What India needs to do in Kashmir

Published: February 11, 2012

The writer is a director with Hill Road Media and a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

In 1960, Pakistan under Ayub Khan and India under Nehru signed the Indus Waters Treaty.

This cemented the division of Jammu & Kashmir. After this the United Nations lost interest in pursuing the matter of plebiscite. The wars in 1965, when Pakistan meddled in India, and in 1971, when India meddled in Pakistan, focused the world on keeping the neighbours apart. The Simla Accord of 1972 signed by Indira and Bhutto stressed a bilateral solution. India believed that this again reduced the parties in the dispute to two, ejecting the people of Jammu & Kashmir, and eclipsing the Security Council’s resolutions. Indira rehabilitated Sheikh Abdullah two years later and believed that the issue was now behind India.

This strategy did not work because the fundamental problem remained unresolved. The larger part of Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslim population, and perhaps a majority as a whole, did not want to live under the Indian constitution.

This resentment had been checked by New Delhi, from the time of Nehru’s jailing of Sheikh Abdullah, by fixing politics in the state. In Benazir Bhutto’s first term the state exploded with its demand for freedom. India was taken aback by the ferocity and persistence of the call in Srinagar. Private television came to India in the same period and the visuals alarmed Indians who had been led to believe something else by state propaganda. The stern and insistently Islamic nature of the Kashmir movement disturbed a nation whose textbooks had consistently stressed secularism (Muslim Indians are absolved of responsibility for demanding Partition, which is blamed on one man, Jinnah). Pakistan brought the sword to the Kashmiris’ call with the introduction of the mujahideen, who were motivated and well trained. Naturally, they were Islamic and their names — Harkatul Mujahideen, Harkatul Ansar, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Muhammad — reflected this. With the exception of a couple of groups, like Amanullah Khan/Yasin Malik’s JKLF (about which more next week), even political resistance was coloured in religion. Kashmiri Muslims responded, and packed off their Hindu neighbours, who have not yet returned home. The Deobandi/Salafi orientation of the warriors put off Kashmir’s Shias.

The introduction of foreigners gave India the justification to send the army into Srinagar, and the occupation began. The jihad burned through the 1990s. It ended immediately after Musharraf blocked Lashkar and Jaish, the two dominant groups, from cross-border activity. Today there is little violence in Jammu & Kashmir. This demonstrated to Indians that the problem was entirely the product of Pakistan. However, the army has remained in Srinagar. The question is why.

The answer is that India had two problems. The military problem was the mujahideen, now called back home by Musharraf. The second problem is unresolved. Many if not most Kashmiri Muslims want independence or accession to Pakistan. India’s response to this was to stop meddling in the state’s politics. Through the last 12 years, the population has been allowed to elect whoever it wanted. The army did not need to force people to vote any longer, and the numbers of those who voted rose. As part of this change, India began talking to the group that was pushing the plebiscite. This was the Hurriyat Conference, a body of mostly Sunni groups like the modernist Jamaat-e-Islami under Ali Shah Geelani and the traditionalists under Umar Farooq. It has been trying to get these groups to participate in the elections as they had in the past. New Delhi says the separatists must demonstrate their popularity. It has not had success in this to any great measure, though some people have begun contesting like Abdul Ghani Lone’s son Sajjad.

Meanwhile external events have favoured India. After 9/11, the tolerance of the world to cross border mischief is low, and in that sense Pakistan’s options are now limited.

The only problem for India appears to be to convince Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslims to fully accept the Indian constitution.

Next week, we’ll look at why that has been difficult to do.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.

Reader Comments (89)

  • harkol
    Feb 11, 2012 - 11:11PM

    The biggest problem for India is the narrow definition of Kashmiri nationhood as identical to that of Pakistani Nationhood – which is founded on Islam.

    Accepting such a nationhood in Kashmir will be the doom of original settlers of Kashmir – The Kashmir Pandits. Pakistan cleansed its hindu population down to 1% in just 50 years. Jammu & Kashmir will go the same way (in valley Hindu population is already down to single digits).

    India can’t let this happen. Allowing it to happen will make India’s claim of secularism sound very hollow. But, a solution should be found that lets everyone leave in Peace. Most probably that soultion will lie in some degree of autonomy and ease of movement between two kashmirs, and a forced acceptance of Hindu rights in Kashmir, which was forcibly taken away over a few centuries.

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  • Kashmiri
    Feb 11, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Good article. I hope more Indians realize that Kashmiris aspire to become part of Pakistan. Also Pakistani realize that militancy is not an option.

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  • Feb 11, 2012 - 11:22PM

    No… we won’t accept it. When Muslism are in majority they should not be ruled by non-Muslims.

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  • Deb
    Feb 11, 2012 - 11:32PM

    It’s Ok.Wait for the next instalment (hopefully the last).
    In a bit of hurry, have to attend the Balochistan theater as well.

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  • Zaid Baloch
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:06AM

    Mr. Patel how simply you have tried to derive the equation but in the end you wrote the answer a as well.
    “The only problem for India appears to be to convince Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslims to fully accept the Indian constitution.” Which reflect they don’t accept India.
    The people of Jammu & Kashmir wants independence right from the beginning in 1947. Give them their right according to UN resolution and this would not be possible until unless UN is in the hands of US…

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  • Maria
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:17AM

    What Indians refuse to grasp is that no matter what India does or doesn’t do or despite the challenges of Pakistan, most Kashmiris will still want to join Pakistan due to geography, culture, religion etc. This won’t change, so why prolong a conflict for no reason? Just implement the UN resolution on Kashmir and let the Kashmiri people vote as directed by United Nations. The majority of Muslim Kashmiris do not see themselves as India.

