My book Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s Reflections on Kashmir (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) is a compendium of the speeches and interviews of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who reigned as Prime Minister (PM) of the State of Jammu and Kashmir from 1948 to 1953. The man also had a large presence on the political landscape of India for fifty years. The volume is designed to enable a student of South Asian politics — and the politics of Kashmir in particular — to analyse the ways in which experiences have been constructed historically and have changed overtime.On the occasion of the Independence Days of Pakistan (August 14) and India (August 15), here is a highly relevant excerpt from my book: “So far as the people of Kashmir are concerned, their future happiness and welfare are linked with the people of India and Pakistan, but, unfortunately, those two countries are at loggerheads with each other, and we have become a pawn in their hands. So long as the two governments are not able to resolve their disputes, our own safety is in jeopardy. It is, therefore, in our vital interest that these two countries should be on the best of terms with each other. We are firmly of the opinion that friendship between India and Pakistan is very essential for the happiness, prosperity, and well-being of their peoples. While, therefore, struggling for our right of self-determination, it becomes essential for Kashmir that we should strive hard to secure friendship between India and Pakistan. The main hurdle in the achievement of friendship between the two is the Kashmir dispute, and until that is settled, friendship between them would not appear to be attainable”.Both India and Pakistan are our neighbours. We cannot, therefore, hate one and love the other. Rather, we must realise that we are all limbs on the same body, and our peace, prosperity, and freedom are largely dependent on the peace, prosperity, and freedom of our two great neighboursWe should, therefore, deliberate on the matter before us with this background in mind. Whatever solution may strike your mind, you shall have to test it with this yardstick —whether it will ensure Indo-Pak peace and harmony, and whether it can give peace to the 5 million people of this state. You cannot achieve peace if your objective is not to part with what you have got, unmindful of the fact that paranoid and possessive attitudes on either side of the LoC impacts peace in the Subcontinent. You do not give priority to peace but to hold on to what they have. It is because of this that I am making it incumbent on you to clearly fix your objective in your mind before you start deliberating upon the problem before you. If we are all agreed upon the objective, then I have no doubt in my mind that there will be no difficulty in finding a way out. But, if we are doubtful about our objective, then our deliberations will not yield any results. We can deliberate on this delicate problem objectively only if we keep our minds free from prejudice and hatred, no matter what injustices we may have suffered. Kashmir is a part of the Subcontinent and the Kashmiri people cannot run away from this geographical reality. Our future is, therefore, closely linked with the future of India and Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan are our neighbours. We cannot, therefore, hate one and love the other. Rather, we must realise that we are all limbs on the same body, and our peace, prosperity, and freedom are largely dependent on the peace, prosperity, and freedom of our two great neighbours.Unfortunately, our homeland has become a bone of contention between the two, and we are caught as if between two millstones. We want to extricate ourselves from this position, and this can only be achieved if our efforts are directed toward creating peace and harmony between India and Pakistan. In their friendship alone lies our salvation; and in their permanent enmity, our perpetual ruin. Therefore, if the salvation of Kashmir is our main objective, then we cannot afford to nurse feelings of hate against either country. The writer is the author of Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman, and the editor of The Parchment of Kashmir. Nyla Ali Khan has also served as guest editor working on articles from the Jammu and Kashmir region for Oxford University Press (New York), helping to identify, commission, and review articles. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, August 15th 2018.