Visiting Pakistan (II)

Regardless of the eventual outcome, or the lack of it, of the Hurriyat (M)’s forthcoming visit to Pakistan, there is absolutely no scope for anyone to complain that the “talks” supposed to be held there would be “exclusively” with one section of the separatist camp “to the exclusion of the others.” The invitation from Islamabad cuts across partitions in the Tower of Babel ludicrously called the “resistance” camp, and is as valid for Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and his associates as for Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others. If the latter have chosen, or will choose, to stay away for reasons more imagined than real, there is absolutely no call to use the media to peddle the manufactured “exclusivity” argument for what in fact is a bid to abdicate responsibility as representatives of Kashmiris which they claim to be. This is not to suggest that the upcoming trip, “exclusive” or otherwise, can necessarily be regarded to be of momentous import or game-changing significance – far from it. The hype created by the Hurriyat (M) with its highly-publicised mass consultations runs the risk of raising expectations on the one hand, and inviting aspersions on the other, over what may eventually turn out to be a damp squib. The Hurriyat (M) may be at pains to ascribe importance to its trip by strongly defending the decision to undertake it, but the rest, too, do not lag far behind – if anything, more than the Hurriyat (M)’s arguments, it is the nay-saying of the naysayers that seems to suggest that something significant is afoot.

The focus, however, should also shift to a recurring theme in the Mirwaiz camp’s defence of its decision to take up Islamabad’s invitation – the changed or changing “geo-political” scenario, and the “changing political attitudes” in the world. For, this has applicability across the board, serving as the true yardstick to evaluate the entire political unfolding and political enterprises in Kashmir since 1947 – particularly the beginning of militancy and the situation leading up to it. The adherents, and there are legion, of the “indigenous struggle” theory could find it enlightening to correspond subterranean political developments in Kashmir since the early eighties to the “geo-political” scenario of those times and the “political attitudes” obtaining during the Afghanistan situation, Pakistan’s role in it, and the attitudes of the Western Powers (for which the euphemism “world political attitudes” fits admirably). The ensuing Kashmir situation, howsoever it may have come about, was merely an opportunistic offshoot of the then geo-political scenario and tagged irrevocably to its inevitable fluctuations which leaderships concerned either had no gumption to foresee, or naively believed they could outrun and overtake.  Today, the fault is not to admit the reality of the geo-political scenario, but to admit it only in part. This is a fault the Hurriyat (M) shares with the entire separatist spectrum, and is not likely to be corrected anytime soon. If the trip to Pakistan convinces the Hurriyat (M) not to compartmentalise history, it will have been worth its while.

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