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  • KMR Overseas
    Feb 12, 2012 - 2:40AM

    @Maria
    Make sure Balochistan not disappears while un-necessarily poke at situation on Indian side of Kashmir.

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  • Great Indian
    Feb 12, 2012 - 2:55AM

    It will be too naive to think that India will let another Islamic state in its neighborhood. Already we are getting enough nuisance from two. One more nuisance is unthinkable. Kashmiris are fortunate that India didn’t flood the valley with non-Kashmiris just like the way smart Chinese solved Eastern Turkistan problem. Can you imagine a powerful and proud country like Turkey giving Kurdistan in a platter to Kurdish people! That is not going to happen as we live in a “might is right world”.

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  • Arjun
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:01AM

    India cannot sacrifice the Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh populations in J&K, which are also sizable, to the Islamists. We’ve seen what Pakistan does to its minorities. Muslims in J&K who want to live in Pakistan are free to move across the border and live in the Islamically-ruled Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. This was what Partition meant for most people in the subcontinent – to migrate to an Islamic country or flee to a secular one. So nothing wrong with finishing Partition with the same logicRecommend

  • Mir Agha
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Atleast you admitted at the end that India can’t get the Kashmiris to accept a forced constitution. Why can’t india get the Kashmiris to accept the brutal occupation of their homeland? The answer is obvious to ones with a brain. Hopefully your next piece will be insightful instead of a mixture of “blaming” Pakistan and state-derived indianisms on Kashmir.

    @Maria, the Kashmiris mostly want independence now. I do agree with your basic premise.

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  • kataria
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:09AM

    “The only problem for India appears to be to convince Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslims to fully accept the Indian constitution.

    Next week, we’ll look at why that has been difficult to do so.”

    Uh, maybe because they aren’t indian? Do indians go around asking the Nepalis, Chinese, Sri lankans do accept the indian constituion? No doubt they would try it militarily if they could…

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  • aka
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:13AM

    why they should accept indian constitution ? they are not indian.

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  • dkumar
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:35AM

    @Maria:

    “most Kashmiris will still want to join Pakistan due to geography, culture, religion etc.”

    So that Pakistan can sell them off to China in return for some cheap Chines junk. Haha!
    http://www.livemint.com/2012/02/11160145/8216Pakistan-considering-pr.html?h=B

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  • T
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:13AM

    Secession-ism is illegal according to Indian constitution. So much for the biggest democracy in the world and the power of votes!! Aye…. So comfortable to blame all the violence in Kashmir on mujahideen groups whereas there are reported documents by International authorities of crimes and violation of human rights committed by states….. Recommend

  • asdf
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:21AM

    To the author: Why political Islam is such a failed ideology. Read the article “Islam’s groundhog day”. search for it and read it. “Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic lllusion of an Islamic State” is another book which policy makers should read. The muslim masses are exploited by their misguided leaders to pursue an Islamic state and that has relevance in the Kashmir issue. Conversion of Sunni Muslims in Kashmir to Shia/Ahmediya/Christianity/Buddhism might help solve the Kashmir issue from India’s perspective. This will take out the leverage which misguided Sunni leaders affiliated to pakistan/saudi arabia have over the masses.

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  • Babloo
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:35AM

    mr Akaar Patel, I hope this was just a oversight or else this would question your understanding of Kashmir today. You wrote “This was the Hurriyat Conference, a body of mostly Sunni groups like the modernist Jamaat-e-Islami under Ali Shah Geelani .” Mr Ali Shah Geelani is widely recognized as representing the most islamic extremist, regressive , intolerant and opinion like the taleban and acts as a spokesman of Pakistani agencies in the valley. No one would ever refer to him as ‘modernist’.
    Maybe , you were referring to someone else.

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  • ksri
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:36AM

    India needs to maintain status quo in Kashmir valley and concentrate on its economy. How long bankrupt Pakistan can starve its people and support jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan?.

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  • Babloo
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:39AM

    There is a reason why Kashmiri extrimists don’t stand for election in Jammu and Kashmir. They know they can’t win a majority , even if they get 95% votes in SriNagar. If they stand for elections they will be exposed and its that fear of getting exposed and losing elections that prevents them from participating in the democratic process. The majority opinion of all muslims, hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in Indian J &K is for total union with India or a loose confederation with India and not with Pakistan. Thats an absolute fact.

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  • Vin
    Feb 12, 2012 - 6:39AM

    What if in another 15 years the muslims of UP/Bihar want a seperate state? will you again divide India? What right did muslims have to take Indus Valley from us and make it into Pakistan?

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  • STUKA
    Feb 12, 2012 - 6:48AM

    ” Just implement the UN resolution on Kashmir and let the Kashmiri people vote as directed by United Nations. “

    This is as simplistic as my saying, Kashmiri Muslims who are unhappy with India should simply pack their bags and move to Pakistan. After all, the Hindu Minority has been ethnically cleansed from West Punjab and Kashmir as well. The Kashmiri Muslims are a minority within the land mass of India, and if unhappy, should be kicked out to go to Pakistan.

