|संजय सोनवणी (Sanjay Sonawani)|
|India need not speak with Pakistan or any other nations on Kashmir, but the imminent need is to speak with Kashmiri people and take them into the confidence. A sense of brotherhood needs to be created with honest humanitarian efforts. Otherwise, we may keep the land but will lose the people forever and this is not good for India.|
So-called international superpowers are showing interest in mediating Kashmir issue when India’s decades-old stand has been it is their internal issue and it doesn’t want any outside interference. It is Pakistan who has breached the accession agreement between Government of India and Maharaja Hari Sing and has illegally kept occupied through aggression the large part of the Kashmir which was meant to accede to India. The international community never has been just with India, rather they have kept harping that this is an issue between Pakistan and India when it never was the case. Rather, if at all the international polity would have been sensible it would have pressurized Pakistan to vacate the illegally occupied territory of Kashmir. It would have opposed the move of Pakistan to allow China to build roads through illegally occupied Gilgit-Baltistan when the territory, as per accession agreement, belonged to India. But this never happened. The goons in international politics, weapon industry and scholars of the world fell to the propaganda of Pakistan and tried to keep the issue burning for their selfish and hazardous motives.
May be it was a mistake on the part of Raja Hari Sing for his delayed decision as to whether to keep independent status or to accede to Pakistan or India, but the fact is finally he acceded to India, maybe with some terms and conditions those forced Indian constituent body to formulate article 370, as a temporary and transitional provision, however, the fact was the constituent body of J&K had already accepted that the Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India, though it kept its special status following the arrangements of the accession deed signed between Hari Sing and the Government of India. With this agreement entire region owned and ruled by Hari Sing, whether like it or not, had become part of Indian territory. It was Pakistan who mischievously encroached the land of Jammu and Kashmir, without waiting for the final decision of Hari Sing which was mandatory on the part of India and Pakistan. If Hari Sing wanted to be independent with his subjects, his decision had to be honored by both the sides as per the provisions of the Indian Independence Act where the princely states were allowed to make their own decisions.
But Raja Harising’s decision to maintain independence, though honored by India, was substantially abused by Pakistan by sending tribal militants to occupy Kashmir. It was a violation of the Indian Independence Act 1947. In fact, the UN should have acted in accordance with the Act and the subsequent decision of Maharaja to remain independent or accede to either side. Any effort by Pakistan or India to occupy the princely state by force should have been denounced, opposed and mitigated by the international community. However, this did not happen at all. Rather the world preferred to have this conflict zone boiling for their interests. However, Pakistan had no role to play since the accession deed was made to mitigate Pakistan’s illegal aggression. Pakistan’s claim that accession agreement was illegal was never been legally fought by them in International court or in the UN. Under the circumstances, Pakistan was never a party to Kashmir issue. Then harping on ‘India and Pakistan should resolve the issue by bilateral talks’ was and is a serious mistake and hypocrisy of the international community. UN’s Security Council was at fault when it ordered ceasefire but did not ensure the complete withdrawal of Pakistani rebel troops from the occupied area. Issue of the unsubstantiated plebiscite was meaningless because Pakistan was not a party to the accession agreement. Rather Pakistani rebels had forced Hari Sing to join India. According to the agreement, legal possession of J&K was handed over to India. It was India who had offered to have conducted a plebiscite in J&K to settle the issue when it was none. But, maybe adhering to democratic values India reaffirmed the plebiscite proposal with the UN’s Security Council as well. But it was a historical mistake.
But since Kashmir was divided between Pakistan, China and India no plebiscite was possible. India could keep political hold of a mere 55% of Kashmir which once used to be. Baltistan-Gilgit and Ladakh, the regions annexed to Kashmir long back in 8thcentury Gallant Emperor of Kashmir Lalitaditya was occupied by Pakistan and some territory of Ladakh by China. In a way, this historic region again became the center of unending conflict.
Article 370 was always an internal issue which was diluted sequentially using presidential orders. End of this article does not end of the issue which has been kept boiling by the politicians of not only India and Pakistan but the rest of the so-called superpowers of the world. The conflict zones, as a fact, required by the weapon industry as well for its survival and Kashmir was deliberately made a scapegoat to load their pockets. In India too Kashmir issue was politicized by all the political parties. No serious interest was shown by any government for the development of the state so that people will prosper and see a bright future in India. The sentiment of separatism was fueled by not only Pakistan but Indian politics as well. Terrorism was the inevitable outcome of this in which more than 80,000 citizens lost their lives.
Abrogation of article 370 was never an answer to Kashmir problem. The answer was economic development, dignity and preserving the self-respect of the Kashmiris. In fact, abrupt abrogation and deployment of huge military force and enclosing them without any facility to communicate with the world has created the atmosphere of distrust and anger which can create further challenges. So far no solution to change this sentiment is coming at fore. It seems that the government has no plans to control this psychological trauma and aftermath, same case as was with demonetization.
India need not speak with Pakistan or any other nation on Kashmir, but the imminent need is to speak with Kashmiri people and take them into the confidence. A sense of brotherhood needs to be created with honest humanitarian efforts. Otherwise, we may keep the land but will lose the people forever and this is not good for India.