Article: COAS General Asim Munir: A Renewed Hope for Kashmiris

Huzaifa Imtiaz

Kashmir dispute is a long-standing territorial conflict between India and Pakistan. The conflict dates back to 1947 when at the time of partition, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir decided to make Kashmir a part of India even though the majority of the population was Muslim. The primary point of dispute is whether the region belongs to Pakistan, India, or should be considered an independent state. India is in charge of two-thirds of the area, which includes the populated Jammu & Kashmir Valley, and Pakistan is in charge of the other third, also known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Over the region, India and Pakistan have engaged in numerous wars and skirmishes. Thousands of people have died as a result of these battles.

Over the years, the United Nations (UN) has taken part in efforts to settle the Kashmir dispute and has released a number of resolutions on the issue. The self-determination concept, which contends that the inhabitants of the area should have the right to select their own political future, serves as the foundation for the UN’s stance on the Kashmir problem. In order for the Kashmiri people to determine their own future, the UN requested that India hold a referendum. Because India is aware that the referendum won’t go in their favour, they have been attempting delaying strategies to avert it. Despite these initiatives, the Kashmir dispute has not been settled, and tensions between India and Pakistan about the territory are still present. The UN is still keeping an eye on the situation and has urged both nations to start talking to each other so that the conflict can be settled peacefully.

Pakistan has consistently made an effort to resolve this conflict and put an end to the violations of human rights occurring in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Ironically, in October 2022, India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh asserted that Gilgit-Baltistan is also a part of Kashmir and that Pakistan has illegally annexed it. Our enemies now have an opportunity to tarnish Pakistan’s reputation in the international media due to the political unrest within the country. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s army, one of the most expert forces in the world, has been closely monitoring its borders. All of the risks that Pakistan faces, both internal and external, are well known to the recently appointed COAS General Syed Asim Munir.

The newly appointed COAS visited Line of Control (LoC) days after he took charge of Pakistan’s Military. During his visit to the Line of Control (LOC) the Chief said: “Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan’s armed forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland, but to take the fight back to the enemy if ever war is imposed on us”, His statement demonstrates his commitment and the army’s readiness in Pakistan. This declaration also acts as a soother for Kashmiris who have endured the oppressive control of Indian governments.

The statement and assurances from the newly appointed COAS have given the Kashmiri people and their leadership renewed vigour in their fight for their homeland because they know that Pakistan will always be by their side and will take all necessary steps to end the tyranny of the Indian Military and Government.

The author is a student of Defence and Strategic Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

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