J & K: the unfinished colonial agenda
by Nancy Kaul on 22 Jan 2010 16 Comments

Terrorism and the Islamic stranglehold go hand in hand, and the compliance of the so-called Fifth Estate in furthering their cause is even more dumbfounding. Even as the wave of Jihadi terror has finally spilled over to the rest of the country from Kashmir, a pseudo-liberal element concerned only about funds for its NGOs (much of their so-called elite ways being dependent on this money and some hobnobbing with power centers), is busy making India understand that there is nothing amiss.


These self-appointed champions are leaving no stone unturned in furthering the terror agenda and the plan to Balkanize India. These people are too busy looking at their own interests, foreign jaunts, and media coverage, and have no interest in either the identity of the Indian polity or its unity and integrity. With no commitment to adherence to principles of geo-politics, unity, strategic frontiers and India’s basic culture and civilization moorings, the casualty of all their proposals is the nation’s sovereignty.


This so called intelligentsia hosts seminars and secret Track II diplomacies which, if followed through, will send the nation on a trackless road to Balkanization and self-destruction.


While in the Valley the terrorists engage in encounters, gun battles and suicidal attacks on the Security Forces, overt and covert support to Islamic terrorism is provided by politicians and others. The final goal is dismemberment of the country, beginning with Jammu & Kashmir. The Islamic element of the Valley has overshadowed the plurality called Jammu & Kashmir, including Ladakh. 


The Greater Kashmir of Srinagar on 10 Dec. 2009 wrote, “The High Court Association President, Mian Abdul Qayoom today described Kashmir struggle for freedom as an Islamic struggle, saying ‘if we want to achieve freedom we should have clarity about our goal.’”


This statement is crystal clear; terrorists and Kashmiri Muslims are part of an Islamic struggle. If this is so, then the terror spillover from the Valley too is a spillover of Islamic struggle. Pakistan’s oft made remark is to bleed India through a thousand cuts. Kashmir Valley is the first step towards the realization of this Islamic goal.


The gun-totting terrorists have their cause propounded in public, and the pseudo elite don’t bat an eyelid at the duplicity of politicians when they give credibility to arms and terror tactics. The Hindustan Times on 4 Nov. 2009 carried a story, “At a party meet, Mehbooba sees merit in gun culture,” wherein Ashiq Bukhari wrote:

In hathon ne hathyar chhodey hain, chalana nahin bhule (These hands have just dropped the gun, not forgotten to use them),” said a young man at the top of his voice. And the crowd of around 2,000 people roared in approval.” The occasion was the youth convention of Jammu & Kashmir’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).


When another speaker lambasted the alleged harassment and humiliation faced by Kashmiris at the hands of security agencies and people in other Indian states, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti could not help but join the gun rhetoric. “The Kashmir issue is being discussed in national and international forums because of the sacrifices of the youth of Kashmir,” she said. “Those who say that the gun had no role let me tell them, it highlighted the issue of Kashmir,” she added.


Senior PDP leader and former state finance minister Tariq Hamid Karra took the argument forward. “If the leadership at the centre is not using the army to crush the brutal Naxal movement, why is it being used in our state?” he asked.


This support for terror and the gun is neither new nor an aberration for the PDP. Indian Express Oct. 24, 2002, Srinagar, wrote: “The hobnobbing of PDP with terrorists is an open fact. PDP's charismatic crowd-puller Mehbooba Sayeed is taking her chances and has begun making daily trips to her party's South Kashmir bastion... Her father, Mufti Sayeed appealed to 'boys with guns in the mountains,' telling them there was no longer any need for violence because 'now your representatives are in the Assembly. Whether in government or outside, we will put forward your voice.” (for ‘boys’ read terrorists).


These are but a repetition of similar statements given by the PDP earlier as well, after it won the elections and promised to further their cause; this is enough to understand their anti- national psyche. And that they are stakeholders in the gun-wielding terror culture.


Yet seminars and platforms are provided to vent this venom against India, the difference being only the shade of assault against Indian sovereignty – spading away each time, with applause. Open admiration is expressed for suggestions of self-rule, autonomy and greater autonomy, and they act as renegade supporters of the apostate.


The tragedy that has befallen us is that the Government and political parties have started showing dependence on these very tactics and are giving credibility to these individuals. A government and a political system should hold allegiance to the country and the primary aspects of its territorial integrity, sovereignty, security, in a direct manner, and should not accept or acknowledge any negotiation on these issues, whether at the behest of international diplomacy, or separatists and secessionists, through direct or indirect parleys.


The tragedy befalling this country is that the government and political parties have accepted these very India-bashers and fifth columnists along with the peaceniks who are holding the country to ransom on the behest of secessionists. How else can one explain Defence Minister AK Antony’s almost apologetic comment about wanting to make the Army invisible? Equally baffling is the timing of the same, coinciding as it did with a declaration demanding demilitarization of Jammu & Kashmir at a three day Indo-Pak conference titled “Aman ki Asha. The Road Map to Peace,” held at the India International Centre recently.


Three important questions arise. First, is policy-making happening at the behest of these seminars and platforms which propagate the rabble rousing of the separatist elements? Two, why in the garb of such talks and discussions is the agenda of furthering the balkanization of India inching forward? Third, why are political parties giving legitimacy to these peaceniks by either calling them closer to the corridors of power, or allowing them to become the sole decision-makers and policy-definers in the country? Otherwise what can explain the presence of feminist-turned-political-event-manager Madhu Kishwar, an ardent advocate of Mufti Sayeed’s self-rule formula, at a function on Kashmir Exodus Day hosted by the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation? Predictably, she seized the opportunity to propagate the devolution of Indian sovereignty in Jammu & Kashmir!


