Jammu and Kashmir – A Political Solution
BY PROF. VIRENDER GUPTA
Apart from tackling terrorism and enforcing defeat on the secessionist forces the issue involved in J&K is also a political and as such a political solution has to found to end the present turmoil. But, before that the Government of India and the political leadership of the country have to look into the causes those led to the present situation. They have to take note of the blunders and the follies committed by the Centre that is responsible for the failure to bring the Kashmiri into the national mainstream and to rectify those mistakes. The mistakes were: imposing Kashmiri rule on the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions without seeking their consent, there by subjecting them to Kashmiri domination and discrimination, not reorganizing the state by dividing it into three independent political units on the basis of cultural, linguistic and geographical identities as was done in the rest of the country after independence, taking the issue of J&K to the United Nation, granting autonomy to the state under article 370 thus giving space to raise doubts about the integration of state with India and indirectly accepting the Two Nation Theory, and following appeasement policy towards the Kashmiri Muslims as a part of vote bank policy.
The Kashmiri leadership mind set wants at present to get Azadi and form an independent Islamic State, outside the preview of the Indian State and Indian Constitution. The proposal of Self Rule of People Democratic Party which is the replica of Mushraf’s formula is deceptive and basically is inconformity with Abdul Shah Geelani demand of making whole of Jammu & Kashmir as part of Pakistan. By demanding the Greater Autonomy, National Conference wants the withdrawal of Indian Constitution though agreeing to keep the State under the territorial jurisdiction of Indian State, for the time being. Unfortunate part is that they want Ladakh and Jammu regions be dragged along the path proposed by them against their wishes and aspirations. Can India afford to agree to any form of the solutions being proposed? Would any of the solutions save the integrity of the country and keep Jammu & Kashmir as a part of the Indian State with democratic and secular traditions? Can any of the solutions guarantee that peace would be restored in Jammu & Kashmir and in the Indian sub- continent and the separatist and fundamentalist forces acting in the Valley and in the country on the behest of Pakistan would end the insurgency and the so called Jehad
The Government of India should take lesson from the past and rectify the mistakes at the earliest without wasting any further time. Govt. of India must forcefully stakes its claim on the Pakistan occupied territory of Jammu & Kashmir and adopt offensive policy in the world fora for its vacation. The policy of unduly pampering, patronizing and favouring only one section of the population of Kashmir Valley at the cost of other Kashmir based communities and Jammu and Ladakh regions needs to be changed as this policy instead of bringing Kashmiri people in the national mainstream provided an opportunity to the political mafias operating in the valley to exploit the situation for their own benefit and further distance the people from the national mainstream. The so called alienation of the people of Kashmir Valley is because of this political mafia that created a wall between them and the centre and blamed the Government of India for all their misdeeds. The voice of Gujjars, Shias, Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and other minorities which are or were part of the Valley must be heard and given due weight age. The aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions should be fulfilled and discrimination against them, political, economic and administrative must end. The issues pertaining to refugees and displaced persons of 1947, 1965 and 1971 both from POK and West Pakistan be addressed and be resolved as per their satisfaction.
The policy adopted by the Government of India to create states for the development of the people while safe guarding and promoting their culture and identities be also applied in Jammu and Kashmir.The demand of the time is to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir State and divide it into four political units with Jammu region and Kashmir constituting separate states, granting Ladakh a union territory status and carving out a piece of land from Kashmir Valley for the settlement of Kashmiri Pandits and other minorities which is also to be administered by the centre. Then the wishes of the people of these politically independent units be ascertained and provided a political structure and compensations as per their wishes within the Indian constitution. The political leadership and those at the helm of the affairs must realize that people of Jammu and Kashmir do not have single culture and one identity of Kashmiriat as being propagated by the Kashmiri leaders time and again. In the Kashmir Valley itself which constitute merely 15% area of the state there are Gujjars, Kashmiri Pandits and Panjabi speaking ethnic groups which constitute more than 30% of the Valley population. Jammu region and Ladakh region have distinct cultural, historic, linguistic and identities different from each other and that of the Valley.
Giving extra importance to Kashmiri leaders and the separatists groups operating in the Valley and finding the solution that suits them would be a suicidal for the integrity of the country. Such a solution would be resisted by the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions and other nationalists in the state and in the rest of the country. Instead of going for such a solution it would be better to hold referendum with each province/region forming a unit to seek the opinion on the solutions under the considerations of the Indian Government. The opinions of the POK migrants, Kashmiri Pandits and of the West Pakistan refugees have also to be ascertained on the issues.
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