Letter to the Editor – CM appeals to India, Pakistan

Daily Excelsior

Sir,

CM’s appeal for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue (DE Jan 8) is aptly timed but inaptly approached. She repetitively urges India to talk to Pakistan. Chief Ministers preceding her, too, tried these antics. With pro-Pak orientation, such antics carry strong element of political endearment. Kashmiris themselves bade good bye to peace in 1990. Regretfully they hailed ushering in of an epoch of violence and bloodsheds with covert and overt consensus of civil society.

Now they are grappling with the Frankenstein. Instead of standing by the side of the people who had voted them to power, Kashmir leadership betrayed the masses. By contriving the fall of the government in early 1990, Kashmir leadership made space for the insurgents to fill the vacuum. Targeting the minority community was the easiest, non-reactive and most effective strategy of taking fundamentalist ideology to logical conclusion in Kashmir. However, to justify this heinous crime, the perpetrators and their cohorts among vast Kashmiri civil society including their leadership, culled out the then Governor Jagmohan as the villain of the piece for the exodus of discriminated minority. The ministers having demitted office assembled in Jammu wherefrom they secretly conducted interaction with the emissaries of the insurgent groups, while their stalwart, betraying rank cowardice, absconded to London to give full leverage to his conspiratorial clique back home. Therefore, simple logic says that in response to an appeal by the CM, New Delhi – and for that matter even Islamabad – will tell her “Madam! please mend your house before you come to us”.

CM’s intentions are debatable if not suspect. Her late father didn’t make any appeal or effort towards bilateral talks when he was holding the charge of Indian Home Ministry. CM’s sister Rubiya was kidnapped and released a few days later consequent upon a deal struck through the mediation of a Congressite (now sidelined) with the then Pakistani Prime Minister for freeing jailed JKLF terrorists. Late Mufti Sahib or Mehbooba could have used the same channel for liberating the Kashmiris which they used for freeing Rubiya. They did not. If New Delhi tells her, “Madam, fire your gun from your shoulder not ours” what answer will she give? In 1964 Sheikh Abdullah travelled to Pakistan with trilateral confederation formula. President Gen, Ayub Khan told him he had given him (the Sheikh) time for meeting thinking he had come from Kashmir with Pak accession offer in his pocket. This was repetition of Jinnah’s cryptic remark that Kashmir was in his pocket. Mehbooba could, as well, make another attempt and proceed to Islamabad via Wagah – the route which Vajpayee had also adopted – at the head of a strong delegation of Kashmiris including top leadership of both factions of Hurriyat and talk first to Pakistani civilian leadership to be followed by another with Pakistani military leadership.

The antics of talks is complimentary to her largesse to the militants by giving them thousands of government of jobs and many other facilities. The right thing would have been to make regular, forceful and unrelenting appeals to the militants to give up arms. Instead of singing a dirge for Kashmiris, she should, like a brave and visionary leader-stateswoman undertake a campaign of going from house to house in South Kashmir, beginning with her own constituency, to tell people to stop sending their sons to militancy, stop hurling stones on security and police personnel and stop crowding at the encounter scene. She should tell them to hoist atop their house roofs the tricolor to convey the message to Pakistan that Kashmiris are for democracy, secularism, egalitarianism and peace. She should understand the long range good coming out of this bold narrative. and desist from going the other direction.
K.N. Pandita
Jammu

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