The moment I started writing these lines, within a span of few hours, seven precious lives, one at Pattan, five at Pulwama and one at Baderwah, were lost in incidents of violence. It has been happening since thirty years now and just traditional condemnations, huge funerals, wrath laying ceremonies and ordering magisterial probes has been the methodology to ensure normalcy back. Who is getting benefitted from the violence and who wants to continue with it is a question everyone needs to answer. All state and non-state actors claim to be fighting for dignity and honor of people but the only outcome is only that dignity and honor of people is getting bulldozed. The claims and counter claims have made life of every one miserable but no one wants to concede defeat despite the fact that claims of victory by either side have yielded not much and proved like day dreaming at the end. Kashmiris have not been asking for stars and moons but just seek a peaceful and permanent resolution to the political issue while New Delhi feels it has been feeding Kashmiris since 1947 but fails to understand why it has not been able to win hearts and minds of masses despite claiming to have done everything. The question is will ever truth overcome false narratives and can good sense prevail over ego.
Violence may suit to few but dividends of peace are huge and have no match to the gains from violence. However, we need not to forget that not much lies in the hands of people of J&K as the fact is that while Indian state is encouraging use of force to suppress the voice of people of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan too has a big role in controlling the violence or in adding fuel to the fire. Now when it is proven that violence will take stakeholders nowhere and the only way out is a sincere dialogue to resolve the issue, but the unfortunate thing is that credibility of institution of dialogue stands already eroded If one will ask the militant outfits that armed struggle will not be able to yield desired results the answer would be what the dialogue has yielded and similarly if you ask the advocates of dialogue that talks have yielded nothing since seventy years the answer would be is violence a solution. However, no one has a reason to negate that a resolution through dialogue is far better, workable and effective than a resolution through violence. Isn’t it strange that just few days of violence in West Bengal during election campaigning compelled PM Narindra Modi to claim that Kashmir is more peaceful than Bengal and even election commission had to cut short the election campaigning. His political compulsions aside but one can easily judge that West Bengal violence was hitting the interests of not only TMC and BJP but those of common masses as well, and Narindra Modi had to understand that violence in Bengal has to end. But unfortunately for him too Kashmir is an exception and preachers of peace believe violence in Kashmir suits national interest.
If Bengal violence could make entire India feel the pain Kashmiris have a right to know why their sufferings, deaths and miseries go unheard. Whosoever comes to power in New Delhi needs to fulfil the huge responsibility of getting violence in J&K to an end as not only Kashmiris but Indian mothers are losing their sons in incidents of violence in J&K. Imran Khan has been time and again appealing for a resolution to Kashmir issue through dialogue with India and has even praised hardliner Narindra Modi with the hope that if he comes to power a sustained dialogue will be resumed. However, both the countries need to understand that the human tragedies taking place in Kashmir cannot be allowed to continue just for the reason there are national or state elections in Indian or Pakistan Every year is an election year in India and unless those who matter do not isolate elections from Kashmir issue, nothing will change and people will continue to suffer and die. Let New Delhi and Islamabad restore the credibility of institution of dialogue and dare to tell their people the truth about Kashmir, even if it may be different from their traditional claims. Kashmiri leaders also have to come out of their cocoons and play the role history has been waiting for them to play since 1947.