Homeland Security

The snows of hope
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 10 Nov , 2011

Notwithstanding the separatists and their masters, Pakistan’s infamous Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) engineered grenade blasts in the last month, come the next  few weeks, the beautiful Valley as many other parts of Jammu and Kashmir will be covered, as ever before with pristine snows—-. perhaps this time, after many years—- with the snows of hope. A record tourists filled summer and a near-incident free– the annual Amarnath Yatra — passed by, heralding the anticipation and yearnings of most in the Valley of life returning to normalcy with some relief and livelihood  for the common suffering Kashmiri. A few months back, the successful culmination of the Panchayat elections in the entire state of J&K, despite the separatists call for boycott augurs well for J&K and importantly for the country.

“¦”Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India”. If the nations Parliament has passed a non-negotiable Special Resolution to that effect in 1994, is there anything to think about it further in India by anyone?

Opportunities for the nation to heed to the positive stirrings of the populace in many of our turbulent regions across the country, come rarely and India must rise to the occasion to heal the wounds—-imaginary or otherwise— of some of our own people who even 64 years after the dawn of independence, sadly, do not feel fully amalgamated into the national mainstream. Not to expect all those traditionally  to continue stoking the  fires of terrorism, hate and separatism among the Kashmiris will be disregarding harsh reality and thus the government both at the Centre and the state, have to remain ever vigilant against the machinations of Pakistani sponsored and funded separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani,  Hurriyat leaders of many hues like Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Lone etc who for their own selfish motivations and also a fear of the fountainhead of terror, the ISI, will continue to spew hate on secularist India from the holy pulpits of the many mosques in the Valley, conveniently forgetting the state sponsored Sunni violence committed against the many hues of the Islamic faith in neighbouring Pakistan. These separatists expediently forget the economic misery and political deprivation of their erstwhile brethren in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) which has given vent to the call for an independent Balwaristan since years. In addition, the common people of Gilgit and Baltistan are up against their Pakistani colonizers who shamelessly are now encouraging the Chinese to set up bases in hapless POK and thus posing serious threats to India now from another front.

The practitioners of terror and separatism in J&K, use the liberalism and the myriad freedoms of the democratic Indian state to further their own nefarious agendas inside India, inspired from across the borders from Pakistan which often forgets that its own very existence is now at stake. Nevertheless, most Kashmiris especially the youth appear to have discerned the mischief perpetrated on them since years and the tribe of Hurriyat sponsored stone-pelters is slowly but inexorably dwindling. Though the government appointed Interlocutors Group for J&K has submitted very recently their much awaited report but whatever be their recommendations, much serious and speedy efforts by all stake-holders are warranted to ensure peace and development in J&K. This can only happen for the unfortunate Kashmiris if their local politicians rise above their unending petty brownie-points scoring propensity for the good of the state.

“¦former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, now leader of the Tehrik-e-Insaf Party and a self-proclaimed future Pak Prime Minister, most provocatively exclaimed that “If the American Army could do nothing in Afghanistan what can the Indian Army  do in Kashmir” and asked the Indian Army to vacate the Valley.

The foremost and a long delayed imperative for a final solution to this vexed problem is to translate into action the oft quoted dictum by successive Indian governments since 1948 that “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India”. If the nation’s Parliament has passed a non-negotiable Special Resolution to that effect in 1994, is there anything to think about it further in India by anyone? We should unequivocally tell Pakistan that the only unfinished agenda of the partition is the re-unification of the areas illegally occupied by it, namely Pakistan Occupied Kashmir including the Northern Areas now referred to as Gilgit-Baltistan which were all part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir at the time of partition of India in 1947. The more we vacillate either owing to some unknown diplomatic or international compulsions or imagined threats from Pakistan in concert or otherwise with China, the more tribulations we will inflict on ourselves. Any problems about any issue within J&K remains our own problem which we will solve utilizing our own genius.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd)

a distinguished soldier and veteran of the 1965 and 1971 wars, was the founder director general of the Defence Intelligence Agency, raised after the Kargil conflict. After retirement, he writes and lectures on security, terrorism and allied issues in the national media and many forums.

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