CAN’T WAIT FOR GODOT

Khalid Isaac

 Prime Minister had given some assurances last year and some measures had been taken. An interlocutor was appointed, who met people but not separatists, who stayed away. Even a unilateral cease-fire during Ramdan did not pay dividends. It is high time that leaders realize that violence is no solution, and they will have to sit and talk, writes Khalid Issac. He writes that a large number of people got killed because leaders told them that ‘azadi’ was round the corner. The separatists must understand international community is not coming to their help. They should think over the options available. UN resolutions are not relevant now. That means they have to adopt a middle path. PM has offered them an opportunity to come forward.

Excerpts:

  

Embracing people of Kashmir:

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again reiterated that “bullets are no solution” to Kashmir and people of Kashmir need to be embraced. The PM Modi in 2017 had said the same and after that Government of India made every possible attempt to reach out to the people of Kashmir. The Government of India (GoI) appointed Dineshwar Sharma as its special representative and authorized him to hold talks with all the sections of the society. Mr. Sharma met a lot of people but the separatists, whom he wanted to meet, stayed away from him. Had they met him there was every possibility about the ice being broken? But it did not happen. Besides appointing Sharma, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on many occasions said that the Government of India is open for talks. He even forwarded an unconditional invite for talks to the “right minded” people. The GoI announced unilateral ceasefire in the holy month of Ramadan but the move backfired as the militancy related incidents increased during that period. People who are stating that PM Modi just repeated his last year’s statement have forgotten that it was after his assertion that things started moving in Kashmir. Despite GoI not getting a positive response from the separatists the Prime Minister Modi in his recent Independence Day speech has once again reiterated that efforts to restore normalcy in J&K would continue and people of Kashmir would be embraced”.

 

Violence not the solution:

“Kashmiri leaders need to sit back and introspect. They should realize that violence is no solution and at some point of time they would have to sit and talk. They can’t just keep on running away from the dialogue process. They (separatists) need to bear in mind that violence is not helping anyone’s cause and it’s the Kashmiris who are suffering. They (Kashmiris) are the ones who are dying and are facing the hard times. How long would Kashmiri leaders keep on looking towards other people? They have to become self reliant and put Kashmir and its people first. It’s high time for them to respond to the calls of the dialogue and work towards mitigating the sufferings of their people, whom they claim to represent. Since 1990 Kashmiri leaders have been telling people of Kashmir that “Azadi” is not that far away and one day their dream would come true. In the process of realizing the dream of “Azadi” nearly one lakh Kashmiris have died during the past three decades. On the other hand New Delhi has remained firm on its stand that J&K is an integral part of India and no negotiations can be held over it. New Delhi is not losing anything as India is progressing and is emerging as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. On the other hand Kashmiris are facing all the tribulations and the hardships. They are suffering on all the fronts.

 

Options for separatists:

“The international community which the separatists believe would intervene has turned its back towards Kashmir and is least interested in what’s happening in the Valley. No country wants to spoil its relations with India as most of the countries view India as a potential market for their products. The options which are available with the separatists are limited and they have to look at these options. Separatists have to open their eyes and see how fast the world is progressing. The resolutions which were passed in the United Nations Security Council in 1947 and the subsequent years are no more relevant. Even the role of United Nations has been curtailed. If Kashmir has to be pulled out from the quagmire of uncertainty separatist leaders have to look for a middle path. The confrontation has not served any purpose. It has inflicted more losses on Kashmiris than the security forces operating in the Valley. Strikes, shutdowns and protests have hit a common Kashmiri below their belt. The prevailing uncertainty has not allowed Kashmir to progress. It lags far behind. Separatists have to come out and tell their people where they are taking them. They cannot keep on telling them that conflict and uncertainty would stay forever and peace will never prevail in Kashmir. This is no solution. Prime Minister Modi’s assertion that bullets are no solution is an opportunity for separatists to enter into parleys with the GoI and put forth their viewpoint. If they keep on beating round the bush and wait for Godot to come it would worsen the situation further”.

 

[Courtesy : daily Greater Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir, August 20, 2018].

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