    The one issue that India has failed to execute is redistribution of land and settling of Hindus in Kashmir. China has successfully established Han population centers in Tibet, reducing the Tibetans to a minor nuisance at worst.

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  • Vin
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:15AM

    @Maria

    Majority of Hindus in India consider every inch of Paksitan to be their own Historic Land, looted by Tribal retards…So please dont push the envelope too far…. Greed for Kashmir will cost you the entire Pakistan…

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  • Indian
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:53AM

    If Kashmir goes to pakistan . Jinnah’s dream will be realized, ” Hindus and Muslims cannot live with each other, they are totally different cultures, value systems etc.”; India should be home to all Hindus and Pakistan, home to all muslims of subcontinent. India should do a population exchange with pakistan like the greek-turkish exchange of 1923. all muslims of india should be sent to pakistan since they are an eternal 5th column who will support their “Ummah” if pakistan attacks india.

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  • Observer
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:04AM

    @Maria:

    Even Pakistan does not want to be part of Pakistan :) Let US or Europe open its doors with a ‘no-visa-day’ and see how many rats scramble to jump the sinking ship! Let each one fix their own problems….

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  • narayana murthy
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:22AM

    I think the first problem for India is the lack of a string and brave leadership like that of Indira Gandhi or even Vajapayee.

    New Delhi must specify it’s bottom line through some simple ground rules.

    1) No break up of country. Period.

    2) Those who seek accession to Pakistan are welcome to pack their bags and leave.

    3) Kashmir will be treated as any other part of India. No special status. Any Indians can go and settle in kashmir, start business in Kashmir.

    4) Withdrawal of army from the cities and restricting it to the borders.

    5) 100% rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

    The second problem for India is the people who are apologetic. Now, we can debate what’s right and what’s wrong. But anyone with some sense knows that there’s no such thing called as good/right or evil/wrong. There’s only one thing called ‘what works and what does not’.

    So, in Kashmir, separation does not work! Period. Recommend

  • Aarvey,india
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:28AM

    @Maria:

    The Kashmir issue since the time of independence was a story of deceipt by Pakistan. History has recorded that Pakistan was instrumental in initiating the Kashmir crisis inspite of the Standstill Agreement forcing the then Maharaja Hari Singh to accede to India. Since then Pakistan has unleashed subterfuge and violence through it’s proxies to ‘bleed’ India and the Kashmiris in the hope that somehow the local population will rebel. Come and have a look now in Kashmir ( unlikely you would get a visa) to see that Kashmiris are better off in India and have access to the basic necessities of life and have opportunities like any other Indian to grow and prosper. Maria,you need to look at the plight of your fellow Balochi’s. Don’t you think you ought to feel their pain first?

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  • Feroz
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:30AM

    @Maria:
    You are living in fools paradise like many other Indian and Pakistani citizens. The majority of the people of Kashmir occupied by both India and Pakistan would vote for Independence if a plebiscite was held – yesterday, today or tomorrow.
    While there are not too many heeding India’s bait of secularism the attempt of the Jihadi groups to radicalize the population have also failed. Pakistan has a very weak case because it ceded Kashmiri land to China illegally. India of course does not want to give up its hold on the strategic Siachen Glacier where it is perched and monitoring neighborly activities.
    If attempts are made to end the stalemate using violent methods the consequences could be dangerous and disastrous.

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  • Hamid Rashdi
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:35AM

    It boggles the mind as to why ruminate India’s best interests in Kashmir in a Pakistani newspaper. I would love to see a Pakistani columnist write a similar piece in the Times of India without being accused of all manner of ideological leanings.

    That said, in the end, as Mr. Baloch and the author have correctly pointed out, the people of Jammu & Kashmir do not accept the constitution in spite of all of this ‘secularism’ and political engineering. A much better solution for India would be to a.) withdraw it’s army which he has failed to mention is responsible for gross human rights violations b.)implement the UN resolutions as it is legally bound to do c.) bring Kashmir onto the table for discussion. Instead, the author has admitted the reality in this article, i.e. that India is willing to play every dirty political trick in the book to somehow win over the Kashmiri’s, international law and the UN be damned.Recommend

  • John B
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:51AM

    Half knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance.

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  • Jay
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:05AM

    @Maria:
    Its skewed logic for making assumption without any factual basis , that just because large no. of people from J&K are muslims , they want to join Pakistan. There is no rationale or any study done to back this claim. If this was the logic, Muslims of other parts of India would also like to join pakistan..? Population of muslims in India outnumber population of Muslims in Pakistan…but none of Muslims in India have shown any interest to join Pakistan..or even dare to speak on those lines. There is a study done by independent Muslim grp from middle east, wherein majority of kashmiris have indicated their choice of refusing to join Pakistan. Hence, let Pakistan not live in such grandeur illusions of J&K becoming part of Pak..early that such notions are forgotten, better is for relations to improve.

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  • Ak
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:14AM

    @Zaid Baloch:
    @Maria:
    UN resolutions were dead the day you decided to secede some of the territory to your all weather friend. Simla agreement further made these resolutions irrelevant by making it a bilateral issue.
    Also what makes you think that majority would want to part of Pakistan? Why in gods sake would anyone want to join a country which is perpetually on a brink. I know several Kashmiri Muslims who do not want to have anything to do with Pakistan or see a future outside India. So I would suggest stop fantasizing.
    The only solution I see is to make boundaries irrelevant just like Northen Ireland and Ireland. India will never accept a solution that has even a hint of a second partition in the name of religion.
    I also feel that Pakistan is hostage to Kashmir more than India. India, because it is a bigger country has the capacity to successfully deal with separatist movements. It is more important to Pakistan to accept a compromise as that will enable it to evolve into a more normal country at peace with itself, it’s neighbors and with rest of the world.

