The situation in Kashmir is volatile and drifting into a negative sphere on two counts: rising violence and the shrinking space of regional mainstream parties after the four-phase urban local bodies elections on October 16.
According to official figures, over 78 militants, 90% of them local recruits, were killed in the past 12 weeks, with militancy gaining ground in north and central Kashmir. General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt admitted that the north was comparatively less militancy-hit than south Kashmir. “Unlike the youth in south Kashmir, people in north Kashmir had chosen a path of peace, which I will try to maintain.” He expressed fears that militant infiltration from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir into north Kashmir would increase ahead of winter.
The Kashmir dispute dates from 1947. The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries.
In theory, these princely states had the option of deciding which country to join, or of remaining independent. In practice, the restive population of each province proved decisive.
The people had been fighting for freedom from British rule, and with their struggle about to bear fruit they were not willing to let the princes fill the vacuum.
Although many princes wanted to be "independent" (which would have meant hereditary monarchies and no hope for democracy) they had to succumb to their people's protests which turned violent in many provinces.
Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslim. Unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, Hari Singh chose to remain neutral.
A good area of Jammu & Kashmir was invaded by Pakistan in 1948 and is still controlled by it. Out of this illegally occupied area, Pakistan has gifted a part of it to China. Pakistan’s calls its occupied area of Kashmir as Azad Kashmir while India terms it Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). UNO intervened and asked Pakistan to withdraw all the invaders and forces from PoK and conduct Plebiscite as the first step which Pakistan has not done so far.
In order to get control of the full territory of Jammu and Kashmir including which is with India, Pakistan has been training and sending the groups of terrorists to create unrest, terrorize Kashmiri people, kill innocent people and instigate them against India. All this is funded through various means by Pakistan.
Till 1989 things were not so bad. However when Mufti Mohd. Sayeed was the Home Minister of India, his daughter Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped by terrorists. She was released only after the release of 5 dreaded terrorists. This incident spurred terrorist activities and violence in the Kashmir valley and terrorists found the Indian Government, innocent people and families of the VIPs a soft target to make them bow down to their demands.
Thousands of Non-Muslim families of Kashmiri people were tortured and were made to flee Kashmir. The night of January 19, 1990 is still a nightmare for these people. The exiled Kashmiris by their Muslim brethren are still in trauma and are living in makeshift camps in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country for the last 27 years.
India, despite a lot of restraint and facing the treacherous Kargil war, is still contemplating how to end the crisis now. The present Home Minister of India Mr. Raj Nath Singh proposes to find the permanent solution to Kashmir problem but does not reveal how it is proposed to be ended. While the war could be the one way but its efficacy to become the permanent solution may be doubtful. Besides, loss of lives, property, and the prime concern of building the progress path of Kashmir would get severe setback.
Getting stuck to the path of dialogue and discussions to end the Kashmir crisis has also not yielded any fruitful result and terrorists from different quarters find it easy also to make quick money out of their activities. They are offered money with the prime objective to create terror and fear in Kashmir so that Kashmiris do not march on the path of progress.
- jammu and kashmir
- kashmiri people
- home minister
- kashmir valley
- stone petler