“Throw open the LoC”

Published: January 17, 2013

The writer is a consultant and a freelance writer based in New Delhi, where she writes for Business Standard and blogs for The Times of India

There is only one moral to the story of the runaway grandmother who brought the armies of India and Pakistan to blows on the Line of Control (LoC) last week, so eloquently brought out by India’s The Hindu newspaper: the LoC must be made much more porous between the two Kashmirs in deference to the needs and emotions of both peoples who live on both sides of a ridiculous, electrified fence.

When she decided to abandon home on the Indian side of the LoC and decided to make a dash for the other side, because her son lived there and she wanted to be with him — and he, by the way, had moved to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir many years ago — the old Kashmiri woman was really thumbing her nose and all her fingers at the abysmal state of affairs in which the call of a mother’s heart is subordinated to the diktat of the state.

Let’s look at the situation. After putting Kashmir in deep freeze for decades, during which India and Pakistan fought over this piece of territory as if it were prime real estate devoid of the presence of mothers and fathers and daughters and sons, both countries finally agreed in April 2005 to open the LoC in a limited way. A bus from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad was flagged off by Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at the Bakshi stadium in Srinagar, after which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a speech from behind a bulletproof glass.

What a day that was! It had rained all night and I remember TV broadcasting vans getting stuck in the slush. Once the bus had been flagged off, all the national and international press clambered into other buses and were driven through the heart of militant-infested areas of western Kashmir to Salamabad, just short of the LoC, and finally to Aman Setu, the bridge that joins the truncated halves of what was once known as the most beautiful place on earth.

The return journey to Srinagar was memorable. The day before the flag-off ceremony, militants had tried to put the tourism centre in the heart of Srinagar on fire, in an effort to postpone the event. Driving back to Srinagar that fateful April evening, as the sun set behind the ‘chinar’ trees and an unknown wind whipped through its branches, people began to come out of their houses to welcome and cheer the first bus from Muzaffarabad. It was an amazingly spontaneous gesture and it defied the diktat of the militants. It spoke of the incredible warmth that Kashmiris of both sides still retained for each other despite the intervening decades of hostility.

Many months later on a visit to Islamabad, a former Kashmiri ‘militant’ came to see me in my hotel. All he wanted to do was talk about the apple orchards and the smell of the earth in the valley the world acknowledged was akin to paradise. Once the LoC is properly thrown open, he told me, and people start meeting each other, nobody is going to give these state actors in Delhi or Rawalpindi any importance. Everything is going to change.

The story of the runaway grandmother who wanted to meet her son on the other side and who threw to the winds the stifling rules that states bring to bear on their citizens, is testimony to the total lack of imagination that both our leaderships have shown in dealing with the complex issue of Kashmir.

Both India and Pakistan want to own Kashmir for reasons that have nothing to do with winning the hearts and minds of its people — Pakistan wants Kashmir because it completes and vindicates the two-nation theory from which the Indian subcontinent was carved in 1947; India will do everything in its arsenal of options to keep Kashmir because it underlines the idea of the Indian secular state.

But what of the Kashmiris themselves? They are deeply upset that Pakistan has shut the Chakan-da Bagh crossing in the Rawalakot-Poonch sector to prevent border trade from taking place in light of last week’s tension. They are anguished that India will not create ‘safe passages’ that will allow their errant sons to return — sons who had fled the Indian army and paramilitary crackdown in the early 90s, but who now want to return to the bosoms of their mothers in Kashmir.

The world has moved on. India and Pakistan, both of whom are besieged by wars within, must realise that there is no alternative to autonomy for both parts of Kashmir. Throw open the LoC, or if you don’t want to throw it open completely, get rid of the ridiculously bureaucratic rules and regulations that keep Kashmiris apart. They have been at the receiving end of games that both countries have played for too long.

The Kashmiris want to be together — in this life, not in the next one. They want to visit each other’s homes and families this year, not after another decade. Let the leaderships of India and Pakistan sit down and transform the LoC into a much more porous line on the map so that people are able to travel back and forth, even as they remain citizens of their respective countries.

This is the only way to cool down the LoC on a permanent basis. It is the only way to truly respect Kashmiris from both sides.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2013.

