Kashmiri Separatists Still Groping In The Dark
17 November 2005
The Daily Excelsior
O P Modi
Jammu: Even the devastating earthquake has not taught any lesson to either the terrorists or the separatists in Kashmir valley. The terrorists have continued to kill hundreds of innocent people as if their lust for human blood is not satiated even after witnessing the dead bodies of thousands of victims of the earthquake on both sides of the LoC. While the terrorist's strikes go on unabated the leaders of divided Hurriyat Conference are indulging in mudslinging at each other. How sad! The separatists have taken 15 years' of devastation and death of thousands of innocents to understand that an independent Kashmir will not be acceptable even to Pakistan; their mentor. From day one it was clear even to an ordinary observer that Pakistan was not supporting the terrorists just to hand over the state in a platter to the Hurriyat Conference. Sardar Abdul Qayoom, four times president of POK, describing the dream of independence as 'mental luxury' said in New Delhi, 'An independent Kashmir was not possible in 100 years'. As he had pioneered the separatists' movement Qayoom got the title of Mujaheed-e-Awwal. He should know what he is talking about. Sayeed Ali Shah Gilani the pro-Pak separatist leader too has conceded that independence for Kashmir cannot be an option for the Kashmiris. Although he continues to stand for merger of Kashmir with Pakistan Musharraf has already ditched him for his rigid attitude. Despite all this it is surprising that the Hurriyat Conference Chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was running from Srinagar to New Delhi to Islamabad in the belief that he would get a seat in the ongoing peace dialogue between India and Pakistan. He seems to believe that he is the bridge between them for an amicable settlement of Kashmir problem. Disillusion awaits him too. Among other leaders of the fractured Hurriyat Conference some feel completely isolated and others are still hoping for an invitation from New Delhi and Islamabad. Till yesterday they have been boasting that they represented the militants' (read terrorists') over ground organization. They claimed that if allowed to go to PoK they could persuade the 'boys' to stop bloodshed in the state. They used to call Kashmiri militants 'the boys' and the foreign terrorists 'the Guests'. However, they were rebuffed by Sayeed Sala-u-Din who told them that despite their visit and ongoing Indo-Pak peace talks the insurgency would continue in the state. All of them are now distancing themselves from the violence being perpetrated by the terrorists. Currently they are loudly preaching dialogue in place of violence to resolve Indo-Pak dispute. Obviously they wish to enjoy best of both the worlds. Speaking in the state Assembly National Conference MLA Mir Saiff-Ullah demanded registration of murder cases against the separatists for misleading thousands of Kashmiri youth. Describing the separatist leaders as killers Mir said they were talking to the Central government now against the gun culture but it is they who had asked the Kashmiri youth to take to gun as a result of which a lakh of people have died in the state. He was speaking on the resolution moved by CPI MLA Mohamad Yousaf Tarigami for getting back Kashmiri youth who had gone for weapons training to PoK and Pakistan. Earlier, after his return from PoK and Pakistan another separatist leader Bilal Lone, whose father was killed by the militants, said that eight to ten thousand Kashmiri youth, who had crossed over to the other side of the LoC, were suffering a miserable life there. Some of the Hurriyat leaders enjoy 'Z' security at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Indian exchequer, living in palatial buildings and attended by a large number of servants. Many others too live lavishly and are guarded against terrorists' attack at the cost of the state. Unfortunately all of them still fail to realize that it was their leadership that misguided thousands of innocent Kashmiri youth into a futile bloody struggle for which they can never make amends. Besides the loss of thousands of precious lives due to militancy, J&K has been left behind economically by at least twenty years when compared with the progress made by most other states of the Union. Fifteen years of insurgency has ruined state's economy and hundreds of thousands young men and women are faced with unemployment. During the past two decades of Globalization the country's economy has taken a position of one of the fastest growing economy in the world. The state is ideally suited for the IT and soft ware industries. As their products are low both in weight and volume they can be produced in the Valley and many other parts of the state competitively for exports all over the world. The worst part of the role of the Hurriyat Leaders is that while toeing Pakistani line to settle the Kashmir issue they are closing their eyes to the fact that General Musharraf would be satisfied even with the partition of the Valley. Reports say that during her meeting with the Indian PM Manmohan Singh in New York US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice had asked for partitioning the Valley by giving district Barramulla and Kupwara to Pakistan. Unfortunately the separatists do not seem to have read the second writing, in bold letters, on the wall. It is regarding the territorial integrity of India. For this they should listen to what former US envoy to India Robert Blackwell has to say. Some weeks back Blackwell said in Washington, 'Permanent Indo-Pak peace is possible only when the Pakistan military accepts that India will not secede any part of Jammu and Kashmir. India is not going to agree to territorial change with respect to Kashmir. As long as the Pakistani elite, especially its military elite, continues the mission that it had for half a century, no permanent peace between the two countries is possible'. He said that there was no change in the mindset of the Pakistani leadership. 'If you doubt that, I invite you to read President Musharraf's policy speech before the UN, which is a speech that could have been made twenty years ago' he said. Now let them recall what India's successive Prime Ministers have been repeatedly and emphatically saying regarding Jammu and Kashmir State. Pakistan has been told umpteen times by them as also by the opposition leaders that the state is an integral part of the Indian Union and no part of it can be allowed to secede. Even during talks with General Musharraf it has been made clear that India will never allow second partition of the country. It will further help the separatists in clearing their perceptions if they recall the 1998 unanimous resolution passed by the Indian Parliament reasserting Indian sovereignty over the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Time has come when the Hurriyat leaders should understand that no Indian Prime Minister, or for that matter even President of India, can talk about parting with even an inch of the country not to speak of a chunk of land in Jammu & Kashmir. That is why Dr. Manmohan Singh has repeatedly said that there cannot be any redrawing of the borders in Jammu & Kashmir. Let them also realize that when New Delhi talks of international borders in Jammu & Kashmir it is not the LoC. According to the Indian Constitution the international border with Pakistan means the border of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir as it stood on 27th October 1947. If despite all this the separatists or Pakistan- their inciter- continue to harbor any hope of settlement of the dispute over Kashmir by partitioning the state it is sheer living in fool's paradise on their part.