Need for a roadmap

The ongoing struggle is not a question paper of a high school examination and the leaders are no examinees. Nobody sought a roadmap from Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi or Jawahar Lal Nehru in black and white



The Secretary General of Jammu Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR), Dr Syed Nazir Gilani has questioned the ability of the pro-resistance leadership to negotiate with New Delhi on Kashmir. He also said, “Separatists have no paper or plan with them to negotiate with India.”

Gilani’s JKCHR has a special consultative status with the UN. He has been working on Kashmir for the past several decades. His write ups are always thought provoking. A leader from Mirwaiz fraction candidly admitted that he has been taking valuable tips from his articles.



Yes, the Hurriyat leaders lack the art of talks. But who has it?  Late Zulifkar Ali Bhutto was known for his intellectual, oratory and negotiating skills. But, he was so helpless during his `historic’ talks with Sardar Soran Singh that he felt like beating his chest. For five days he could not make out what the Sardar was up to.  

Mirza Muhammad Afzal Beg was no ordinary a person. He talked with Parthasarthy for several years. What did he get? Before signing the accord, Sheikh Abdullah and Mirza Afzal Beg issued a series of statements wherein it was mentioned that New Delhi had agreed to restore pre-53 status. But the most important point found a place at the bottom of the 1975 accord.  “No agreement was possible on the question of nomenclature of the Governor and the chief minister and the matter is therefore remitted to the Principals.” [Para 6 of the accord (SIC)].

The Hurriyat leadership also talked to New Delhi. In their meeting with the Prime Minister, the leadership shockingly sought release of political prisoners. New Delhi responded by releasing two persons. One of the released was involved in a sex racket. The leadership alone knows why and how they were interested in release of person involved in a sex racket.

Nazir Gilani is right when says the leadership must hire experts for talks. The chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Malik Muhammad Yasin has a better option. According to him, the job of talking to New Delhi must be entrusted to the civil society actors. He has even identified a team, which by our local standards is credible, honest and also acceptable to all shades of opinion. This can ensure transparency as well.

The art of negotiations also includes the ability to decide the timing of talks. And last but not the least the person must know why he is talking. Right now New Delhi is not even ready to accept the ground realities. Interlocutors have been appointed but their terms of reference have not been decided. The first point in Syed Ali Geelani’s five-point-formula has not been accepted. It seems New Delhi wants to engage the leadership in talks on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), removing bunkers from urban areas, unemployment and development.

When Nazir Gilani says the leadership has no paper or plan, many people will exercise their right to differ with him. What happened to National Conference’s autonomy document? It was passed by the Legislative Assembly by overwhelming majority. New Delhi did not even read it.

And, what happened to the Re-Settlement Act? It was also passed by both houses of the state legislature. The Governor referred it to Supreme Court. The apex court returned it after two decades without any modifications which made it an Act. What happened?

Why was Sajjad Lone’s ‘Achievable Nationhood’ thrown in the bin? He did not seek sovereignty. Why was Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) ‘Self Rule’ Document ignored?
New Delhi did not even accept General Musharraf’s four points. It was not framed by a Kashmiris but a section of the Hurriyat leadership saw the beginning of the resolution process in it.

The JKLF chief, Malik Muhammad Yasin toured the entire Valley. He collected more than one million signatures in two years. The signatures were presented to the Prime Minister in the form of a memorandum. Did anything move?   
Why should the pro-resistance leadership have a roadmap by the way? The on-going struggle is not a question paper of a high school examination and the leaders are no examinees. Nobody sought a roadmap from Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi or Jawahar Lal Nehru in black and white.

All Kashmiri leaders have time and again made clear that post independent Jammu Kashmir will take care of the minorities, their rights and cultural ethos. Why should anybody in India be concerned over post Independent survival of Jammu Kashmir? They should be more concerned about 650 million Indians who defecate on roads. They should be concerned for 46% of world’s mal-nourished children that live in India. Shockingly, even sub-Saharan Africa has a better record of child malnourishment at 30 per cent while China records eight per cent and Pakistan 37 per cent. 

The restricted self determination in one of the resolutions of United Nation’s Security Council has been widely debated and resented. But the steps for final resolution laid down by the resolutions are flawless and can make a good roadmap for resolution if at all it (roadmap) is necessary. The most important point at this juncture is to make New Delhi address the basic issue. Once this is done, all the capable persons who unfortunately are on other side of the fence will come back, join hands and sit together with the leadership to chalk out future strategy.

Feedback at