The Way OutThe
foregoing study of the Kashmir problem, its background, origin, growth
and present character has made it clear that it is basically a fall-out
of unnatural partition of united India in 1947 on the basis of claim of
the followers of Islamism to be a separate nation. Islamism is comparable
to communism. It is more an expansionist political ideology than a spiritual
tradition. But unlike communism, reason has no place in it. The concepts
of Millat and "Kufr", of "Dar-Ul-Islam," and "Dar-Ul-Harab" and
"Jehad" which are basic to Islam, lie at the root of Islamic separationism and
the world wide Muslim problem. Ideology and methodology of Pakistan is
based on them. They preclude co-existence of votaries of Islamism in peace
on equal terms with non- Muslims anywhere in the world, particularly in
countries run on the basis of democratic principles of one man one vote
and majority rule. Wherever they happen to be in majority, they oppress
non-Muslims as in Pakistan and Bangla Desh and wherever they happen to
be in minority with pockets of influence, they become a factor of disruption
and subversion. This is proved by the experience of India, and Cyprus in
our own times.
so long as Pakistan exists as an Islamic State it will continue to exist
to keep Kashmir problem alive. As such Kashmir problem is a part of the
Pakistan problem. The two cannot be separated.
of many problems that have persisted for decades and even centuries, some
of them were created by major wars and convulsions in the past and may
be resolved by new wars or convulsions. Partition of India was one such
major conclusion. But there is no such thing as a settled fact in history.
Another convulsion or accident of history may end Pakistan. Until then
India will have to live with the problem of Pakistan and its off- shoots
like the Kashmir Problem in some form or other.
But that does
not and should not mean that no effort should be made to solve the Kashmir
problem as it exists today and allow things to drift.
is basically an internal problem of India. It was created by Pak aggression,
against Jammu and Kashmir State which became aggression against India when
that state acceded to India in October 1947. India was in a position to
tackle it effectively on its own strength. But its unrealistic leadership
gave an external dimension to it when it took the matter of Pak aggression
to UNO. This enabled Pakistan to internationalize the issue with the overt
and covert support of USA. The issue then got so much bogged down in power
politics of the two super powers with their conflicting global interests
that the internal aspect of the problem got over shadowed and side-lined
by its external aspect.
developments in the wake of retreat of communism and dismantling of the
Soviet system have initiated a new situation. Cold war is virtually over;
USA no longer needs Pakistan as a front line state to contain Soviet Union
and therefore has no compulsion to back Pakistan over Kashmir. That explains
American suggestion to Pakistan to accept cease-fire line as de-facto international
boundary and stop supplying arms and giving training to Kashmir terrorists
and subversives. It is no longer interested in supporting the Pak demand
of self determination for Kashmir through plebiscite in terms of UN resolutions.
India, therefore, can now go ahead to tackle the problem uninhibited by
international reactions. As a first step it should formally withdraw its
complaints to UN made in January 1948. That complaint and UN resolutions
about Kashmir had, in fact become irrelevant after Pak attempts to grab
Kashmir by unprovoked wars in 1965 and 1971. India therefore should forget
UNO so far as Kashmir is concerned, and ask it to withdraw UNO observer
India has legal claim over the whole of Jammu and Kashmir state including
Pak occupied areas, it should treat Cease-Fire line now called "line of
Actual Control", as international boundary between India and Pakistan.
This will not made any material difference to Indian position in regard
to Kashmir. It is well known that Pt. Nehru and Mrs. Gandhi were prepared
to bury the hatchet, forego Indian legal claim to Pak occupied part of
the state and accept cease-fire line as international boundary. Pakistan
did not respond positively because it did not want to give up its claim
on Kashmir Valley on the "principle" that as a Muslim majority region contiguous
to Pakistan it should be included in Pakistan. This "principled Stand"
of Pakistan can be countered by taking a similar "principled stand" in
regard to Lahore and Thar-Par-Kar now held by Pakistan. Lahore was contiguous
to Hindu majority part of Punjab and lies to the East of the Ravi which
could form a natural boundary between East Punjab and West Punjab. Majority
of its inhabitants were Hindus and they owned over 80% of its movable and
immovable property. Therefore according to the criteria laid down for Radcliffe
commission, Lahore should have been awarded to India.
district of Sindh originally belonged to Jodhpur state It should have been
restituted to Jodhpur before the British left India for good. Even otherwise
it should have been awarded to India because it is contiguous to India
and more than 80% of its population was Hindu.