Reader Comments (52)

  • John B
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:45PM

    The author forgot that LoC was open until recently and we all know who wanted it closed.

    If a prodigal son wants to return, he knows how to come through proper channel. Why no one is speaking for the Jammu and Kashmiri people of India who despise these prodigal sons?

    It is time, India makes a stand for them because the prodigal sons are few and all of them come from one ideology which is not going to change.

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  • Vikas
    Jan 18, 2013 - 12:00AM

    Why did they got separated in the first place?

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jan 18, 2013 - 12:41AM

    First let the Pandits return back to the valley. Then we will talk about opening up the LOC.

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  • Jan 18, 2013 - 12:45AM

    The situation in kashmir is nothing short of a war.
    And you never win a war by surrendering.
    Opening LoC works only when both sides are willing for peaceful
    Solution. But the moment you step down to barbarity, one
    Thing shold be made clear that peace is not going to be purchased at the cost of head of our soldiers.

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  • Arindom
    Jan 18, 2013 - 12:48AM

    And you, I presume, will identify and prevent terrorists from getting into India?

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  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Jan 18, 2013 - 12:59AM

    Oh dear writer, how naive art thou!
    Sure open the border, and save the likes of Kasab the hardship of the sea route in a dinghy – a bus or train ride is more comfortable.
    India has bent over backwards to accomodate the Kashmiris. “Kashmiris” can buy property anywhere in India, but the rest of Indians cannot buy land in Kashmir! And what about the aspirations of Kashmiri Pandits, who are refugees in their own country; as well as those in Jammu and Ladakh? If the Indian army is truly so brutal, why is the so called “Kashmiri leadership” still alive? Let the hypocrisy end, and let Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh be truly integrated into India. Let the LoC be opened – exit only! Those Kashmiris who don’t like it this side of the border are welcome to join their family on the Pakistani side!
    And what about “Azad Kashmir” – is it truly “Azad” or just a part of Pakistan? Do they have their own army, foreign policy etc?
    Let’s be realistic – Kashmiri land today is in the hands of India, Pakistan and China; neither of which will permit a truly “independent” Kashmiri nation! Let all three parties agree on conveting the LoC into a permanent border – let there be a period of building trust (non-interference in each other’s affairs); and then we can talk of an “Open” border!

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  • sabi
    Jan 18, 2013 - 1:16AM

    If we geting our share of water and kashmiris their rights from central government in India the purpose is serving.Let Kashmir be accepted on the basis as it is where it is.Let peace prevail.

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  • gp65.
    Jan 18, 2013 - 1:31AM

    Making the borders irrelevant was the out of box solution that was being worked between India and Pakistan when Musharraf was in charge. Kayani has never bought into that approach and continues to facilitate infiltration into India. How then can India throw open the LOC?

    It is not only the mothers in the valley who matter Jyoti. Mothers in Mumbai count too. We do not want terrorists walking through the open LOC and then creating terror in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

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  • Raja
    Jan 18, 2013 - 1:40AM

    Any words for the Kashmiri pundits who are rotting in the tents near Jammu? These pundits did not leave Kashmir on their own. They were pushed out and their houses were looted and burnt. The Kashmiri boys you are talking about, left on their own to join Jihadis. None of these one time Jihadis should be allowed to return unless each and every Kashmiri pundit is settled honorably. Kashmir belongs to whole India and not just to Kashmiris. We have invested our blood in Kashmir and there is no way that the pseudo-liberals like you will be allowed to talk only of run away Jihadis and not the uprooted Pundits. No one is against open borders. However, Jihadis need to kept out.

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  • G. Din
    Jan 18, 2013 - 1:42AM

    This woman has lost all her marbles!

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  • prabhjyot singh madan
    Jan 18, 2013 - 1:57AM

    How are you authoress ? Romanticism is not pragmatism, we all want peace but Pakistan is suffering from inside due to instability. Being a Punjabi, I don’t want east side to suffer with easy visa yet. I mean just yet, pakistani south Punjab is reeling with Talibans and donations boxes.let the situation improve, I want good relations but I refuse to see problems coming in ou peaceful Punjab,i will support your initiative once war on terror improves. Rab rakha, sat sri akal.