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  • usmanx
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:19AM

    By rehabilitation of sheikh abdullah do you mean his arrest by India?

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  • usmanx
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:21AM

    The Jihad was stopped immediately after Musharraf??? Uhhhh what happened in 2010?

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  • dark lord
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:28AM

    @Maria:
    Well, the same reason as to why Pakistan does not let go of Balochistan. The Balochi’s in fact have nothing in common with the urdu lang/punjabi muslim dominated Pakistan. In fact in India, there is frankly no religious or cultural dominance or neglect of Kashmiris. As compared to Pakistan, the Kashmiris have much more freedom and choice among their leaders and policies. The last I heard, the Govt of Pak appoints more than half of governing council in the so called ‘Azad Kashmir’. A significant part of the ‘kashmiri’ mujahid are either punjabi or afgani, who joined post the russian retreat from Afganistan.

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  • kaalchakra
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:34AM

    Maria and Baloch

    There is a simple and logical answer to your needs – simply defeat the US and India. Now, that may be seem difficult at this time, and but if you keep giving it all you can afford and keep at it long enough, one day you are bound to succeed, if you survive. Survival, with God’s grace ought not to be a problem – being assured by God himself.

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  • nirode mohanty
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:22AM

    The modernist Jamaat-e-Islami under Ali Shah Geelani ia another jihadist.The problem in Kasmir is created by Pakistan. The solution is breaking Pakistan.
    And send all Pakistani paid journalists to Pakistan.

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  • Pankaj
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:36AM

    Mr Patel My reply to this article will be the same as my earlier reply to your
    article on Kashmir which appeared here a few days ago
    .
    We Hindus will never give up Kashmir ,What can Muslims do about it

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  • PakArmySoldier
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:48AM

    India needs to de-militarize Kashmir, and take a step towards peace. Both countries need to curtail the extremist elements within their respective countries. I find those elements the biggest impediment between the two countries.

    -Capt. Basit

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  • shafi
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:10AM

    Mr.patel. like indian establisment u too have expansionist views. instead of forcing kashmiris to accept india,convince ur leaders to accept that kashmir is not india,Once kashmir dispute is resolved,there will be Peace between India and Pakistan FOREVER

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  • antony
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:14AM

    I dont think bullets can be the only thing most kashmiris want .Times will change when they choose education,trade and other social ways of life. This change of attitude will take time may be decade/s but let the change happen for peace.

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  • BlackJack
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Clearly an article written (and sanitized) for Pak consumption without stepping on too many toes back home – and hence one that says almost nothing. A few points –
    1. Surveys indicate that while support for India is abysmal in the Valley, those desiring union with Pakistan are practically non-existent. Clearly the solution is still a 2-party one – but between India and the Indian Kashmiri separatists. Pakistan continues to offer moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri cause (and occupies 30% of the erstwhile state) – which is why this communication has not been made explicit by the Hurriyat.
    2. India sowed the seeds for this by insisting on Article 370 (apart from election rigging, jailing Sheikh Abdullah and other collossal goof ups), which restricted other Indians from moving to or purchasing property in Kashmir, Naturally without free migration of population, no company would set up base in Kashmir, and this resulted in poor employment indicators in a population on which the Govt spends the highest amounts per capita – textbook formula for civil unrest. If we had treated Kashmir similar to other restive parts of the country, Kashmiris may not be experiencing this level of alienation.
    3. The assumption that the violence has stopped is fatuous – we read of battles with militants in broad daylight every week. Yes – the Govt funding may have been reduced, making it more difficult to fund and train these militants (none of whom are ethnic Kashmiris), but the jihad continues. If the army were to be able to leave the densely populated areas, this would be a big relief to the Kashmiri people – and we hope that Pakistan is listening.
    4. Geelani is not a moderate – he advocates a hawkish line that sees the Kashmir issue on religious lines; Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik can be seen as a moderates who does not advocate violence in achieving the movement’s goals. At some stage this movement will break up and some of these separatists will participate in the election process. Meanwhile if we can stop the inflow of militants, reduce presence of the army in towns and facilitate cross-border contact with PoK residents, this should be a substantial step forward. Pakistan needs to see this issue in pragmatic terms as well – and probably demand some benefits on the water front to facilitate a settlement.

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  • Viglant
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:22AM

    What a pathetic review of kashmir………

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  • Feb 12, 2012 - 11:37AM

    “The only problem for India appears to be to convince Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslims to fully accept the Indian constitution.”

    There is already evidence of that.

    http://onespot.wsj.com/indian-politics/2011/04/17/7b402/massive-turnout-in-jammu-and-kashmir

    80% of the people voted in the Panchayat Elections! Thats more than expected even in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore!

    Elections should be the only barometer of popular opinion. Sajjad Lone, a part of Hurriat, who advocates self-rule contested from North Kashmir lost. What does that tell you?

    Plebiscite is simply not a problem, because Pakistan will simply not vacate the Territory according to the UNSC guidelines accepted by both Pakistan and India.

