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What is Gupkar lobby fighting for?

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By K.N. Pandita

Gupkar lobby’s utterance is in effect the dirge for the demise of dynastic rule and power. The dynamics of history is that old order changes yielding place to new. This is as true about the Sheikh House as that of Maharaja Hari Singh. The history repeated itself after seventy-three years. Nations enjoy permanence but not the monarchs or their glamour.

Farooq presumes he can undo this universal truth by a show of mobocracy to which the Kashmiris have a historical penchant. Who does not know that his popularity is an enigma? It has come to him essentially from being the son of late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah though most Kashmiris are strongly apathetic to a dynastic rule. Dispassionately speaking, his contribution to Kashmir history is only in one prominent field and that is a plethora of colourful whims and eccentricities, all bandaged in self-aggrandizement. Yet he rejoices when told he has a method in madness.

His ideology of no accession to Pakistan, bequeathed to him by his illustrious father is neither a whim nor an eccentricity. It does not mean either hate for Pakistan or love for India, none of these. He does not support the option of Kashmir for Pakistan because he knows very well how Pakistan would treat Kashmiris nothing more than hewers of wood and drawers of water. He has spent days in the UK living and interacting with Pakistanis and PoK Diaspora there. There are no takers of his bluff in Pakistan but in India, there is no dearth of them, and the Sheikh dynasty survived because its bluff worked with the Indians.

After grabbing power – offered on a platter in October 1947 – the “doublespeak” became an obvious political culture and tactical idiom of National Conference leadership particularly Sheikh Abdullah and his lineal successors. Since in its early days, NC had gathered political momentum through mosques – now a copyright tradition of Kashmir politicos – and the Sheikh had assiduously fathomed the naivety of Congress leadership, the “doublespeak” became almost a political lethal weapon very deftly handled by the valley leadership for seven long decades. Valley political heavyweights, one and all, ensured that the bluff percolated down to the Kashmir feudalists, elites and the local bureaucratic segments, and finally to the unsuspecting plebeians. Interestingly, even other political groups pronouncedly differing with the NC in their ideological viewpoint also found this Goebelian propaganda convenient and serviceable option to further their game plan.

The Congress in power at the Centre was complacent with the doublespeak of the valley leadership considering it a short cut to good riddance but oblivious of the fact that it was inadvertently allowing the strong nationalist predisposition in Jammu region become its casualty. Jammu is not still coming out of that trauma. The worst is that the BJP High Command is incapable of understanding the genesis of the political trauma of Jammuites.

As Kashmir polity was rife with the doublespeak, it revealed the duplicity of intentions and willful abandonment of conviction on the part of local leadership. The first and most disastrous outcome of this phenomenon was the widespread corruption in almost all facets of the polity. Slowly and steadily it began eating into its vitals. The civil society in general and the administrative superstructure, in particular, began believing that perpetuating a general loot of public exchequer and assets was its birthright because Kashmir “an Islamic territory was occupied by a non-Islamic power”. The loot of the state property raised by a non-Islamic ruling structure was permitted by faith as “mal-i- ghaneem” meaning enemy property lawful for general loot. Therefore whenever the ulema preached honesty they added the sentence that the property of the non-Islamic entity was lawful to be looted. What the Indian Enforcement Department today calls scams, embezzlement, misappropriation, money laundering, hawala, illegal transactions, narcotic trade etc. sounds strange and alien to the ears of Kashmir Valley leadership and the brainwashed public both. When the religion legitimizes it in the name of mal-i-ghaneem, what right has the ED to proceed in the matter?

Has the Gupkar Alliance the welfare and development of Kashmir its primary objective? The development of Jammu and Kashmir, a heterogeneous conglomerate of humanity, along democratic, secular and egalitarian lines has been neither understood nor practised by the valley majority based statecraft. How could they understand it when the J&K Constitution never accepted any group a minority? It never considered minority as the wielding device and cementing force of a balanced social order and unifying ingredient. The alliance, as stated, is a loud lament for the loss of power and hegemony of a couple of ruling houses or local satraps and their ignominious auxiliaries, one and all pursuing the solitary agenda of self-aggrandizement and nepotism.