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  • sylmar khan
    Jan 18, 2013 - 2:50AM

    Kashmiris have shown over 65 years they are not happy with occupational rule of delhi. The real issue indian leader’s lack of knowledge or i call it animosity toward pro pakistan kashmir alliance.
    Indian leader’s only care of solving their solution of jammu and kashmir revival.
    Like hari singh india does not know kashmir pakistan the real owner’s of kashmir.

    India is terrorist too when you call someone terrorist. if india was not terrorist, kashmiris would have their kashmir or became a state of india. Not have become disputed state for the last sixty years.

    the reason why hari singh did not merge with india was very good in the 1947.

    india should learn that kashmiris never going to be happy with india at all.

    if hari singh was not happy with india on independence day. how can kashmiris be happy with pakistan and india. so let them have free state after breaking jk monoply, who does not want to join can be free from kashmir.

    india has no solution for kashmir except to become the dead gulab singh emperor of jk.

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  • Jim
    Jan 18, 2013 - 5:54AM

    My, my, such noble sentiments. This will ensure author will get invited to many more track 2 junkets, seminars etc,. Sarcasm aside, her heart is in the right place but the political, military, and diplomatic realities are more complex. Bureaucracy is the result of these processes. Fact is India is the status quo power, determined to preserve its secular formulation, as author points out. Pakistan, by virtue of its founding ideology, wants to overturn this. One side has to budge to resolve this. Pakistan has shown signs of budging but doing so politically will undermine its military, which is the ruling power. Ergo, not going to happen. So infiltration, leading with thousand cuts etc. India reacts to this periodically. Lastly, Kashmiris have to give up on this nonsense of being some special nation, people, place on earth etc. So are Tamils, Sindhis, Bengalis, Biharis, Gurkhas, punjabis, baloch etc etc. They are just another people and state of the Indian subcontinent.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Jan 18, 2013 - 7:19AM

    @Jyoti Malhotra

    You should thank to god that you have a Hindu name! Otherwise Indian trolls here @ ET would have declared you a Pakistani, Sema Mustafa has already faced this ‘accusation’ :)

    Our Indian friends here consider all those who have sane, peaceful and rational voices as Pakistani.

    Only people who talk like “10 for 1″ are true Indian :)

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  • F
    Jan 18, 2013 - 7:52AM

    When the LOC is thrown open, the movement of people will be above and beyond Kashmiris and all of it from Pakistan to India. Openness will be the destruction of India by jihadis who have sworn to fly their flag of Islam from the Red Fort and break India into pieces. This is the best proposal to see India demolished. Remember India was broken once before because some people felt they were separate, special and different from the non-Muslims. Also, remember: the non-muslims are being eliminated systematically from Pakistan and have been from the Kashmir Valley – the part (not all J&K) that is constantly in turmoil. That is the future of India thanks to such naïveté from misbegotten liberals.

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  • F
    Jan 18, 2013 - 8:05AM

    Just throw open the LOC without any limits and see India divided and destroyed one more time. This is the best proposal that delivers Kashmir, all J&K and the prize – northern India to Islamists. Islamists have systematically chased out and eliminated non-muslims from Pakistan and INDIAN Kashmir. They will again whereever they go. Hope this sort of liberal naïveté doesn’t become policy.

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  • DilliNiwasi
    Jan 18, 2013 - 8:17AM

    @sylmar khan: you spoke from heart ! I feel with you.

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  • Indian
    Jan 18, 2013 - 8:37AM

    The piece by this lady writer, it would seem, was written to please Pakistani ears, of course, at the expense of ignoring the ground realities. Making the the LoC a porous border is suicidal and tantamount to sending out an open invitation to terrorists, religious fanatics and others to infiltrate into India and carry out their murderous agenda against the people of India. Something similar exists on Pakistan’s western frontiers — a no man’s land — from where the Taliban moves in and out without any let or hindrance. We don’t want a similar situation on the eastern front. If the lady writer remembers, India saw infiltrators of Arab, Sudanese and Somali origin, besides Pakistanis, infesting Kashmir in the 1990s, thanks to the porous borders that existed then. If the lady author is willing to personally welcome the horrendous and murderous characters that will pour into India, we have no objection; but, please for God’s sake, don’t expect Indian soldiers and security people to be withdrawn just because a grandmother decided to flee to “Azad Kashmir”. It just occurs to me that this lady author, who likes to deliver her sermon from the mount in this newspaper, has never shed a tear in favour of half a million Kashmiri Pundits who were forced to leave their homes at gunpoint 20 years ago. Many of these poor people still live in the wilderness, some still in tents, having lost their familiar surroundings, their livelihood and their dignity. Why is the blood of some people more precious than that of others? It’s of the same red colour, isn’t it? Hope you are reading the comments by readers.