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  • Thinktank
    Feb 12, 2012 - 11:54AM

    @shafi:
    Haven’t you heard about ghazwa e hind? There would be no peace even after Kashmir is given to you… Because existence of Pakistan depends on adversity with Indians. Pakistan defines itself by antagonizing India at every stage. Till the Kashmir pot is boiling, it has no worries and uses that as an alibi. But chickens do come back home to roost….don’t they?

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  • Kashmiri Pandit
    Feb 12, 2012 - 12:10PM

    The only solution is scrap the special status given to Kashmir in the Indian constitution and let other Indians also settle in Kashmir like any other part of the country. This will automatically change the demography of Kashmir and the problem will be solved for ever. These is what wise nations are doing like china doing in its troubled provinces

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  • Akash
    Feb 12, 2012 - 12:49PM

    Its not people Jammu and Kashmir but the Muslims of Kashmir Valley who cant live with India and its multicultural ethos.

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  • wonderer
    Feb 12, 2012 - 12:50PM

    After reading this piece I was reminded of the following, which I had heard as an eleven year old boy in Rawalpindi way back in 1947.

    This piece is of use neither to a serious analyzer nor to a layman; at best it can confuse the reader. The writer knows a lot, but lacks the courage to call a spade a spadeRecommend

  • wonderer
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:01PM

    I had commented as the following in a blog last week. I think it bears repeating in the present context for the benefit of those who may not have read it.

    I was personally a victim of the madness of 1947 when the largest human migration in history took place; Hindus and Sikhs moving from West Pakistan to India and Muslims from North India moving in the opposite direction. (Something on similar lines happened in Bengal and East Pakistan as well). I still shudder to think of what I was a witness to at the tender age of eleven. It is very important that all efforts are made to avoid any similar situation again.

    If Kashmir were to become a part of Pakistan, the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, living there for centuries, will certainly lose their homes, just as the Kashmiri Pundits already have thanks to Pakistani infiltrators. It is a certain recipe for chaos because the people of Jammu and Laddakh will resist it. The Muslims of Kashmir, who are very different from all kinds of Muslims in Pakistan, will never be assimilated in that country, just as Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan could not be, and the Muslims of Baluchistan are finding out now. It is, therefore, in everybody’s interest that Kashmir does not join Pakistan.

    Azaadi, the present popular chant, is also a no-go because Pakistan will gobble up the Valley of Jhelum (Kashmir) in no time. Kashmiris will never be able to defend themselves against the hordes that tried the same in 1947 and 1965. This cannot be allowed to happen for obvious reasons.

    In my humble view, because the people of J&K have been a secular society all along with Kashmiriat an important component of their life, it is most reasonable to let them stay as they are. The current mood is not because Indian army is unreasonable, but because Jihadis infiltrating from Pakistan are difficult to identify.

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  • nitu
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:17PM

    no more partitions of INDIA. Kashmir and Kashmiri pepl is ours, partitions will lead to more problems n united v will stand atleast a chance to win our problems.
    N 2 solve our problems v dont want ny policies made UN or ny other country, coz dis is our problem n v should solve it in a bestes way v can.

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  • Indian
    Feb 12, 2012 - 2:21PM

    @author:
    ‘ The stern and insistently Islamic nature of the Kashmir movement disturbed a nation whose textbooks had consistently stressed secularism (Muslim Indians are absolved of responsibility for demanding Partition, which is blamed on one man, Jinnah).’

    Perfectly said about Indian textbooks on partition. That’s the reason Indian Muslims are not held responsible for partition but Jinnah.

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  • Ravi
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:33PM

    Affter reading lot of arguments and counter arguments, all I wish to put forth few points:-

    Kahsmiri muslims do have a burning desire to have thier own separate independent Kashmiri nation, which will be secular. They want all original kashmiri residents to be part of it, ie Kashmir valley, jammu, laddhak and kashmir under pakistani and chinese occupation.

    In short status according to pre-independence. They want equi-distance from India and Pakistan, but have islamic leanings.

    India’s dilemma is, even if Kashmir is made independent, the foreign powers notably China and Pakistan, who have their own vested interests, will not allow it to remain independent for long and make it their own colony.

    The above situation is not at all acceptable to indian populace.

    Indian populace should not try to paint whole of kashmiri muslims in islamic paint, but should understand their feelings and desires and help overcome the agony. It is wrong to ask those who dream of freedom to go to POK but should rather make them realise that, their future is best secure with India.

    Ball is in India;s court, and the initiative also lies with it. It should make best use of it.

    Well about the rest of pakistani and jihadi chatter, we indians dont care a damn. You mind your own country and ur kashmir and we shall do ours. You tried four times to grab and failed.

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  • ahmed
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:43PM

    Kashmir will always be part of India… Keep crying… If Kashmiri muslims have any problem, they can go to azaad kashmir… We don’t care…

    We, the 20 crore Muslims of India do not support kashimiri muslims view… And we should also be involved in negotiation if pakisani muslims are involved…… We do not want division in he name of religion and that is why we stayed in India and we love this great country…..

    If pakistani muslims are ready for jihad then Indian muslims are ready for counter-jihad.

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  • Dr AK Khan
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Each and everyone of us will grab the chance to migrate to the West and live with the atheist Kaffirs. Migrant Pakistans live parasitically of the scientific and intellectual contributions of the dynamic West. Yet we cannot live with the Hindus back home.
    For exposure to an alternative way of thinking, to escape a rigid worldview, for our intellectual development Muslims need Hindus living among them. We will remain in the middle ages. Hindus don’t need Muslims, but Muslims need Hindus.

