The Article was published on swarajyamag.com on 21st Sept, 2014. Here is the link.
Kashmiris have to choose between sectarian doom or democracy. It’s a waste of time talking with those separatists who want to join Pakistan. They’re beyond redemption.
The recent devastation caused by the floods in Kashmir has left us all distraught. Hundreds of people have died and thousands are still thought to be stranded in some areas. As always, the gallant and selfless Indian army physically rescued more than 300,000 people from the ravaging waters, regardless of their race, religion etc. As Ajai Shukla points out in his article, the army does these things all year round. Unsurprisingly yet again, the Kashmiri separatists have joined forces to discredit the Indian army claiming the rescue operations were “tardy and ill-organised” and that the army “neglected the Kashmiri Muslims”. Time and again these Hurriyat charlatans have attempted to flare up communal passions among the Muslims and reignite their enthusiasm for achieving independence from a “Hindu Majority India”.
I strongly believe that this perverse and irrational fantasy about an “independent Kashmir” must be mocked harder in our political and media mainstream. For starters, giving credibility to separatists by inviting them on prime time TV shows must stop. Even when government appointed “interlocutors” engage with the separatists, it needs to be completely out of the public glare.
It’s remarkable how the mainstream in this country is so “amnesic” about the origins and goals of the separatists. Here are some reminders to jolt you back to reality –
- 1. Operation Tupac: This was the mother of militant separatism. It’s still active. No matter how many sarees Nawaz Sharif gifts our Prime Minister’s mother, this operation will go on and the ISI agents will not step down till they achieve their goals.
2. JKLF members were consulted when the blueprint of destabilizing Kashmir in the 1980s was drawn by the ISI and Gen Zia. Pak intelligence floated organizations like Hizb-ul-Maujahideen, Hizb-ul-Islam, Allah Tigers, Al-Umar Mujahideen, Muslim Mujahideen, Harkat Ul Ansar and Jamaat Hurriyat Conference. It’s remarkable how we even engage with people like Yasin Malik or Geelani. Just replace yourself with the US, Israel or Russia and imagine what they would have done instead.
3. ISI’s active role in aiding Khalistani terrorists and naxals in the North East & South through porous borders from Bangladesh and Nepal. ISI’s hopes of “Balkanizing India” are shared by the likes of the Kashmiri Separatists. Obviously it wouldn’t come as a surprise when you find Yasin Malik supporting groups like LTTE (although he actually doesn’t care about the rights of Tamils)
4. JKLF was the first separatist group which took up arms against India in 1988. Sharing Gen. Zia Ul Haq’s ideology, Amanullah Khan (JKLF leader) wanted Kashmir to be a part of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. It’s hilarious when the separatist leaders harp on Secularism. Their only intention is to exploit our people’s tolerance and unleash their dogmatic ideologies when the tide is in their favour.
5. Kashmiri Pandits Exodus: Enough has been written and discussed about it but still, the Pandits have not received any justice yet. Elements of JKLF and their brother Islamist groups were responsible for one of the largest exodus in modern history. More than 300,000 Pandits forcibly removed from their homes. More recently in 2013, the Kishtwar riots were attempts of ISI supported groups to radicalize the region yet again… to achieve their ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing. No matter how much these radical separatists deny, it’s crystal clear that they harbour a divisive communal agenda.
I can go on and point out innumerable reasons why it’s pointless negotiating with these brutes. From their fanatical support for Afzal guru to cosy meetings with India’s most wanted criminal – Hafeez Sayeed, their seditious activities have reached astronomical levels.
A landlocked region surrounded by three nuclear powers cannot survive peacefully with each nation having its own strategic interests– geopolitically or for natural resources. The question of achieving “independence” is simply out of the question. For a detailed argument, please refer this paper. To reach a solution, we must think about the interests of our future generations in mind.
Recent news reports suggest the people of PoK are not happy with the Pakistan government. The anger must be quite justified since Pakistan, a nation teetering on the edge of becoming categorised as a failed state, cannot secure its large cities from insurgent attacks, forget caring about people in distant PoK or Northern Areas. In that light, the latest Bhutto legatee, Bilawal’s rhetoric about “taking back every inch of Kashmir” sounds outright delusional.
“Independent Kashmir” supporters must get realistic. A merger with Pakistan will spell doom for everyone. If they wholeheartedly lend their support to a merger with India, they too will find that all doors of progress will open for them and surely one day India could even have a democratically elected Kashmiri Prime Minister. This is the best time to make that choice because we have a strong political leader like Narendra Modi leading the country. And remember, help can only offered to those who ask for it.