Had India followed
the example of Islamic Pakistan it too could have changed the complexion
of population of Kashmir valley as Pakistan has done in Lahore and Thar-Par-Kar. India therefore would be perfectly justified in laying claim on
Lahore and Thar-Par-Kar if Pakistan persists in claiming Kashmir for Pakistan.
of Pakistan on the right of self determination to Kashmir through plebiscite
is not tenable. UN resolutions on the subject have no relevance now. Apart
from the fact that Pakistan never fulfilled the pre condition, for holding
a plebiscite, it negated those resolutions when it took to arms in contravention
of those resolutions to grab Kashmir by force in 1965 and 1971. Moreover right of self determination cannot be given to a part of constituent of
a sovereign state. That would lead to disintegration of many of the major
states of the world including Pakistan and USA.
USA which had
no basic geographical or cultural unity like India and which had come into
existence by voluntary union of a number of independent states fought a
civil war to deny this right to its southern states Pakistan has been doggedly
refusing this right to the people of Sindh. Baluchistan and Pakhtoonistan
want to get out of Pakistan. Therefore plebiscite in Kashmir in any shape
or form must be ruled out.
has itself to blame for the persistence of Pakistan and its supporters
in the demand for plebiscite because it failed to adopt a correct and realistic
stand about Kashmir from the very beginning. This became clear to me when
this matter cropped up during my talk with Philip-Talbot, the American
Secretary of State for South Asia at Washington in 1964 He asked me whether
it was not a fact that majority of Kashmir Muslims were for Pakistan. On
getting an affirmative reply, he wanted to know why India was standing
in the way of Kashmir going to Pakistan. I then asked him whether the same
situation did not prevail in some of the Southern states of USA like Alabama
and Mississippi. He agreed that it was so. In reply to my query why USA
was not permitting them to get out of USA. He explained that they could
not be allowed to secede because they were part of a sovereign state and
the US Constitution did not permit secession of any part of the United
States. I then told him that the same was true of India and Indian Constitution.
I explained to him the implication of loss of Kashmir for the security
of India as a whole. He complimented me for "Candid and Convincing exposition
of India's stand "and wondered why India had been beating about the bush
instead of presenting its case candidly and forth-rightly. This lack of
candidness and tendency to take a moralistic and holier than thou stance
compromised India's position. Had Indian spokesmen taken a realistic and
factual stand, and laid stress on the fact of accession which made Jammu
& Kashmir on inalienable part of sovereign India, it could have avoided
many of the internal and external complications which have made the issue
national and international situation demands that Indian leaders and policy
makers adopt a nationalistic and realistic approach to their problems
instead of looking for alibis or posing as idealists. Accession of Jammu
and Kashmir to India was a conscious decision by its ruler who placed wider
human interests of his people above his personal interests in a moment
of crisis. Kashmir is part of India because of the instrument of Accession
and liberation of a major part of it from Pak occupation by Indian armed
forces and not because of Sh. Abdullah and the people of Kashmir nor has
Kashmir anything to do with the secular character of the Indian state.
These are extraneous matters which have not relevance and relationship
to the basic issue.
about secularism, secular character of Kashmiri Muslims and their voluntary
decision to put their lot with India created a kind of dilemma in the mind
of Indian leadership. It accepted the accession but felt shy of basing
its claim on Kashmir on the fact of accession. Therefore in practice it
treated Kashmir as part of India. This confusion lay at the root of many
blunders that Nehru committed in regard to Kashmir in the early formative
period. The most dangerous of them was succumbing to the pressure of Sh.
Abdullah for a special status for Kashmir and incorporation of Article
370 in the Indian Constitution.