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  • abhi
    Feb 12, 2012 - 4:54PM

    I think kashmir problem is because of political Islam. good thing is that the life of political islam is not very long. USA proped it up to counter Communist ideology, after fall of communism they no longer need to support it. the orphan outfits are now on their own, at present they look like getting popular support in muslim societies but that will not last long, there is saying “bhukhe bhajan na hoye gopala” (empty stomach cannot pray).

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  • K B Kale
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:01PM

    @Mr Aakar Patel
    If erstwhile Kashmir State is to be given 3 options of merger with India, Pakistan or independence, all states from Baluchistan in the wear to Assam in the east and Kashmir in North to Tamilnadu/Kersla in south should have those options.
    There is a tendency that as PoK is all Muslim, there is no need to determine what they want. I wonder why Pakistan doesn’t hold a ‘voluntary plebiscite’ there under UN supervision?
    (The Special report by Chatham House in 2009 (or 2010) brings out that Kashmiris on both sides of the border are not keen to merge with Pakistan.)
    Can you touch on these points in your next part?
    Also why e-mails sent to your tribune id bounce?

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  • FactCheck
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @Kashmiri:

    Dude, based on the current situation, those who are intent on self-destruction would want become part of Pakistan, a crumbling state. Put down the pipe, have a cup of spiced tea and wake up.Recommend

  • FactCheck
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:45PM

    @STUKA:

    Will do as soon as Pakistan leaves PoK and China returns the Indian territory ceded to China.

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  • FactCheck
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:56PM

    @Maria:

    There is not single thing common with Kashmir and Pakistan. you doesn’t even realize that there not one iota of commonality between various provinces. Pakistani’s from various provinces and various sects are not holding hands and singing Kumbhaya, are they?

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  • Jpy
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:06PM

    After reading most of the comments I feel like reading an Indian Newspaper. Such is the volume of comments from Indians it is clear how much is Kashmir important to the Indians

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Kashmir is a big business. Loads of people make loads on money in this business. be assured that they will never let their business closed down. Solution of Kashmir will amount to closing down their business. They will never let that happen either. So keep enjoying such articles. Gilanis and Maliks are making money. Saving Islam and saving Pakistan is a multi million dollar business.While saving Kashmir and saving Islamic Pakistan they will destroy both. They are almost there. .

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  • T
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:50PM

    @ Arjun…..

    Please dnt get anyone started about the treatment of minorities in ‘secular’ India. That’s a topic which should be left untouched cuz neither of our countries and as a matter of fact…… Most of the countries are not good at that…

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  • Ak
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:53PM

    @Jpy:
    Territorial integrity will be important to anyone who loves their country, Indians are no exception.

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  • Ak
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @T:
    Don’t color your judgment based on what is happening in your own country. There is a world out there and believe me it’s better than you think.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:10PM

    @Babloo:

    “There is a reason why Kashmiri extrimists don’t stand for election in Jammu and Kashmir. “

    The first stipulation to participate in elections held under the Indian Constitution is to accept it, which proclaim Kashmir an integral part of India, a stance which Kashmiris clearly do not agree with.

    “They know they can’t win a majority , even if they get 95% votes in SriNagar. The majority opinion of all muslims, hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in Indian J &K is for total union with India or a loose confederation with India and not with Pakistan. Thats an absolute fact.”

    If this is the case then what are you afraid of. Immediately participate in a plebiscite under UNO, and get the Pakistani part of the Kashmir as well. Hurry up, lest it is too late.

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  • K B Kale
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:29PM

    @Truth Seeker:
    Pl check your facts. J&K has its own constitution & the candidates have to accept it, not constitution of India!

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  • usmanx
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:30PM

    I see lots of half-truths here by our buddies across the border.

    Kashmir is not a partition type of situation. It is an internationally disputed territory. 1 country thinks it is an integral part of India. 200 countries on the planet disagree.

    The pundits were not kicked out by “pak infiltrators”. They were kicked out by the actions of the heavy handed ‘democratically elected’ governor – Jagmohan.

    Surveys don’t say Kashmiris don’t want to be part of Pakistan. The recent surveys had three choices. India, Pakistan or Independence. If the choices are India or Pakistan. Pakistan beats India in a landslide. This is a lesson for India but also Pakistan.

    They have demanded freedom for India even before 1947 and its not going to stop irrespective of Pakistan support or not.

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  • wonderer
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:32PM

    @Truth Seeker

    Yes, Let us go for plebiscite as per the UN resolution.

    Pakistan should first vacate the area occupied by it by aggression, as stipulated in the UN resolution.

    Let me know when you are ready to follow the stipulations of the UN resolution.

    Then I will make all arrangements for the plebiscite.

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  • Ak
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:43PM

    @usmanx: I guess you need to read and read a lot before commenting. Governors are not elected but are appointed by the central government. Interesting you started by saying there are a lot of half truths from across the border and you ended being the one peddling. How ironical.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:37PM

    @FactCheck: ,@nitu: ,@Kashmiri Pandit: , @BruteForce: , @dark lord: , @Ak: ,@Jay: , @Aarvey,india: , @narayana murthy: , @Observer: , @Indian: , @STUKA: , @Vin: , @ksri: , @Babloo: , @asdf: , @dkumar:, @kataria: , @Arjun: , @Great Indian: , @KMR Overseas: , @harkol:

    Hello Indian bloc. Your desperation is so obvious in the absence of any moral ground to defend your case of greed for land (wealth) and power. Had you had shown some sincerity in 1940’s for the rights of your fellow denizens of different creed, instead of greedily yearning for the total control and power, you might not have been in this position in the first place.