When late Mufti Saeed formed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he publicly announced that one of the important programmes of the new party was to help Kashmir get rid of the dynastic rule because it was the negation of democracy. On this count, Mahbooba conducted her Jamaat-i-Islami proxied election campaign and won. But today she stands shoulder to shoulder with the leader who has roped in six or seven smaller groups to lend their support to him as the scion of the Sheikh ruling dynasty. Farooq’s one-time Finance Minister’s son has a case of 170 crore rupees bank loan for setting up industries. Instead, he has purchased properties in the European and Gulf countries all at the expense of Kashmiri taxpayer. Notwithstanding his history, this former Finance Minister is a close associate of Farooq in the Gupkar Alliance.

How far are the valley leaders concerned with the welfare of Kashmir is evidenced by the Roshni Act scandal through which more than two lakh kanals of state forest land has been granted to the politicians, bureaucrats, corporate houses, capitalists, and influential persons of one particular community at throw away price causing a loss of billions of rupees to the state exchequer? The Roshni Act has been declared null and void by the High Court. This scandal took place when Nabi Azad of Congress was the chief minister in a coalition government with PDP and the conspiracy was allegedly hatched in collaboration with Farooq. Is the Roshni Act a developmental project for the millions of Kashmiri people or for the thick creamy layer of its society?

During its long stints in power, the NC has nothing to show by way of concrete development of Kashmir. They always stonewalled outside investment on the pretext of leaving space open for local entrepreneurs. What is the result? Look how these local entrepreneurs and their enterprises have been contributing to the alienation of the people and financially strengthening the creamy class of Kashmirian society. Why have not the administrative organs of the state been able to submit utilization certificates for enormous funds they received under various schemes over time? Where has that money gone? Why have most of the Centers’ development schemes been abandoned soon after these were inaugurated? What has happened to various central schemes generally called PM’s schemes for this and that? Kashmir Valley political parties have throughout pursued only a one-track policy of blackmailing the Centre with falsehoods, canards and fabricated stories. The simple formula which the Kashmir valley leadership adopted in the course of insurgency beginning 1989-90 is “Hindostan sandooq band karega to Pakistan se bandooq lenge, meaning if India closes coffers on us we will grab guns from Pakistan.

Prime Minister Modi has understood the bottom of Kashmir doublespeak. He has taken strong measures to contain blackmailing of Central government and agencies. The easy flow of billions of rupees has stopped and the pockets of doublespeak robbers are going dry. Accountability has been initiated and the skeletons are crumbling out of the cupboards of broad-day burglar one by one. Their deep involvement in monetary scams, in overt empathy for militancy, in providing backdoor entries to government jobs to kith and kin, in looting the state exchequer, in corrupting society and services and in spreading falsehood and canards against India, are among their contribution to the development of Kashmir.

Now they want Kashmir to return to the same old order so that their path to perfidy and scandals is thrown open. That, in short, is what the Gupkar Alliance is fighting for. They want people of the valley to remain confined to straight-jacketed orthodoxy allowing no liberal ideas to grow and flow within the society. Progress and development of Kashmir is a distant cry and what sustains the unholy alliance is anti-India proclivities at a time when even in Pakistan saner voices are asking Pakistani government to understand and appreciate the nation-building ideology pursued by Prime Minister Modi.

