Kashmir – the road ahead
HEADING TO NOWHERE
IT IS ROUGH AND BUMPY. WHAT IF OBAMA'S VISIT ENDS AND WE ARE LEFT HIGH AND DRY, COMMENTS JAWAD RESHI
CIVILIAN killings and violent processions may have gone down for now but with it militancy related encounters and killings have gone up. Army Chief has said over 600 trained militants are desperately waiting to cross over and give a new flip to their activities in the valley. Bureaucrats and mainstream politicians have begun to break their shells, slowly and steadily. Chief Minister’s recent visit and address to the J&K Armed police HQ at Zewan may be an indication of the fact that the government exists somewhere. Furthermore curfew to scuttle “chaloo” calls is proving effective as no violations thereof are taking place now.
Interlocutors appointed by the centre have begun their mission and are expected to interact with a wide cross section of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. All Hurriyat factions have called it a big joke and an insult to the Kashmiri sentiments and asked people to refrain from meeting them. PDP and CPM want it to be headed by some political stalwart.
However appointment of two high level expert committees, appointed by the centre to look into the development and infrastructural needs of Ladak and Jammu, have found favour with the people living in these two regions of the state. Geelani Sahib on the other hand is continuing with the issue of his calendars to push forward his “Quit Kashmir” movement though the people in general have begun to feel weary mainly for the reason that the hopes of getting any breakthrough in the ongoing struggle on the forthcoming Obama visit to India are wearing out now.
Out of the 10 days calendar being issued by him, 3 days are open, 5 days are for shutdown and 2 days for taking out processions to different designated places i.e., Idher Chalo/Udhar Chaloo. Out of 3 open days 1 is usually Sunday and another a gazzeted holiday so virtually there is only 1 open day in one particular calendar so a sort of a blessing for the employees who take huge salaries home every month without having to work for many days.
Lawyers are caught in their struggle to seek the release of their two top brass office bearers and one political activist cum lawyer. Clients in the process are suffering for no fault of theirs and government is not worried about their plight and has made it a prestige issue for no good reasons at all. Particularly when Chidambaram had himself requested the state government to look into these cases and set free as many detains as possible to restore normalcy in the valley.
In order to make the ongoing movement, viable and sustainable, Mr. Geelani had appealed to the doctors and private schools to cut down their fee to provide some relief to the suffering masses. But they seem to have ignored this appeal. One senior pro movement doctor along with some other leading practitioners in the valley has almost doubled his fee in the recent past. Owners of private schools have declined to give any cut in their fee on the ground that the teachers and their other employees are not ready to make any concession and nor are they able to cope with the burden of expenditure they have to bear on account idle school buses.
Nor has the idea of holding private classes within the localities picked up anywhere. However some of the parents have reportedly shifted their kids to Jammu to arrange for their coaching and tuition. Employees on the other hand have turned a deaf ear towards making a partly monthly contribution of Rs. 200 to 300 towards the local bait-ul-mals to help the people facing severe hardship at this juncture.
Mirwaiz in the meanwhile has come out with his own program and decided to hold and lead a procession to UN Observers (HQ) at Sonwar on 27th of October to protest against Indian invasion in Kashmir in the absence of Geelani who at that point of time was out of station to address a seminar in Delhi. A signal that a revolt from within is bewaring up.
All Hurriyat leaders claiming that they are striving for one cause that is to get right of self determination for the people of Kashmir but yet they are divided over how to achieve this objective and goal. People without being resentful of this divide between various Hurriyat factions, are still rendering their unclenched support to all the factions so anybody who chooses to come out with a strike call. They obey it without a demur. Militants on their part feel that they have given enough opportunity to the political leadership to try to resolve the issue in whatever way they may wish. But it seems they have lost patience too and have realised that political leadership has failed to make any headway so they seem to have decided to resume the charge. A more volatile militancy is therefore expected to take place in the valley; once the American forces decide to leave Afghanistan and Taliban are able to regain control thereof. Then a large number of foreign militants engaged in Afghanistan may find their way to Kashmir. US on its part has made it abundantly clear, that it is not their business to resolve Kashmir, but India and Pakistan must resolve it between themselves once and for all, in their larger interest. US president will come and go. He will take with him whatever business he is able to make and ensure that India continues to give all possible support to it in tackling Afghanistan crisis. Kashmir will no doubt be referred to but to expect that it will be given any preference will turnout nothing but a wishful thinking. We need a new beginning and a direction. A challenge is therefore ahead before Hurriyat leaders to decide, what to do and how to carry on with the movement, once the much talked visit of Obama comes to an end and we simply get nothing out of it.
(Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OP-ED
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar, Oct 24: Visit of Divisional Railway Manger (DRM) to the valley this week proved another damp squib as no headway was made regarding the restoration of suspended train services across Kashmir More
- Srinagar City
GK CITY REPORTER
Srinagar, Oct 24: With no let up in traffic jams on roads leading to the City centre of Lal Chowk, many now prefer to walk the Lal Mandi footbridge for reaching the commercial hub. Come relaxations More
‘2 LAKH GUJJAR, BAKARWAL FAMILIES TO GET RATION UNDER BPL SCHEME'
Jammu, Oct 24: The state government has decided to bring two lakh nomadic Gujjar and Bakerwal families in Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Distribution System (PDS). “Temporary ration cards will More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Oct 24: Tightening its scrutiny of police encounter cases, the National Human Rights Commission has directed all the state governments to report such incidents to it within 48 hours. "All More