    In one of my today’s posts in another article, I wrote “These were Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru who compelled Jinnah and the great philosopher poet Iqbal to demand for a separate homeland for Muslims. Earlier, Jinnah was bestowed upon the title of “The Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity”, and Iqbal wrote your famous national poem “Saaray Jahan say Accha, Hindustan Hamara”. The reason for pushing Muslims away was simple; it will divide and weaken the Muslims which would allow “them” to govern the rest of the Subcontinent unchallenged. This was the reason most Muslim religious leaders were against the partition of India as this would also clip their religious fiefdoms.”

    “The only problem for India appears to be to convince Jammu & Kashmir’s Muslims to fully accept the Indian constitution.”

    Muslim haters should visit this link.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Was-Jinnah-a-secularist-Ask-Advani/articleshow/1133661.cmsRecommend

  • BlackJack
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:56PM

    @usmanx:
    To hoist you by your own petard – ‘One country thinks that it can get the world (and some violence) to deliver it Kashmir, 200 countries disagree’. Pakistan is seen as a counter-weight (in the international arena) to India by the Valley separatists – hence the perceived popularity. (It is like the Bangladeshis supporting the Pakistani cricket team as most of the current generation don’t remember Pakistan as an aggressor). Do not imagine that any of them want to be part of Pakistan – no such survey has been conducted. Further, note that in India vs. Pakistan vs. Independence, Pakistan still comes a poor third. Also, UNHCR (2008) determines that Indian Kashmir is ‘partially free’ while Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is ‘not free’ – pls go through the report for further clarity. What is actually needed is the same level of freedom for self-rule (every one of the elected candidates in Kashmir is Kashmiri) in Pakistani Kashmir as on the Indian side.

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 12, 2012 - 9:59PM

    @Akash:
    Its not people Jammu and Kashmir but the Muslims of Kashmir Valley who cant live with India and its multicultural ethos.

    make it ‘some of the Muslims of Kashmir valley’

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:09PM

    @Truth Seeker:
    great philosopher poet Iqbal

    he was neither great, nor philosopher, and I don’t like his poetry, except Saaray Jahan say Accha, Hindustan Hamara

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  • netizen
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:28PM

    J & K does not belong to Muslims only. There are Pundits & others also whose fate can not be allowed to be decided by fundamentalists. India & Pakistan despite becoming independent simultaneously are in contrast with respect to development, prosperity etc. due to Army misrule most of the time with blessings from fundamentalists. Now time has come to have a humane and scientific out look with mutual tolerance and cultural integration for peaceful development and prosperity of the people of the two nations.

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  • Day dreaming
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Aaah!!!! The eternal dream of Kashmir for Pakistan. Keep dreaming as time goes by. Whether Kashmir is a part of India is for Indians to decide. It is and has been Indian land forever and a few muslim converts will not mean anything. Recommend

  • Ak
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:46PM

    @Truth Seeker:
    I can only say that you need to read more history – not the type that you must have read in your school books but read what the likes of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad has written or Rafiq Zakaria’s book on Jinnah and many others. It might open some of the closed windows in your mind and your perception on what happened before and after the Partition (which in my view is one of the biggest human tragedies ever to have visited our sub continent). Since you call yourself a truth seeker I hope you do become one what your name suggests.

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  • Babloo
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:22AM

    Given Pakistan’s infantile, juvenile obsession with Kashmir, that led to enimity with India , loss of East Pakistan, Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan and now Baluchistan under brutal army rule, it would be foolish for India to resolve the Kashmir issue. Kashmir is the chimera for which Pakistan may lose all , including itself, but something it may never gain. The good thing is they are not very bright to understand this simple fact.

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  • ranjit
    Feb 13, 2012 - 5:04AM

    @ahmed – ”’We, the 20 crore Muslims of India do not support kashimiri muslims view…..If pakistani muslims are ready for jihad then Indian muslims are ready for counter-jihad.”

    Bravo Mr Ahmed…..your country is proud of you…….it is Indian muslims like you who have truly made India a great, secular, democratic nation where people of all faiths and ethnicity can live in peace and prosperity…….

    Regarding Kashmiri separatists, I have only one challenge for them……..please fight local elections and win power to rule Kashmir…….it is as simple as that…….there is a democratic process available……there is no need to throw stones or shoot at people…….just fight elections, which are conducted by the impartial election commission and strict media coverage……if you have majority support, please defeat National Conference or PDP and become Chief Minister………if you can win power, we can then talk about plebiscite……..why make the maximum demand as the first step which will never be conceded?…….even Mujib fought elections and won power in East Pakistan before getting Bangladesh…….so please demonstrate your true support first…..until then, it is just hot air by a small set of people…..

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  • Akash
    Feb 13, 2012 - 6:11AM

    @ Let there be peace, thanks mate, I stand corrected.

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  • Shailendra
    Feb 13, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Aakar.. You should have mentioned the only option for kashmiri people is either to accept Indian constitution or migrate to Pakistan. If they want to jump in fire let them…

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  • mind control
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:46PM

    @Maria

    most Kashmiris will still want to join Pakistan due to geography, culture, religion etc.

