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The principle of Kashmir

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Riots broke out after the abrogation of Article 370 in Srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir. PHOTO: REUTERS.

Dear State of Pakistan: take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Relax. No need to panic on Kashmir. Panic makes you do Silly Fridays.

Now let’s get our bearings straight. India has re-occupied Indian Occupied Kashmir with an arrogance that promises an ultimate downfall. Pakistan is caught napping. There is pressure to do something – anything. The result: muddled thinking, befuddled planning and jumbled actions.

It does not have to be like this. We do not need to suffer from policy-paralysis. Instead, we can focus on sculpting a new and improved policy on Kashmir that internalizes three core lessons:

First, Kashmir is not merely an event or a process or even an issue – it is a cause. And causes do not subsist on timelines or deadlines. They don’t need to. The righteousness of the cause fuels its longevity, and ultimately its solution. We must remind ourselves of the absolute, undiluted and unalloyed righteousness of the Kashmir cause.

Second, a righteous cause can never be given up. Ever. It is the principle that is at stake here; a principle that is taught to every child in every society that claims to be based on decency, morality and virtue: Do the right thing. This principle must form the core of the Kashmir policy that we need to formulate now as we enter a new phase in the ultimate liberation of Kashmir.

Third, from within this core principle should sprout the operational part of the new policy. Guided by the righteousness and timelessness of the Kashmir cause, we can construct – brick by brick – short term, medium-term and long term goals of the new Kashmir policy. Having learnt from past experiences we should first wrap the new and improved policy around solid political consensus, and second, institutionalize it deep inside the core of Pakistan’s state structure. Institutions have deep memories and the new Kashmir........

© The Express Tribune