Letter to the Editor – Greater Autonomy for Kashmir

The Tribune http://www.tribuneindia.com/

Dear Sir,
Apropos ‘The Unrest in Kashmir’ (6 Sept.), Justice Sachar’s suggestions are essentially valley-centric. He is content and happy, disturbing Pakistan the least in its status quo in PoK and Gilgit and Baltistan. But even the one legged-plan he suggests raises some crucial questions. For example, while suggesting a judicial enquiry into all the killings in Kashmir,  will the killing of hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989-90 beginning with the gunning down of provincial BJP chief Pandit Tikalal Taploo on 14 September 1989 in Srinagar, and their subsequent pogroms at Wandhama, Nadimarg, Chhatisinghpora etc. also fall within the ambit of the proposed enquiry committee?  Secondly, if the Constitution of India – one of the most liberal constitutions of the democratic world plus a special clause in it (Art. 370), plus State constitution plus a Muslim majority legislature by dint of democratic process cannot guarantee the identity of a Muslim of the valley, will autonomy fill that gap? And if, at the end of the day, it does not, then what has to be done next? Lastly, will the proposal of full measure of autonomy have legal, constitutional and moral sanctity, besides compatibility with imperatives of national sovereignty when the entire religious minority of the valley stands extirpated from its original homeland and continues to live in exile? Which international law or democratic institution will accord recognition to that kind of autonomy?
Kashinath Pandit, Jammu.

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