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  • zoro
    Jan 18, 2013 - 9:43AM

    India too is always concerned about the POK and NOT…. Indian side of Kashmir …
    As there is a movement to drive away kashimiri shia’s from there ancestral homes… same as what happened to Pandits in Indian side of Kashmir…

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  • Arvind Raina
    Jan 18, 2013 - 10:39AM

    Simple solution for Kashmir: All Sunni extremist kashmiries and their leaders migrate to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, (sent by force if required) which is their true nation of Dar al islam. They will be happy and free to practice the true religion in all its glory in the other side like the Taliban in Swat and Pre Nato Afghanistan. The Hindu Pandits, the Shia and the Sufi muslims stay with Indian Kashmir. Loc becomes International border respected by all.

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  • Gratgy
    Jan 18, 2013 - 11:34AM

    @Author

    Yes, let us throw open the LoC, Let us also disband the army, police force, paramilitary organisations etc. Let us also disband the judiciary and the media.

    Since we now live in an Utopian world we need none of these!

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  • Jan 18, 2013 - 11:54AM

    Jyoti Malhotra like most well-meaning non-muslims tend to project their own open minded attitude to religion on other people and listen accordingly. They tend to under estimate the huge all powerful influence of religion on muslims. From the upper middle class tahawur rana in the us who was willing to give up all his comforts to help the LET to the militant she met in the hotel – all compromise is ok as long as they do not have to accept idol worshipping hindus living as equals and as administrators.

    I for one am happy we have taken the zero tolerance route to border infiltration.

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  • abhi
    Jan 18, 2013 - 12:18PM

    from your narration looks like the mistake was done by Nehru, by not allowing the indian army to proceed further in 1947.

    Throwing open LOC will cause lots of problem as pointed by many others here infact if proper fencing was there during 1989-90 the terrorism would’t have cuased so many deaths in valley. I think removing article 370 will be better solution. It will help integration of kashmir with rest of India.

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  • joy
    Jan 18, 2013 - 2:34PM

    jyoti ji………………you have every right to have an opinion on any issue. But at least, you could have mentioned that a day before the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was flagged off,terrorists had struck Tourist Reception Centre,the venue of the ceremony.
    You remember that a ” former ” militant came to meet you.and talked about his orchard..but you seem to forget that and entire community was forced to leave the valley and they also want to talk about the homes and hearths, they had to leave behind………..many salaams to the selective amnesia…

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  • FactCheck
    Jan 18, 2013 - 3:30PM

    Great suggestion. The only problem is there will be more terrorists traveling to Kashmir and wrecking havoc in Kashmir.

    Here is some food for thought:

    Mahatma Gandhi said, “Religion that doesn’t take practical matters into consideration is of no use” and if you apply the same logic to journalists:

    “Journalists who doesn’t take practical matters into consideration is useless and colossal wast of space”. This appears to be the case with every media, pretty much useless!

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  • Feroz
    Jan 18, 2013 - 3:53PM

    Next time you visit Pakistan why not have a chat with Hafiz Saaed, Syed Salahuddin and a certain Major Iqbal and with sisterly affection ask them why they are so agitated about India. I am sure being a balanced and responsible author you would have forgotten and forgiven if Hemraj and Capt Kalia had been your sons who fought for their country had their head severed and genitals mutilated. Is it too difficult to understand that there are people whose hearts are so filled with hate, they can kill you without knowing what you stand for, like the ten Pakistani’s who killed 166 in Mumbai. Learn to talk after putting yourself in the shoes of relatives of innocents martyred.

