A word of caution for SS

24 08 2008

A word of caution for SS

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By K.N. Pandita

Sangarsh Samiti’s (SS) call for strike has entered 54th day. It is a long and unprecedented event in the history of Jammu.

Congress has come out with a warning asking SS to wind up the agitation. How should this be interpreted?

Tactically, SS is at some slight disadvantage. The agitation started with opposition to the withdrawal of land allocation order by the government. The catalyst to mass movement was Governor Vohra’s insult to Jammu people.

That was New Delhi’s brief for him.. Even Congressman, Mr. Mangat Ram is reported to have told the Governor that Jammu stir would not last more than two or three days. Politicians with short vision have tremendous capacity for self delusion.

The SS focused on the land – deal issue whereas other chronic issues of immense importance — mostly political and economic — cropped up as agitation intensified. Vigorous debates in the media made it amply clear that the Amarnath land deal notwithstanding; there were much more serious issues that needed to be addressed, and particularly the issue of discrimination of Jammu by Srinagar regime.

New Delhi Sultans are veering round the option of withdrawiang both government orders and upholding and implementing the court decision on Amarnath yatra.

In what may be called the farcical talks of All Party Committee, the official side meticulously tenaciously stuck to the land-deal issue and skirted the issue of discrimination, deprivation and lack of development in Jammu region.

Congress circles in New Delhi have not hidden their traditional malice against Jammu nationalist forces by alleging that the groundswell in Kashmir valley happened because SS went out of its way to play its agitation card. Economic blockade of the valley, which never was there, was invented to stir up emotions and mobilize people.

As New Delhi is circumventing the issue of discrimination against Jammu, it is bound to put SS is in an embarrassing situation abut how to shift emphasis from land allocation issue to discrimination issue. Playing its card cleverly, New Delhi wants to hold the bull by its horns.

SS should make the core purpose of the mass movement very clear to the people who have stakes. and more importantly to the state and central teams involved in talks. It means redrawing tactics of mass movement.

Full emphasis has to be laid on self-rule rights of the Jammu region without jeopardizing national interests or the interests of any other group. If the argument is that such a demand would mean secession of Kashmir Valley from the Indian Union, then the Indian leadership has been misleading the world for last six decades.

SS has to understand that New Delhi Sultans will never concede anything to the people of Jammu. The reason is the Kashmir heavyweight. It is of no importance to them that Pakistani flags were hoisted all over the valley on the day of funeral procession of slain Hurriyat leader. It is of no significance to them that hundreds of thousands tried to reach Muzaffarabad crossing LoC. They are happy with the idea that they manage flawed elections in J&K where one or the other party comes to power and India has a face saving.

If these elections were not farcical, why should the mainstream political leadership have vomited anti-India and anti-Hindu venom? Why should have they called it invasion of Hindu civilization on Kashmir? What are their “elected” NLAs and MPs doing when their mass base is eroded?

How long can a farcical game go on? Nowhere in the world has peoples’ mass movement been defeated. Nowhere has the might of the state succeeded in suppressing people’s voice.

Therefore the wise thing for the Indian rulers to do is to go in for referendum in all the three regions and decide according to the wishes of the people. It is time that a bluff is called to six-decade-long Kashmir blackmail.

If the Muslims of Kashmir want to get rid of Indian stranglehold, Jammu people of all shades of colour and content want to get rid of Srinagar stranglehold.

SS has performed its role very well. The time has come it should incorporate total autonomy for all the three regions in the agenda of its political movement. This is the time and this is the opportunity. The call comes from the masses of Jammu, as does form those of Kashmir and Ladakh. A democracy has to respect the wishes of people.. New Delhi may like getting blackmailed for unknown reasons but the Jammuites have all the reason in the world to get disappointed with Srinagar and New Delhi leadership as long as their right to self-rule remains suppressed.