370 which gave constitutional sanction to Kashmir having a separate constitution,
a separate law of citizenship and separate flag has been the main factor
in creating the widespread feeling.
that Kashmir was not India and that its future had yet to be settled. The
resultant uncertainty has proved to be the biggest asset of Pakistan and
its agents in Kashmir. Therefore abrogation of this Article and scrapping
of separate constitution of Kashmir and extension of Indian constitution
in full to that state has become the first necessity to tackle the Kashmir
There is no
constitutional or legal hitch in abrogation of this article and full integration
of Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of India. It has no connection
with accession of the state to India. The accession tooic place in October
1947 while this article was added to the constitution two years later on
October 1949. It does not hinge upon this article in any way.
was in fact the pound of flesh that Sh. Abdullah exacted from obliging
Pt. Nehru as a price for his support to Kashmir's inclusion in India in
the case of a plebiscite which was looming large in the air at that time.
Pt. Nehru directed him to meet Law minister and Chairman of the Drafting
committee of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, for inccrporating
a suitable article in the Consititution of India which may enable Kashmir
to have a separate constitution, separate law of citizenship and enjoy
a special autonomous status. Dr. Ambedkar himself told the author that
he flatly refused to aceept Abdullah's plea. He told him that as Law Minister
of India he could not give a status to Jammu and Kashmir which would make
it a republic within a republic in which India and Indians will have only
responsibilities and no rights.
asked N. Gopal Swamy Ayyangar, another Minister in his cabinet, to move
the Constituent Assembly for inclusion of a special article in regard to
Kashmir as desired by Abdullah. But his proposal met with stiff resistance
from a large majority of members who saw no justification for making an
exception in th case of Jammu and Kashmir. His proposal was accepted only
after he gave specific assurance on behalf of the government that it was
a purely temporary provision to tide over the exigency created by the UN
resolution. That is why it was put in the chapter which includes temporary
and transitional provisions of the constitution.
To treat this
article as a permanent feature of the Constitution and oppose its abrogation
has no justification whatsoever. Sovereign parliament of India which has
made about seventy amendments in the Constitution of India can surely amend
or abrogate this Article which has been specifically described as "temporary"
by the Constitution itself.
In fact there
is no need to amend the Constitution because the procedure to make this
Article inoperative has been laid down in subclause (3) of this article
itself. It reads, "notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions
of this Article the President can, by public notification, declare that
this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with
such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify."
The rider that
the "recommendations of the Constituent Assembly of the state shall be
necessary before the President issues such a notification" has ceased to
have any validity because the Constituent Assembly of the State ceased
to exist in 1956. Therefore the decision to make this Article inoperative
can be taken by the President on his own or on the advice of his council
of Ministers, even without making any reference to the Parliament.
Once this Article
is abrogated or ceases to be operative, Jammu and Kashmir state would ipsv
facto be brought on par with other acceding states. Its separate constitution
will then have to go and Indian Constitution in fulfill have to be extended
to the state together with the law about citizenship.
This one step
will go a long way in removing uncertainty about future of Kashmir from
the minds of Kashmiris and impress upon them that Government of India means
business and that the finality of accession of the State to India cannot
about ownership of land and preference to local people in certain matters
can be given to Kashmir within the framework of Indian Constitution as
has been done in the case of Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
of the State
the abrogation of Article 370, steps should be taken to reorganize the
state so as to give separate statehood to Kashmir and Jam mu region and
Union territory status to Ladakh. Such a reorganization should have been
done long back. It was a mistake to keep this state out of the purview
of state Re-organization Commission.
Such a reorganization
would go a long way toward resolving some of the internal contradictions
and problems of this state. It will satisfy political aspirations of people
of Kashmir, Jammu and Laddakh and preserve and protect distinct identity
of Kashmir as also of Laddakh and Jammu.
is surrounded by high mountains from all sides which remain snowbound for
many months in a year. This has given it a separate geographical and historical
identity. That explains why it remained a separate kingdom or separate
province of various Indian empires all through the history.
