Playing the politics of obduracy

K.N. Pandita

Obduracy and inflexibility are not the tools to play politics with. The Hurriyat leaders believe their success lies in being obdurate to the hilt. Who forces them to walk the talk?

Actually, Jinnah can be called the founder of the politics of obduracy. He was an intelligent person and committed no fault in reading the mind of Indian Muslims correctly. ‘As long as there are fools in the world a clever man should never worry about his bread and butter’, said the great historian Ibn Khaldun,

Hurriyatis, think Jinnah has left a model for them to follow. In the new permutation ISI replaces the colonial rulers and Hurriyatis the Muslim League. Therefore the battle lines are drawn.

Top Hurriyatis (Yasin included) call the interlocutor as “eye wash.” They are offended on Dineshwar Sharma saying Kashmir could go the Syrian way.

The Hurriyat seems to have tremendous capacity for self delusion. Is Kashmir today anything short of Syria? Is not gun ruling the roost? Is not human blood mercilessly spilt on roads and streets? Are not brutalities unleashed, limbs severed, throats slit, women raped, boys sodomized, banks looted, schools burnt, personal vengeance wrought against specific people by labelling them as mukhbirs (informers), women’s braids scissored — and this all and much more in the name of a religion that teaches peace.

Kashmir is not made Syria. It is the other way round. Actually Syria has been made second Kashmir, to put the record straight. Are not the flags of ISI (Pakistan) and ISIS unfurled in the valley? Are not arch icons of violence like Osama, Mulla Muhammad, Mansur and Burhan and others adored and worshipped as deliverers of the Faithful? Why did the Hurriyatis feel offended when Dineshwar Sharma said that Kashmir was going the Syrian way? Who has made Kashmir what it is today?

This is all of their own choosing; this is what they are yearning for—the guest mujahid. This is the jihad they are waging against freedom and this is what they think is their way of abandoning freedom and winning slavery. Their supporters carry the flag of Pakistan in their hands and on their lips is the slogan of aazaadi, the type of aazaadi Pakistan had for the Pukhtuns, Sindhis, Baloch, Azad Kashmiris, Gilgatis and Baltis and once for Bengalis. The refrain of their outburst is “Pakistan zindabad” while their banks and lockers remain stashed with thousands of millions of Indian currency notes which the NIA has recently discovered and brought to public notice.

They have decided not to talk to the new interlocutor. The reason is not that they want to remain glued to their policy of obduracy and stubbornness. The reason is that there is hardly a Hurriyat-related act or an event ever since its birth to which Mr. Dineshwar Sharma is not privy. Just as the NIA made their ill gotten money bags tumble out of the cupboard Sharma’s interlocution could be much more harassing. Their embarrassment is that this interlocutor may not leave them room for face saving.

The Hurriyatis wishfully think that New Delhi is under foreign pressure prompting it to offer talks. Who they think is bringing pressure on Modi government? The Hurriyatis are mistaken because they are squeezed into their cocoon. Do they know why China is not allowing the Security Council to designate Azhar of Jaish? China has no soft corner for Azhar or any other terrorist. Just because some years ago Azhar on the insistence of China and Islamabad turned out from his terrorist training camps some Uighur fundamentalists from Xinjiang who had been admitted for terrorist training. China is obliging him for the gesture.

Secondly, Hurriyat should have tracked the recent visit to India of the European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and their impressions about Kashmir militancy conveyed to their respective organizations. We give excerpts from an article written by Mr. Petras Auštrevicius, Member of the European Parliament and published in the European Parliament journal of 31 October 2017 and reproduced by ANI. He writes:

“The Indian government’s recent decision to appoint an interlocutor for Kashmir ought to be welcomed by the international community as another step to connect with Kashmiris, with the objective of bringing peace to the region. Sadly, but as expected, Pakistan and its political proxies in Jammu and Kashmir have rejected all interaction with the newly appointed interlocutor, leaving no doubt about their motives and intentions.”

He maintains that Pakistan is continuing to fuel violence and unrest in the Kashmir Valley, and under the circumstances the EU has watched with admiration the manner in which New Delhi has responded deftly to this complex challenge, “with tough action against militants targeting innocents, while continuing to engage with the Kashmiri people, who have also shown great tenacity in the face of this long war of attrition, sponsored from across the borders.”

Auštrevicius says the EU must focus on enhancing its cooperation with India in areas like foreign and security affairs. Referring to the recent visit to India of European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Auštrevicius says that he is pleased to see both the EU and India not only reiterating the strategic importance of their multi-faceted relations, but also agreeing to further expand areas of cooperation, so as to develop the political dimension of this relationship.

As the world’s two largest democracies, the EU and India have a common responsibility to promote the cause of peace, the rule of law and human rights around the world. He further writes, “India has been battling the menace of terrorism long before it reached the European shores. Though terrorism in India came in through the back door from Pakistan, and continues to be sponsored from across the border, India has, for decades, been attempting to solve the problem diplomatically with its western neighbour.”

Criticizing Pakistan for making promises repeatedly to curb terror from its soil, Auštrevicius says, “Pakistan has not given up its flawed state policy of waging non-conventional war on its neighbours, through terror groups. While the US and NATO are only now waking up to the grave threats of such acts, India and Afghanistan have been the earliest victims.”

He writes, “The EU is also aware of the considerable evidence that exists, of assistance by the Pakistani State to militants operating in Kashmir by way of recruitment, funding, training, provision of weaponry and sanctuary,” .

He praises the Indian government for providing development related funds liberally to its side of Kashmir (annual assistance of US dollar 17 billion), whereas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, this is sadly lacking in all aspects.

He concludes his article by saying, “The compliance with human rights rules makes India a perfect partner for the European Union in the region, including the efforts to maintain the remarkable balance between fighting terrorism and keeping human rights compliance which is a challenge for democracies.”

Is this the foreign pressure Hurriyatis are speaking about? Are Trump administration’s warnings to Pakistan a pressure on New Delhi the Hurriyatis are speaking about? Hurriyatis, the followers of the policy of obduracy may not understand but ordinary Kashmiris do understand things far better.

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