Wait for your Moment!

Author: Dr Zia Ul Haque Shamsi

The only thing permanent in life is our past because it cannot be changed. Similarly, if states are like humans because they are governed by the people, their historical account also cannot be changed. The intellectual puzzle that I am going to put forward in the form of a question is, whether to keep cursing the past or move swiftly to craft a better future.

One might argue that without correcting the historical wrongs, a better future will remain elusive. Perhaps, yes but then wait until the lost glory is restored because historical wrongs cannot be corrected from the position of weakness.

There are two distinct historical wrongs at the moment and both were orchestrated by the British Raj. One, the establishment of a Jewish State on the Palestinian land, and two, the handing over of Jammu and Kashmir to India. These two historical wrongs have cost the people of two affected communities a lot over the past so many decades. Unfortunately, on both accounts, a series of generations from a particular religious community, the Muslims have suffered with life and property. Since the Raj still rules the world, though with the support of the US, none of the historical wrongs can be corrected at the moment or in the foreseeable future.

Despite numerous UNSC Resolutions promising the people of Palestine and Kashmir their rights of self-determination, none could be implemented due to the high-handedness of the so-called global leaders who champion human rights, and freedom of choice. Only in recent Israeli retaliation to Hamas’ October 7 action, at least 40,000 non-combatants have been killed, most of them children and women. The schools, hospitals, and residences in Gaza and now Raffah have been destroyed and even humanitarian assistance is not permitted.

When I speak with my Arab and Kashmiri friends, they start from 1917 and 1947 respectively. Rightly so, however, I fail to convince them that this is not the right time to recount the historical past but to save the lives and properties of the current and future generations. You can only fight if you are living. Therefore, I have the following suggestions to make for the two long-standing and deadliest conflicts in which millions of people have already lost their lives, and people have been deprived of their homeland and forced to live in refugee camps for an extended period.

Without correcting the historical wrongs, a better future will remain elusive.

In my opinion, this is not the right time to expect any other state to support your cause. Each state, regardless of religious affiliation, is struggling to survive in the prevalent international system, and therefore, will not come forward if it feels that its national interest will be at risk for any reason. Like it or not, states or regimes are not liable to justify their policies and interests. Though it is the responsibility of international organizations to fulfil the promises made to the people of Palestine and Kashmir, the ground reality is that these institutions have no authority per se to perform their duties independently. This is one reason why I am suggesting that it is not the right time to expect any favourable outcome from any stakeholder.

Wait for your moment. Let the multipolarity take shape. Regroup yourselves in the meantime and continue making diplomatic efforts instead of using guns and losing lives against an Unequal Military Power (UMP).

By no means I am suggesting a compromise on the principled stand or surrender your historical rights over your land, but wait for the right time. Conserve your energies, and create awareness among Muslim Ummah as well as the Western world about the atrocities and genocide committed by Israel and India of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris. Let the power shift from the Western quarters to the Eastern quarters. Remember, it was only a century ago that the Ottomans were ruling over some of the very important and sensitive areas.

We must understand that the enemy wants us to remain engaged in an armed conflict while it is stronger militarily to deny the time to gather ourselves for the future. It is we who must avoid a military engagement till the time is right for it and we can inflict unacceptable damage to its power.

Do not fall into the enemy’s trap and do not aim for tactical victories and short-term gains. I fully understand how it feels to live like POWs in your territories, but it is still not the time for the jailbreak. Remember, the enemy is targeting your children so that the future generation is unable to stand against the occupiers even when the time is right.

Therefore, it is necessary that diplomacy takes the lead at this time and the guns are on hold for the time being. I am certain that no sooner the international order changes from unilateralism to multilateralism, things will change for the smaller and relatively weaker states, In ShaAllah.

The writer of this article has authored three international books: “Nuclear Deterrence and Conflict Management Between India and Pakistan” “South Asia Needs Hybrid Peace” and “Understanding Sun Tzu and the Art of Hybrid War.”

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