The buck starts here
India must revise its Kashmir policy
KASHMIR TRAGEDY-- DR. MIRZA ASHRAF BÉG
The ongoing turmoil in the valley has provided a food for thought for the students of politics from all over the world. Himalayan nation has once again survived under strict government imposed curfews and Aazadi-sponsored hartals losing scores of precious lives in addition to destruction of property worth millions. Besides, many were under an impression that a leaderless mob will fizzle away with the passage of time. But with every sunset it proves that the movement has a hidden push and a definite direction too. More than hundred innocents martyred, most of them in their budding youth indicates that the struggle and its leadership have passed to the hands of a volatile generation—the generation that was born after 1989, under the thunders of roaring guns from left, right and front. Additionally, hundreds and thousands of men and women from villages, towns and cities that have been demonstrating day and night; all youngsters has created another landmark in the history of Kashmir. Manmohan Singh government in Delhi has asked the coalition government in in J&K to reach to the people, indicating that the management in Srinagar has failed to discharge its legitimate duties. Ironically, the state administration is doing its best to address the problem in the remotest areas like Tangdar, Keran, Karna and Doda where the mayhem is not that visible! Furthermore, it has responded with a plausible argument that NC was voted to power to address Bijli, Sadak, Pani and people on the streets are pursuing Aazadi; hence the ball remains in the courts of New Delhi.
Thus the buck starts right from here.
In the meantime it is interesting to watch discussions on Kashmir in Indian parliament and on different TV channels wherein none of the debaters from J&K would buy the BJP viewpoint that the accession of Kashmir with India was settled forever. Hence, the Home Minster had to concede that accession was unique in nature, thus needs an equally unique solution. The demand of Kashmiri pundits for a homeland within Kashmir on the southern banks of river Jhelum speaks for itself. Other minorities that are comfortable in the state were already contended with the majority opinion. Thus, wisdom asks us to read between the lines! At the same time it is childish to accuse political rivals mainstream or separatists for the present unrest. Kashmir is an unsolved problem which needs a logical solution. Till then everybody will be tempted to fish in the troubled waters.
This subcontinent has a unique history. As per latest statistics, sixty percent of Indian population and more than ninety percent Pakistanis are living below poverty line. Nevertheless, our leadership unfortunately chose to plunge into a nuclear race. Getting nuclear is a white elephant to nurture and any mishap is bound to have dangerous dimensions. On top of that, the prolonged demonstration of the security forces in the state has already started to show its ramifications. The frequent repetition of turmoil for the last twenty years in general, and the recent upheaval in particular has put the armed forces to a great test. This has made them vulnerable to the accusations of petty offences like timber smuggling in addition to gross human rights violations such as arson, rapes and indiscriminate killings. Encouraged by an umbrella of AFSPA, the security forces have failed miserably to safeguard the Geneva Convention of protecting the lives of innocents in the state dragging some in uniform to the dock. Recently, two Indian army generals were refused entry visa by Canadian government on the basis that the said generals were connected with human rights violations in Kashmir. Similarly, the army’s northern command chief Lt. General B.S Jaswal was refused entry to China because he is posted in Kashmir and the state has a disputed status. China also issues stapled visas for J&K nationals thereby enforcing its views not to accept the state as a part of India. These are not trivial issues that can be brushed aside by frivolous political statements confusing the gullible Indian populace. We have seen perpetrators of human rights violations were brought to book even after decades of the crimes committed. Indian security forces have time and again genuinely warned that they are not meant to deal with the civilian unrest. Thus a common Indian must be concerned about the reputation and future of its armed forces. At the same time, when India is aspiring for a permanent membership for the United Nations, it is ill-advised to continue its present rigidly in its Kashmir policy.
Recent uproar in Indian Parliament regarding the activities of Chinese army in some areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir is of great concern. No doubt China is keen for an access to Gawadra port for the transshipment of its goods to Middle East and Pakistan providing a corridor for the same would get its levy in return. Yet at a time when Naxals in north east are keeping the Indian army on toes, reports of tunnels having been constructed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir for concealing missiles definitely indicates Peoples Republic of China has something up its sleeves. Pakistan’s present silence may be attributed to its domestic distress but it will be foolhardy to push it against the wall.
‘The Buck starts here’, every sane person needs to keep an eye on the developments brewing up within the state and activities on our borders. None of these are knee-jerk reactions. At the same time we must always focus our attention on the fact that in addition to a turbulent Afghanistan, J&K has four nuclear powers around its borders!
No doubt India has repeatedly asked for a dialogue on Kashmir accepting indirectly its disputed status, but its style of invitation is unique. Its secret dialogue patented by its crafty Home Minster was rejected as baseless by all the separatist organizations. Similarly you can’t hold a dialogue with everyone. While you request for a discourse on such delicate issues, the invitation needs to be attractive and respectful. There is certain decorum and a proper protocol for all that. Despite the fact separatist organizations have laid conditions for a dialogue it will be wise to initiate the discussion without any preconditions on part of the government. In the meantime, political leadership in the state should avoid issuing derogatory statements against each other and avoid washing dirty linen in public as thereby a political problem becomes a domestic feud.
Keeping in view the prevailing situation in the state where every eye is moist and every heart is bleeding with the result life has come to a standstill, Indian government needs to revive its Kashmir policy for the larger interests of the subcontinent wherein a nuclear threat is always looming. The communist parties of India, many NGO groups and political workers of repute that have visited the state have expressed their anguish and apprehensions on the distress in the state. All and sundry is concerned about the education of the future generation, dwindling economy and agony in the society. Thus, a government with foresight should not be cowed down by a saffron dictum as the buck starts here.
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 20 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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