It is pertinent that the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation function of 19 Jan. closely succeeded the IIC seminar of 9-11 Jan. 2010, which raised the bogey of rights, self-rule, and passed a declaration demanding demilitarization of Kashmir, repeal of AFSPA, allowing Kashmiris (read Muslims) to live and work in Pakistan if they wish, and a tribunal for ensuring Art 370 for Kashmir, and reduction of Indian defence spending, among other equally questionable recommendations.


The recommendations, intention and agenda of the seminar promoters are questionable on all counts and the Indian establishment has to answer why such exercises undermining the Indian Constitution, Indian Polity, Indian Sovereignty, and Indian Unity taking place at such steady intervals.




[Declaration Text of the three day IIC seminar held on 9-11 Jan. 2010 in New Delhi, attended by a host of Indian pseudo-intellectuals along with Pakistanis, which laid bare their intentions. Will the Indian political establishment make this the policy intention of the country or have the spine at least now to call a spade a spade and put an end to all such attempts to Balkanize India, or will the future of the country be mortgaged to such seminars?]


The declaration

THE contents and outcome of the bilateral talks should be as transparent as possible, so that there is accountability to the people of both countries. There should be coordination amongst the various ministries of the government of India involved and concerned with India-Pakistan relations and policy. There must be no militarist/chauvinist statements from political or military leadership of the two countries.

Confidence Building Measures
Joint India Pakistan committees must be set up on Kashmir, hate speech, human rights, distribution of water resources, prisoners, military expenditure and other CBMs. Items long awaiting solution like Siachin, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage need to be settled immediately.

Since this is a core issue there must a genuine and urgent effort to find solutions. Firstly both India and Pakistan must jointly agree to de-militarise Jammu & Kashmir. The Indian government should repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Withdrawal of troops and punishment of those guilty of crimes against people. Strengthening of democratic institutions and establishing an independent tribunal to ensure Article 370 for Kashmir. Reinstate Article 370 in its original form as a step towards building confidence and goodwill. Allow Kashmiris to live and work in Pakistan if they wish. Protect the interests of minorities in J&K. Take the opinions and aspirations of people in all areas in J&K when working out solutions.

Demilitarise border between India and Pakistan. Reduce military spending by at least 10% per year, and divert the savings to the social and development sector. In order to reduce tensions, it is important that military commanders of both countries meet and interact, as part of the peace dialogue.


Joint Management of Water Resources
Revisit the Indus Water Treaty in the light of new factors like climate change and its implications based on the principles of equitable sharing rather than division of waters.

Visa Free South Asia

The possibility of a visa free regime has been often discussed but not operationalised. Stringent scrutiny can be done without undue restrictiveness. Opening of consulates in all the major cities of both the countries. Special facilities for senior citizens and children below 12 years. Free exchange of scholars, students and technical experts.


Economic Cooperation

Free flow of goods and commodities, encouragement of joint business initiatives. India must unilaterally open the borders to further facilitate border trade. Build cooperation on the existing women-led initiatives. India must take initiative to build the trade between the two countries and with the rest of South Asia. Ease customs and tariff procedures, and issuing of business visas. Free movement for migrant workers. Try to formulate a joint economic partnership agreement between India and Pakistan. Set up more branches of more Indian and Pakistani banks and financial institutions in each others’ territories. Collaborative approaches on issues relating to WTO and international trade.


Joint Patrol of Borders

Change the beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah border to reflect peace, not conflict. Conduct joint research on ecological and climate related issues. Siachen Glacier must become a zone of peace: it should be evacuated of army presence altogether. This is important for both for reasons of environmental and also for the sake of soldiers. Punish those guilty of torture, rape, plunder in the name of security, counter terror, war.


Both countries should work together to counter terrorism and fundamentalism which are common challenges. Set up joint mechanisms, and share intelligence and related information within the framework of the 1987 SAARC convention on combating terrorism.


Media, Information and Culture

There has to be a self-censorship stop hate speech, war mongering in the media. The flow of information, software, know-how, knowledge should be opened up. Import of books, periodicals, newspapers should be permitted without impediment. Meeting of senior editors should be held, in effort to lead media away from jingoism. Media houses should be allowed to station journalists in each others capitals without difficulty. Cultural exchange must be freely allowed and encouraged between the two countries.


Revision of curricula in both countries to encourage friendship, not hate.


Nuclear Disarmament

Roll back on the nuclear program in both countries to establish a nuclear free South Asia and cooperate jointly towards global disarmament.


National and Ethnic Question

Since this is an important and extremely sensitive question in South Asia, attempts to be made in both countries to find solutions to conflicts around these questions, involving all parties in the dispute. Facilitate the coming together of academia and civil society to build a better understanding and possible consensus on this issue. Create space for national and other minorities in all parts of India and Pakistan.




In my humble opinion, this is clearly a Pakistan-centric and terrorist-serving agenda. Please someone explain to me what there is in it for India and her people. When that is so blatantly the case, why is New Delhi hosting it and why is India International Centre lending its premises for such treasonous intellectual humbug?


The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta

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