Pakistan is again having its Ka Ka Ka Kashmir moment. A year after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and the ruling establishment in Pakistan said in chorus: ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’, a lot seems to be happening on the ‘ground’. For Pakistanis, that one-year-old slogan is now a reality.
You’d ask ‘how’? All it took was a highway, a map, a music video, a minute of silence, a solidarity walk, a stamp, a series of tweets, a trip to LoC and few rhetorical outbursts. That’s how Kashmir ban gaya Pakistan. If anyone, anywhere had doubts on Pakistan’s commitment on Kashmir, now would be a good time for them to shut up or put up with the great musical struggle.
For Pakistanis, in 2019, it was IJOK (Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir). In 2020, it became IIOJK (Indian Illegally-occupied Jammu and Kashmir). Don’t be surprised if in 2021, Pakistan adds another “I” to it.
From Naya Pakistan to Naya Mapistan
Countries spend money, arms, manpower and chalk out battle plans to capture enemy territories. But that’s not the case in Naya Pakistan. Here, things are done differently. You’d ask again, ‘how’? It’s fairly simple. Take a Pakistan map, colour it with crayons, label it, and claim Indian territories as your own. That’s how the bloodless revolution came about.
If Pakistan still considers Kashmir as a disputed territory (which means there is no change in its stand), then why did it need a new map? And if maps could solve your territorial disputes, why do you need military?
There are those who say that Prime Minister Imran Khan has copied the ‘map idea’ from the Prime Minister of Nepal, K.P. Oli, whose government, through a constitutional amendment has claimed Indian territory in a new map. Now those who think Khan is a copycat don’t realise that Pakistan is no Nepal. Who needs to go by the Constitution or Parliament when you can make decisions on a whim? Article 1 (3) of the Pakistani Constitution specifies which states or areas can be included in the country.
According to the new map, Junagadh in Gujarat, which doesn’t even share borders with the country, is now in Pakistan. As if geography could stop Germany and Japan from sharing a border for our PM. Why stop at Junagadh? Claim Delhi too. Hoist the Pakistani flag on Red Fort. It’s much easier to achieve this on a piece of paper. Wonder why Bangladesh wasn’t added back to the Pakistan map. Oh, never mind.
Who needs a Google Map when you have a Naya map that shows any place you desire as part of your territory? The Kashmir issue will be resolved, if only United Nations accepts our new map. However, the fate of such a proposal will be similar to those 99 others Pakistan proposed. We all know Pakistan’s track record at the UN. Although Kashmir affairs minister Ali Amin Gandapur seems serious that he’ll give ultimatum to UNSC this September to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. And if UNSC doesn’t comply, Gandapur is threatening that he will seek help of the people, military and political parties. Now that should scare UN.
Highway to jannat
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasts about ‘development’. Let him learn from Pakistan. A highway in Islamabad, which was earlier called the Kashmir Highway, will be renamed as ‘Srinagar Highway’. Pakistanis hope the renamed highway will take them to the heavenly land of Kashmir. The ETA in Kashmir via this highway from Islamabad is still up for discussion, but what those in government haven’t cared to explain is how a ‘Srinagar Highway’ becomes more relevant than a ‘Kashmir Highway’? Don’t hold your breath over it. This is a highway to nowhere. And when the new map says Kashmir is in Pakistan, what was the need to rename the highway? I’m confused.
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi thinks a minute of silence was enough to rattle India. I bet it was more than enough, considering how successful the 30-minute Friday standing from last year was after India revoked special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The mandatory VVIP LoC outings are always a treat. There is nothing new to offer and no one expects newness from them. Would Pakistanis expect the foreign minister or the National Security Advisor to cross into the Indian side? It is just a photo op for ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ chest thumpers.
Don’t threaten us with war, we will release a song
How do you evoke anti-India sentiment on Kashmir without some songs? If last year was India ja, ja Kashmir se niikal ja, meri Jannat mere ghar se nikal ja, 2020 echoed with Ja chod de meri wadi — a proud production from Pakistan military’s PR wing ISPR. Giving voice to the new song was Shafqat Amanat Ali — the playback singer who has sung numerous Bollywood songs, including a tribute to Mahatama Gandhi when he sang his favourite bhajjan. Ali may have successfully spewed hate against India, but his love for Pakistan was on full display when he forgot lines from Pakistan’s national anthem before a cricket match against India in Kolkata in 2016. We forgave him for this forgetfulness.
In another version of the ‘Wadi’ song, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan can be seen narrating: “Kashmiri hoon. Ja chod dey meri wadi”. Wonder what Rahat’s thoughts were when he was singing Teri ore in Singh is King, considering the wadi situation back then.
After listening the new song, the “9 lakh Indian Army soldiers” in Kashmir must have shivered. Or is that 9 lakh Army now part of Pakistan too, if we go by the new map?
But singing is harmless. Next time there is tension on the borders, an antakshiri match should be arranged on the LoC. A lot of time has been wasted waging wars with weapons. Singing and dancing should be the new decider. And if that doesn’t work, India and Pakistan can always decide wars over rock-paper-scissors. Till then, onto the next big thing — Corona Tiger Force Day on 9 August. On second thoughts, even the ‘tiger force’ can help liberate Kashmir.
The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.