An open letter to Mr. Amit Shah

Aadab,

Just some days after assuming office as India’s Home Minister your visit to Kashmir is an indication that you are concerned about the Kashmir issue, and the issues of Kashmir. Whatsoever you might have been briefed by the state administration, including various agencies, may not come in public domain, but having risen from grassroots level, after seeing much ups and downs, to become the Home Minister of the world’s largest democracy, it is easily understandable that your good self knows much about Kashmir. Not only you but Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi have been very honest in revealing that J&K dispute has come into existence because of wrong policies of Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru and his colleagues. Even Prime Minister has gone to the extent to say that had Sardar Patel been India’s first Prime Minister, J&K problem would not have been there. Most of the Kashmiris, political analysts, and historians are in agreement with what you or Mr. Modi have been accusing Congress leadership of viz-a-viz Kashmir dispute. However, current BJP leadership prefers to forget the fact that whatever Nehru Ji did is part of the history. Good and civilized nations always respect the international and bi-lateral agreements. Whatsoever commitments and promises Mr. Nehru has made with people of J&K, successive governments are duty bound to fulfil and respect them. As long as Nehru Ji’s name exists in the list of Indian Prime Ministers, people of J&K have every right to seek fulfilling of the promises made with them. There is no short cut resolution to J&K dispute, however, if current regime can find some way out to wipe out Nehru Ji’s name from the list of Prime Ministers, Kashmiris will automatically stop talking about the issue.

Anyway your visit to Kashmir has raised the hope that Central Government will review and revisit its military and muscular approach on Kashmir and deal with the situation by having political approach. Sir, one may agree or disagree with your politics but the fact is that despite all its efforts and using all agencies against you, Congress party could not muzzle your voice and you proved your worth by emerging as a strong voice not only within BJP; your opponents see you as a man of strong will, having patience to listen to your opponents and turn the public opinion towards your side. You can better understand that if your voice or that of Narendra Modi could not be suppressed how your muscular policies can make Kashmiris calm down and surrender. Before praising Sardar Patel you should not forget that as India’s first Home Minister he is known for persuading princely states to join the Indian Union, as such his role in the instrument of accession between Hari Singh and New Delhi cannot be taken for-granted. Sir, isn’t it a reality that successive governments disrespected the terms and conditions of instrument of accession executed under the leadership of Mr. Patel. By snatching constitutional guarantees and eroding J&K’s special status, successive Governments including yours are disrespecting Mr. Patel. Please understand that silence of graveyard will never help, and every effort aimed at bringing peace without addressing the aspirations of masses will never succeed. How strange that talks offer made by Huriyat leaders is being projected as their weakness, without realizing that how difficult it is for Huriyat leaders to justify their offer of talks to their own cadres. Lack of genuine political initiative, and chocking of political space has already created a huge vacuum on the ground and those who are just counting number of militants being killed every day may be professionally correct but are keeping the entire country in dark; eliminating militants and eliminating militancy are two different things. Let us be honest to understand that killing militants acts like fuel for militancy. It is good to wage a war against corruption, nepotism and bad governance but ignoring the real dimensions of the issue will take us nowhere. Sir, please understand the compulsions of Hurriyat leadership. There are growing voices on ground who have started accusing Hurriyat leadership of preparing for a sell out and if their offers are projected as their weaknesses, it will become more difficult for them to come forward for the talks. Let us not forget that Huriyat is the creation of sentiment, and the sentiment is not their creation. Creating distrust and pitching Kashmiris against each other will mean anarchy. Let us understand that not only Kashmiris but entire subcontinent is suffering because of Kashmir problem, and if your good-self and Mr. Modi will rise to the occasion and show statesmanship people of the subcontinent and the entire world will acknowledge your wisdom; this for a prosperous tomorrow for all.

Yours sincerely

AIP President