The way ahead

Kashmir has to find answers to its own problems

Impressions

BINOO JOSHI

Kashmir and America  are set apart  by thousands of miles. There, hardly can be any comparison between the two.  America has rediscovered itself, Kashmir has not Kashmir. It may be said  without fear of contradiction that Kashmir has been let down by  India and Pakistan who have not ceased playing games with the  people  here.  The Valley and its people have to find their own hills and climb them, to show their strength and that has to  be  spotlighted  with the brightness it deserves. It can no longer afford to be an isolated island, where peace and violence play hide and seek  with each other. Peace is paramount, that fact has been  widely recognized  by the people, but at the same time, a fear lurks that this momentary peace can  be taken away from them, any moment and any second. 
First of all, it has to look within  to find out where it stands and where its  icons are?  All these questions  have been overlooked and that has taken its toll. There is  an emotional outburst  on one side and the fire fighting measures are  used to bring about semblance  of order, which can transform  into a disorder with a single word and sentence. To  deploy police and paramilitary forces  and  imposition of curfew  can be counted as   short-term measures.   These short-term  approaches and the long term approaches are talked  about but  those are never accessed and never attempted  by any one. This ad-hoc approach has been the bane of Kashmir  and there is no one coming forward to challenge that.
Kashmir is  not America. It is a  part of an emerging superpower  and that too at the fringes  of its borders Pakistan would not like India to ever become   a member of the United States Security Council or to ever see  this country of 1.2 billion as a shining star on the  horizon. The ground reality of the day is that geographically that Kashmir, most of it is with India, Pakistan is causing harm to Kashmir and Kashmiris as well Pakistan has fought three and a half wars over Kashmir since 1947 and  has been unable to annex Kashmir - this is the argument of many  in India, who  day in and day-out talk of  “Kashmir being an integral part of India”.  In their view  Kashmir’s prosperity and growth  are  being hampered by Pakistan, while Islamabad, which finds itself in the quagmire of its own home grown terrorism, where mosques and markets are bombed, leave aside the attacks on the  army, navy and  air force camps, feels that  Kashmir is part of its unfinished agenda. It is not regretting as much the loss of East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh”  as much its failure to  find a  foothold in Kashmir. Again, it can be said that Punjab dominated Pakistan is least interested in anything else that the territory of Kashmir and its vast resources. Its claim of  offering  “ moral, diplomatic and  political support to  the cause of Kashmir”, is just a  ploy. Most of the people in Kashmir know it very well   and that’s why Pakistan’s claims  are not taken as seriously now as the case used to be  more than two decades ago.
Pakistan has embarked on an interventionist  adventure.  This  temptation, it has learnt from the United States of America that intervention is the best thing to do. The U S applied, as  if it was a super cop  of the world in many places, ranging from Somalia to  Afghanistan and  Iraq  and it is contemplating to do something disastrous to the nuclear facilities of North Korea and Iran. With its  resources, built  during the time of Cold War when  “ Mujhadeen” were fighting the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan  diverted  those to Kashmir, particularly when it found that there were takers  of its arms, and ammunition  within the Valley, disillusioned with the system on many counts. There is no need to explain – what happened in Kashmir over the six decades, particularly since 1990s- is  so crystal clear  to the people of Kashmir, whose  number may stagger between 600,000 to 700,000, but they are  one of the most intelligent and   vastly politically aware lot on this planet. They   know  what is best for them. Leave the things to them.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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