In the final analysis, what is the Gupkar lobby fighting against? Yes, it has a comprehensive agenda for their fight. Let us itemize it. They are fighting the Home Ministry AGAINST

  • (a) giving statehood to five lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees of 1947 carnage in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Rajouri living a stateless life for last seven decades
  • (b) Against giving PRC to nearly 2 lakh Valmikis whose services were formally requisitioned by the State government from Punjab as safai karamcharis more than half a century ago. Against
  • (c) authorities taking action for clandestine resettlement of nearly 90 thousand Rohingya Muslims in Samba and Jammu district along the sensitive IB and LoC thereby shredding Article 370 and Special Status proviso to pieces. (It will be noted that these people were given ration cards, Aadhaar cards, bank passbooks, water and electricity connections and other facilities within weeks of their arrival thus giving a clear proof that the valley-dominated regimes wanted to bring about demographic change in Jammu); against
  • (d) Loot of nearly 2 lakh kanals of government land through illegal Roshni Act gifted away to ex-ministers, legislators, political VIPs, top bureaucrats, top businessmen and other favourites at a throwaway price. Not a single kanal has gone to a poor homeless Kashmiri urban or rural citizen; against
  • (e) Kashmiri girls to whom the statehood status is desired to be restored even if they marry a spouse outside Kashmir, not only they but their progeny as well; against
  • (f) Return and rehabilitation of ethnically cleansed seven lakh Kashmiri Pandits back in their homeland after grabbing or vandalizing their immoveable and moveable properties; against
  • (g) Investments in industrial enterprises with the potential of generating large scale employment for the unemployed locals; against
  • (h) breaking monopolies by valley-based corporate houses that abet and disseminate anti-national and communal propaganda; against
  • (i) universalization, liberalization and emancipation of Islamic society and harnessing it to the age of scientific and reason; against
  • (j) the historic effort of the secular-democratic India to empower its minorities (especially the Muslims) and EWS with their constitutional and other rights, and against
  • (k) holding entire Muslim community of the valley a hostage to conservative and orthodox Islam of Turko-Pak-Indonesian triumvirate where all beliefs converge on radicalization and weaponization.

The NC leadership is now preparing to invite China to help them get rid of Indian secular democracy and return to 14 centuries-old tribal social order to tell the world they are pure Muslims.

If China can help Farooq restore him the Kashmir Sultanate based on his religious philosophy, we would politely suggest Farooq go to Yarkand, Kashghar, Khotan, and Urumchi etc. in his first leg in Xinjiang and visit the hundreds of concentration camps for the Uighur Sunni Muslims to know what type of religious freedom they are enjoying. Kashmiris have a long history of inviting foreigners to come and rule over them. Farooq is meticulously preserving the tradition laid down by Maulana Sarfi and his delegation way back in the closing days of the 16th century to the court of Akbar. Hopefully, after his Chinese camaraderie, he will impress upon Kashmiris of the valley to enjoy the love of Chinese rule.

If the Gupkarists had any love for Kashmir they would have strongly condemned the attack planned by Jaish-e Muhammad terrorist organization of Pakistan that was foiled by brave Indian soldiers in Nagrota only recently. Anybody lamenting for Kashmir would not remain silent on such perfidy by Pakistan. This exposes the subconscious mind meaning the doublespeak of the Gupkarists nursing nothing but ill intentions against the Indian State and the nation.

The decision of the Gupkar lobby of participating in the DDC, Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections is a healthy decision. After realizing the blunder of boycotting previous Panchayat and other elections and leaving the space free for BJP to walk over, the Gupkar conglomerate has corrected itself albeit after a grave tactical miscalculation of which BJP took the fullest benefit. Their decision to participate in DDC and other elections this time is indicative of the fragility of their stand against democratic institutions of the county and their decision of fighting the elections jointly on the basis of fair distribution of seats is a big indication of their serious apprehensions about their ability to make a dent in the BJP constituency in the valley. It is so because they know the old game of rigging elections will no more work under present dispensation and the voters will no more be intimidated. No fewer than 18 BJP activists in the valley, or the Panchs and Sarpanchs have been gunned down so far by the militants reported to be enjoying overt or covert patronage of the politicians. The lobbyist did not have the humanism of even expressing condolence on the killing of these victims. The consequences of wanton destruction of innocent lives will have its far-reaching impact on the forthcoming elections. Interestingly, the constituent groups are askance at the usual hegemony of NC demanding lion’s share rightly or wrongly. The fissures in the phony unity of the cavaliers are not far to seek.

