Let’s give a state its due. We cannot deny the state the basic rights that are accorded to every citizen of the country. We have to agree that somewhere down the line we have messed up. We never addressed the issue of the 1987 elections which were claimed to be rigged. Back then the grouse was that Farooq Abdullah, in collusion with the centre, had rigged the elections in his favour. One cannot be certain about the facts, but there was definite disenchantment in this respect in the valley, which had reacted to the results.
It was most unfortunate that such a situation had arisen, but was that enough reason for Kashmir to take up arms? I believe peace loving people would not do so. Besides there are Kashmiris who fail to denounce any form of violence by the terrorists. In an interview with Tim Sebastian, Yasin Malik was very categorical in denying his role in violence against the people, saying it was an armed struggle against Indian forces. The facts show otherwise. They are responsible for the death of the “unarmed” sessions judge N.K. Ganjoo who was murdered brutally for trying Maqbool Bhat for treason and murder. In another highly sad case Prof. Mushir-ul-Haq, Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, a well-known scholar of Muslim Theology was kidnapped and later shot dead from behind. His dead body was thrown on the road side. Such shall be the rulers in Kashmir and not the people. Let it not happen.
Kashmiris won’t gain any international ground on behalf of Pakistani efforts, this is a mechanism they tried and have failed miserably in the pursuit. Today Pakistan is recognised as a failed state and a hub of militant activity, which includes aiding terrorists against innocent people. The indigenous nature of the struggle is a farce which is incited with the help of ISI sleeper cells. If they like a strike on all days, we should not stop them, but not allow ruckus to give us a bad name on no account.
The election results show that it is the urban rather than rural population of Kashmir which abstains from election. Nobody can be sure of the reasons, but what is evident is that the Hurriyat is actually an urban conference of people who want power in their hands; the wishes of rural Kashmir are not much of a concern to them. The sheer number of leaders in APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) with such opposing views, is an indication that they can never stand united on any issue for long. They are almost like the uneasy alliance of the Left and UPA, where nobody can agree with each other. Here Mr. Geelani wants to join Pakistan, but we have voices of independence, and when Mr. Geelani takes the limelight we see more people sulking that their political space has been invaded upon. It is unusual that a population of approximately 5 million people is said to be represented by some 46 independent parties, which have done little to help the Kashmiris in reality. Sloganeering is not what they need. The poor need the same Roti, Kapda aur Makaan just like rest of the world. The youth too need jobs, health care like everybody else. Independence won’t guarantee them anything, in fact they would be closing the doors to a market that is booming and happily employing Kashmiris as they are employing others.
These parties often rely on the propaganda that pre-Independence Kashmiris would have been pro-Pakistan. The facts again are otherwise, the voices of independence sided with India as they saw greater hope. Pakistan never let a plebiscite happen and in turn waged a war in 1965. This shows that it was never India which wanted instability, but Pakistan. But somehow Kashmir believes otherwise or is made to believe otherwise. Now in a politically and emotionally charged atmosphere one cannot go with a resolution which may be obsolete. The only way out is bi-lateral talks between India and Pakistan. We need to build confidence building measures; the talks on opening cross-border trade are a welcome development.
On their side Kashmir should own up to the fact that the terrorists were nurtured by its support and did no good to the state. If thought otherwise, there is a need to realise that these terrorists might well be future leaders if ever they see a free Kashmir. The comparison between Mandela and Arafat; and Kashmiri Jihadi terrorists is baseless. The former two wanted an inclusive society and fought for the right of people and gave up arms to take up the cause of dialogue. This is not true for terrorists aided by Pakistan’s ISI, whose prime motive is not garnering rights for Kashmir but destabilizing a vibrant country. The talks about an inclusive society are not possible in Kashmir, as the verdict is based on the religious majority of Muslims in the valley!
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