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The Seriousness of Hypocrisy

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol 4/No. 6, by Prof. K. N. Pandita.

The oft-repeated cliché of “return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits with dignity and honour” suits all shades of political opinion. The credulous Pandits are gleeful that the political class does care for their dignity and honour. Very often an odd man here or there poses a cross question only to be shouted down and silenced invariably by his own community members.

That the cliché is devoid of seriousness and sincerity is not at all a moot point. What is rather intriguing is that the Pandits knowing that lip service is rendered to them are not prepared to summon courage and give a lie to those who play with their sentiments.

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J&K: Respecting Wishes of the People

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol 5/No. 5, by Prof. K. N. Pandita.

In a recent statement Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman said that any solution of Kashmir issue along the Line of Control (LoC) was unacceptable to Pakistan. He stressed that a solution should respect the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The spokesman was reacting to the advice of MQM leader Altaf Hussain that the option of LoC as a solution of the dispute should be considered by both sides.

This is not the first time that Pakistan is talking about “respecting the wishes of the people.” Ever since the two countries began talking bilaterally, Pakistan has been repeating the mantra of the wishes of the people of the state. Indian press has seldom ventured to reflect objectively on the subject. Therefore we think it is important to help the Pakistan side recollect the historical background of the question of ascertaining the wishes of the people. There is no harm in engaging the Pakistani spokesman in a dispassionate debate in order to clear some cobwebs of confusion and misreading.

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Common Sense and Political Will

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol 4/No. 4 2004, by Prof. K.N. Pandita.

Philip Talbot, the former senior officer in the State Department during Clinton administration has been quoted on Indo-Pak relations and Kashmir issue by the Indian print media in recent days. He may no more be in the corridor of power, nevertheless, the US foreign policy framing system does not let precious experience and practical knowledge of former seniors in regard to complicated international issues go unutilised. In particular, Talbot is said to have developed intimate knowledge and perhaps also the appreciation of the basics of Indian foreign policy.

Talbot’s assertion that there is uniqueness in US-Pakistan relations has not to be taken in a negative sense. Actually he has said nothing new. The US has had unique relations with Pakistan from the day independent India decided to be a close partner of the former Soviet Union and the socialist bloc.

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Qayyum on Kashmir: Pragmatism not Rhetoric

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol 4/No. 2, by PROF. K. N. PANDITA.

Recently the print media in India reproduced the substance of a statement of the former Prime Minister of Pok, Sardar Qayyum Khan, on the solution of Kashmir issue. Sardar Qayyum, a historic figure from the old guard, is the most respected leader of PoK whose views and comments on Kashmir issue have always carried weight with the observers and policy planners. He has himself been an active player on the stage.

If the Indian press has quoted the Sardar correctly then one can say there is more of pragmatism than rhetoric what he has said. Sardar Qayyum has always been very careful and considerate in regard to his statements on Kashmir issue.

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Hurriyat will talk to the Pandits

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol. 3 /No. 9, by K.N. Pandita.

On January 22, the Hurriyat leaders and the Deputy Prime Minister met in New Delhi. Both sides euphorically described their two and a half hour long meeting very successful. To the satisfaction of the Hurriyat leaders, the Prime Minister also received them briefly the next day.

Not much was disclosed to the media of what precisely was talked about, agreed upon or just promised. A shade of impression most observers took was that the process could take quite a long time to reach some decisive stage.

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The Hanging Carrot of Greater Autonomy

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol 4/No. 7, by PROF. K. N. PANDITA.

The tantrum of Greater measure of autonomy to J&K is very much making rounds in the corridors of Home Ministry in New Delhi. From the viewpoint of Congress leadership, there is no harm in discussing the hypothesis with Kashmiri dissident leadership. So far there is no indication that the separatists are willing to discuss the subject. They have once again expressed that even greater autonomy does not meet their aspirations.

The precise position of the separatists is this (a) no participation in assembly elections (b) no participation in civil elections (c) no acceptance of greater autonomy (d) no direct talks with New Delhi without Pakistan’s participation, and (e) no talks with the elected government of the State.

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Kashmir Issue: The Pandit Dimension

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Published in Kashmir Herald, Vol. 2/No. 9, by K.N. Pandita.

Editor’s Note: ["While the rhetoric of Mufti Sayeed about restoring Pandits their homes and dignity is indeed commendable, there is yet to be any concrete measure taken by his government to fulfill this tall talk. Kashmir Herald hopes Mufti is not simply blowing hot air just like Farooq Abdullah used to do."]

Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed Sahib has been speaking about the internally displaced Pandits in private and in public. In comparison to the policy and approach of the previous government, it seems he is concerned about the issue. This is a healthy sign, and it is the duty of the internally displaced Pandits to put their case before him in right perspective.

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