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Who cared about Kashmir?

Prashant Bhushan came under attack over his comments on Kashmir with both the BJP and Congress strongly opposing his annotations on what they called a sensitive national subject. While Bhushan blamed the media for twisting his comments, Arvind Kejriwal distanced himself from his remarks. Later,Bhushan said that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and there was no question of challenging its accession to the country.I, As an Indian personally feel, instead of fighting over Kashmir, Kashmiri people should be given a chance to decide their own future. It’s their democratic right.. You and I should not decide which constitution is best for them…Both India and Pakistan wants the land of Kashmir, they don’t want the people of Kashmir. They just don’t care about people. People are being killed both by army and militants and they are blaming each other.

Kashmir problem began with the world since 1947, the year of the partition of India. Indian part of the Kashmir is about 45 percent of the original Kingdom of the Jammu and Kashmir, about 35 percent is now in Pakistan, and China has occupied the other 20 percent in 1962. The UN and the U.S want both sides to keep on the discussions, but the important question is on what basis the discussion can take place. The unresolved status of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute has pushed India and Pakistan to three wars in addition to three minor ones. Problems started in 1947 when British were leaving India after the partition and the Muslims had demanded a separate homeland for themselves, to be called as Pakistan. When Pakistan became independent, they attacked the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in the guise of tribal Pathans on 20th October 1947. Since the Maharaja by that time had not decided to join the Indian Republic, the Indian Army did not intervene. In one of its greatest mistake in the history, the Indian Government under Jawaharlal Nehru did not think of protecting the Kashmir borders, till The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir asked India for help and finally joined India on 26th October, 1947.

However, by that time Pakistan had already occupied almost half of the Kashmir. The UN Security Council resolution of April 1948 had suggested a plebiscite for the people of Kashmir, but only after it would be vacated by Pakistan; India would be allowed to maintain some forces to maintain the law and order. Pakistan never vacated the area and as a result, the referendum never went through. During the last 56 years, a lot of demographic changes took place. The most notable one is the expulsions of the non-Muslim communities both from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and also from the Srinagar valley of the Indian held Kashmir. Non-Muslims were driven out from the Pakistan occupied areas of Baltistan, Skardhu, Hunza and Gilgit, the four semi-independent kingdoms associated with the state of the Jammu and Kashmir; there are large-scale infiltrations of Muslims into traditional Buddhist area Ladakh and the Hindu area of Jammu.

Now, under attack for reportedly advocating a referendum on Army deployment in Jammu and Kashmir, Bhushan said the deployment of armed forces in large numbers in the state must be done with people’s wishes. He said he had told two television channels that there was considerable alienation “among the people of Kashmir which is primarily because of the human rights excesses by the security forces”.

Bhushan said it was his view that the deployment of armed forces “in huge numbers within Kashmirnot for external defence or to prevent infiltration but for the security of the people … should not be done without the consent of the people of Kashmir.

Prashant Bhushan tried to correct his intended statement by saying that the referendum should be done to give a choice to Kashmiris if they want to join with India or Pakistan! Somewhere down the line, he has realised that it will be severely objected and tried to correct himself by saying that the referendum is to be done for the army’s presence. Kashmir is destined to be with India and let Bhushannot make hasty points like this and waste everyone’s time and also spoil AAP’s prospects. This is the second time he is confusing the situation. First was prior to AAP forming government about joining hands with BJP. It is notable that Prashant Bhushan, extraordinary defender of the Human rights, has raised this issue on a referendum on the deployment of the army in Kashmir. It all depends on the collective experience of and opinion of the People of Kashmir on the previously deployed Special Forces and their attitude, approach, and activities in the region. Even before the AamAadmi was floated, it has been the suggestion of Bhushan to go for referendum. Better, we stop politicising it and look into the rationale behind the suggestion. Meanwhile,Kejriwal should concentrate on issues which he is liable to. Whole of India stands behind Kashmir and if anyone tinkers with it, then we would show him his real place. Any rational person with limited knowledge of history should refrain from such kind of statements. Even people of J &K are happy and don’t want the same situation to be crated in valley .Also, countries like USA is finding it very hard to deal with terrorist attacks though it is very far away from bordering area of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The AFSPA is an imperialist law that was used by the Empire to hold people in subjugation. That law was totally adopted by independent India. Technically it is used by the Armed Forces exactly in the manner that was used by the Armed Forces during the British regime. At times there are excesses which are beyond this draconian law and then it is terrible. But if I am an infantry man, I would not like to be deployed in the disturbed areas without the AFSPA. The insurgent is well armed and you can be taken on from any direction anytime. As a neutral I would propose a less draconian law that does not hurt the law-abiding citizens while protecting the soldier on duty.

The need of hour is to resolve the issue and find solution for painful state of Kashmir than politicising the issues.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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