However, notwithstanding their antecedents, the lobbyists have taken a right step now, which is in the interests for genuine democratic dispensation in the Union Territory and its masses. Nobody anywhere in the world takes notice of their tantrum of restitution of abrogated articles or restoration of special status. The two power-thirsty dynastic standard-beares are standing on seashore and watching with utmost despondence their ship lowering down in the deep vacuum of history. One thing they fully and unanimously understand is that both of their reclining cushions viz. Pakistan and Congress, are either in the process of collapsing or have virtually collapsed. The takers and givers of doublespeak are conspicuous by their foolhardiness. There is still a chance of rectifying their waywardness and taking the masses of people of Jammu and Kashmir out of the morass into which they have been le d. It is for the masses of the people to choose the right path as they are standing on the crossroad of history.
(The writer is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University).

Gilgit and Baltistan: Pak’s new move on status

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By K.N. Pandita

India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire in J&K on the night of 30-31 December 1948. India minced no words and claimed that the Maharaja had signed the Instrument of Accession of his entire state to the Indian Union and the latter pronounced J&K as an integral part of the Indian Union.

But Pakistan stuck to a different stance. She maintained that PoK meaning the part of the State-controlled by her in the post-ceasefire period was an independent entity and not an integral part of Pakistan. In a historic decision, the High Court of PoK declared that Gilgit-Baltistan was part of the original State of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan took the case to its Supreme Court.

Pakistan was hesitant to integrate PoK for two reasons: one, integration of PoK into the Dominion of Pakistan would deny Islamabad the logistical option of conducting military operations against Indian forces in J&K. Second, the Muslim League had conceded the independent identity of PoK when Sardar Ibrahim Khan announced the independence and sovereignty of PoK from the Dogra authority on 24 October 1947 at Muzaffarabad. He also announced setting up of the Azad Kashmir government. Pakistan would not want to lose the lever of PoK against India.

Pakistan’s contention is as this. A ceasefire was accepted by both sides and implemented on the midnight of 30-31 December 1948 – that is almost a year after the tribal lashkars had led an incursion into Kashmir. Did it not mean that Pakistan is a stakeholder? Did not the ceasefire agreement indirectly establish the authority of Pakistan over the part of the State that she controlled at the midnight stroke on 31 December 19048? It nullifies the argument that the fate of the PoK is yet to be decided or that the task of partition is still incomplete.

However, we shall recollect that ceasefire was meant to stop the fighting, give respite to the warring sides and find a peaceful solution to the problem. Pakistan-sponsored lashkars first invaded Muzaffarabad and then continued to fight for one full year to arrive at ceasefire decision. Contrarily, India first confirmed accession by the competent authority and then only brought in her forces to push back the invaders. There is a difference in their standpoints.

As the incursion of tribal lashkars preceded Gilgit Scouts rose in rebellion against the authority of the Maharaja of J&K. Captain Brown of the British Army commanding the Gilgit Scouts led that revolt. Thakur Ghansara Singh, the Governor of Gilgit Wazarat was defeated, arrested and deposed from authority. The Muslim contingents of the State force mutinied and attacked and killed the Gorkha soldiers of the State Army in Skardu. Indian forces could not come to their rescue. This was a war going on between the two countries and the ceasefire agreement put a seal on the issue of what area remained occupied by which side. Don’t forget that India took the case to the UN Security Council with the explicit request of ensuring that the invading lashkars and Pak regulars were thrown out of the territory of J&K State as they were invaders.

