Yashwant Sinha led team of concerned citizens recently concluded its second visit to valley. From the perspective of humanity, it was a good step taken by civil society group i,e Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. Kashmir is long pending issue in the Indian sub continent and needs to be tackled carefully with a right approach. Over the years Kashmir has been treated with callous approach by successive governments and several other quarters. From Prime Minister Nehru’s promise of plebiscite to Vajpayee’s slogan “Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat”, Kashmir issue has been at the core of difficulties in India-Pakistan relation. Going through the history of Kashmir, many a times in the past India and Pakistan almost reached nearer to agreement over the issue, but fundamentalists of sub continent acted as saboteurs and sabotaged the resolution of this long pending issue once forever. Be it the sincere efforts of Lal Bahadur Shastri which culminated in Tashkent Declaration or Indra- Bhutto – Shimla agreement or Vajpayee – Musharaf Agra summit or Lahore Declaration, the issue would have been settled three decades back if Indian leadership would have accepted Kashmir a key issue.
During his two visits Yashwant Sinha the head of a team of concerned citizens of India met people of different walks of life for restoration of peace in Kashmir. People have different opinions on Kashmir issue. People from main stream play blame game, by criticizing each other & have never worked for its final settlement. People in the government t always hide their failures & mislead the central government. Those from the separatist’s camp are also not in a position to present actual views of the majority. Those from the civil society groups are also not firm to on what they say about Kashmir resolution. The lack of consistency in stands on Kashmir resolution shown by separatist leadership, mainstream leaders and other concerned stake holders show that central government has ignored the suggestions of one all because of the inconsistency in stands shown by all of them .
Since the civil society group of the concerned citizens led by Yashwant Sinha has no official mandate, so the people find no reason to own and endorse the views of this group. In fact Vajpayee and Musharaf had reached nearer to an agreement to settle all pending issues in the subcontinent & draft for a four point program (FPP) was formulated. Sinha himself being the senior minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet was part of the team that scripted the draft at Agra summit. People of the subcontinent were expecting solution of different pending problems between the two countries & Kashmir on top priority, but arrogance of few hawks in the then central government destroyed the dreams of the people. Since Yashwant Sinha has assssed the situation of valley from last several years , the people in Jammu & Kashmir reserve the right to ask Yashwant Sinha that how can his efforts bring an attitudinal change in the conduct of dealings of the Modi government with the issues concerning Kashmir when a Minister in PMO from our state recently said ‘Kashmir is not an issue and the only unresolved is how to retrieve occupied part of the state from Pakistan’. On one hand Kashmir is core issue of two countries buton the other hand Modi government is not ready to accept Kashmir a dispute. Its ones Jugular vein & others Integral part on papers. We understood it as a lip service only. Kashmiries killed, harassed, but both countries play blame games on the issue.
Instrument of Accession is for only three subjects, defence, communication and foreign affairs. Other princely states have completely merged, but J & K has not. When this true statement is issued by veteran politician Dr Karan Singh & former Sadr e Riyasat (President of State), no one objects and if same is demanded by a common Kashmiri, he is termed anti national. So majority of the Indians should understand this fact.
The recent visit of Yashwant Sinha was different from the earlier one as the situation this year is much different from the previous year. New cycle of violence is totally new to people in Kashmir as frequency of firing incidents, encounters and attacks on policemen have increased. There is no end to killings of civilians in encounters and almost in every single encounter a civilian killing is reported. People assemble around encounter sites spontaneously but are retaliated with volley of bullets. The recent visit of Yashwant Sinha did not get the response which the Sinha group would have expected.
A group of young scholars group called CRPD (Centre of Research for Development) invited Yashwant Sinha to address an event but the topic expected was far away from mission of Sinha’s visit. The topic on which Sinha spoke was “Indian Foreign Policy: Opportunities and Concerns for Next Decade”. During his address Sinha narrated the story of a German foreign officer who later on joined politics to stop the exploitation of Germans by providing direct benefits of the products of the Germany. Since I was also a participant in this debate, what I understood in my language Videshi Bagao – Swadeshi Apnao( Leave Foreign & Prefer Indigenous) .
It is common slogan in India to avoid exported/ foreign material & prefer indigenous products. Why our high quality produce viz; fresh & dry fruits get minimum prices as compared to low quality of other states/ countries. The prices of produce of different commodities of various states are fixed at their Mandies for example; the prices of even rotten tomatoes are fixed at Delhi & other Mundees, while the price of our produce fresh/ dry fruits of high quality is again decided at Delhi & other Mundees. We get low price as compared to other Indian states. Himachal Pradesh fruits of low quality get huge prices and our high quality fruits get less. Our peak tourist season is disturbed and other states get benefitted. Is this not the deliberate attempt to destabilise the economy of our state as all know that Agriculture & Tourism are backbone of our economy. Is this not a deliberate attempt/ conspiracy to destabilise the economy of our state? Products of PaK get handsome prices as compared to ours.
Secondly Sink mentioned the story of our neighbouring country Pakistan. We want both countries to become good friends & good neighbours. As we know one part of the state lies with them, which we call PaK or POK, but position of Prime Minister / President still exists there in PaK or POK. Though the region couldn’t have developed is other story, but we have never found encounters, fake encounters, mass graves, human rights violations, killings, bullets, pellets , PAVA, extortion , torture and atrocities there. There are no draconian laws like DAA, POTA, AFSPA and PSA’s slapped on its own citizens. Here people of Kashmir are treated as third grade citizens & watched through the prism of anti nationals. Attributing everything to Pakistan is not going to work. India justifies its stands on the basis of population, but world is watching its actions.
Majority of the common Indians has not understood the Kashmir issue. They are mislead either by the government of the day or mislead by the media. TV channels with no ethics are free to propagate the views Indian jingoists like with the blessing and the clout of the people at the helm of affairs and the results are disastrous. They do not miss a chance in misleading the common masses and always hide facts. To propagate the real issue of Kashmir in the right perspective and make aware majority of Indians about the situation that led to state’s accession with the Union of India but not its merger. Kashmir had its own Prime Minister / President up to 1965. Kashmir has its own state flag, separate constitution (in place of IPC- Indian Penal Code, we have RPC- Ranbir Penal Code). We have special status of assembly having valid for 6 years term. Central laws cannot be enacted/ implemented in our state, without the concurrence of State Assembly. Instrument of Accession is for only three subjects, defence, communication and foreign affairs. Other princely states have completely merged, but J & K has not. When this true statement is issued by veteran politician Dr Karan Singh & former Sadr e Riyasat (President of State), no one objects and if same is demanded by a common Kashmiri, he is termed anti national. So majority of the Indians should understand this fact.
(The Writer is Social Activist from Islamabad( South Kashmir). The The views are his personal and it is not mandatory for “Kashmir Horizon” to agree or disagree with his views)