K C Agrawal

21 Feb, 2019 at 3:50pm

Simmering Kashmir

Pulwama a culmination of lingering disputes between India & Pakistan

The following article is an attempt to over-viewing the causes leading to barbaric and tragic killings of 40 innocent Jawans of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama District of J&K on 14/02/2019 by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber. It was unbearable and invoked immediate anger in the people of India for revenge. The whole country reverberated.

Friends, the grievous killings, has once again reminded us of the unresolved issues with Pakistan. A lasting settlement is essential for peace and tranquility between the two nations.

People of Kashmir are suffering because they remain encaged for 71 years under Article 370. They indeed are suffocated and seek freedom. They have expressed their bitterness from different platforms at different times, even at the cost of being called traitors. I will urge the people of India who think them so, to see within and feel their frustration and agonies to reason out their bitterness. Friends, like annihilation of ants is impossible unless their queen is found, so also, is not possible to suppress the disgruntled youth by force, unless one addresses the causes of their frustration. The following is an attempt to searching out the causes;

Without going into the details of the terms of partition and giving special status to J & K with the promulgation of Article 370; I will like to submit that promulgation of Article 370 was initiated at the instance of Sri Sheikh Abdullah for having greater autonomy and gradually acquiring the complete freedom of the State of J&K. He also wished to be the PM of J & K until the dominion of the State was established. It was acceded to by the then PM of India Pt Nehru. Later Mr Sheikh Abdullah himself was involved in anti-India activities for an independent State of Kashmir and was jailed for this.

Article 370 was a temporary arrangement but has become a never ending curse for the people of Kashmir. It is the basic cause of present anti-India or separatist activism within Kashmir.

Article 370 made J & K a State under control of the union government. In fact, we never owned this State in true sense. Presently, the state of J & K is like a republic within a republic and administered by the union government. U.S President Mr. Trump’s statement on 28 June 2017 that, ‘J & K is India’s administered State’ should not come as a surprise. Article 370 means, we do not fully own the State and J & K is legally authorized to maintain an almost separate entity. This is one reason that encourages Pakistan and Kashmir’s separatist groups to continue terrorism and unabated killings in Kashmir. Pakistan surely wants to own the State that India has yet to own.

[For details on partition refer my book, ‘CRUSADE INDIA’- ISBN: 81-901642-4-4]
The youth particularly, have a future to make. With the demand of freedom, I understand, they want freedom from the confinement they are forced to live in due to Article 370 - to enable them arrange means and avenues for their studies, businesses or whatever to sustain their families and make their own future. State governments in India lack performance and are usually not able to create conditions for self-determination of the people. Consistent disturbances have shattered the lives of Kashmiris. Tourism is destroyed. Industries are not able to perform. With scarce avenues and little resources, people of Kashmir are indeed throttled and gasp for freedom. Due to such constrictions, people from other parts of the country also shy to establish their businesses or invest in Kashmir, besides other restrictions for outsiders. Plight of people of Kashmir is indeed pitiable. If we consider Kashmir ours, and its people our children and brethren, then we better care for them like a mother. It is time we wake up and protect them from their sufferings and human rights violations. Friends, be it Monarchy or Democracy, it is the duty of the state to feel the pains and sufferings of their subjects and address them promptly and benevolently. If it means resolving the disputes, better resolve, rather than linger and make situation worse. Any ailment without treatment may become incurable. We cannot always play ostrich or escapists.

Article 370 was promulgated as temporary provision for the governance of the State in the year 1947. Under Shimla agreement in 1972 between the then PM of India, Smt Indira Gandhi and PM of Pakistan Mr Z A Bhutto, it was agreed to maintain status quo and resolve all differences through mutual dialogue without third party mediation. It is half a century since then also and nothing meaningful is done. The situation is worsening as the local people are losing their patience. Their unrest is understandable.

United Nations too are playing passive about the worsening situation of this part of the world and gross human rights violations of the people. Such lapses in the past have culminated in World war II and recently civil wars in Egypt, Libya and Syria. UN was established to provide peace and tranquility to the entire world. I urge the UN to not let lose their hold on the deteriorating condition of this part of the world and endeavor for quick settlement before it is too late. Not only people of Kashmir, people of entire India are adversely affected by such predicaments within and at the borders.

As the internal insurgency due to separatist and disgruntled groups is rising, so is rising the tension between India and Pakistan. Surely, Pakistan is also taking advantage of our internal factional groups. It indeed, is a worrying state and has attracted the international attention. A few countries have vociferated for a quick settlement, lest India and Pakistan rising conflicts become a threat to world peace. After-all both India and Pakistan are Nuclear Powers. A few countries have cautioned that, even if it is India’s and Pakistan’s internal matter, it is imperative to settle the disputes quickly. Indeed 45 years is a huge period for a vital issue to keep lingering. To only aim at keeping aggression at bay by force, rather than settling the real dispute amicably cannot be a long term solution. We, (India & Pakistan) need to sit down and thrash out a solution applying the philosophy of give and take in the larger interest of both the countries and the suffering people. After all both countries are losing by way of tension, economic regression, hardship to the people, entry of divisive forces and terror groups and enmity for each other. All this must be put to a halt and resolved without dilly-dally. UN and member countries may please play an assertive role to make it happen.

I hope the readers shall give it a thought and build pressure to resolve Kashmir issue as soon as possible in the interest of all.

Let us endeavor to pull out the suffering people of Kashmir from the present cage to freedom and prosperity!

K C Agrawal
Author: India in Chaos, Only Judiciary can save’