Abdul Rafay Hashmi
These claims are often reinforced with partisan interpretation of history and selective evidence. The real attitude and concrete policies towards the dispute, however, are often governed by perception of short term “national interests” as defined by dominant political elite of the two countries the interests that apparently are irreconcilable and non-negotiable. While each side sticks to its claims over Kashmir, the Kashmiri Muslims continue to pay a heavy price for their defiant struggle against overwhelming odds in order to exercise their right of self determination. For more than half a century the Kashmiris are oscillating between uncertainty and destitution. They continue to suffer misery and repression under illegal Indian occupation, and despite a stream of strong words and resolutions passed by the Security Council the Kashmir issue is still a bone o f contention between Pakistan and India. Rather the situation has taken a quantum leap for the worse.
Indian has conceded the Security Council resolutions vindicating the right of self determination for the Kashmiris but has since reneged on its solemn commitment to the international community and the people of Kashmir. The brutal and blatant Indian repression and state sponsored terrorism against innocent Kashmiri men, women and children had few parallels in the annals of history. The valley has become a festering sore and the miseries of the oppressed people of this valley and the “terror let loose” by Indian forces is not less cataclysmic in nature than that of Jaliawala massacre ordered by infamous General Rex Dyer.
In spite of facing all these hazards, the freedom fighters are exuberant. They have not only caused the military and political debacle to India but they have also done irreparable damage to Indian’s much touted and trumpeted secularism. Would it be too much to assume that Kashmir might well be the graveyard of Indian secularism. Unless sanity prevails to make the B..P leadership realize the sheer folly o f their politico military aggression against the Kashmiris.
In the name of freedom and self determination, the Kashmiris are being inured, mutilated and killed, their women raped, and their children robbed of hope for a better future. The dispute has shattered their economy polarized their society and festered a culture of violence among the people known for their non violent character.
But the Kashmiris are not only the one’s who suffer from the adverse consequences of the dispute. Millions in Pakistan and India re paying a high cost form direct or indirect effects of this issue. Both counties spend huge and unaffordable resources on defence which could be spent more productively on improving the lot of their people. The Kashmir issue has also led both counties to use their limited scientific knowledge and skills to develop weapons of mass destruction exposing them the an unimaginable holocaust. The dispute and military activities related to it have strengthened the pre-existing culture of violence, promoted glorification of material values and intensified the desire to take revenge from the enemy for the past humiliations. The culture will be a breeding ground for future conflicts between the two countries. Even if the Kashmir problem itself is somehow solved.
The Kashmiris have long history of sufferings and oppression, the worst chapter of which was written by the Dogra rule, particularly from 1931 onwards. Contrary to their hopes the partition of the sub-continent and the emergence of two new states, instead of ending the woes of Kashmiris, multiplied them. Since then they have suffered the consequences of three wars, well documented atrocities by the Indian army since 1989 and often violent activities of the militants, aumber of them religiously motivated non Kashmiris.
Since the days of Muslim Mughal Empire, Kashmir has got a prominent Muslim majority population. There are more than eighty percent Muslims and the Hindu population is less than twenty percent. Unfortunately, on the fall of Mughal Empire, the State fell to the British East Company in 1840, which sold it to the Sikh traitor “Raja Gulab Singh” in 1846, as reward for his betrayal of the Sikhs at a very negligible price of Rs. 75 lac. Hence onward the Muslim population of Kashmir came under continuous torment of the cruel Sikh rulers. They tried to strengthened their hold on the State with the singular aim of shattering the will of their Muslim subjects, crushing their religious zeal. They cowed them down into accepting the slavery of the Hindu minority.
The genesis of the Kashmir issue is that in August 1947, when partition of the sub-continent took place, Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy of undivided India, influenced Radcliff into awarding the predominantly Muslim district of Gurdaspur, situated in the East Punjab, to India. By this treacherous act, admitted by Lord Mountbatten himself on nation wide British television, the cruel Viceroy not only subjected a Muslim majority area to the cursed Hindu domination, it also sowed the seed from which could crop up the domination of India on another predominantly Muslim State Kashmir, because it is only through a narrow strap in the Gurdaspur district that India was linked with Kashmir. The canker in no time cropped up into the “Kashmir Problem” that has ever since proved to be a serious threat to the security of the South Asian region. Pakistan has made a lot of efforts to break the strangled hold of India on Kashmir, including third party’s mediations but the fate of Kashmiris is still trembling in the balance. The first effort was made when immediate after partition India airlifted its forces to Srinagar. When Quaid-e-Azam was informed he ordered Incharge of Pak Army General Gracy, to send forces to Srinagar but the General refused to do so.
Abdul Rafay Hashmi