Home Global Village India agrees to hold talks with Kashmiri leaders. Why?

India agrees to hold talks with Kashmiri leaders. Why?

Hurriyat
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News Analysis |

India has, at last, agreed to talk to the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) when they appointed a new special government representative to pursue talks in Indian Occupied Kashmir. This is clear u-turn in the Hindutva fundamentalist BJP party stated policy of not talking to the pro-Independence parties.

This is the first such measure undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindutva hardliner, to tackle unrest in the occupied territory since he rose to power in 2014. The policy was announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

As of now while seemingly New Delhi has recognized the importance of talking to the APHC, there still might be hope it can be brought to a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the long standing dispute.

Dineshwar Sharma, a former intelligence chief with experience of insurgencies in India´s northeast, has been named a special envoy to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions. A third-generation police officer, Mr. Sharma, 63, retired in December 2016 after leading the domestic spy agency, the Intelligence Bureau, for two years.

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Many observers see this as a U-turn by the BJP who espoused a hardline policy on Kashmir. The BJP openly blasted the APHC, a coalition of Kashmiri parties demanding self-determination, as Pakistan backed separatists. Many attribute this turnaround as a long-awaited realization of the ground reality in the occupied valley.

A free Kashmir may inevitably lead to the disintegration of the Indian state. It also negates the ideal of a strong India in the eyes of the Northwestern Hindi belt which dominates the political discourse of India.

Despite having a large number of insurgencies afflicting it, Kashmir remains India’s most significant and problematic front. It is embroiled in a dispute with Pakistan over the right to rule the Muslim majority area. The local and popular Kashmiri campaign for self-determination has also complicated Indian efforts to annex the area.

The Kashmir Conundrum

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.

Since its occupation, IOK has faced wave after wave of unrest caused by the local campaign for self-determination to which New Delhi has largely responded with more and more brutality.

Faced with losing his fiefdom 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.

However, Indian militarization was unable to break the will of the Kashmiri populace desiring self-determination. Despite agreeing to a UN-ordered plebiscite, India has not fulfilled its promise, instead, it turned Kashmir into the most militarized zone on Earth.

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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.

Since its occupation, IOK has faced wave after wave of unrest caused by the local campaign for self-determination to which New Delhi has largely responded with more and more brutality. The latest wave which ignited after the death of a local popular rebel, Burhan Wani has captured the attention of a global audience.

Indian Dilemma

India which views itself as the next superpower in making is often flabbergasted by the Kashmiri problem. Not only is it a strain on Indian resources but it also puts it on a collision course with its nuclear-armed neighbor Pakistan. It also shatters the myth of a peaceful Hindu nation built on the principles of Gandhi as India wishes to be portrayed.

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, it is its internal audience that it is most worried about. Facing a host of pro-independence movements in Punjab and its Northeast, Kashmir is a death struggle for modern India. A free Kashmir may inevitably lead to the disintegration of the Indian state. It also negates the idea of a strong India in the eyes of the Northwestern Hindi belt which dominates the political discourse of India.

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It seems after weeks of state violence using brutal means such as pellet guns, human shields, and braid chopping to cow the Kashmiri people, New Delhi has recognized it cannot succeed without a political initiative. While former initiatives largely included those Kashmiri actors that were more to Indian likes and dislikes now it has been forced to talk to the APHC. Many observers identify this as the BJP’s surrender to the reality of the Hurriyat’s hold in Kashmir.


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