much to do with preservation of cultural identity of any area. Kashmiri
language, originally written in Sharda script, a sister of Dev Nagri Script,
is a developed language with a rich literature. It has been included in
the 8th sehedule of the Indian constitution. Making Kashmiri the language
of administration and education in Kashmir valley will go a long way toward
preserving its distinct Kashmiri identity. It will slso strengthen its
cultural links rrith the rest of India because Kashmir too is an Indo-Vedic
language derived from Sanskrit.
of Urdu as state language by Sh. Abdullah instead of Kashmiri was a retrograde
step. It was aimed at weakening the links of Kashmir with India and bringing
it closer to Pakistan which adopted Urdu written in Persian script as its
national language after it came into existence. Acceptance of Kashmir with
the option to write it in Persian or Dev Nagri Script will not only safeguard
Kashrniri identity of Kashmir, but will also give a boost to the development
of Kashmiri language and literature. A phonetic script like Dev Nagri script
is much more suited to Kashmiri language than Persian script.
Kashmir with its 30 lakh population and valuable resources of timber, fruits,
handicrafts and great potential for tourism will be much more viable than
many other states of the Indian Union.
Punjabi speaking Uri-Tithwal area lying between Kashmir Valley and Pak occupied territory
of the state should be separated from Kashmir and made a centrally administered
security belt. This area lies outside Kashmir valley. There is little in
common between the people of Kashmir and the people of this belt. In fact
there is lot of distrust between them. The simple folk of this area resent
domination of Kashmiris over them. This area can be a kind of buffer between
Kashmir and the so called "Azad Kashmir." These steps would go a long way
in satisfying political aspirations of the people of all the three regions
of the state, safeguarding distinct identity of Kashmir valley and checkmating
Pak designs on it.
is basically a religio-political and not socio-economic problem. From the
economic point of view average Kashmiri is much better off than his compatriots
in most parts of the rest of India. It is among the most affluent parts
of India. Those who keep harping upon unemployment and economic hardship
of Kashmiri youth as the main cause of unrest and unsurgency in Kashmir
are either ignorant or dishonest.
nothing to do with the secular character of the Indian state. India is
secular because it is basically Hindu. The day it would loose its Hindu
character, it will cease to be secular. Therefore those who keep harping
upon India's need for Kashmir to preserve its secular character indulge
in self deceptions. There is no question of India needing Kashmir or Kashmir
needing India. They are one and indivisible.
The one genuine
grievance of the people of Kashmir is that they have not been getting governments
and Chief Ministers of their choice. This grievance can and should be removed
by ensuring that elections to the new state Assembly of Kashmir, whenever
they are held, are fair and free and that elected members are left free
to choose their Chief Minister and Government without undue interference
from New Delhi. But this demands restoration of normalcy within the valley
and normalization of relations between Kashmir and the center in terms
of the Indian Constitution. Nehru Abdullah accord and Mrs. Gandhi - Abdullah
accord point to abnormal relationship. They never had any constitutional
validity. They must be discarded to enable Kashmir to enjoy autonomy as
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to all its constituent units. Provision
can be made in the Constitution for som e special treatment to border states.
apparatus in Kashmir has been subverted in a planned way over the years.
This has proved to be the biggest asset of Pakistan in the war by proxy
that it has been waging since 1988. This apparatus should be thoroughtly
overhauled and nationalized. Any government which permits or tolerates
subversion of its administrative apparatus has no right to exist.
In the field
of development the immediate need of Kashmir is an augmentation of power
supply. With the depletion of forests, lack of adequate electric power
has caused avoidable hardships to the people. Therefore, top priority should
be given to generation and supply of electric power. There is enough potential
for Hydro- Power in the Valley. It can be supplemented by supply of power
from the National Power Grid. Salal and Dul- Hasti projects on the Chenab
in Jammu region can generate enough power to serve the needs of not only
Jammu and Kashmir but of Punjab also.
of hardship to the people of Kashmir is frequent closure of the Jammu Srinagar
high way. An alternative link can be developed by building all weather
road linking Srinagar with Pathankot via Sinthan Pass, Kishtwar, and Chamba
and with Jammu via Kishtwar and Udhampur.