Possession is the nine-tenth of law. Pakistan has owned PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan ever since. That is true but the point is that India never accepted that position of Pakistan. Its stand on the matter was more than clear when in 1994 an Indian Parliamentary resolution asserted its right and ability to take back the illegally occupied territories of the original state. Why India did not take it back is a different question. As a responsible country wedded to democratic dispensation India has always emphasized bilateral dialogue and no third party mediation. India is still holding that line. Moreover, the SC Resolution of 1948 stipulated that Pakistan would withdraw all its forces and fighting personnel from the PoK, the central authority of administering the state would be restored to Srinagar, India would reduce the number of her troops in the valley and, thereafter, the SC would proceed with the plebiscite in the State. Pakistan failed to fulfil its commitment and instead of withdrawing, she reinforced her strength in PoK. The UN Resolution in question lost its sanctity.

Indian policy planners expected that Pakistan would be willing to make a deal and convert the LoC into an international border. This was phantasmal. Why did not the Indian planners take into account the ultimate objectives and strategies of the British colonial power particularly at a time when the Bolshevik revolution had succeeded in the Central Asian region and communist ideology, prompted by the lurking desire of reaching the hot waters of the Indian Ocean was spreading out its fangs southward. Why should India have expected Pakistan to come forward and make a deal with India? She had already been part of military alliances of the Anglo-American bloc like Baghdad Pact, CENTO, and SEATO. Northern areas were strategical of crucial importance to the Anglo-American bloc and they were too willing to see that Pakistan remained more aligned than the allies.

Moreover, India reduced her weight in regional strategy by pandering to the Non-Aligned movement forgetting her strategic importance in the India-Pacific region. A country weak militarily as well as economically, should have been very discreet in giving her adversaries any chance of suspecting her credentials.

When China hounded us down in Arunachal Pradesh and Nehru begged for military assistance from the US, the entire western world laughed at our naivety. To the Russians, China was a brother while India was a friend.

Rise of China as the new powerful economic and military actor on the South Asian political chessboard completely changed the entire political scenario in Northern India particularly the UT of J&K. Under pressure from China, Pakistan is looking for a way out that would allay the fears of China about the ultimate status of Gilgit Baltistan. She has stakes in CPEC and R&B. Islamabad has devised integration of Gilgit Baltistan into the national territory and thus does away with the court order that has recognized this region as part of the original State of Jammu and Kashmir.

As was expected, India lodged a strong protest against Pakistan intending to convert Gilgit Baltistan as the fifth province of Pakistan. However, it has to be noted that India has only lodged a protest and not extended any threat that would intrinsically recall the Indian parliament’s unanimous resolution of 1994.

The interesting aspect of this development is to find out if Pakistan’s move of integrating GB into the national territory is only a gimmick or is fraught with a well-calculated sequential resolution of Kashmir issue.

If the gamble of Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political adviser, Moeed Yusuf, makes any sense, particularly when he has clout with the Americans and had also visited New Delhi in 2018, does it come into play somewhere and somehow in the current situation? One can understand that China’s interests lie in a peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue provided it gives her leverage in converting Gilgit Baltistan as the ultimate Himalayan. China has very shrewdly caught the time by the forelock. Moscow no more evinces interest in India having a foothold in Gilgit Baltistan or blocking China’s mobility south of the Karakorum, nor does she consider it feasible to adopt rivalling attitude towards China.

With India agreeing to barter Gilgit Baltistan with her part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and ensuring the deal through an international or preferably UN-sponsored formula; there could be chances for grabbing the elusive peace in the region. But any proposal along these parameters has to be discussed at length and preferably in consultation with big powers.

China also understands that with Modi at the helm, there is a good possibility of pushing the broad contours of negotiations because Modi has the capacity of absorbing the resentment from a wide segment of Indian society. But the crux of the formula is what Dr Manmohan Singh the former prime minister of India expressed a couple of times during his tenure. He had said that there could be no redrawing of the LoC, though of course, straightening some minor angularities may not be ruled out. China cannot run away with Aksaichin and Shaksgam valley.

In any scheme of this nature, some nagging issues and by-issues will have to be taken care of. These pertain to demographic complexities, internal displacements, rehabilitation of displaced and marginalized people and establishing the broad contours of bilateral trade between the two countries under the aegis of the World Bank or other international agencies. The nitty-gritty has to be addressed with patience.
(The writer is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, Srinagar).

