January 12, 2001,
Sawal Kashmir ka
refers to Mr Hari Jaisingh’s ‘Sawal Kashmir Ka’ (Jan 4). Kashmir has been bleeding for more than 50 years and there appears to be no immediate hope of peace returning to this beautiful land. Successive governments on this side of the border have made several efforts to solve the tangle, but the dictatorial rulers across the border have played with the lives of the Kashmiri people in the name of Islam and have brutalised the state with the terror of the gun and foreign mercenaries. While both India and Pakistan wish to solve this issue in their own way, the people of Kashmir remain ignored and terrorised. They are forced to support the militants under the threat of violence. Now the Taliban elements seem to have overtaken the military regime of Gen Parvez Musharraf. In these circumstances, a lasting peace in Kashmir will be no less than a miracle, despite Mr Vajpayee’s sincere efforts.
Ved Guliani Play it tough: It is now becoming clear that Mr Vajpayee’s unilateral ceasefire plan has misfired. As Mr Farooq Abdullah has pointed out, terrorist attacks in Kashmir have shown a significant increase and now the Prime Minister himself is under a threat of attack.
While both India and Pakistan wish to solve this issue in their own way, the people of Kashmir remain ignored and terrorised. They are forced to support the militants under the threat of violence. Now the Taliban elements seem to have overtaken the military regime of Gen Parvez Musharraf. In these circumstances, a lasting peace in Kashmir will be no less than a miracle, despite Mr Vajpayee’s sincere efforts.
Play it tough: It is now becoming clear that Mr Vajpayee’s unilateral ceasefire plan has misfired. As Mr Farooq Abdullah has pointed out, terrorist attacks in Kashmir have shown a significant increase and now the Prime Minister himself is under a threat of attack.
Harkat has questioned the Hurriyat’s right to talk on behalf of the Kashmiris. This stand is opposite to the one Pakistan had desired.
The leaders of the APHC who are to travel to Pakistan, have to contend with yet another contradiction. The Dukhtaran-e-Millat has made an attempt to hijack the APHC agenda.
Pakistan has not yet created conditions for a dialogue between the two countries. It is high time the Indian Government showed some spunk and adopted a tough stance. The unilateral cease-fire must be scrapped and India must recover by force the part of Kashmir which has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. Force is the only language that Pakistan understands.
Umed Singh Gulia
Partition was a blunder: The answer to the 17 points raised by the writer lies in Mr Vajpayee’s own words in his New Year message that appeared on the front page of The Tribune on Jan 2 under the headline “We shall be bold, innovative on Kashmir”. The PM has referred to the problems inherited from the past, and left unresolved by the successive governments. Let it be publicly acknowledged by the leaders of all political parties and distinguished intellectuals that accepting the partitions of India was a blunder on the part of our leaders. A lasting solution to the legacy problems lies in the annulment of that blunder which the future generations on both sides may endeavour to explore.
It is now clear, that the beaten path to solve the Kashmir tangle has failed. Bilateral dialogue with Pakistan has to be abandoned. Mr Hari Jaisingh’s words in the 17th point deserve to be taken seriously paid heed to. “Whether we like it or not, the key to peace in Jammu and Kashmir is held by the USA”. Let us not shy away from this truth. We have lost an opportunity by not utilising the well-intentioned services of President Clinton. Let us hopefully look forward to George Bush’s posture and approach to the problem of Kashmir.
Let us boldly announce that India is prepared to abide by the UN resolution on Kashmir and Pakistan should be forced by world opinion and the UN to withdraw its troops from the occupied part of Kashmir before a referendum takes place, as this condition is mandatory before a referendum is held. Wide publicity should be given to this resolution to refresh the new generation’s memories. Let the original boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir be clearly marked and the area ceded to China by Pakistan restored to the original state. We are sure that Pakistan will not be able to fulfil its obligations as per the UN resolution.
Singh (ex MLA) and lt col Dalip Singh (retd)
Back to UN: Mr Hari Jaisingh has discussed 17 points, but the matter remains unsolved because India will never accept that the accession of Kashmir in 1947 was not complete. India will never accept a plebiscite in Kashmir because such an operation is not permissible under the law of the land. India will never accept the suggestion of Dr Farooq Abdullah that the present Line of Control be converted into an International border.
All these facts are in the knowledge of Pakistan and even the militants know that they will not succeed in gaining independence for Kashmir.
Mr Hari Jaisingh wants a lasting solution to the Kashmir problem because only innocent people are being killed by the militants and most of them have also been killed. Such bloodshed will not bring any results. Therefore, the UN should review its January, 1949 resolution.
Pakistan has not vacated the area occupied by it in spite of the UN resolution. Therefore, only the UN can solve the Kashmir problem by asking Pakistan to withdrew from the occupied area of Kashmir and hand these over to India. As far as the Kashmiri militants are concerned, when they stop getting support from Pakistan, they will be persuaded to opt for India.
Bold approach needed: A way out can be found only if India is bold and innovative on the Kashmir issue. Three wars, bilateral negotiations, UN mediation, Mr Clinton’s rebuff to Gen Pervez Musharraf, Mr Vajpayee’s bus yatra, suspension of armed action (by India) during the month of Ramzan, extended up to January 26, have all failed to solve the problem as far.
In 1998 India spent about two per cent of its GDP ($469 billion) on defence while Pakistan spent about 5 per cent of its $ 61 billion GDP on defence — 2.5 times higher than India when its (Pak’s) armed force is half the size of India’s force.
The major problems of these two countries are poverty, illiteracy, starvation and disease. As Mr Vajpayee wrote in his musings, India must no longer be a soft state. We must be bold and innovative on Kashmir.
The Hurriyat is divided between pro-azadi and pro-Pakistan elements. Apart from Pak-supported militant groups, heavily armed Taliban have, as has been rightly observed by Mr Hari Jaisingh, destroyed the robust common sense of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. What is needed is an iron hand like that of Sardar Patel who could discipline the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh. Dr Farooq Abdullah’s hands need to be strengthened, for he is India’s best bet.
Pak not sincere: It is a matter of grave concern that Pakistan has not seen the ceasefire as a positive step. Had Islamabad been sincere, it should have stopped aiding the militants and put an end to infiltration.
But even in the month of Ramzan when India announced a ceasefire it continued its activities and killed a number of innocent soldiers.
The writer has aptly pointed out that Islamabad is not known for a human face neither do they care for democratic norms.
Let us hope that good sense will prevail among the Hurriyat leaders who claim that they are keen to solve the Kashmir issue.
Subhash C. Taneja
Hurriyat’s true face: The writer has enumerated 17 factors which should be taken into consideration before embarking upon any adventure to solve the knotty problem of Kashmir.
The APHC, the leaders of which are the stooges of Pakistan, is in the limelight these days as it is sending a delegation to Pakistan to consult the rulers there so that a dialogue can be initiated with the Government of India to solve the Kashmir problem. The APHC’s intentions are suspect as its leaders live, eat and enjoy freedom in India but they sing paeans of Pakistan. Apparently they do not regard themselves as Indians. Otherwise they would not have insisted on consulting and involving Pakistan in the negotiations. Also they cannot be called the true representatives of Kashmir as they do not command any following in Jammu and Ladakh regions. Except exploiting the people in the name of Islam, they have done nothing to stop the blood bath in Kashmir. It will be a miracle if they are able to solve the five-decade old problem.
Sometimes the question of giving statehood to Jammu and Ladakh regions arises in some circles. It should be given a serious thought. What is the harm in the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir if new states can be carved out of MP, UP and Bihar. Such an arrangement will assuage the feelings of the people of the three regions and help them realise their political aspirations.
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