For almost six decades Pakistan has been carrying the baggage of Kashmir, unable to resolve it. Musharraf was Kashmir’s best bet, his efforts now rest in history. Unable to bear the baggage of Kashmir anymore, Pakistan through a well thought of policy is throwing off the same. While as it might have been an over-sight and not much credence should be given to news items such as these…
“Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman was thrilled over the fact that everybody was convinced with her presentation highlighting the government’s policy during the in-camera session of the Parliament,” a participant told The News. He said that some PML-N members protested saying one of the maps used in the briefing showed Occupied Kashmir as part of India. The PML-N raised a lot of hue and cry over it. However, a federal cabinet member told The News that three maps were shown during her presentation and that two maps very clearly showed Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) as disputed territory but one map shown in the briefing was blurred which misled the PML-N members.
…however, it does though show Pakistan’s efforts at gentle shifts in its Kashmir Policy and it also shows that it is testing its domestic waters at the same time. When Zardari termed the Kashmiri Militants as Terrorists; there was the usual expected opposition from the politicians, however the people of Pakistan seemed to take it in stride, to some extent it could be because of being bogged down by the back-breaking inflation, but more so because the people of Pakistan, the younger generations, no longer see Kashmir as their problem with the same lens they did in the past. This shift will in itself shall help Kashmir’s cause more than their support, since India would no longer be able to label the Kashmir Struggle as Cross Border Terrorism. And also so because the younger generations of Kashmir do not identify themselves as easily and sympathetically with Pakistan as the older generations did. To the young people of Kashmir, Pakistan is as far off as say Saudi Arab. One would make a mistake though if one were to say their desire for freedom is that far, it is closer than ever before.