Alliance’s U-turn on DDC election

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By K.N. Pandita

The angst expressed by the originators of Gupkar Declaration I and II need to thin out and become perceptional. Leaders long in seats of power tend to become an institution by default for good or mundane whatever. The Gupkar Gang, as their detractors would like to call them, belong to that specie of humanity.

Reconsidering the blunder of boycotting Panchayat elections previously, the opposition parties have changed the course of their approach to the ongoing political scenario in Kashmir. This we presume is a healthy sign because what can be achieved through the normal democratic process cannot be achieved through unleashing of violence.

We consider it a good move by the Gupkar Alliance to jump into the mainstream and strengthen the democratic process. This also means that the militants will be forced to re-assess their line of action and come to a table for talks.

We consider it a healthy sign for the Indian democracy and especially for Kashmir where democracy and secularism have received a strong setback owing to militancy. Participation in the DDC elections would pave the way for further political interaction in the Union Territory and possibly the chances may open up for the restoration of the historical State of Jammu and Kashmir. Though one cannot predict whether the special status will be restored, nevertheless, the State will certainly work in a much improved political environment. It is likely to reduce corruption that has so venomously crept into the vitals of society.

When will the State be restored its previous status is not easy to predict but one thing is clear that the administration, development, law and order situation and security etc. all these areas will get a new facelift. In particular, tourism will attain new dimensions if we take the plans and programmes of the government into consideration.

However, the incumbent civilian government in the restored State will have to cut its cloth according to its size. Delivery will be the key and final proof of its performance. The days of dynastic and arbitrary rule are gone forever and can never return. Those used to the general look of the State Exchequer will find their perfidy coming to nought.

If these ideals are what the Gupkar Alliance intends to pursue, its policy will certainly receive accolades. But the question is will the elected civilian government have the courage to take on the militants and their threats and intimidation though of course, the security forces will cow them down everywhere and every time. The local leadership has a great responsibility of steering the ship of the state through disturbed waters. Fortunately for them, the central government is forthcoming with funds and plans that bring about a revolution in the economic life of the state.

The element of self-abnegation, expected of politicos seldom gets back benched. Ultimately, the connection between them and the demos they represent shrinks to a small coterie whose members tend to turn aggressive, worshippers of personality cult and finally goons and cronies with invidious influence in the power structure.

Kashmir Valley leaders are usually obsessed with local partisan politics and a narrow prism to look at the far-reaching consequences of being an entity of the world’s largest secular democracy. How amusing that Kashmir’s most popular leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah understood the benefits of a secular democracy for a region in which the Muslims formed as big a minority as to pass for almost an overwhelming group in the sense of adult franchise arrangement. But on the other hand, he erroneously concluded that his popularity, power knob and ego would remain secured and intact only if he pandered guardedly to premier community support in narrow parameters. It meant he was trying to have the best of both the worlds without making conspicuous sacrifices for the advantages he was seeking. The undisclosed agenda of 1952 Nehru-Sheikh Accord became the catalyst to the sordid narrative of August 1953.

Thereafter, the gradual downslide of State – Centre relations emerged as a new gamut on J&K political platform. In the beginning, Kashmir valley masses did not make out the real cause of the Sheikh’s simmering estrangement with New Delhi in the early 1950s although sporadic incidents of limited civilian dissatisfaction could be felt. Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad, who succeeded the Sheikh in 1953 A.D, entreated himself to the masses of people in the valley and could also handle New Delhi with requisite dexterity. He proved himself to be the man of the masses and his unforgettable contribution towards the development of J&K, subscribing to nationalist politics and abiding secularist ideology.

But alas! The Kamarajing of Bakhshi proved such a Himalayan blunder as makes Kashmir bleed ever since. The truth is that India lost Kashmir the day when the Bakhshi was removed more by caprice than by essential political pragmatism and statesmanship.

