‘Does Pakistan Threatening Nuclear War really help Kashmir’s Hapless People?’


It appears the Pakistani state has no idea of how to respond to what India is doing inside Kashmir and so they are going back to their default policy – threaten nuclear war.

On December 2, 2019, former diplomat Ashraf Jahangir Qazi wrote an OpEd titled ‘Whatever it takes’ where he is advocating for a nuclear strike against India in order to help resolve the Kashmir issue.

Qazi asserts that the Pakistani “government will be primarily concerned to pacify its own public opinion and counter charges of a dishonourable and shameful betrayal of the Kashmir cause which could seriously destabilise the country. It will be reduced to saving Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan itself from further Indian designs. India will massively interfere in AJK and GB to force a final settlement along or even beyond the LoC with the understanding if not approval of the US and the Western powers. China will provide diplomatic support to Pakistan while counselling ‘moderation’, the need to adopt a longer-term perspective on Kashmir, and ensuring continued territorial contiguity between Pakistan and China.”

Further, Qazi states that “Pakistan has described Kashmir as its ‘jugular vein’ without which it is incomplete and cannot survive. It has pledged its last breath and drop of blood in defence of the Kashmiri people. It has always said any stoppage of Pakistan’s waters would be a casus belli. Moreover, in the name of the freedom struggle or jihad for Kashmir the people of Pakistan have had to live in a security rather than development state. This has deprived them of the benefits of democracy, good governance, peace and development. The results of this political degeneration are today evident in the wretched daily news every day. The honest choice before the prime minister of Pakistan is stark: either he tells the nation that the costs of stopping India from perpetrating genocide in the Valley are more than Pakistan can bear and, therefore, he has no option but to ‘accept the unacceptable’ for Pakistan to survive. Or he asserts that the costs of a disgraceful betrayal of the Kashmir cause, especially after the loss of the majority of Pakistan’s population in 1971, will render the country a failed state without meaning, purpose, a moral foundation and a future worth having. Accordingly, while he is ready to go the extra mile for peace with India and to negotiate an acceptable, just and principled Kashmir settlement, he will never countenance genocide in Kashmir no matter what the cost may be.”

Finally, Qazi states, “There are no risk-free options to stop genocide, save Kashmir, and avoid war with India. Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent is meant to deter war not pursue war. But if the people of the Valley are threatened with genocide, as indeed they are, Pakistan’s deterrent must cover them. If this is rejected as wishful thinking there will be both genocide in the Valley and a slide towards war between India and Pakistan.”

As someone said, if a moderate like Qazi is saying this, one shudders at what Munir Akram is thinking!