If, Kashmir is a bone then the dogs we know. Does
this bone have any say? Practically… No. Bones do not speak. Lord Mountbatten advised Hari Singh rightly that he has no option of remaining independent. History has been very unkind to Kashmir and she has been ravaged by Afgans, Pathans, Sikhs and Dogras alike, in the past and now being bullied by India and Pakistan. The strategic location of Kashmir has been the cause and no son of the soil has risen to a level of exploiting its vantage. The result is its degradation into a bone of contention. The third dog in the fray is less visible but more dreadful.
A power vacuum in Kashmir will keep sucking-in the ambitious nations’ might and it cannot avoid being a battle ground. The one who controls Kashmir controls Asia. India has her five Life lines flowing through Kashmir and she has no option but to hang on there with all the resources under her command. If, the next war is going to be for water then we better keep our objectives well defined and a potent strategy to achieve/retain them.
The balance of power in South Asia has not yet been attained and continuous quest, for tilting it in one’s favour, is on amongst three nuclear powers of the region less Japan. A triangular cold war, with India confronting rest of the two is a reality, and it should be the single most factors driving our national strategy. Ignoring it even for a little while is suicidal.
Therefore, resolution of Kashmir, if any, will be a fall out of Balance of Power and stability in South Asia; currently it is neither in sight nor in womb.
A bone will remain bone and the dogs will remain dogs for times to come.