It is a good sign that the Hurriyat has attempted to come out of its self-woven dreams and grasped the reality.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appears to have sensed the mood of the people in Kashmir, and their ever sharpening appetite for peace. He has also acknowledged the unique position in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in to take a call on Kashmir issue, primarily because of the unprecedented mandate that the people of the country have given to him for the second time since 2014. Now it is up to the Prime Minister that how he treads the path that would help Kashmiris live in peace.
This is not the first time when the Mirwaiz has voiced such a hope, but this time this optimism is laced with some realism as well. It needs to be analysed that on what date, time, place and the circumstances these words have been said . The occasion was Jumat –ul-Vida – the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan. He used the pulpit of Jamia Masjid, Srinagar, from where he has been delivering religious sermons drawing the contours of politics of Kashmir from time to time – sometime adopting a moderate tone, and, on other occasions quite strident , depending on the situation in which he finds himself. It would be better to say , the circumstances in which Kashmir reeled or revelled – there have been no occasions when the Kashmir has revelled in anything for the past few decades.
Significantly, the message that he delivered on May 31st is a definite linkage between peace and resolution of Kashmir crisis as per wishes of the people. This may sound a cliché, that has been used quite often in the Kashmiri lexicon by the leadership. The importance of this, however, lies in the fact that a reality has dawned on the people that Modi’s mandate is simply massive and the voter in the country was conscious that to whom he was voting for. The symbol was BJP’s lotus, but the vote was for the strong PM Modi. This strength of the mandate has reinforced the idea with a new thrust that he alone can resolve the Kashmir issue.
A re-reading of the words in the official press release issued by the APHC on Friday reveal so many things all at once . It read : “APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that “as people of India overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Narendra Modi and his party back into power, this mandate gives PM Modi the opportunity and the power to play a decisive role in the resolution of the long-pending Kashmir conflict which has consumed generations of Kashmiris and is preventing durable peace and development in the entire region.”
Decoding of this 56-word sentence , the prefix of Mr. before the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi included, tells (a) overwhelming mandate that Modi has got in the just concluded general election ,(b) this mandate throws up an opportunity and grants power to Modi to play a “decisive role” in resolving K issue,(c) genesis of the K problem because it has consumed generations ( to be precise three generations beginning with those born in late 1970s or early 1980s) , (d) more significantly because this issue has prevented reconciliation between India and Pakistan that threatened the regional peace ; the latest and the dangerous example being the Pulwama terror attack and what followed thereafter, bringing the two countries close to a war.
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This is realism . It cannot be denied that Kashmir conflict, from whichever angle it is viewed , is a peace destabilising factor. He also brought Pakistan into picture as usual. Kashmiri leadership is aware of the role that Pakistan has played in Kashmir – trouble maker then calls for dialogue . That is something that deflates all chances of peace in the region. The dialogue is important. More important than the dialogue is sincerity behind talks. The guiding factor should be peace not seeking premium in the name of “freedom struggle” used as a peddle to further troubles.
All hesitations should be shed, and certain frank questions must be asked. Didn’t the leadership play a mouthpiece for the trouble makers at times. How an attack across the border be an act of terror , and the similar type of attack in Kashmir and other parts of India is attributed to the “liberation struggle.” The tags of martyrdoms are given in plenty without understanding the impact it could have on the youngsters. If dialogue is the answer to the problem, the space for the suicide bombings should be closed . The Hurriyat did not act responsibly, its words, if scrutinised closely , show that it had no control on the dictionary or the vocabulary of their own.
It is a good sign that the Hurriyat has attempted to come out of its self-woven dreams and grasped the reality. Let’s wait for the moment when Modi takes the decisive step in this direction. Kashmiri leadership will have to untie their knots first.