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Giving Kashmir away? No way :: Rajiv Sikri

21 08 2008


Soure: Rediff.com
August 21, 2008

Is it an orchestrated coincidence or random chance that on August 17, two leading national dailies prominently carried commentaries advocating independence for the Kashmir Valley? With surprising ease and lack of angst, each author has argued in favour of secession by part of an integrally constituted state of the Union of India.

Tremendous efforts by all the state and non-state personae in Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of India over the last six decades have seen sharp ups and downs, almost see-saw phases in the feelings of alienation followed by assimilation, poverty followed by growing prosperity among the people of this state.

The last few years have brought in the most sustained period of political stability, free and fair elections, economic recovery and strengthening integration, achieved through painstaking efforts and sagacity by all players. Heading into the November 2008 state assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir, the separatist groups found themselves on the sidelines, threatened with further irrelevance and declining support should these elections be held as smoothly and with equally wide participation as those in 2002.

The Amarnath Yatra [Images] land issue that surfaced in June has been extremely poorly handled by the state and central governments at every stage. The nation needs answers and accountability about why in less than two months the marginalised separatist groups are once again being allowed to set the political agenda in the Valley. Why have no efforts been made to explain the reality of the proposed temporary land allocation scheme (for the Amarnath Yatra) to the agitating people in the Kashmir Valley? Why have the strong feelings of every community in Jammu over the cancellation of the allocation been so deliberately ignored and under-estimated? Why is it that even the most elementary efforts were not undertaken to disabuse the people of Kashmir Valley about a so-called economic blockade? If there was at any point the possibility of a shortage of essential supplies for the people of the Kashmir Valley this should have been overcome by arranging sufficient airlifts and/or trucking in such supplies through the alternative Manali-Leh route.

At the same time, no matter how serious these lapses, the answer cannot be to suggest that the Kashmir Valley be allowed to secede from India. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is as much a composite whole as the human body is. If there is an ailing part of the body, you diagnose the problem and take remedial measures, not carelessly, almost casually, suggest an excision and discarding of the offending section.

For those who advocate a referendum in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], there are some questions. Do they feel that Jammu and Kashmir legally and constitutionally cannot be considered a part of India? On what basis can there be a referendum in the Kashmir Valley, or separate referenda in Jammu, Ladakh and the Valley? On what basis can “independence” be considered as the so-called third option? Should the proposed referendum be based on the UN resolutions of August 1948 and January 1949? Or are such sentiments the manifestation of a simultaneous bout of exasperation and giving in to the separatists who have been quite unnecessarily allowed to mount pressures in a sudden reversal of the peaceful situation that existed in the state prior to June?

The UN resolutions of 1948/49 (adopted by the UN Commission for India and Pakistan) are unequivocal and specific in making the proposed plebiscite in all the five regions of Jammu and Kashmir conditional upon (i) withdrawal of Pakistani troops from all the areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir that it has occupied (this includes PoK, the Northern Territories and the Shaksgam valley that has been ceded by Pakistan to China); and (ii) the withdrawal by Pakistan, from these occupied areas of Jammu and Kashmir, of their tribesmen and nationals not ordinarily resident in these areas. The UN Commission in an aide-memoire issued on January 14, 1949, stated that in the event of Pakistan not implementing these pre-conditions, India’s acceptance of the UN resolutions would no longer be binding on them.

As recently as March 2001 former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, speaking in Islamabad [Images], accepted the legal and practical difficulties in implementing the UN resolutions and hence their irrelevance. It is evident that the UN resolutions no longer provide any basis for holding referenda either in the Kashmir Valley or in Jammu and Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and will remain so. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir itself recognises this. Any move to hold a referendum in any part of Jammu and Kashmir would contradict the fundamental statement in Section 3 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir that ‘the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India’. Section 147 prohibits any amendment of Section 3 by the state legislature. In any case, India has stringent laws that forbid secessionist activity.

It is time that the people of India and all national political parties come out unequivocally against anyone who advocates secessionism. In this context, the print and electronic media too should be more responsible about giving prominence to such views.