This road would
open new areas for development besides giving a boost to tourism. Dalhausi,
Chamba, Bhadarwah, Kishtwar, Batete Jammu circuit would bring tourists
both national and international, in touch with some of the more breathtaking
beauty spots of the world. The old Mughal road via Nandi Marga pass runs
too close to the Cease-Fire Line. It would not be safe from security angle.
stretching from Pathankot to Panchal range which divides it from Kashmir
area of over ten thousand square miles and population of over thirty lakhs
is the richest and strategically the most important region of the state.
It has been getting a raw deal from successive Kashmiri dominated Governments
of Jammu and Kashmir.
separate Jammu state would satisfy political aspirations ol its people,
quicken its economic development and remove the bogey of Hindu domination
over Kashmir. It would be economically viable with big potential for tourism,
forest based industries and power generation. Contentment of the people
of Jammu would prove an asset for Kashmir also, because it provides the
iink between Kashmir and the rest of India.
stretching from Padar in Jammu to Tibet is the largest but most sparsely
populated region of the state. Muslim majority Kargil area which was part
of Baltistan region, new under Pak-occupation, was tagged on to Laddakh
after Cease-Fire. It should be given the option to be included in Laddakh
or made a centrally administered area.
As a Union
Territory Laddakh could be developed fast as a great tourist attraction.
Its Capital town Leh, is among the highest human habitats in the world.
It is linked by motorable roads to Srinagar via Yojila Pass and to Chandigarh
via Rohtang Pass. In view of strategic importance of Laddakh and widespread
distrust and disillusionment of its people with Kashmiri dominated administration,
it would be dangerous to delay the acceptance of longstanding demand of
its people for separation from Kashmir.
To ensure coordinated
development of the three new states and centrally administered areas, a
development council on the model of North Eastern Council should be set
up. Himachal Pradesh can also be included in such a council because of
its close links with Jammu and Laddakh. All the twenty states may also
have a common governor and common high court.
the autonomy of all the three regions and avoiding undue interference in
the democratic process and choice of Chief Ministers by the respective
Legislature, the central Government should see to it that no liberty is
given to any person, party or group to interfere with the legitimate aetivities
of the Defense forces or harm security interests of the country.
of the steps mentioned above and prosecution of the "war by Proxy" to the
finish can go on side by side. Abrogation of Article 370 and creation of Uri-Tithwal security belt will be helpful in restoration of Law and Order
and checking Pak infiltration from Pakistan.
about reorganization of the state will have a salutory effect on the minds
of the common people of Kashmir Valley. It will remove the fear of Hindu
domination that has been systematically created in their minds. They will
get a clear signal that their political aspirations and Kashmiri identity
can, and will be, satisfied within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
Most thinking Kashmiris know that rulers of Pakistan are not interested
in independence for Kashmir. They want to annex it to Pakistan. They also
know that Pakistani, particularly Pathans and Punjabis, are more interested
in using Kashmir as their pleasure ground than in its economic development
and general welfare of its people. The memories of 1947 when Pak invaders
turned every mosque in Baramula into a brothel are being revived by the
experience of Kashmiri girls who have been lured to Pakistan for training
of arms. This is having a salutary effect on Kashmiris who are basically
a peace loving people. Because of insular character of Kashmir and their
experience of non- Kashmir rule they have developed distrust for all non-
Kashmiris. Islamic frenzy has been swaying their minds and hearts for some
time past. But it cannot be sustained for long if they are made to realize
that they can enjoy self-rule with added benefits as an integral part of
At the same
time it is necessary that no softness is shown to Pak agents and their
patron, Pakistan. Pakistan has gone too far. Things within the valley were
never as hopeful for it as they are now. Its military position is now better
than ever before. It has an arsenal of nuclear weapons also. Therefore
any talk of normalization of relations with Pakistan is just hogwash. Pakistan
may force another war on India any time. India, however, will have to adopt
new reciprocal policy to ward Pakistan.
is the question of future of Kashmiri Pandits. Forced exodus of about two
hundred thousand Hindus from Kashmir is the most distressing fallout of
the recent developments in Kashmir Valley. All secessionist organizations
and elements of Kashmiris have been working together to drive out or eliminate
the Hindu minority from there.
who are now better known as Kashmiri Pandits have been living as a besieged
community since the advent of Muslim rule in Kashmir in the middle of the
14th century. They got relief when Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered and
annexed Kashmir to his kingdom in 1819 and made it a separate province
of his expanding kingdom of Lahore.
a place of pride in Kashmir during hundred years of Dogra rule. They made
the best use of the facilities for higher education and improved communications
with the rest of India.
