Let New Delhi decide how it wants to embrace Kashmiris

But when he made the same offer last time, from then onwards dozens of innocents have been killed, tortured and jailed by the forces, thus raising a question mark on the intentions of union government.

Er Rasheed
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 17 2018 11:08PM | Updated Date: Aug 17 2018 11:13PM
Let New Delhi decide how it wants to embrace KashmirisFile Photo

From the Red Fort Prime Minister Narindra Modi reiterated his claim that resolution to Kashmir dispute lies in embracing Kashmiris. But when he made the same offer last time, from then onwards dozens of innocents have been killed, tortured and jailed by the forces, thus raising a question mark on the intentions of union government. Even Modi’s worst critics do have an opinion that Modi has a strong belief in that what he says and very often tries to stand by his words against all odds. However, when it comes to Kashmir, he too seems to be double minded despite knowing that Kashmir issue is not what Indian state tries to tell the entire world. Unless Prime Minister and those who matter recognize with sincerity the nature of the dispute and accept the historic facts no good words may prove of any use. Action always speaks louder than words and even if Prime Minister believes in a resolution of his own choice to Kashmir dispute, he has to walk many extra miles and say bye to beaten tracks. It is unfortunate that either the institutions that matter are undermining the authority of the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy or there seems to be a confusion from bottom to top and Prime Minister may be playing all the rhetoric as a part of New Delhi’s game plan to try to change the narrative suiting its choice about J&K dispute. The duplicity in New Delhi’s approach and attitude got yet again exposed when Prime Minister was talking of embracing Kashmiris and rejecting bullets but unfortunately the same day rewarding Major Aadatiya with Surya Chakra, the officer accused of killing unarmed Kashmiris in Shopian. How can it work that you promise to embrace  Kashmiris and say no to bullets but still reward those who shower bullets into the chests of budding blooms. There is no doubt that Indian army has been trying very hard to build its image among Kashmiris. Their critics too must endorse that, but the unfortunate side of the story is that army while trying to win hearts and minds of Kashmiris forgets many harsh realities including the hard fact that Kashmiris are not against army but simply are fighting to get political dispute resolved, which had made their lives hell and even army too has suffered. If army has a grudge that Kashmiris don’t recognize some image building and pro-people activities of army, it needs to understand that to gain respect it has to respect the right of Kashmiris. It is a separate debate whether army should get involved in activities not related to its profession and remain confined to its professional duties but the more significant question is that how masses feel about whatsoever army is doing on the ground. Army has every right to claim credit for measures like providing coaching to dozens of students preparing for professional exams but when army wants to get credit for such pro-people moves, it as an institution must answer why did soldiers in hundreds move to supreme court seeking total impunity under AFSPA. Nobody can object to the rights of an army Jawan to defend himself and prove himself not guilty, but asking for an impunity in heinous crimes to the extent of not wishing even an FIR to be lodged against them speaks volumes about the confession of guilt individuals from army have committed in Kashmir and other areas by taking shelter of AFSPA from time to time. Does it mean that only AFSPA can protect the rights of men in uniform, if so should not all the laws in vogue be revoked to protect the rights of those in uniform but not covered under AFSPA. Anyway let New Delhi decide that how it wants to embrace Kashmiris. Modi Ji has the backing of all hardcore nationalists and if he and his team wish to understand the significance of truly embracing Kashmiris, then he must forget the beaten tracks and take the credit of helping people of the sub-continent in coming out of a long era of uncertainty, confrontation and hate. And all what he has to do is to resolve J&K dispute by understanding the historic facts and sentiments of people of J&K.

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