Kashmir is peaceful. Really?

Kashmir is peaceful. Really?
By Ameer Tarin  

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. (JOHN F. KENNEDY)
The people of Kashmir have struggled for the last 66 years to find peace which has been denied to them even at the cost of thousands of lives, disappeared expended in torture chambers buried in unidentified graves, hundreds of rapes, billions worth property razed to a mound of rubble and finally populace succumbing to the pressures of trauma and mental illnesses. Kashmir is paying a heavy price for dirty politics played in the sub-continent by political mafia stirring up religious emotions and playing politics of nostalgia backed by exploitation of sensitivities.

So much is being done on the international level to make amends for the wrongs done in the past as it is newly dawned on right-thinking people that enough is enough and people suffering for times immemorial need to be salvaged from misery and agony. The much talked about "peace in Kashmir" has the following few characteristically distinctive features needing attention so that the projected peaceful atmosphere vis-a-vis the ground reality clears the picture:

– Hindustan Times November 28, 2012
One CRPF’s 73rd Battalion (Central Reserve Police Force) was killed and another injured in two separate militant attacks in Kashmir. CRPF spokesman Sudhir Kumar told Hindustan Times that militants attacked a CRPF camp on the Bemina by-pass road in Srinagar, the capital city of Kashmir. Late in the afternoon, suspected militants hurled a grenade in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town injuring a CRPF person. The injured army man, identified as Ram Vilas Gujjar, belonged to CRPF.

– nvonews.com: November 26, 2012
Majority of disappeared persons in Kashmir, a study revealed some startling data that more than 72 percent of those who disappeared after being picked up by security forces or alleged militants in the last 23 years were innocent civilians.

– Kashmirwatch November 21, 2012
Having a free hand, Indian army is also at liberty to indulge in dressing down routine exercises of civilians whenever and wherever it pleases them. Scores of people in Taratpora area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district staged strong protest demonstrations against Indian army after soldiers allegedly beat up civilians without any provocation.

– Voice of America November 14, 2012
Three Indian troops, two rebels die in Kashmir gunfight. Two suspected militants from Pakistan and three Indian troops were killed in a fierce gun battle in the Indian controlled zone of divided Kashmir, a military spokesman said. The gunfight took place in Kashmir’s Nowgam sector, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the capital city Srinagar, as reported, the rebels tried to cross into the Indian side. Muslim separatists have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from Hindu-majority India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. Thousands have been killed in the insurgency.

– Forbes.com November, 8, 2012
"The conflict in Kashmir led to infertility and miscarriages and women are diagnosed with polycystic syndrome or endocrine disorder causing women to stop ovulating, gain unusual weight, develop irregular periods, skin problems and grow abnormal facial and body hair".

– Xinhua November 06, 2012
Bipin Rawat, an Indian army officer, reported Pakistan cease-fire violation in Kashmir and Indian request for a flag meeting turned down but India, Rawat says, gave Pakistan a befitting reply.

– Associated Press October 16, 2012
Indian army’s Brijesh Pandey said that 3 civilians were killed in Kashmir from Pakistani mortar-fire across cease-fire line but as reported there was no independent confirmation of the incident.

– Hindustan Times October 14, 2012)
India’s Home Minister SushilKumar Shinde claimed that relative peace and steep decline in violence in Kashmir did not warrant a revocation of draconian laws, giving absolute powers to Indian army, extended to Kashmir and for the ´chhota-mota´ (teeny-weeny) peace the laws like AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) cannot be revoked. It is noteworthy that Omar Abdullah Kashmir’s installed Chief Minister has consistently been asking for revocation of all these severely oppressive laws.

– Hindustan Times September 20, 2012
In the bloody violence since 1989 in Kashmir; against four militants killed; an army and three civilians were also killed. The official data furnished to Hindustan Times reveals that 40, 127 people were killed in 22 years accounting five deaths on an average per day. However human rights groups and separatists put the toll of killings in between 70,000 and 100,000 with claims of 8,000 disappearances.

– Mail Online August 28, 2012
An Indian Session’s court remanded 12 year old Javid Ahmed for 15 days in police custody for charges of sedition, stone-pelting and attempt to murder but a Kashmir court granted him bail the following day.
– Hindustan Times August 14, 2012



Zardari pitches for dialogue on Pakistan Independence Day; three Indian security personnel were killed and while the Pakistan President called for sustained peace with India, the Government of India said there were 154 ceasefire violations by Pakistan and 49 incidents of firing at BSF (Border Security Force) positions in Kashmir since 2009.
– Mail OnLine May 2, 2012

The hands of Supreme Court of India were tied as it could not conduct the trial of a Kashmiri killed by an Indian army officer in a fake encounter. The reason given by Supreme Court was the protection Indian army receives from various draconian laws extended to Kashmir.

– Zeenews.com March 19, 2012
Zee News quoting CBI, reported that Pathribal encounter was a cold blooded murder and CBI told the Supreme Court that the alleged fake encounter at Pathribal in Kashmir 12 years ago in which seven people were killed by Army personnel were cold-blooded murders and the accused officials deserve to be meted out exemplary punishment.

Aforementioned incidents reported are only tip of an ice-berg and there is lot more happening out in Kashmir than meets the eye. In spite of this entire unpleasant environment; it is hoped that back-door diplomacy worked out to find a solution to resolve a long standing issue as per the wish of the people of Kashmir gets more support from decision making people of the global village.

DR J L Matto a nationalist Kashmir Pandit while disagreeing with the political status quo of Kashmir commented that "we cannot expect alienation of Kashmiris to end as long as we try to provide cover-ups to the atrocities committed by our security forces. CBI has done well in denying holy cow status to the security forces invoked in the heinous crime against innocent youth in particular and the ordinary souls in general….we need to punish the guilty at all costs".

The key factor for a genuine desire for restoration of peace is to allow people of Kashmir, real stake holders, the basic right for freedom of speech and expression. The unprecedented harsh and coercive methods have proved counter-productive giving rise to hatred, animosity and beyond repair bad relations with eventual involvement of future generations. It is sincerely hoped that better sense will prevail and an amicable solution to the problem is found without causing any further damage and delay.
–(Courtesy: The Canadian)