By Hashim Qureshi
Since a long time, I have been suggesting that all nationalist parties and organizations in J&K State should be dissolved. New ground situation has to be taken into account and three or four persons should be identified from big or small nationalist groups to form a Central Committee.
This committee will have consultations with experts and the agenda should be to re-unite the state, struggle for opening all road links, set a claim for fundamental rights, rights for development and announce a definite anti-terrorist policy.
The demand list should be such as would appear justifiable to the international community and organizations. These demands should be within the parameters of human rights Effort should also be made that the demand list drawn by the central committee should appeal genuine and acceptable to the people of India and Pakistan as well. This will pave the way for them to declare our demands as genuine and justifiable… In short for the solution of J&K issue we stand in need of a new thinking, new approach and a strong nationalist party. For new action plan it is important that we should have a strong, nationalist secular party and it should adopt the following agenda as its goal.
The exercise needs to be made of entering into a detailed discussion with all political parties and groups in India and Pakistan. The Central Committee should make efforts to engage the intellectual class of people in both the countries. They are to be provided with the intricacies of the Kashmir issue and the way out for a lasting solution. The intellectual class needs to be apprised about the disaster that is looking eye ball to eyeball in the subcontinent and the annihilation that is lying hidden in an atomic war if it so happens. The exchange of ideas should be about poverty, illiteracy and disease that afflict millions of people in the sub-continent.
The committee of experts should collect facts and figures about the losses which the people of two countries have suffered right from 1947 in terms of economy. It should be the eye opener. This account will include the losses inflicted on each other during the wars following partition of 1947. Losses suffered in the areas of industries and education should also be highlighted in detail.
Representatives of both the countries should be apprised of the incredible progress made by the European Union and losses suffered by SAARC owing to mutual differences and acrimony. No effort has ever been made by the mainstream parties of J&K and those organizations that consider it a disputed territory to reach the political parties of India and Pakistan with the fundamental problems facing the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They have never succeeded in presenting before the people of both the countries their case in a befitting manner. They could not build the opinion of intellectuals, media persons and the people in general in their favour. Kashmir issue has never been presented before them in its real form.
Just by making a mention of Kashmir issue, a strange confusion grips the minds of the people everywhere. The impression which the people of the world construe in their minds is of violence, fighting, killing, terrorism, abuse of human rights, use of tear gas, lathi charge etc. when talking about the relations between India and Pakistan
Pakistan has projected Kashmir in the context of accession of the state to Pakistan. In giving practical shape to this line of thinking Pakistan created numerous religious organizations that were supported by various political parties. In this way Kashmir was made a regional issue. By inducting armed groups into Kashmir, Pakistan became instrumental in publicizing all over the world that what was happening in Kashmir was a terrorist movement in action.
Along with a race for procuring arms on a large scale and equipping their arsenals with atomic weapons, both countries made Kashmir issue the cause of their mutual animosity and acrimony. There grew incredible hatred between the two peoples. Entire subcontinent became a hostage to the wave of hatred. The issue became so volatile that no leader on either side was ready to touch it or rake it up for a solution. In fact both countries made their respective peoples a hostage to Kashmir issue.
It will be worthwhile to speculate how much developmental work in the areas of education and healthcare could have been made by diverting the enormous money spent on purchasing sophisticated weapons and war machine. Imagine how many schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, medial institutes and the rest of it would have been raised had the amount not been spent on purchase of arms and ammunition. A detailed report should be made available that gives insight into the losses both countries have suffered…
This data will naturally expose the self centered leadership and warmongers in both the countries. It should also be possible to imagine the developmental level that could have been reached in a situation of no war between the two countries.
We must understand that the system of governance that we find in the two countries is one that sucks the blood of the poor and the have-nots. Factories producing war material, weapons and ammunition, earn the highest profit in present day system. Despite tall claims of democracy, they in reality are slaves to the pseudo-democratic arrangement, political establishment and political parties. Including the people of India and Pakistan in the crimes that their governments have committed is but natural. A stand is to be adopted to make the people supportive of their respective governments. That is what has been happening so far. The cause of the people of the State is lost or sandwiched in the animosity of the two countries.