With the accession
of the Jammu and Kashmir state to Incia by Maharaja Hari Singh in October
1947, a new chapter in the life of Kashmiri Pandits began. Many of them
joined with Sh. Abdullah when he converted his Muslim Conference into National
Conference in 1939. But Sh. Abdullah developed distrust for them soon after
he came to power in the wake of the accession of the state to India. He
took full advantage of his Kashmiri Pandit associates to extract maximum
concessions from the central goverenment at New Delhi led by the most celebrated
Kashmiri Pandit of our time, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
But he soon
found out that like other Hindus the first loyalty of Kashmiri Pandits
also was toward India and they would not stand by him in his endeavors
to make Kashmir an independent State outside India.
devoted one full chapter to Kashmiri Pandits in his autobiography. He advised
them to give up "the role of spies and fifth columns of the central government
at Delhi." This gave a clear indication of his belief that Kashmiri Pandits
may become a hindrance in the way of separating Kashmir from the rest of
India and making it a separate sultanate or Islamic Republic.
developments in Kashmir's Valley and the united efforts of protagonists
of Kashmir's merger with Pakistan and advocates of independent Kashmir
to drive out Kashmiri Pandits from the valley and liquidate those who have
not left the valley so far is the logical follow- up of the above assessment
of Sh. Abdullah about Kashmiri Pandits regarding their first loyalty to
India. Kashmir valley is now almost completely Muslim in its demographie
complexion and Kashmiri Pandits are running from pillar to post for survival.
This has added a new dimension to Kashmir problem.
Pandits go back to the valley or will they have to wander around India
and the world like the Jews who were driven out of Israel many centuries
ago? Their plight in their own country is the greatest challenge to the
capacity and credibility of Indian leadership. It is my considered view
that not only the future of Kashmiri Pandits is tied up with the future
of Kashmir Valley, but the future of India in relation to Kashmir is also
tied up with them. If Kashmir is to remain a part of India, Kashmiri Pandits
will have to go back to Kashmir Valley not only for their own sake but
also for the sake of wider interests of India as a whole. Their return
and rehabilitation in Kashmir Valley must be part of any solution of the
But now it
will not be possible for them to live with Kashmiri Muslims in the same
Mohallahs and neighborhoods. Islamic fundamentalism which does not permit
co-existence of Muslims and non-Muslims in peace on equal terms anywhere
in the world has got complete grip over the minds of the new generation
of Kashmiri Muslims. Kashmiri Pandits therefore will have to live in separate
settlements within Kashmir valley.
has written in his autobiography that some Kashmiri Pandit leaders had
suggested as early as 1890 that Kolgam area in south Kashmir adjacent to
Jammu region should be made a separate Kashmiri Pandit district of Kashmir.
He has not given the reason why such a demand was made and what was the
exact motivation of those who made it. But the situation which has now
developed in Kashmir has proved the forboding of those who raised the demand
a hundred years ago, to be correct. A sanctuary or a separate district
for re-settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the southern part of Kashmiri
Valley has now become an imperative necessity. It is the only effective
and feasible way of preserving Kashmiri Pandits in their own home land.
Such a reserved
area or district for exclusive resettlement of displaced Kashmiri Hindus
should stretch from the Jawahar tunnel under Banihal Pass to Zojila Pass.
It should include Verinag Springs, Acchabal, Kokarnag, Mattan, Martand
and Pahalgam besides the holy cave of Amarnath. Mattan and Amarnath are
the holiest spots in the valley which attract thousands of pilgrims and
tourists from all over India. Pahalgam is the most popular tourist spot
for Indian tourists. Therefore, it should not take long to develop this
area as a major pilgrimage center and tourist attraction of the valley.
