Kashmir: Politics, policy & status quo

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Kr Swarn Kishore Singh

Before we dig deep, there is a fun fact which describes Kashmir and its conspicuous complexities, a terrorist namely Majid Dar befriended a sub-inspector of Border Security Forces, consequently they became good friends. Majid Dar gave that BSF guy a tip about some terrorist hide-out and as the subsequent part of quid pro quo, the BSF official helped him cross LoC to reach Pakistan. Both Majid Dar & the BSF officer be-trayed their duties and their respective stances but the question remains, in pursuit of what? Therefore the words of Brajesh Mishra hold some water when he says, ‘There is nothing straight in Kashmir except poplar trees’.
New Delhi has never been clear over Kashmir more than the integral part scheme. Yes, Kashmir is an integral part of India but a paralysed one; no efforts were made to make people part of India. And if we are to zero in on one reason behind this perpetual alienation, it is confused leadership Kashmir has received till date, which specia-lises in subterfuge only. Imagine Sheikh Abdullah was the one who started with Muslim Conference, then advocated the accession to India and then suddenly developed a soft spot for our intrusive neighbour; so many a change of heart. Once Sheikh Abdullah while addressing the State Constituent Assembly; had said that the Constituent Assembly will decide whether to accede to India or to Pakistan or to seek independence. The state assembly under his leadership had adopted a constitution which in its section 3 says, ‘The state of Jammu & Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the union of India’. And then when Sheikh Abdullah & Co. were discussing modalities of Indira-Sheikh accord and Sheikh Abdullah sends his son Farooq Abdullah to Pakistan to seek permission to sign pact. Chicanery or scepticism?
History stands witness to the confusion with which New Delhi has dealt with Kashmir. When in early 90s, New Delhi was investing so very much in search of a democratic substitute of Abdullahs in Shabir Shah, he developed a cold feet just to appease ISI. When people showed up and looked forward to him as the saviour to rescue them out of swampy politics of Kashmir, he started yearning for a Nobel Peace Prize and opening his shops in South Delhi. Narasimha Rao romanced Shabir Shah, Atal ji had his likings for Yaseen Malik and Dr. Manmohan Singh was for Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and then for status quo. Hence the shambles! It can be easily inferred that New Delhi never had a consistent policy for Kashmir, and who enjoys a massacre, vultures do. And Kashmir has been in the hands of vultures who have been doing every possible things to quench their thirst of power, mulcting the passiveness of New Delhi at the cost of lives of some and innocent people. In his book ‘Kashmir; The Vajpayee years’; As Dulat writes while being IB chief of Kashmir group, his primary job was to keep Farooq Abdullah in good mood. Irony, not! Kashmir needed something pioneering to get out the inertia of bloodshed.
Since accession of Jammu & Kashmir with India on 26th October 1947, if something concrete has taken place in this part of India, it took place on 5th August, 2019. In the morning of 5th August last year, something which was yearned and eulogised since long by the people of India and condemned by Pakistan and its stooges in Kashmir, finally happened. Although it was too nasty a blow for Kashmir-based Jihadi political parties but thankfully they were not allowed to spew much of venom. Flamboyant Farooq was allowed to address press and then because of his theatrics to intensify and provoke the situation and make it tense, he too was contained. Subsequently, a lot of media houses started ranting about the detention of Farooq Abdullah, his son & daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed which makes it three former Chief Ministers and scores of former ministers.
Nobody would have had anticipated Kashmir would receive the detention of the so-called leaders of Kashmir so very well. I was in Kashmir in the week of republic day celebrations this year. I was in Kashmir university campus for some time and had an opportunity to meet some students as well. Their reaction seemed overwhelming with different stances but one issue on which all of them were convinced was that the detained politicos need not be released at any cost in near future or the situation will worsen. The sentiments of those students were so very overwhelming to make very brutal statements such as; the freedom of movement of these scoundrels need to be curtailed, their eloquence should be restricted, let them all rot in the posh hotel suites where they are made to stay and we are even ready to pay for their luxuries in the hotel turned jails.
Just when the things seemed moving with some seriousness, something which Jammu & Kashmir hasn’t seen much, the contrary happened. I must say bluntly Altaf Bukhari is nothing but Gul Mohammad Shah 3.0 or Mufti Sayeed 2.0. As Gul Mohammad Shah had the backings of Indira Gandhi, he bought most of the legislators to topple Farooq Abdullah and become Chief Minister. Similarly, Mufti Sayeed became Chief Minister even after winning just 16 seats in assembly of 87; only qualification he possessed was a desperate nod from the then Congress President Antonio Maino aka Sonia Gandhi. Both Gul Shah & Mufti Sayeed failed New Delhi badly & Kashmir miserably. As alleged Jammu & Kashmir Apni Party is also a similar attempt and this outfit is filled upto brim with corrupt and habitual turncoats. The members of this fresh outfit are already emitting a stench of hunger for power and this quest of theirs has its origin in a desperate attempt to keep their corrupt past under carpet, as they fear a fresh and fair Government could possibly bring their wrongdoings and corrupt practices to public domain and maybe penal scrutiny could follow as well. How come New Delhi finds them capable of mainstreaming the common Kashmiris? I am surprised! As much I could analyse, Jammu & Kashmir Apni Party is nothing but a political guile filled with deceit.
After 5th August, last year many things have changed; the Union Government has settled all the ambiguities with respect to relation of J&K with rest of India. The rants of secession from India, autonomy, self rule and all other mediums of separatism or I can say all the mediums of expression of Pakistan Prem have been put to rest. Basically all the principles and propagandas on the basis of which all these regional political parties were formed are redundant and obsolete now. Either they have to reframe their policies and objectives or they will find themselves irrelevant in near future. Kashmir, if wants to find some stability should find some young guys who believe in carpe-diem and then Kashmir should bless them with their confidence and shun these Gupkar Goons, Hyderpora thugs & Maisuma morons.
Shah Faisal could have had been a better buy for Kashmir but he fell in wrong hands and hence wasted. Kashmir needs to figure this out and fortunately they have ample time for that. Almost 3 years to go into elections, Kashmir needs to finds guys who are serious about Kashmir and specifically not those who gets their order from across the border. It is not only because India has some unsettled accounts with Pakistan but because Pakistan never wants a stable and peaceful Kashmir, it is against their interests. And see the chronology of events; before signing Indira-Sheikh accord, Sheikh Abdullah sent his son Farooq Abdullah to Pakistan to get requisite instructions, Farooq Abdullah sent Omar Abdullah to meet Parvez Musharraf before 2008 elections, Mufti Sayeed thanked Pakistan for free and fair 2014 J&K assembly elections, what-ever they did, a nod from Islamabad has been a constant sine qua non for them. Now since, there is a different set of people sitting in North Block, New Delhi, this fashion isn’t received well. Kashmir needs to be clear over the fact whether they want their destiny to be decided from Anantnag or Islamabad, Kupwara or Karachi, Sopore or Lahore. It is high time for New Delhi as well to reconsider whether to stand by these rogues or let the real leadership grow in Kashmir. It is high time for New Delhi to make arrangements for societal integration of Kashmir with India, after we are done with constitutional integration of Kashmir, but it should be per fas and not per nefas. New Delhi has been committing the same mistake again and again with a hope of change in results. Believe me, if you will change nothing, nothing will change, to perpetuate the error is no virtue but to correct it should be your endeavour and even the political conscience calls for that.

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