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Linking Kashmir to SC membership

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By K.N. Pandita

President Obama will be visiting our country in November. Preliminaries of the impending visit are being worked out at Washington and New Delhi. Observers think it will be a path breaking visit.

Euphoric segments have always said that US Presidential visit to India carries great significance. In reality, no visit of top level echelon has been extraordinarily significant. Washington has always towed the policy of maintaining parity between India and Pakistan.

Print media has indicated that President Obama is going to put a condition to supporting India’s candidature for a seat at the UN Security Council. The condition is that India resolves Kashmir tangle.  Continue Reading…


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Report on the study tour of Beersmans Paul, President of the Belgian Association for Solidarity with JandK to India and the Indian J and K State – from 24 June to 21 July 2010.

Linked with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, and with Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK. – Published on BASJAK, by Paul Beersmans, September 2010.


a. J&K, as it was before partition in 1947, is at present under the rule of three countries:

  • (1) China: Aksai Chin and a territory of 5.180 km2 ceded by Pakistan to China;
  • (2) India: J&K State comprising Jammu-region, the Kashmir-Valley and Ladakh (Kargil and Leh districts);
  • (3) Pakistan: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas). The population of these regions is totally different from each other: culture, history, traditions, language, religion, etc.

b. In order to find a permanent solution a dialogue is necessary on three levels, as we emphasise already since so many years: Continue Reading…

Kashmir Problem: Retrospect and Prospect

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By K.N. Pandita

Recent visit of 39-member parliamentary delegation led by the Home Minister to Jammu and Kashmir should help parliamentarians and through them larger sections of civil society understand the dimensions of Kashmir issue. Historical run through will help.

Conditions of accession to the Indian Union were laid down by the ruler in October 1947 and not by National Conference. Power was handed over to the National Conference leadership on the basis of its popularity. Formation of a populist but not an elected government by Sheikh Abdullah in October 1947 meant NC endorsed the conditions laid down by the ruler.  It was also stipulated that after the invaders were thrown out of state territory, the Maharaja would resume power, and work out political dispensation of the state.  Continue Reading…

Kashmir: diplomacy of confusion

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By K.N. Pandita

Nobody, much less the protestors in the valley will be optimistic about the outcome of all-party parliamentary delegation’s recent visit to the summer and winter capitals of J&K. People in the valley got the impression that they came, listened, saw and went away. People in Jammu were left guessing whether the delegation would even at any point of time raise the issue of discrimination against the region. Not to speak of extending an invitation to them, the displaced Kashmiri Pandits had to put in an effort to be heard even superficially.

For the delegation there was neither a cheering word to hear nor reassuring situation to see. The wounded in the hospital, the attendant in the ward or the engineer on duty repeated faithfully what Ali Shah Geelani spoke to Yechuri.

Their word was of a community focused on seeing the Indian troops out of Kashmir and determined to win freedom from Indian presence.   Continue Reading…

Kashmir: The Task Ahead

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By K.N. Pandita

The task ahead in Kashmir is difficult but not insurmountable. Courage and firmness are required. Courage draws inspiration for a clear conscience that no state oppression has ever been let loose against the people.

Two decades ago people in the valley bade farewell to secularism. Now democracy as political arrangement is engaged in life and death struggle. By and large, after the extirpation of the minority in 1990, the valley has gradually adopted full pan-Islamic character. The manner, in which the Congress-led government at the Centre has been soft pedalling with this new phenomenon, makes observers believe that Indian State is reconciled to a theocratic unit within a secularist union. This is the new interpretation of Congress’ secularism of Indian State.

Elected governments, led by the NC or PDP in coalition with the Congress, both, have tried to play to the tune of religious extremists who form the core of the separatists and secessionists. Methodology might not be identical but compulsions are common.  Continue Reading…

Kashmir Valley situation: a forthright talk

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By K.N. Pandita

Situation in the valley is distressing. Only sadists would be gleeful. Sensible people and patriotic people have reason to be upset. No civilized society can afford to see wanton destruction of precious human lives.

Let us do some hard and plain speaking on the subject and allow reason and logic to guide us in a pragmatic discourse.

Unfortunately, overwhelmed by sensitivity, neither of the contesting sides is ready to call a spade by its proper name though the time has come when it should be done. Truth is seldom sweet when parties are at loggerheads, but there is no escape from harsh ground realities.   Continue Reading…

Jammu region has a role

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(Updated same day at 17h25) – By K.N. Pandita

Political landscape in our State has changed since Sangharsh Samiti movement two years ago, and events subsequent to it. On-going agitation in the valley this summer has reinforced the change.

The time has come when the dynamics of statecraft will induce the union government to make re-appraisal of its Kashmir policy; it has to be both long range and short range

What is of special interest is the significance and role of Jammu region in reoriented policy formulations? Continue Reading…

Letter to the Editor – Greater Autonomy for Kashmir

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The Tribune

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? Continue Reading…