Letter to the Editor – BJP’s Kashmir agenda

Daily Excelsior

Dear Sir,

If the Home Minister’s Kashmir priority is outside media hype, it passes for the much-delayed initiative of tackling the issue at brass-tacks. Without questioning his sagacity, the deskbook rule is that astute statecraft does not permit overdoing issues howsoever listed as a priority. Away from other Kashmir related matters bouncing at the Home Ministry, two current events invite our attention. One is the detailed report on Kashmir –- things are done or to be done under Governor’s rule – to the Niti Ayog with strong advocacy for a “special NE – type package: for J&K”. What is new in that? Nothing: J&K has been breathing through the oxygen chamber installed by Nehru in the PMO when accession was made in 1947. Ever since, “special packages for J&K” including provisos like 370/35-A, the oxygen chamber has been pumping oxygen whenever the state cries of gasping for air. What miracles will his “NE-like package” work for the Kashmiri youth, remains vague. We are not privy to the activities of armed insurgents in the valley but the killing of five CRP jawans on the road which Amarnath cave pilgrims are supposed to take should fix onus on the Governor. Contrarily, he has outsmarted the policy planners and managed and legitimized the extension of his tenure.

The second noticeable development is the great convention of State BJP cadres held in Jammu city in which a unanimous resolution with far-reaching policy and political decisions was passed. In a sense it is a historic resolution touching on the very core of fundamental issue of a discriminatory approach by previous governments to equitable justice to all the three regions. In particular, the resolution stipulates shifting of one-third of the reserved 24 assembly seats of POJK to the refugees who migrated to Jammu in the aftermath of the tribal attack of 1947. Political empowerment of these refugees has remained elusive and is to be preceded by their right to permanent residence. This and the revival of constituencies delimitation process need a Presidential ordinance sufficiently hinted at by the new dispensation in the centre. All this and as well as the report of the Governor to the Niti Ayog are pioneering steps when completed. Nevertheless, while talking loud of removing regional discrimination, neither the Governor’s report nor the resolution of the Jammu BP General Body speaks a word about two most crucial issues, viz. political empowerment including return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, and liberating Kashmiri (and Greater Kashmiri) Muslims from the stranglehold of Wahhabiism/Salfiism of Jamaat-i-Islami brand. Remaining tongue-tied on these issues, means the Pandits have no space in the Kashmir chemistry of NDA which is a replication of the policy of all national and regional parties that hitherto ruled the roost. Are the Pandits to be treated outside the matrix of Indian secularism and democracy? Except for an odd sentence which the PM uttered in his last Kathua election campaign about the KPs, there is nothing to show that the party manifesto or the Jammu resolution is willing to touch on the subject. If the Jammu BJP Resolution can muster the courage to demand one-third seat reservation for the refugees from POJK, well and good. But then what hindered them to adopt the same policy in regard to either providing three reservations for the exiled KPs in the assembly or asking for them constituencies in exile? Nothing of the sort is there and all one can say is that they want to fight discrimination by adopting the discriminatory attitude. Besides two KP MLCs, the General Secretary and the President of Jammu BJP, all the victims of Kashmir terror were very active in the convention. They should have mustered the courage to respond to the voice of their conscience.

K.N. Pandita,
Jammu

Letter to the Editor – Carrying Vajpayee legacy

Daily Excelsior

Dear Sir,

Apropos ‘Modi did not ….: (DE 28 April)

NC and PDP chiefs both nostalgically speak of “Vajpayee doctrine” about resolving Kashmir imbroglio. Partisan media is usually euphoric and loquacious on the subject. However, nobody including the author himself ever explained what that doctrine was. Vajpayee never explained what his aphorism of “jamhooriat, insaniyat aur Kashmiriyat” meant. Continue Reading…

Cross-LoC trade: A reckless agreement

By K.N. Pandita

We intend to expose our political leadership in signing a gravely dangerous agreement with Pakistan in 2008 which has proved a challenge to the security of our country.

Under external and internal pressures, and on dubious insistence of J&K government, the then UPA government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh signed in 2008 the ill-advised and reckless agreement of opening two trading points across the LoC in insurgency-torn J&K – one at Salamabad in Uri and the other in Chakan-d-Bag in Poonch. Continue Reading…

Valley leadership on secessionist course

By K.N. Pandita

Valley’s leading political parties participating in the parliamentary (and later on in the assembly) elections in Kashmir have lately found a pretext behind which they are giving vent to what they have been at pains to hide over the years. NC and PDP heavyweights both have publicly and to the media said that if Article 370 or 35-A are abolished, Kashmir will rejoice at God-sent (read Pakistan-sent) separation from the Indian Union. Continue Reading…

“Hum Nibhayenge”: Congress Manifesto

By K.N. Pandita

On Tuesday, Congress President formally released the party’s manifesto for the J&K State titled “Congress will deliver”. The question is not of “delivering”; it is of accepting what is delivered. What the Congress has promised to deliver is an upgraded appeasement package this time wrapped in silk-soft packing stuff. The title “Hum Nibhayenge” carries the subtle meaning that “we shall accommodate you”. Continue Reading…

The story of Jama’at-i-Islami (JI) Jammu and Kashmir

By K.N. Pandita

The cadre-based religious-political organization called Jama’at-i-Islami (JI) meaning Islamic group is distinctly different from JI Hind just because it recognizes J&K a disputed territory and not a part of the Indian Union.

Origin Continue Reading…

Narrative on Kashmir must change

By K.N. Pandita

Pulwama suicide attack of Jaish terrorists could become a watershed in the Kashmir narrative. The Jaish claimed the attack and Pakistan Prime Minister wants India a convincing proof. If Jaish were not operating from Pakistani soil with a terrorist training camp hidden somewhere in the dense forests of Balakot, Pakistan’s stand would carry some sense. Continue Reading…

Reflections on CRP tragedy in Pulwama

By K.N. Pandita

The martyrdom of 44 jawans of CRP and injuring many others in an IED blast on National Highway near Awantipora in Pulwama district on 14 February has drowned the nation and the concerned families in deep agony. It is a huge loss. Big nations have to bear big losses as well. Continue Reading…

When leaders become shameless

By K.N. Pandita

Ishrat Muneer, a 25-year old girl of village Dangarpora in district Pulwama was gunned down by the jihadi terrorists although she had supplicated with folded hands for sparing her life. With the first bullet piercing her skull she fell down. The cannibal fired another bullet on her head. Her dead body was recovered from somewhere in Draggad area of Shupian in Zainapora. It became viral and their purpose was served. Continue Reading…

Strangulating the Neelam Valley

By K.N. Pandita

Kashmir historian Kalhan Pandit (mid-12th century) has made a mention of river Krishnaganga several times in his chronicle Rajatarangini and has also given some useful hints about its geographical location and the region through which it flows. Continue Reading…