Giving Kashmir away? No way :: Rajiv Sikri

21 08 2008


Soure: Rediff.com
August 21, 2008

Is it an orchestrated coincidence or random chance that on August 17, two leading national dailies prominently carried commentaries advocating independence for the Kashmir Valley? With surprising ease and lack of angst, each author has argued in favour of secession by part of an integrally constituted state of the Union of India.

Tremendous efforts by all the state and non-state personae in Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of India over the last six decades have seen sharp ups and downs, almost see-saw phases in the feelings of alienation followed by assimilation, poverty followed by growing prosperity among the people of this state.

The last few years have brought in the most sustained period of political stability, free and fair elections, economic recovery and strengthening integration, achieved through painstaking efforts and sagacity by all players. Heading into the November 2008 state assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir, the separatist groups found themselves on the sidelines, threatened with further irrelevance and declining support should these elections be held as smoothly and with equally wide participation as those in 2002.

The Amarnath Yatra [Images] land issue that surfaced in June has been extremely poorly handled by the state and central governments at every stage. The nation needs answers and accountability about why in less than two months the marginalised separatist groups are once again being allowed to set the political agenda in the Valley. Why have no efforts been made to explain the reality of the proposed temporary land allocation scheme (for the Amarnath Yatra) to the agitating people in the Kashmir Valley? Why have the strong feelings of every community in Jammu over the cancellation of the allocation been so deliberately ignored and under-estimated? Why is it that even the most elementary efforts were not undertaken to disabuse the people of Kashmir Valley about a so-called economic blockade? If there was at any point the possibility of a shortage of essential supplies for the people of the Kashmir Valley this should have been overcome by arranging sufficient airlifts and/or trucking in such supplies through the alternative Manali-Leh route.

At the same time, no matter how serious these lapses, the answer cannot be to suggest that the Kashmir Valley be allowed to secede from India. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is as much a composite whole as the human body is. If there is an ailing part of the body, you diagnose the problem and take remedial measures, not carelessly, almost casually, suggest an excision and discarding of the offending section.

For those who advocate a referendum in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], there are some questions. Do they feel that Jammu and Kashmir legally and constitutionally cannot be considered a part of India? On what basis can there be a referendum in the Kashmir Valley, or separate referenda in Jammu, Ladakh and the Valley? On what basis can “independence” be considered as the so-called third option? Should the proposed referendum be based on the UN resolutions of August 1948 and January 1949? Or are such sentiments the manifestation of a simultaneous bout of exasperation and giving in to the separatists who have been quite unnecessarily allowed to mount pressures in a sudden reversal of the peaceful situation that existed in the state prior to June?

The UN resolutions of 1948/49 (adopted by the UN Commission for India and Pakistan) are unequivocal and specific in making the proposed plebiscite in all the five regions of Jammu and Kashmir conditional upon (i) withdrawal of Pakistani troops from all the areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir that it has occupied (this includes PoK, the Northern Territories and the Shaksgam valley that has been ceded by Pakistan to China); and (ii) the withdrawal by Pakistan, from these occupied areas of Jammu and Kashmir, of their tribesmen and nationals not ordinarily resident in these areas. The UN Commission in an aide-memoire issued on January 14, 1949, stated that in the event of Pakistan not implementing these pre-conditions, India’s acceptance of the UN resolutions would no longer be binding on them.

As recently as March 2001 former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, speaking in Islamabad [Images], accepted the legal and practical difficulties in implementing the UN resolutions and hence their irrelevance. It is evident that the UN resolutions no longer provide any basis for holding referenda either in the Kashmir Valley or in Jammu and Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and will remain so. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir itself recognises this. Any move to hold a referendum in any part of Jammu and Kashmir would contradict the fundamental statement in Section 3 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir that ‘the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India’. Section 147 prohibits any amendment of Section 3 by the state legislature. In any case, India has stringent laws that forbid secessionist activity.

It is time that the people of India and all national political parties come out unequivocally against anyone who advocates secessionism. In this context, the print and electronic media too should be more responsible about giving prominence to such views.