February 2017 News

The Kashmir Confusion: A Deliberate Attempt By Kashmiri Politician

28 February 2017
Brighter Kashmir
Dr G.M. Athar

Srinagar: The creation of Pakistan in the name of religion on 14th August 1947and the termination of British rule in India on 15th August 1947 have led to the Indo-Pak rivalry over Muslim dominated Jammu and Kashmir State. The former princely state was ruled by an autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh at the time of independence to the Indian subcontinent. The main political parties in Kashmir including the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference led by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah; and the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference led by Mirwaiz Mohammad Yusuf Shah allied with India and Pakistan respectively to overthrow the autocratic ruler to assume political power in the state. The masses in Kashmir were supporting the idea of establishing an independent Jammu and Kashmir free from both India and Pakistan. Thus there was a mismatch between the popular aspirations and the interests of the political class in Kashmir. To develop the sense of political uncertainty and to create the confusion among the masses served as a successful strategy for all politicians to make them relevant to fish in the troubled waters of Kashmir. Historically speaking, the Kashmiri politicians of all shades have been thriving on this mass confusion for the past seven decades. The pro-India, pro-Pakistan and pro-independence political parties in Kashmir have always resorted to deliberate manufacturing of confusion to remain popular among the parties to the Kashmir dispute including India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is an irony that both pro-India mainstream parties as well as the pro-Pakistan leadership in Kashmir talk about the aazadi to make the political entertainment of Kashmiri people. Even the hard core Islamist leaders of Kashmir supporting not only the merger of Kashmir with Pakistan but also talking about the pan-Islamic agenda for Muslim Ummeh to establish the Nizam-e-Mustafa in Dar-ul-Islam do raise the slogan of aazadi during their public speech. The alliance of pro-independence and pro-Pakistan political forces in Kashmir leading the resistance movement to issue strike calendars for attaining aazadi is a self-explanatory confusion tactics by the separatist leadership to remain politically relevant in Kashmir. The pro-India mainstream politicians of Kashmir have through out used the Kashmiri quest for aazadi the basis of their election strategy to keep the masses in good humor. Two months ahead of Lok Sabha elections in Srinagar and Islamabad constituencies, the speech of Dr Farooq Abdullah at Naw-e-Subeh office at Srinagar on the occasion of the second death anniversary of Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, the former General Secretary of National Conference reaffirms the deliberate confusion tactics of the Kashmiri politicians. Let us briefly discuss the five main points which the National Conference President mentioned during his speech. Firstly, the present generation of youth in Kashmir who were born under the shadow of gun is not afraid of bullets and death. Secondly, the Kashmiri militants are not fighting for becoming MLA's, MP's or ministers but to achieve the aazadi. Thirdly, the people of Kashmir have been promised in 1948 to grant them their right of self-determination. Fourthly, India and Pakistan must have negotiations to resolve Kashmir issue; and fifthly the solution of Kashmir problem lies in restoring the internal autonomy of Jammu & Kashmir State. The senior most National Conference leader has very cleverly tried to please every Kashmiri whether he supports Kashmir's accession with India, merger with Pakistan or Kashmir's complete independence from both India and Pakistan. Dr Farooq Abdullah begins his speech by praising the Kashmiri youth constituting a huge proportion of Kashmiri electorate as the brave and patriotic force fighting for independence of their motherland. He applauses the Kashmiri militants by projecting them as selfless creatures not fighting for any political power but for the freedom of Kashmir. He then refers to 1948 resolutions of United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir to please Pakistan and the people Kashmir to kill two birds with one stone. After having said this he then realizes his mistake of referring to promises of 1948, he offers a solution of Kashmir problem within the constitutional limits of India to please his masters at New Delhi. The assertions of Dr Abdullah are the false pretensions of a dramatist who acts on a written script without expressing his personal heart felt feelings. If we evaluate the performance of N.C. leader as an artist, he can secure 'A' grade for his delivery but if his speech is analyzed seriously to find out the wisdom, originality and sincerity in his words, it proves to be a political disaster for the Kashmiri nation. More than eight and a half decades have elapsed since 1931, when the Kashmiri people started rendering sacrifices of life and property for the attainment of freedom from autocracy and slavery but still we are unable to produce a statesman of a very high caliber. All our 20th century political leaders proved ultimately to be just the opportunist power hungry politicians without any commitment to the national cause. If the Kashmiri resistance leadership is convinced about the need for Kashmir's accession with Pakistan, why then there is the hollow slogan of 'aazadi'? Similarly, if the independence of Kashmir is the solution of Kashmir problem, why then Pakistan is not informed in unequivocal terms that, liberation struggle against India is not aimed at Kashmir's integration with Pakistan. If the Indian mainstream politicians in Kashmir are convinced that the future of Kashmir is safe with India and the Maharaja Hari Singh's limited accession of Jammu and Kashmir with Indian Union was the wisely taken decision, why not then to focus on restoring the historicity of the Indo-Kashmir relationship. Why then nourishing false hope among the people in Kashmir and the Pakistani nation of aazadi and accession with Pakistan respectively? The Kashmiri politicians as well as the common masses must underline the fact that there is no mention of the third option in the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, so granting the right of self-determination to the people of the state can't lead to the creation of an independent Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, if internal autonomy is the solution of the Kashmir problem, then Pakistan has no role in the political dispute between the people of Kashmir and the government of India. The people aspiring for making Kashmir the fifth province of Pakistan on the basis of religious affinity must try to be realistic about the fact that the dominant majority among the Kashmiri people is averse to any such proposal. The pro-India politicians must also underline the fact that the Kashmiri nationalists reluctant even to join the Muslim dominated Pakistan can not be converted in to the patriotic citizens of Hindu dominated India on the basis of economic and political privileges and incentives alone. The spiritual association of Kashmiri nationalists with India or with Pakistan is impossible as long as the people of Kashmir consider themselves as a distinct nation because of their distinct geography, history, language and culture. So the Kashmiri politicians must avoid the deliberate attempt of creating confusion among the masses by ignoring the ground realities and beating about the bush for their petty political interests.