Sunday, October 30, 2005

Kashmir quake-a binding factor

Human behaviour is really strange. Almost 6 years back the security forces of India and Pakistan were engaged in a conflict in the picturesque hills of Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir(the territory of the disputed Kashmir valley under Indian control). This was one issue which had snowballed into 4 separate wars between the 2 countries. The loser in all instances being humanity and the comman man.Thousands of people have been killed in the shelling on both sides of the LOC. Billions of dollars have been invested in the defence sector by both the sides to guard the territories under their control.Billions of dollars invested in almost futile attempts by both sides to take control of the other's territory.It nothing but an irony that while these countries were spending so much on guns,missiles,fighter planes and all such kinds of ammunition,there were farmers commiting suicide and children dying of poverty.
However things do seem to be changing albeit very slowly.The peace process is chugging along at a good pace.
However,one incident which seems to have made a big impact on this peace process is the recent earthquake on both sides of the LOC.The devastation was massive especially in PoK(Pakistan occupied Kashmir).The response to this calamity from the world community also was very swift.The Government of India, surprisingly was very fast in dispatching the relief materials and supplies on the other side of the LOC.After 1971,for the first time,an IAF helicopter was allowed to fly over the other side of the LOC with relief materials.The earthquake has left behind a trail of death,destruction and a lot of misery.But, if I may try to take out some positives from this devastation,it has brought the people on both sides of the LOC together in grief.In Muzaffarabad and NWFP(North West Frontier Province) almost a generation is lost!The extremist outfits also have been hit badly.The devastaion has also led to close co-operation between the governments of India and Pakistan.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a communique that India would provide the Government of Pakistan with all the required supplies.The security forces on both sides of the LOC after a long time dropped the guns they held to help the victims and distribute aid to all the affected people.It is very strange that something which coildn't be achieved by diplomacy,war and a lot of backroom politics has been achieved by a natural disaster! If only the rulers were wise enough to understand that fighting over a piece of land is of no use as these boundaries are only recognised by humans and not by nature which always acts like there is only one world out there with human beings inhabiting it and not an American,Indian,Pakistani or anybody from any country.
Hope this natural disaster helps us to achieve something friutful which will help in the progress of the people of India and Pakistan.


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