On the one hand when a movie like Haider is facing the wrath of public opinion for alleged sympathy with separatists and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) while castigating the Indian armed forces, Pakistan is using its old technique of wrecking up the ‘K’ word to address domestic issues. Both internal and external elements that have used‘K’ for Currency miss the fact that the dynamics of J&K have also changed with changing India.
Using liberal forms of art to devaluate Indian position is not new. All intellectuals and artists of ‘secular brigade’ conveniently established ‘K’ word in the name of creativity and ‘human rights’. They also suitably neglected the fact that before K there is J (Jammu) and without L (Leh and Ladakh) J&K is not complete. But the whole Nehruvian construct of ‘K’ as the secular crown of India, being a Muslim majority state, was based on the same premise. Talking of rights and promoting separatism and neglecting the rights of J and L have for long meant business for many factions.
The changing discourse on J&K where ‘governance’ acquired center stage, has happened post 2014 parliamentary election results. The role played by Armed Forces in flood relief and rescue operations have completely changed the scenario. It has exposed the small faction of separatists who have been speaking on behalf of J&K but have been actually representing small part of ‘K’. Many in the Valley are realising that misuse and misinterpretation of Article 370, along with cross border terrorism, are the root cause of their miseries. Therefore, it’s time, the separatists as well as their tacit supporters understand that emotionally and financially ‘K’ is no longer a currency.
Pakistan has for long utilised separatist elements and misinformation campaign on J&K, as their survival strategy. Major powers also nurtured the anti-India sentiments enshrined in the creation of Pakistan to keep the region ‘disputed’. Hence, discarding all democratic and legal practices, Pakistan kept using ‘K’ as a currency.
But the time has changed. Pakistan’s recent attempts to talk with separatists and raising the ‘K’ bogie at international forum have backfired. Domestically, it is perpetually in a fix. As our neigbours usual answer to such crisis has been to ‘infiltrate in India’ under the shield of shelling on international border and LOC, this is what it has resorted to again.
Internationally, it is an established fact that Pakistan as a terror hub, whose network stretches from Taliban to IS, is a threat not only for India but also to the entire world. The US as a market economy also seems more interested in cashing India demographic dividend than to bear the burden of strategic liability like Pakistan. Both the former Gen Secretaries of the UN Kofi Annan and Butros Ghali have clarified that there is no outstanding issue between India and Pakistan with the UN. Most importantly, the new dispensation in India is not ready to take nonsense of ‘terror and talk’ and peace at ‘any cost’ approach. Calling off Secretary level talks, neglecting Pak at the UN and befitting reply to the ‘misadventure’ on LOC are clear enough messages to the irritant neighbour.
The fact that India’s foreign policy is no longer Pak-centric, nor is the country driven by non-alignment rhetoric, to quite an extent has defused Pakistan’s strategy based on ‘K’ for currency. Internationally too, Pakistan is still struggling with self-created existential crisis, whereas India is on the path of stability and prosperity. And though India still wants peaceful neighbourhood, the neighbours need to get it clear that they alone cannot decide its cost, definitely not in the garb of a currency like ‘K’.