Drawing Parallel Between Kashmir and Palestine

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by Hammad Baloch        11 November 2023

Two of the most protracted and intricate conflicts in the world, Palestine and Kashmir, continue to challenge international efforts for peaceful solutions. Rooted in deep historical, religious, and territorial disputes, these conflicts have shaped the geopolitical landscape with seemingly elusive resolutions. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict revolves around competing claims to the same land, entangled in historical, religious, and territorial disputes. It has witnessed numerous wars, negotiations, and ongoing violence. The status of Jerusalem, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state are among the complex issues that remain unresolved. Similarly, the Kashmir conflict centers on the disputed region between India and Pakistan, stemming from the partition of British India in 1947 and the subsequent territorial claims. Despite ceasefires and diplomatic efforts, a lasting resolution remains elusive.

Both conflicts have resulted in immense human suffering, political instability, and regional tension. Their complex histories, competing interests, and deep-seated emotional attachments have made them some of the world’s most intractable disputes. Resolving these conflicts requires sustained diplomatic efforts, compromises, and a willingness to address deep-rooted grievances on both sides. In the case of Palestine, the conflict encompasses not only the physical land but also deeply held ideological and religious beliefs of Israelis and Palestinians. The region holds immense religious significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, particularly with Jerusalem at its heart. This ideological aspect adds emotional and spiritual layers, making it even more challenging to find common ground.

Similarly, the Kashmir conflict extends beyond the borders of India and Pakistan, reflecting the aspirations and identity of the Kashmiri people themselves. The ideological dimension of the Kashmir issue includes questions of self-determination, autonomy, and cultural identity, creating a complex web of loyalties, interests, and grievances. Nationalism, historical narratives, and the aspirations of the people involved influence both conflicts, often hindering resolution efforts due to their deep entrenchment in the collective psyche of the parties involved. The striking similarity between both conflicts lies in the promises of self-determination made by the UN in 1947 and 1948. The failure of the UN to enforce these decisions has resulted in instability in the Middle East and South Asia. The Middle East has witnessed numerous military conflicts, while Kashmir has seen two major wars between India and Pakistan. These failures have led to immense loss of life, injuries, and untold civilian suffering.

The consequences of unresolved conflicts include illegal military occupation, impunity for military forces, human rights violations leading to genocidal tendencies, mental and psychological suffering, collective punishment, and ecological strangulation. The people of Palestine and Kashmir resist fiercely against these illegal occupations, as they have every right to do according to international law. Both Palestine and Kashmir have experienced human rights abuses by Indian and Israeli forces, including excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, and restrictions on freedom. To uphold the principles of justice and equality, the international community must take these violations seriously. Addressing these issues is crucial for the well-being of the affected populations and promoting global peace and stability.

India and Israel maintain their brutal occupations in Kashmir and Palestine, respectively. India is one of Israel’s significant arms export clients, and Indian police forces receive training from Israel for so-called “anti-terror” operations, similar to those conducted against Palestinians. Recent laws enacted by India in the wake of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in Kashmir allow Indian citizens to permanently settle and purchase land in the region, akin to the discriminatory laws implemented by Israel for decades in Palestine. The world cannot afford to ignore the human rights violations in both Palestine and Kashmir, committed by Indian and Israeli forces. These regions have witnessed persistent reports of abuses, including excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, and freedom restrictions. Upholding justice and equality necessitates that the international community takes these violations seriously.

Addressing these issues is not only crucial for the affected populations but also for global peace and stability. A collective effort to hold accountable those responsible and seek peaceful resolutions is essential to end the suffering in these conflict-ridden areas and foster a just future. The international community must not turn a blind eye but rather champion the cause of justice and peace in Palestine and Kashmir.