Kashmir's political leadership is a story of a consistent failure

Er Rashid
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 10 2018 11:31PM | Updated Date: Aug 10 2018 11:31PM
Kashmir's political leadership is a story of a consistent failureRepresentational Pic

Times do change. How can Kashmiris forget, soon after the start of armed struggle in 1989, then leader of the opposition Rajiv Gandhi, who headed an all party delegation to Kashmir, made an open confession that Kashmir has gone out of India’s hands forever. Soon after his confession New Delhi through track two offered to discuss even Bhutan model for the resolution of dispute and few years later Narsima Rao offered Autonomy saying that sky is the limit. With the passage of time New Delhi encouraged by the success of anti-militancy operations, its muscular policy, a division within pro-resistance groups and willingness of pro-Indian parties to contest elections, started hardening its stand and situation reached to a point where we are today begging Indian Supreme Court not to abrogate Article 35-A, a clause of Indian constitution. And everyone of us pledging to sacrifice our last drop of blood for safeguarding 35-A. It doesn’t necessarily mean that New Delhi would have been sincere in its offers but good diplomacy and strategy makes always things move forward. Anyway after 1989 era what erosions New Delhi had made to the special status of state given to it as a result of temporary instrument of accession, were not only expected to be reversed but the real dispute should have been heading for a resolution for the larger interest of people of sub-continent and the world peace. Nobody expected over night results when youth took to arms to compensate the huge blunders, surrenders and compromise made by political leadership from 1947 to 1989. But with Kashmiri leaders busy in proving everyone stupid if not a traitor except themselves since past thirty years, New Delhi successfully used the opportunity to strengthen its narrative and position on all fronts. While so called mainstream parties preferred to act like proxies and collaborators for India’s interest by representing India in Kashmir, except Geelani Sahab and Aasia Andrabi, most of the Kashmiri leaders preferred to rely on Pakistan for their survival. It seems that even the word “introspection” has been removed from all dictionaries available in Kashmir and anyone daring to seek introspection has to face the heat. No doubt Pakistan has always supported Kashmiris and put its survival and existence on stake but Pakistan can never run away from the harsh fact that Kashmiris had given it through a silent consent the attorney to represent them and negotiate over the settlement of the dispute with India. It costs nothing to make claims of any sort but while mainstream parties claiming to be seeking resolution to Kashmir dispute within Indian constitution have failed even in protecting the mortal remains of special status, Pakistan and pro-resistance leadership owe an answer to people of J&K that what went wrong to the extent that New Delhi turned so arrogant and got emboldened to bulldoze everything that would be like an impediment in merger of J&K with Union of India. The unfortunate part of the story is that we every time expect India’s harsh, illegal and anti-people measure to benefit us at the end of the day but it never happens for one reason or the other and proves like a hope against the hope. We expect miracles to occur in our favour but unfortunately so far these dreams have not been coming true, mainly because of our own stupidities. Kashmiri leaders from all streams rather introspecting their achievements and failures and trying to develop a much needed consensus on various sensitive issues  including the basic dispute, prefer to do what suits their personal ego and interest. Kashmiris have a reason to hate New Delhi but blaming New Delhi for our all miseries is laughable at least from the point of view that Kashmiris are not seeking resolution to dispute within Indian constitution but ask for implementing UN resolutions. New Delhi has institutions, think tanks and everything which guide and frame the policies and convert even failures into ray of hope, while Kashmiris are a divided house and more than that caged in a lawless jail. It is Kashmiris who must feel concerned and worried for the reason they are the victims and the sufferers. How hard it may be to digest but the fact is that India has successfully pushed us from a position of strength to making us beggars and apologetic. But let New Delhi again not forget the times and circumstances do change and India can’t be the exception. What Kashmiris are feeling today may be the case with New Delhi tomorrow; however it doesn’t exonerate the Kashmiri leadership from its failures and introspection.

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