This will not only quicken the development of this area but will benefit
the rest of the valley also.
and Kashmiri Pandit entrepreneurs can be persuaded to invest in this area
for its development. It should be able to provide security and comfortable
livelihood to all the displaced Kashmiri Hindus who are now living in agony
in camps at Jammu, Delhi and other towns of north India.
To this end,
the following two things will be helpful:
1. A Kashmiri
Hindu Resettlement Fund should be created. Major contributions to this
fund will have to come from central government and state governments. Substantial
amounts can be raised from the general public also.
2. A Kashmiri
Hindu Resettlement Board be set up. It should include representatives of
the central and state governments and Kashmiri Hindus. It must undertake
survey and construction of resettlement colonies and townships in this
reserved area. The migrant families can also contribute their mite in the
construction of the houses which could be transferred to thern as permanent
allotees on completion.
if executed quickly and efficiently, can save Kashmiri Pandits from their
present agony and reserve their Kashmiri identity along with the identity
of the Kashmir valley. Some seats can also be reserved for them in the
legislative assembly of Kashmir.
The plan of
action for a solution of Kashmir problem given above is practical and feasible.
It can safeguard the unity, distinct identity and autonomy of Kashmir Valley
without disturbing the unity of India. The suggestion about a distinct
area in South Kashmir to be earmarked for the resettlement of Kashmiri
Hindus who have been driven out of their homeland is just, fair and workable.
Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants of the valley who have preserved
its culture, language and way of life through the centuries have inalienable
rights on Kashmir. They must get a share of the territory of Kashmir where
they may be able to live with honor and without fear.
have a government of their choice like the people of other states through
fair and free democratic elections and without interference from outside.
But conditions must be first created for holding elections and starting
the political process. The present situations in the valley are not conducive
to it. Steps will have to be taken to weed out the terrorists and Pak agents
first. The sooner it is done the better it would be for all concerned.
It would be
wrong to compare Kashmir with the states of USSR which are falling apart.
Unlike India which has been a distinct geographical and cultural entity
since the dawn of history, USSR has been a continuation of the colonial
empire of Russia comparable to colonial empires of Britain and France.
Communism provided a new authoritarian cement to keep it together when
other colonial empires were cracking. With the end of communism and dismantling
of communist system the Russian empire has started crumbling. Central Asian
Republics had nothing in common with Russia. Even then certain common interests,
particularly in the field of economy and defense, developed during the
last seventy years, may keep them together in the same form for some time.
the other hand has been an integral part of India geographically, culturally
and politically. It cannot be cut asunder from India. Pull of Pakistan
is temporary because Pakistan itself cannot remain cut off from Hindustan
It would be
in the best interest of Pakistan to accept the suggestion put forth by
the USA about treating the Line of Actual Control as an international boundary
between India and Pakistan. Acceptance of this reality on the ground will
only give dejure recognition to what has been a de-facto reality since
January 1, 1949. With goodwill on both sides this line can be rationalized
to make it a defensible border for both India and Pakistan. As things are,
Pakistan is bound to be a gainer in such a rationalization of this line.
But if Pakistan
persists in its intransigence in the hope that war by proxy that it has
been waging in the valley since 1988 will secure for it what it could not
secure through three wars with India, then India, too, will have to pay
back in the same coin.
As things are,
Pakistan is moving on the path of war for which it has chosen the ground
of its own choice. Failure on its part to retrace is bound to lead to an
open war in which India may chose ground of its own choice. Maybe destiny
is driving Pakistan to its doom. According to Maharishi Aurobindo's forcast,
the time for the end of Pakistan and partition is coming. Pakistan has
failed to cut itself off from its Indian or Hindu past in spite of the
worst efforts of its Islamic rulers during the past four decades. It is
going to break down under the weight of its own contradictions. The war
toward which it is moving may prove to be a decisive catalytic agent for
ending Pakistan. That will ultimately end the problem, including Kashmir
problem, that appeared on the scene as off-shoots of the Pakistan problem.
Till then India will have to live with the Kashmir problem in some form
or the other.