In our times the states are profiled in a manner that army and all state organs are using the emotive slogans like patriotism, nationalism and defense of the nation etc. as instruments to work against their own people and others as well. The poor and the labour class become the sacrificial goat in state wars. We need to be safe from prejudiced and emotive slogan of nationalism. The most important thing is that we shall have to reject religion-oriented thinking, extremism and hatred. We should not even think about disunity and maligning campaign. We need not try to bring the blame of bloodshed and destruction carried for last 75 years to the doorsteps of anybody. Nevertheless, we should ruminate over the losses and damages that we have suffered over this long period.
We have so many parties. In fact they are not worth calling a party, these are at the best groups and small crowds of people come together. They lack discipline and they don’t have the expertise to run a political party. You will not find any democratic process present in these groups nor do they have any financial order. They go round persons not ideals. They do not have the ability to conduct their business along scientific lines. They claim to be nationalists but many among them are working for one or the other agency. It is also a fact that many people from PoK have tried to take maximum advantage from playing a role in the trading of dead bodies in Kashmir struggle and with combination of ISI managed to get political asylum in European countries. Many of them are involved in a mafia that manages asylum for the people in foreign countries in the name of Kashmir movement.
You can reunite the State. You can revive the State. You can also save India and Pakistan from a destructive war. The mindset of communalism, hatred and winning a victory over your adversary has to be changed. People of India and Pakistan should talk to one another about the problems and difficulties of the people. We should talk about the promises made by Pandit Nehru and try to convince both the countries that an amicable decision about the future of Jammu and Kashmir is also a guarantee for peace between the two countries.
India and Pakistan shall have to put an end to the extremism and so-called jihadi groups. Pakistan shall have to stop sending armed groups into Kashmir. We shall have to stop slogan mongering and the politics of gun
Kashmir issue needs to be researched along scientific lines. Losses incurred on this dispute should be documented. A picture of devastation of the subcontinent has to be envisaged in a prospect of nuclear conflict between the two countries. The losses that will be inflicted on humanity have to be assessed. This picture has to be presented to the world at large and more importantly to the neighbouring countries which may also be directly affected by the impending devastation. We need to tell the world of our deprivations and helplessness and the massive threat of decimation that hangs over the heads of two hundred million people of the subcontinent.
As the citizens of J&K we shall have to resolve our differences also through Intra-Kashmir Dialogue. This is necessary for structuring a disciplined system for the state with secularist ideology. It is a long struggle but it is bound to lead us to success in resolving the tangle. This organization shall have to have a constitution that will cater to the needs of regions, provinces nationalities, linguistic and cultural identities and safeguard their rights.
I know many people will label my ideas as imaginary and very soon they will forget it. The question is what other alternatives we have for the resolution of this 75 year old dispute for which three wars have been fought. Armed intervention has been going on for thirty years. Day in and day out Indian and Pakistani forces are shelling and firing across the border. Blood of innocent people of the State on either side is shed. These attacks take a huge toll of material life as well. The dead bodies of the youth are sent to their homes in coffins.
The question whether Pakistan can win this war by inducting armed militants into Kashmir to fight the Indian forces? If this infiltration and fighting continues for six more decades it will never be resolved. Both countries have atomic weapons… War means atomic war and the result will be total destruction of the entire subcontinent. For decades not a single blade of grass will grow leave aside food grains. The dispute will not be resolved by a war or by jihad or by sending in Taliban to fight the forces nor will it be solved by people declaring their sympathies with one or the other country.
Peoples’ conscience has to be stirred. People have to be told about the losses and damages of a war. Issues are solved by spreading the light of love and humanism and removing the darkness of hatred. The first condition to create that atmosphere is that the nationalists must come together under one banner and adhere to secular ideology. Unity and secularist ideology are the first steps in wielding the nationalists into one international union.
Once we are able to convince the people then we shall be in a position to decide whether we can get our aims and objectives fulfilled by starting civil disobedience movement just to convey to India and Pakistan to be just to the people of Kashmir and support them in their nationalist cause. Remember that truth and knowledge are the weapons strong enough to help us reach our goal. We must cast aside our ego for the sake of bringing prosperity and peace to our future generations by taking recourse to knowledge and by making people conscious of the destruction which a war can cause. We have to pull our younger generation out of the morass of illiteracy, obstinacy and backwardness.
“Such kah kih kisi dur main pachhtae nahin ham
Kirdar par apne kabhi sharmae nahin ham”