Home Global Village Former Indian Home Minister cites Kashmir as area of ‘dispute’

Former Indian Home Minister cites Kashmir as area of ‘dispute’

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Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government for its handling of the rebellion in Jammu and Kashmir former Union Home Minister has stirred up a fresh controversy on the issue. Writing in a national daily today, P Chidambaram termed Kashmir issue as “a long-pending dispute concerning accession”, a stand that even his own party, the Congress may dissociate from.

Chidambaram said that “the hard, muscular, militaristic approach” of the Narendra Modi government in dealing with terrorism in Kashmir Valley failed to yield any positive results. Quoting figures from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chidambaram said that the muscular approach of the government in Kashmir Valley caused more loss of lives of civilians and Indian occupation troops in 2017.

Indian reputation and the Achilles heel of its claim to be a responsible, peaceful nation. Internally, it flies in the face of government claims of a united India rising to heights of glory.

The figures also show rise in casualties among the armed fighters fighting for freedom. Chidambaram also agreed that “infiltration and militancy, supported by Pakistan, have caused turmoil” in Jammu and Kashmir. But, then he said, “It would be wrong to think that the issue is infiltration and militancy.”

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“Infiltration and militancy are the consequences of the issue. The issue is the long-pending dispute concerning the accession of Kashmir,” Chidambaram said. Questioning Narendra Modi government’s stand of having no talks with Pakistan until cross-border militancy stops in Kashmir or with those demanding aazaadi, Chidambaram said, “Four wars have been fought over the issue.

No purpose will be served by pretending that there is no issue or there is no dispute between India and Pakistan.” He also termed the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative for holding talks with all factions of Kashmiri leadership “a pre-election gimmick” on the eve of Gujarat polls.

The latest uprising has erupted with the death of the famous rebel leader Burhan Wani and strengthened due to subsequent inhuman state tactics like human shields and the use of pellet guns.

Chidambaram said that the Modi government was not keen on finding a solution to the Kashmir issue while praising the efforts taken by Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh governments in the past. He said, “The fault of the present government is that it does not seem to want a solution; it is not making a diligent effort to seek a solution; and by shutting the door on talks with all the stakeholders, it has foreclosed a solution in the near future.”

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“The way forward is to invite all stakeholders for talks,” Chidambaram said while demanding dismissal of the Mehbooba Mufti government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chidambaram prescribed a solution saying that the Centre should “promulgate Governor’s Rule in the state…announce that the Central government will hold talks with all stakeholders…appoint interlocutors to pave the way for talks…Reduce the presence of the Army and para-military in the Kashmir Valley and hand over the task of maintaining law and order to the state police…”

However, an armed component of the peaceful self-determination campaign emerged in 1987 after the Indian government rigged elections in IOK to stop pro-Independence candidates from winning.

The region of Kashmir is a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers of South Asia. The dispute began when during the partition of the British occupied subcontinent, the refusal of the area’s hereditary ruler Hari Singh to comply with his people’s wishes led to a rebellion.

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Faced with losing his freedom to a people’s army aided by tribesman from across the border, the ruler acquiesced to India in return for military aid. This led to a war between newly found India and Pakistan and later on the division of Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and IOK.

After the UN ordered ceasefire and subsequent UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite, India backtracked from its earlier agreements and started a campaign of militarization to subjugate the part of Kashmir in its control. The Kashmiri people continued their efforts for self-determination.

The dispute began when during the partition of the British occupied subcontinent, the refusal of the area’s hereditary ruler Hari Singh to comply with his people’s wishes led to a rebellion.

However, an armed component of the peaceful self-determination campaign emerged in 1987 after the Indian government rigged elections in IOK to stop pro-Independence candidates from winning. The armed struggle continued despite increased Indian brutality that turned Kashmir into the world’s most militarized region.

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However, Indian brutality was unable to break the pro self-determination efforts by the Kashmiri people. Since then, it has been faced with continuous waves of unrest and popular uprisings in the occupied valley. The latest uprising has erupted with the death of the famous rebel leader Burhan Wani and strengthened due to subsequent inhuman state tactics like human shields and the use of pellet guns.

India is faced with the problem of Kashmir due to a variety of reasons. Globally it is a black mark on the Indian reputation and the Achilles heel of its claim to be a responsible, peaceful nation. Internally, it flies in the face of government claims of a united India rising to heights of glory.


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