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  • Zuhiab Bhat (Srinagar)
    Jan 18, 2013 - 4:24PM

    @Author Jyoti Malhotra: Nicely wrapped up. But what did you say in the beginning militant-infested. Do you know when a militant (either Pakistani or a local) is killed in a gun fight, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris participate in his funeral amid pro-Independence and anti-India slogans. And when a trooper is killed, no one gives a damn. So please keep this infest term in your Delhi pocket. You want autonomy on both sides but Kashmiris want independence from India or merger with Pakistan. It’s India that has to show sincerity and abandon its rigidness. It’ big brotherism will be tolerated by Sri Lankans, Maldivians and Bhutanis, not by Kashmiris or Pakistanis. New Delhi is being pampered by US and Co, they way they once pampered Pakistan but you know US is no one’s friend. So I support you when you say LoC must go but I abhor those write ups that hide truth and doesn’t speak about Kashmir that was historically , culturally, linguistically, geographically a part of Pakistan and Central Asia.

    Zuhaib Bhat
    Srinagar (Kashmir)

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  • Alexander
    Jan 18, 2013 - 5:40PM

    @Naeem Siddiqui: You are right, after all few people had guts to name and form an entire nation after islam and then eliminated rest of the few percent minorities. Now they talk of sermons and principles!! The funny part is the process of cleaning up for purity of the so called islamic nation is still going on yet we hear sermons from the likes of you about how to behave and how to be secular!!! The logic of using religion to credit yourself the special place is over as you cannot say India is hindu nation anymore. Sorry for your anguish.The time for religious drama is over.The world looks to you the way your mind looks at it…maybe we should change your religious lenses shouldn’t we :)

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  • Nathoram Godse
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:01PM

    Dear Madam,
    Please keep in mind that today’s India is not Gandhiji’s India which valued non violence, peace, brotherly relations with all minorities and good relations with neighboring countries.

    Today’s India is Bal Thackrey’s India which trumpets India for Hindus only and all other religions and races to either convert (and become shudras), be thrown out of India and killed/maimed and raped.
    Today’s India is the regional hegemonic power which bullies its neighbors, beats its minorities into submission beats war drums at the drop of a hat. Buying impressive combat aircrafts, arms and ammo, air craft carriers, missiles and nuclear bombs at the cost of more than 800 million indians living worse lives than sub saharan africans.
    Today’s India prides at the killing of female babies and those fortunate to live long enough are gang raped and killed.
    Today’s India is shining with billionaires making billion dollar homes in Mumbai, while most of Mumbaikars sleep on the footpath. Today’s India is for the brahmin elite, politicians, mafias and bhatta takers.
    Today’s India has fought wars with all its neighbours or sent armies into them (with the exception of Bhutan)
    Remember, we killed Gandhiji ourselves because he sided with Indian muslims.

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  • karma
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:17PM

    Dear Madam,

    Idealism has a place. It is a fervent wish of most Indians that they wouldn’t need to live in conflict with Pakistan (even if we don’t have friendly relations with Pakistan).

    Throwing open LOC can happen – when we know ‘barbarians at the gate’ won’t slip in. that time isn’t now. If & when Pakistan gets a grip on its own country, and stops being the mother ship of all terrorists – then perhaps this idea is indeed worth exploring.

    Till then, let us just keep LOC highly guarded & restricted.

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  • SD
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:48PM

    I told you so !!!

    Please keep Punjabi Indians away from any negotiations with Pakistan. The lady is day dreaming or worse ……..

    She has forgotton that if the LOC is opened there will be daily bomb blasts in India. Just look at Pakistan. What is happening there.

    Please help India from these track II diplomats who favour Aman Ki Asha.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Jan 18, 2013 - 7:25PM

    Ms Malhotra,
    Are you suggesting porous borders like that which exist between Afganistan and Pakistan?

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  • stuti
    Jan 18, 2013 - 7:40PM

    When things go wrong, you put soldiers in the line of fire. Have a heart Jyoti

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  • Razi
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:05AM

    Just look at the hatred and spite these Indian commentators harbour for any sane and objective individual.

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  • realist
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:21AM

    Lady, if you are so interested, please move to pakistan. Spare the rest of us.

