By Atreya Misra
The Kashmir Conflict has plagued the minds of American politicians for years. From our traditional view of aiding Pakistan, to this recent emergence of a need to distance ourselves from them, we find ourselves more and more pressured to make a decision. Pakistan and India’s aggressiveness, arrogance, and attitude have damaged the United States image in the Southern Asia, especially in Pakistan. However, while they continuously benefit from our relationship, we lose influence and spend increasing amounts of money every year. While in the future we must maintain positive ties, at the moment we must take a stand against their infractions of international laws.
The problem today is that ever since India and Pakistan split into two countries from former British India, they have continuously disregarded our requests to make a compromise in the Kashmir region between them in order to make peace. From New Delhi to Islamabad, the Indian and Pakistani governments have continued to believe that they are not in violation of any international laws. The truth however, is that the condominium international law states that two countries cannot claim past the borders of another country as their own land. Also, nearly 100,000 people of all religions since the 1980s have been killed by this conflict. The human rights violation has been detrimental in this area, with thousands of protestors dying every year. We must not allow this to continue as this conflict has been going on for over 60 years now.
The solution is simple. Halting monetary military aid to India and Pakistan until they agree to abide by international laws and create a compromise regarding the Kashmir region to effectively stop massive amounts of violence from occurring. Pakistan has received $20.7 billion worth of U.S. assistance over the past decade, about two-thirds of it is military aid. Even though we will be suspending $800 million dollars of it, this is only a third of the total US military aid to Pakistan every year, meaning that over the next decade, we will be sending massive amounts of aid to Pakistan. The fact of the matter is, the United States sends approximately $2 billion of aid to India and Pakistan every year. This means over time India and Pakistan will realize that they are reliant on the US and they cannot do without the aid. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if India and Pakistan didn’t use our aid as a way to intimidate their neighbors. The fact that we lend our name in the international sphere to protect them is detrimental to our own image abroad. India and Pakistan officials however rely on our assistance in order to continue to have any type of influence in the international community.
Ending military aid is imperative to achieving our goals to ensure peace between India and Pakistan, as well as improving our image in the southern Asia. Pakistan’s people have been claiming the Kashmir region as their own. Also, Brajesh Mishra, India’s former national security adviser, states that, “No matter what government is in place, India is not going to relinquish control of Jammu and Kashmir, that is written in stone and cannot be changed.” The main chunk would be a split state has caused citizens of both nations to threaten to walk out of the peace process if they are not stopped immediately. By correcting these international law violations, peace will come to an area that has been plagued with war, hate, and blood for the past century. Furthermore, this benefit’s the United States directly. By reducing aid to these nations in the short term, we are declaring that there actions will not be condoned. This will be met with large amounts of approval from the international community.
Ending aid is the only way that we are going to see any changes in the Kashmir region. India and Pakistan’s aggressiveness, arrogance, and attitude have for too long lent the international community a reason to stand against the United States. We have to act now for the good of our country and that of the Kashmir people suffering at India and Pakistan’s hands.