unique photo series where students from New Delhi to Islamabad, Bangalore to Karachi, and Amritsar to Lahore came together with the message ‘Say No to the Red button’, the bigger message that Global Zero tried to convey was that the youth of this country are not at all supportive of the new found chauvinistic patriotism and want a future which is devoid of nuclear weapons.
The delicate ties between India and Pakistan have become strained yet again after two Indian soldiers were killed and mutilated during fresh clashes at the Kashmir border. It is believed that one of the soldiers was beheaded and his head was taken as a trophy by the Pakistani troops. This incident is one of the most serious violations of the September 2003 ceasefire signed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf, where both sides agreed to end the frequent artillery and machine gun duels along the 740 km Line of Control (LoC). Post the incident of 8th January 2013, where an Indian soldier was beheaded, each side has bitterly accused the other of violating the de facto border in Kashmir, which both sides claim in its entirety. It is unfortunate that even now barbaric cross border head hunting raids are followed and have been Pakistan’s calling card for long.
The border doesn’t appear to be a peaceful place anytime soon as both sides are not willing to make dialogue. Such a situation makes most of us raise questions of why efforts directed towards building peace between the two nuclear states often go in vain. When will India and Pakistan culminate this never-ending political and cultural rift on a disputed state?
The conflicts between India and Pakistan have risen due to various reasons over the last few decades, starting with the partition, into the Kashmir dispute, followed by the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and the war of Kargil. It is important for us to understand that all these tensions are actually just symptoms of the conflict and the root cause lies much deeper within.
One of the major reasons is the difference in the theological and sociological aspects of the major religions in both the nations. This has been a major cause of global conflict since centuries and has become prominent between both the nations as well. Religious fanaticisms have been the foremost cause of global terrorism and have claimed hundreds of lives across the world, including the Subcontinent.
Another major reason of conflict could be due to Pakistan’s foundations being in sharp contrast to that of India. Pakistan became even more radicalized and islamicized, in many ways more extreme than the founder’s vision after the death of Jinnah. Hence the tragedy of 1971 was a huge blow to the people of Pakistan and their ideology. The same goes for the conflict of Kashmir as it disregards the ideology of both the nations; therefore, India has not been in favour of international intervention in the Kashmir issue, for it defies the sovereignty of the nation.
It is important for both nations to respect each other’s integrity and sovereignty, and not let the interest of few religiously and politically motivated groups to spoil the sincere efforts on part of both nations to establish peace and harmony.