    Geography, Culture and Religion for Afghans and Pakistanis is the same. In fact all Pakistani heroes (Ghauri, Gaznavi etc) are Afghans.

    Do we see Afghans joining Pakistan?

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  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Feb 13, 2012 - 3:59PM

    Kashmir…Kashmir….Kashmir. For heaven sakes, you lost east Pakistan because of it because you decided to become a security state and generals took over with the help of the beauracracy there. Balochistan had a hearing in the us congress couple of days back. Stick to what you have and don’t mess with our kashmiri brother. I read , gilgit and northern areas will be leased to China for 50 years. Love and cherish what you have, don’t go for a overkill. Pakistanis will loose it all. Reminds me of a old poem ” for the want of the nail, the horse shoe was lost, for the want of the horse shoe, the horse was lost, for the want of the horse the messenger was lost, for the want of the messenger, the war message was lost and the war. Kashmir…Kashmir…are we crying over mohenjodaro, your history starts at qasim. So it is our site and land we acknowledge. Forget and live in sanity and peace. Sat Sri akal, salam, peace. Cheerio

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  • K B Kale
    Feb 13, 2012 - 9:09PM

    Please read the Chatham House report “Paths to Peace” here.
    http://www.humansecuritygateway.com/documents/CHATHAM_KashmirPathsToPeace.pdf
    Conclusions are on page 35 (for those who don’t wish to read the whole report).

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  • usmanx
    Feb 14, 2012 - 2:48AM

    All you could find was a technicality in my comment about governors being elected?
    Nice.

    The Chatham survey tells me this… Kashmiris want independence first, pakistan second… India not at all. The third independence option takes away votes from Pakistan option. This survey is inherently flawed.

    This is a lesson for India but also Pakistan…

    the question is Should we fight tooth and nail for Kashmir when they prefer Independence?

    A Kashmiri explained it to me this way… If we have independence Kashmir and Pak would be akin to Wales and England. The other thing he said was unlike the Indians, we would never deprive you or flood you with water so you should still support us.

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  • usmanx
    Feb 14, 2012 - 2:50AM

    Who can claim rights to Indus Valley Civilization more than the people who inhabit it now and have so for THOUSANDS of years!

    Now Indians claim even IVC from us… Now we don’t even have a history according to them.

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  • K B Kale
    Feb 14, 2012 - 7:46AM

    @usmanx:
    If erstwhile Kashmir State is to be given 3 options of merger with India, merger with Pakistan or independence, all states from Baluchistan in the west to Assam in the east and Kashmir in North to Tamilnadu/Kersla in south should have those options.
    Are India & Pakistan ready to open this Pandera’s Box?

    There is a smug assumption amongst the Pakistanis (not Kashmiris in PoK) that just because PoK is all Muslim, there is no need to determine what they want. I wonder why Pakistan doesn’t hold a ‘voluntary plebiscite’ there under UN supervision? (No rigging, please!)
    It may be in for big surprise!

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  • Ak
    Feb 14, 2012 - 8:57AM

    @usmanx:
    When you talk about truths and half truths then what you write needs to be impeccable. It is not a mere technicality what you mentioned in your comment.
    Chatham survey was done on a sample of mere 3500 people which to you is as good as a referendum but regular free and fair elections in Kashmir in which people have come out to vote in droves despite the threats from Pak sponsored militant groups and separatists is not!
    Also about your comment on Indus Valley civilization, I will be happy if you own your past (which is a shared past of both the countries) instead of identifying yourself culturally with the Arabs and middle east. By the way Mughal past of India belongs to you as much as it belongs to Indians and same is the case with IVC and we both ought to own and be proud of the shared past. But if you question the territorial integrity of India or support armed militant groups who kill and maim innocents in the name of religion then we have a problem.

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  • wonderer
    Feb 14, 2012 - 10:46AM

    I have a question for all those who desire J&K to join Pakistan and become a part of it. And, here it is:

    What will be the future of all the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists who have lived in J&K for centuries?

    I request everyone to answer this question hand-on-heart.

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  • Ansar Dar
    Feb 15, 2012 - 12:42PM

    @ All,

    Let’s stop this here…..

    Blog’s and discussion are never a solution, as only a fraction of percentage participate.

    Let me be honest and comment as follows:

    Majority of Kashmiris (Literate) are not in favour of Pakistan, knowing what this country go through and how the so-called Muhajreen are still being treated. We are also not in favour of being independent as we know that are not enough resources to make us a sustanable country.

    We are happy to be part of a dignified and well-developed country like India.

    How many people in Kashmir can survive on Govt Jobs and Farming ???

    We need a broader and codutive pitch for our trade and setting up of Industries. No other country except India can provide that.

    Why do we forget India has more number of Muslims than in Pakistan and all of us live a very dignified like…

    Khuda Hafiz !!!

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  • K B Kale
    Feb 16, 2012 - 4:08PM

    @Ansar Dar:
    Jai Ho, Darsahab! One good example of how Muslims are doing good progress & making India proud is Music Director A R Rehman’s Oscar Win….!

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  • A.S Jones
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:02AM

    @Maria: I don’t think that you have read the Chatham House survey on Kashmir. It shows clearly that Kashmiris do not want to become part of Pakistan. I would recommend that everyone here reads it before making a comment.

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