Opinion: Ghost of unrest
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Opinion: Ghost of unrest

 

Opinion: Ghost of unrest

Published on :17 Jun,2017

Sponsored by : Nexa Peaks Auto




Srinagar:
Current ground situation suggests that all is not well in Kashmir. First half of the calendar year-2017 was marked with several bloody incidents. In fact ghost of 2016-unrest continues to haunt the valley. Here people most of the times remain engaged in planning strategies to negotiate the probability of unrest. In other words, the situation has left Kashmiri civilian population confused almost on all fronts. 
The background of all this mess in Kashmir is not hidden as its roots rest in the creation of India and Pakistan as two different countries in 1947. Today Kashmir imbroglio has become intimately linked to the larger question of war and peace in South Asia. A virtual insurrection among Kashmiris since 1989 when armed militancy first time surfaced has led to the present crisis between India and Pakistan. Leaderships in India and Pakistan and even within the J&K State have compounded the basic issue when they frequently turned Kashmir into a badge of their own interests. We have to understand this fact that South Asia is considered today as the world's most dangerous place, where most of the people live in conditions of abject poverty. And has emerged as the biggest threat to security not because of poverty but from the rivalry between Pakistan and India for control of Kashmir. Frequent attempts to find either a military or negotiated solutions have failed and both countries are incurring significant long-term economic and human development costs because of their Kashmir policies.
Precisely, Kashmir problem has been mismanaged by two generations of Indians and Pakistanis and even Kashmiris. There is no age-group, except among the newest generation, who fervently believe that the time has come for a solution. And, timing is crucial. However, solutions to the problem have to operate at many levels with caution and flexibility. If a strategy for resolution of this conflict had begun in the early or mid-1980s then probably some of the crises would have been averted that arose later in that decade, and would not regard Kashmir now as one of the world's nuclear flash-points.
Meanwhile, it merits a mention here that with so many cadres pursuing so many agendas like ‘Independence from India’, ‘accession to Pakistan’, ‘autonomy’ etc., we as common Kashmiris stand simply confused. For the first decade of the current separatist movement, Kashmiri separatists ‘wanted’ nothing less than annexation of Kashmir from the union of India. During the course of struggle thousands fell to the bullets; thousands disappeared; thousands of children were left orphans; thousands of women widowed or left half widowed; and property worth thousands of crores was razed to the ground.

After suffering this unforgettable loss, we witnessed a shift in strategy. Thus began negotiations with India and cadres vigourously engaged themselves in talks etc. During this course another decade of resistance passed without any substantial peace results. The only thing happened is that India not only consolidated its grip militarily over Kashmir, but also regained its political foothold over Kashmir with more strength.
This situation is nicely summed up by one of my veteran Pandit acquaintances. He says ‘in our childhood, while the gambler used to stop to play anymore, he used to say ‘be-ha aes panun’. (I have gained back my losses). He further quotes the song of Ghulam Nabi Doalwal: “Mezarea bal tani chi hazarea tufan; Vujarea gachi gachi kabear ti raveam”(While on way to graveyard, there are thousands of storms. I have lost right to my own graveyard while facing intermittent destructions).
In succinct, Kashmir needs a helping hand - an outside perspective because Indian and Pakistani strategists are locked in a mindless competition over tactical advantage and scoring diplomatic points. It is equally important that there is an end to alphabet diplomacy. They have created a bizarre dimension to the Kashmir problem.
So, the Kashmir issue needs to be put in a specific and rational political and economic context, and at the same time demands strong foundations for a realistic and just resolution in the emerging scenario of the regional and global political realities. Isn’t it a pity that even after seventy years of independence, for whatever reasons, democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, for their very survival, have to seek shelter under the law enforcing agencies? However, there is no denying the fact that any solution to the problems of the State can only be found through democratic and political means and the use of force is no substitute for a policy of engagement and dialogue.





Rayat Bahra University, Mohali