Crimea and Kashmir: Same Same But Different

Kashniris Protesting

Dispute of Crimea is the result of Post cold war while Dispute of Kashmir is of Indo-Pakistan separation. Ukraine was firmly in the USSR orbit and so Crimea, Russian Part then, was joined to Ukraine. Kashmir was a Muslim Majority Area, ruled by a Hindu Emperor, wanted to join Pakistan after Independence but sold to India in a controversial manner. Crimean’s soul remains more loyal to the mother county Russia than their governed country Ukraine. Kashmiris facing invasion from India, die for their freedom and even face treason charges on cheering their beloved Pakistan’s victory in a cricket match.

Finally, the people of Crimea vote for independence on referendum held on Sunday March 16, 2014. In addition, the Crimean parliament is now (when the lines are written) formally seeking to re-integrate itself with Russia. And the people of Kashmir are still pleading. Referendum in Kashmir is one of United Nation earliest resolution. Like Anti-Drones and many other resolutions, no one is giving it an ear.

Let us analyze the dynamics and demographics of this pending referendum. And difference between results ‘now’, ‘then’ and ‘later’.

Forget ‘Now’, it is not happening in present or near future. Sadly, both sides of borders will be giving lip service to this important and urgent issue.

Now ‘then’, I was born in 1987 in Karachi, when former eastern Pakistan was already Bangladesh. I have accepted the fact that I am Pakistani and one who takes birth in Dhaka is a Bangladeshi, not my grandmother who still feels Bangladesh as her second home. She feels the pain of separation, as one of my aunt decides to stay in Bangladesh after separation. So will be case of a Kashmiri, the generation of mid 1900s had felt the pain of every scar they bear on their body and souls. Still people face that barbarism. However, unfortunately, they have accepted that as their fate. Rapes, Missing Persons and other humanitarian abuses are so common in that area that often their plight went unheard. People who were young then are now old, if alive. Several international interests have now been integrated with this pure freedom movement of that time.

In ‘later’ times, even if referendum happens the ballots might be full of bullets in some areas. Many of international community treat these results controversial, like US and EU denied accepting results of Crimean Referendum even before polling start. Now days, India have forceful administrative control over Jammu and Kashmir. Because of daily violence many of Kashmiris has taken asylum in other countries. They may not be able to cast vote. Because of the internal migration of Indian Hindus and pro-Indian people into this valley, at an increasing rate and strategic manner, it will affect the ratio of results. And who knows new generation growing up in Indian influence and propaganda will be indifferent about the pain and massacre of their fore fathers. Like many Pakistani are now about fall of Dhaka.

If Kashmiris opted to be an independent state, will they be able to survive between two nuclear rival states? What will be there economic, social and human development agenda? The picture of an independent Kashmir is very blurry and illogical.

Experience of ‘then’ and focusing on ‘later’ demands a call to action ‘now’. Else, every bone of Kashmir will be fractured while India Yelling ‘Atoot Ang’ and every single drop of blood will bleed out of the ‘Sheh Rug’ of Pakistan.

Saddam Siddiqui

The author is a diehard cricket enthusiast and has worked for promotion of cricket at both personal and professional levels.

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