    It is time to cut all ties with pakistan. And abolish article 370.

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  • prabhjyot singh madan
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:21AM

    Authoress you are entitled to your opinion.I am am not extremist, you have the right to state your opinion. I apologize for the angry lot here.I love Punjabi pakistanis as brothers and sisters but I don’t want a open loc , with love , hatered will come too. Our Punjab is prosperous, but we are a sensitive lot. Let the war on terror be over, then we should comment on loc. Rab rakha, sat sri akal. Please don’t mind me. I have seen the insurgency in Punjab in the 1990s.east punjab might become the first victim. No loc opening.

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  • FactCheck
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:24AM

    @Naeem Siddiqui:

    Three words

    You are delusional.

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  • G. Din
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:50AM

    @SD:
    “Please keep Punjabi Indians away from any negotiations with Pakistan. “
    More accurately, Punjabi Hindus. They betrayed (Punjabi) Sikhs when they wanted Punjabi Suba (not Sikh Suba). They disowned Punjabi, their mother-tongue. Now, they are seeking to betray the nation which opened its arms to provide refuge from marauding hordes. They have discovered an affinity for those tormentors who chased them from their homes with only tattered shirts on their backs! Beware!

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  • Observer
    Jan 19, 2013 - 1:40AM

    @sabi:

    “If we geting our share of water and kashmiris their rights from central government in India the purpose is serving.Let Kashmir be accepted on the basis as it is where it is.Let peace prevail.”

    By the same token, shouldn’t the Kashmiris, Gilgit/Baltistanis and other ethnicities in Pakistan controlled area be accorded “rights from the government in Islamabad”?

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  • Observer
    Jan 19, 2013 - 2:00AM

    This is a very naive and uninformed column by the author. The real problem in Kashmir has been the trouble caused by the terrorists that Pakistan has been pushing across the LOC. These terrorists would be delighted at the thought of just walking over to the Indian side, if the LOC is thrown open, instead of getting their behind shot. Then there is the case of the half a million Kashmiri pundits, from the Valley, who were thrown out of their ancestral homes to live in pitiful refugee camps.

    Also missed are the demographic facts. In Indian Kashmir, 45% are non-Muslims, 25% Shias, and 30% Sunnis. The people who want to be free from India (not necessarily part of Pakistan) form about 25% of the Sunnis, the rest are quite happy to be with India. That means, only about 8% (25% of 30) of all Kashmiris want to be independent of India or be part of Pakistan. This 8%, comprising of mostly hard core Islamists, supported and manipulated by Pakistan, have been the vocal and violent proponents of all the agitations and mayhem in Kashmir. If the supporters of these “freedom” seekers had been much higher, there would have been no way India could have held on to Kashmir this long.

    The Kashmir valley and the 8% hard core Islamists don’t represent all of Kashmir.Recommend

  • Devinder Singh
    Jan 19, 2013 - 2:25AM

    Being nuclear couchbags India/Pakistan will never give up an inch of Kashmir that”s for sure.The only solution is, Kashmiri”s (Both Sides) have to live this hard truth of Partition and have to drink that pain till its over. Punjabi”s too (Both Sides) experienced same in 1947.The day everyone including Indo-Pak-Kashmir will accept LOC as International border Kashmir misery will end.

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  • FactCheck
    Jan 19, 2013 - 2:40AM

    @Razi:

    When the comment fits you, everyone voicing opinion against becomes hate.

    Are you terrorist? You must be, otherwise why would you want a porous LoC?

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  • G. Din
    Jan 19, 2013 - 3:20AM

    @Zuhiab Bhat (Srinagar):
    ” Do you know when a militant (either Pakistani or a local) is killed in a gun fight, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris participate in his funeral amid pro-Independence and anti-India slogans. And when a trooper is killed, no one gives a damn. “
    We can live with that. When a militant is killed, we show we don’t give a damn for him or for his cause or those “hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris” who sympathize with him, by killing him. Kashmir population is much more than those “hundreds of thousands of (Sunni) Kashmiris”. We will continue to give you more and more opportunities to mourn militants “amid pro-Independence and anti-India slogans”. That is the kind of people we Indians are. We don’t expect any thanks for that from those “hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris”.
    When a trooper gives his life for his/her nation, whole nation of India mourns and makes sure that his/her dependents are well-cared and well-provided for. To you, yours: to us ours!