A big fissure developed in the state-centre relationship. No chief minister, thereafter, nor even Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq, could restore the crucial and expanded link because he posed as an icon of the Leftists bereft of the quality of mass leadership which was the domain of his predecessor. With Leftists playing the very unimpressive class and sectarian role in the country, they influenced Nehru who ousted some more popular contemporary regional leaders in whom he felt the potential of upstaging their popularity. The Bakhshi was trapped.

The second stint of the Sheikh, 1975 to 1982, contrived through gross manipulation of democratic procedure was a different story. His fake secularism had vanished altogether; he got bogged with international Islamic politics; he established liaison with the Saudis through Pakistani conduits and brushed aside local issues essentially of development, of streamlining relations with New Delhi and of reforming the ideological assault led by Jamaat-i-Islami of Kashmir. He could not control the aggressive rather militant cadres of Plebiscite Front from indulging in hooliganism and public disorder just because in his physical absence from the scene owing to incarceration his bigoted lieutenant Mirza Afzal Baig left no stone unturned to cement the link between Jamaat-i-Islami and the Plebiscite Front essentially based in Pulwama district of South Kashmir and Sopor town in North Kashmir at whose hinterland borders touched with PoK via Kupwara.

After the Sheikh’s demise in 1982, National Conference remained the premier mainstream political party in Kashmir with Farooq Abdullah, the second son of the Sheikh at the driver’s seat. I will not go into the details of the sordid role of Farooq and his party in deliberately overlooking or underestimating the dangers of parochial politics in a sensitive border state torn by internal conflicts or political myopia and looming external threats. Although Farooq did not overtly socialize with the Jamaat-i-Islami of Kashmir, yet he knew them and declined to cut them to their size. To alley their misconception about him, he regularized thousands of darsgahs meaning exclusive Jamaat seminaries and absorbed thousands of their teachers into government school education department without realizing how effective they would be in polarizing Kashmirian society vertically and subverting the social fabric and administrative functionality. Most of the bureaucrats who rose to senior administrative positions were in one way or the other the products of these seminaries that had done successful brainwashing experiments on them.

The situation became alarming for Farooq and his party when the political wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami known a Muslim United Front (MUF) actively participated in the assembly elections in 1986 and stunned the NC by leading in some constituencies in Srinagar especially the Magarmal Bagh. How NC goons under instructions from party echelons misbehaved and manhandled the winning MUF candidates and intimidated the returning officers as well, was attributed by the politically conscious Kashmiri Muslim voters as the underhand game of New Delhi in which it showed reluctance to popularize Kashmir political play game. This was the alienation point for them which did not look back any more. Therefore, after the MUF episode, Kashmir politics went through a sea change. ISI of Pakistan had won the first round. Farooq became fully conscious that his political survival had to be more reliant on support from the local influential Jammat rather than New Delhi.

It was sheer political shortsightedness of New Delhi (Congress) to have allowed the critical situation in Kashmir drift to a dangerous course. But Congress had from very early days of Kashmir’ accession to India begun to feel that its interests were safe in the Kashmir proxy (the Sheikh dynasty). That ultimately proved the fundamental cause of exasperation for the valley-based populace and continues till date.

The dynastic rule in Kashmir focused on its primary objective of retaining power and self- aggrandizement and the camp followers leaving no stone unturned to promote its narrow-minded objective by means fair or foul. The bureaucracy understood how much Kashmir politics has got personalized spread out their fangs and hence the general loot in which the politicians, ministers and other beneficiaries flourished day and night. Their arrogance rose to the level that they refused submitting utilization certificates for the huge funds sanctioned by the centre under various central schemes and there was no action for dereliction of duty. Highly controversial laws that sullied rights and interests of the general public were enacted like the Roshni Act which benefitted a small group of feudal lords but ignored the rights of the common man. Corruption became rampant much more during the tenure of Farooq’s son. That is what usually happens under the dynastic rule.