Kashmir being one of the United Nation’s long standing issues needs to be resolved for the permanent Peace in Asia and particularly in Indian Subcontinent. What brings us to look for the Peace and resolution of this ethereal issue is that a modern society needs to be socially responsible. And, being the citizens of the modern world each individual amongst us needs to look for the prosperity of the people around him besides his own well-being. When we talk about the Peace process in Kashmir we must keep in consideration the definition of Peace in the context of a common Kashmiri rather than as a generalized term. And, the next step would be to understand and being empathetic to the grievances of the people of Kashmir irrespective of their ethnicity or religion. More importantly all the commentators on the Kashmir issue first need to understand the historical background and the Geo-political significance of the Jammu & Kashmir. When we talk of Peace in Kashmir we must lay emphasis on the different parties which can play together in many terms to bring solace to the People of Kashmir and ultimately Peace to the Land. These parties obviously include Pakistan, India and more importantly the Kashmiris themselves.
Being a Kashmiri student studying outside Kashmir I am oftenly asked some people about the issues in Kashmir and recently someone asked me ‘as a Kashmiri what would satisfy my demands’? If this question is asked to any Kashmiri I guess the most oft answer would be ‘Azadi’ (Freedom). Azadi would be the ultimate goal that would commence the development of the political situation in Kashmir. But as far as the current situation is considered which should include the colossal position of the Indian forces in Kashmir we should try to gradually resolve the issue beginning with the procurement of the plans that would eventually churn the ultimate goal of the lasting Peace. Such steps are numerous which the government of India in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan and consent of the representative of the people of Kashmir can begin with. The first of such a measure that would come to the mind of every Kashmiri is the repeal of the special powers that provide Indian forces with impunity from being tried in the court of Law for the violation of the Human Rights. Such power as provided by Armed Forces Special powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) render all innocent Kashmiris exposed to the personal anguish and ill mannered decisions by the security forces. We have witnessed the feint use of such power to save the culprits of Shopain double rape and murder cases besides many others. Hence, if such powers are taken back the security forces would refrain from killing or rather murdering the innocent people of Kashmir. This will surely have a lasting impression on the minds of Kashmiris.
The government of India should take the cases registered against its security forces to the civil courts rather than to the military courts. The military court never really shows openly the results of the such cases and usually we see the personal tried in these courts living abroad, free of all charges. Having said that, there would certainly be some sort of scrutiny on the forces involved in the emanation of nearly 2700 unmarked graves recently reported. This particular incident is quite spanking in the minds of people of Kashmir and if addressed honestly will bring that confidence in the judiciary of India among Kashmiris. The presence of armed forces in the Kashmiri lanes and by-lanes, colleges, playing fields etc. is a great bothering factor. This should be parallel to the claims of the Indian Army establishments who recently claimed that there are less than 147 militants alive in Kashmir. Hence, there is a phenomenal difference in the military to militant ratio. Thus, the number of armed forces which stands between 600,00 to 700,00 should start reducing each passing day particularly from the civilian areas.
The most important of all is the step wise dialogue with Pakistan government which should include the presence of representatives of the People of Kashmir both mainstream as well as the separatists. The solutions should be chiseled keeping in view the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and such steps should be acceptable to all the ethnic communities of Kashmir whether it be Pandits or Muslims. When talking about the Pandits, it is high time for India to stop using Pandits as propaganda. Why I say this is if India was really interested in the development of these Pandits the government should have channeled some resources for them in the past 15 years. The ghettos in which these pandits that left Kashmir in early 90s are living are nothing but the symbols of bias on part of Indian government who always claim to be empathetic towards the cause of Pandits. The important fact is that Kashmiri Muslims and pandits have been living in harmony with each other and every effort should be made to get the Pandits back to the places they belong to.
The Kashmiris feels that their natural resources are being exploited by both India and Pakistan governments without Kashmir being at the receiving end of the benefits. The main of the resources exploited by India and Pakistan are the water sources. India particularly has been abusing our water resources for producing the power for its booming industry in Delhi and Haryana. However, very little of this hydel power is used or diverted to the extinguished bulbs of Kashmir thereby leaving it high and dry. Similarly, all other resources that are used by the countries on the either side of the line of control should stop progressively looting the Kashmir of its resources besides the people of Kashmir should be given rights to assume control of such resources.
The release of political prisoners and those who have been kept in prison even after they have served their sentence would surely help India to build confidence among the masses in Kashmir. There are prisoners who have been booked under Public safety act (PSA) and have never seen the light of the day since, usually on the basis of dubiosity or stone pelting. Important to mention is that the Human rights watch groups should be allowed to work independent to the influence of the governmental agencies. These groups like Amnesty international and other international Human Rights Watch Group recommendations should be taken seriously by the international community to press the Indian state to stop the violations of the Human values. Similarly, the Media in Kashmir should be let free to work. They should be allowed to work the same way as in the rest of the world. Now, these steps would gradually churn out a situation of Peace in the Kashmir and it is important to remember that economic packages and jobs alone would not be sufficient for India to address the problems in Kashmir. India should recognize that there is a problem in Kashmir that needs to be resolved rather than putting aside and forgetting until there is a pain in the tooth again. The measures mentioned above would gradually bring a situation of calmness however, the complete solution to the issue is what would bring the everlasting Peace to Kashmir and the neighboring countries and a sense of ease among India and Pakistan. One of the most important methods of the resolution would the application of the United Nations recommendations on the resolution of Kashmir which includes a plebiscite under its watch.
Published By ViewPoint Magazine on August 9, 2012