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  • prabhjyot singh madan
    Jan 19, 2013 - 7:13AM

    Brothers and sisters, wait for elections there, I am angry over a beheaded body but their governance is just coming up. I have anger, but calm down let the report be out. Please tone our response, we are from union of India. We want to heal the bad part but we should be reciprocal.don’t abuse this is the land of mahatma Gandhi. I apologize to all Pakistanis but don’tt think we forget but we forgive.

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  • prabhjyot singh madan
    Jan 19, 2013 - 7:22AM

    I am for peace….totally 100% I want to see peace there first. Please don’t be a romantic dreamer like khanna sahib.

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  • Observer
    Jan 19, 2013 - 7:43AM

    @Jim:

    “Lastly, Kashmiris have to give up on this nonsense of being some special nation, people, place on earth etc. So are Tamils, Sindhis, Bengalis, Biharis, Gurkhas, punjabis, baloch etc etc. They are just another people and state of the Indian subcontinent.”

    Good points. I would also point to the fact that there are only about four million Muslims in Kashmir. Compare this with the fact that there are 180 million Muslims in India! Are these four million Kashmirs any more special than these 180 million Muslim Indians? If so, they are free to move to Pakistan, a country specifically created for them. More importantly, Kashmir is not traditionally Muslim land. It has been a Hindu nation for thousands of years. Muslims settled in Kashmir (or converted to Islam) only in the last two to three centuries.

    Except for the very small minority of about 8% hard core Islamists, no one wants to join Pakistan. Even the hardcore Pakistani supporter Syed Ali Geelani has stopped advocating that Kashmir become part of Pakistan.

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  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Jan 19, 2013 - 10:37AM

    Ms Malhotra,
    Do you also advocate porous borders between India and Kashmir so that rest of the Indians can buy property and settle down in Jammu and Kashmir?

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jan 19, 2013 - 1:06PM

    @prabhjyot singh madan: SSA, Prabhjyot Singhji. if I may say, there is no need to be apologetic. You are simply stating the obvious. And the saying goes – “discretion is the better part of valour”.

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  • Alexander
    Jan 19, 2013 - 2:00PM

    @Zuhiab Bhat (Srinagar):
    I do not think either logic or the logic of forming a nation by religion or culture is valid. India can throw a gauntlet to evacuate all it territories by those who came one after the other historically….now where do you stand in that order and how many people shall we count and ask them to leave? In the past, subcontinent was inviting to many cultures and some occupations happened by brute force. If occupation is what you think that provokes, that right of occupation is first to be questioned by India herself from the outsiders. Even today its constitution is secular and we know that culture of India is secular. To your misery, Parts of Pakistan and Srilanka will not hold together if the logic of culture is applied. AND, when you come to settle, you do not increase in numbers and once you do that, you do not ask for nation because your culture NOW represents a nations located in middleeast and NOT the natives. The logic behind Pakistans nation demand was that Hindss and Muslims cannot live together? Now if you read news once in 1 year, you will know what you are talking about. If all the subsects of India ask that, we will have to 1000 Kashmirs because every one thinks he is entitled. And lets not go back to history because the order of who should evacuate the Kashmiri land will arise!!! Let me remind you-the pandits the original natives have been driven away-you have NOT answered that yet in your long essay. Now whose is kashmir??? What culture you are talking about??

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  • Alexander
    Jan 19, 2013 - 2:04PM

    @G. Din:
    Good way to question hypocrisy of religion. Such a sorry state that we see this terrible mindset of religion based self-discrimination among such people who think they represent entire islamic world!!

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  • abhi
    Jan 19, 2013 - 5:52PM

    @Zuhiab Bhat (Srinagar)

    Pakistan came in existence only 65 years ago and kashmir was not part of it since begining.
    Also how can you say that geographically both pak and kashmir were part of central aisa while pakitan itself is not part of central asia?

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  • Sajid Hassan
    Jan 20, 2013 - 8:20AM

    Why not to Throw Open Kashmir !

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