SETTLE IT ONCE FOR ALL

3 weeks ago

8 min

–  Owais Qazi

Kashmir Issue is lingering from past over sixty nine years and there are no signs of its settlement in sight. Immense number of dialogues,  but nothing happening on ground. Situation this time is no surprise to inhabitants of this unfortunate part of the world, as they have witnessed much violence and mayhem before too. Killings, disappearances, rapes, interrogation and intimidation are a part of Kashmiri folklore. Ofcourse Pallets, PAVA, and blind children are new entries now. Unfortunately governments of state and centre are treating every issue as law and order problem and thus compounding the problem.

The present unrest erupted with the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani. The sea of people who attended his funeral prayers and hundreds of prayers in absentia in rest of the state exemplified the deep rooted alienation in Kashmir. The subsequent use of force on protestors deepened the crisis and now even after more than 2 and a half month India is unable to bring an hour of normalcy in Kashmir.      It seems that government of India has not learnt any lessons in Kashmir. It is still unable to answer certain questions.  Can India answer the young protesting boys about the broken promise of plebiscite by its first prime minister? Can it tell them how Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir becomes cheap sorry Chief Minister? Can it tell them about the whereabouts of then thousand disappeared Kashmiris? Can it tell them why was elections in 1987 rigged? Can it tell them why the culprits of human rights violations including infamous Kunan Poshpora are still scot free in largest democracy of world?  Under what laws are innocent children being blinded and killed?  Under which laws are 14 year old boys being arrested and beaten in custody? Infact these questions are baffling the minds of every Kashmiri especially the young boys who are controlling roads in our countryside right now.  

 Even a child of this unfortunate part of world knows about the futility of peace process, dialogue, summit talks, interlocution, probes and other alike terms. The memories of useless delegation visit in 2008 and unproductive interlocution in 2010 are still fresh.  There are heaps of unproductive probes of civilian killings . And now the mindless visits of Home Minister and flawed track two endeavors again proved the fact that New Delhi believe in time buying mechanism only. Had it not been so there would not be daily killings going on in Kashmir.  What is the meaning of JamhuriyatKashmiriyat and Insaniyat  when in short span of time 82 unarmed protesting boys are killed, 300 blinded and 10000 injured. Was it Insaniyat  to kill two teenage boys on Eid. Was it Kashmiriyat to disallow Eid Prayers? And was it Jamhuriya to impose curfew on Eid day? Given these facts such terms just seem abuses and salt to the wounds of hapless Kashmiris.

When Militancy phase was over, some people in India argued that Peaceful means should be adopted to achieve political goals, but when Kashmir witnessed huge peaceful protest marches in 2008 and 2010 India described it as “agitational terrorism”. Now what way should Kashmiris adopt to achieve their birth right?  Back home our chief minister insulted the mass movement by saying that “it is handiwork of only 5% of population”.  If she really believes so why doesn’t she allow Geelani to hold a public meeting in Srinagar? Let’s see in actuality what majority of people want in Kashmir.  It is too easy to pronounce judgments on TV shows but when it comes to actual performance on ground all becomes clear to common masses.  The demand for banning Pallet guns was responded with the introduction of PAVA grenades. Civil Society, Bar Association and even National Conference demanded complete ban on this so called non lethal weapon. But so effective was the response that now the protesting Kashmiris would have to face both. With each passing day Kashmir is going from bad to worse. Even 7 lakh security forces and other huge number of paramilitary forces are unable to control the situation on ground.  Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after some shouting went in hibernation!  Last time we saw her on a Scoty in Jammu. But Scooties , Bulbs and economic packages have already failed to settle the dust in Kashmir. Crocodile tears and hollow sympathy talks wont work.  The situation right now is an apt time for introspection. Rethinking on ‘’K’’ word is must. All the stakeholders need to ponder over the issue with an open heart.  Let’s not make our stand too hard to reach a solution. India has to accept the political nature of Kashmir problem and come with some bold decisions. Hurriyat and other separatist leaders also need to chalk out a logical and people friendly strategy.  The mainstream politicians on their part need to play the role of facilitators of the dialogue process. It is high time for all to act. And act for the future of our generation next. How long will we go on transmitting this problem from one generation to other?

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